Antoine Iskandar was quiet as he ran his hand over the pristine kitchen island countertop.
“It’s awesome, isn’t it?” he said, without taking his eyes off the stone, a smile growing across his face.
The owner of Arkiteknic Custom Homes wasn’t talking about the material, although the white and gray Carerra marble will undoubtedly be a conversation starter for all who gather around it. Iskandar was referring to the detailing of the corners, which are raised to appear as though the island’s decorative legs were pushing up from underneath.
“This could have easily been cut so these corners sit flush with the surface. But look at how awesome this is, that this piece is higher by an eighth of an inch. It emphasizes the columns and it speaks the language of what’s happening on the island through the granite.”
It was a final walk-through of sorts of the home in Colleton River Plantation that Iskandar and architect John Pittman III spent much of the last year brainstorming and molding into the 2016 Idea Home, a custom-build collaboration intended to showcase the latest in design ideas and style trends.
“This home is very unique. We designed it to fit the site exactly. Of course we had parameters to work with, but in my opinion it turned out fabulous,” Iskandar said. “It feels good when you walk in here. You feel at peace, you feel at ease, you feel comfort. The design of this house is music to the soul.”
The 2016 Charter One Realty Idea Home designed and built by Arkiteknic Custom Homes broke ground in August 2015 and was the first of its kind in the Lowcountry that allowed audiences to follow along with the entire custom build.
The Bluffton home went on the market in March with a list price of $1,195,000. It sold shortly after to a Canadian couple looking for the perfect vacation retreat.
For Iskandar and Pittman, putting their name on a project like this wasn’t something they took lightly.
“It was our agenda to push the building model forward, to showcase where architecture and design is going. We wanted to make sure it was the best calling card we could come up with,” said Pittman, who served as design consultant on the project. “There is a lot of risk involved in a project like this. We took it very seriously.”
One risk, Pittman said, was making sure the home was “idea enough” and on point with future trends.
“The last thing we want is someone to walk in this house and say, ‘This is 2016? Try 1986.’ That’s why the quality of the materials, the fixtures, colors, and furniture are so important,” Pittman said.
The two-story, 5,600-square-foot home has a style indicative of New England, with cream-colored board and batten HardiPlank siding and light washed cedar shake accents. Large covered porches, tabby accents, an outdoor kitchen, two-story balcony and a paver driveway anchor the home to the Lowcountry.
“I think this direction of building is here to stay. Because of the home’s casual sophistication, I firmly believe it will end up proving to be timeless because it’s roots were founded in Southern rural architecture which gives it a close sense of place,” Pittman said.
The home has four bedrooms — including a master suite that runs the length of the house — five and a half bathrooms, two living areas, as well as a bonus room over the garage.
It was designed with an open floor plan, large windows, and multiple walls of 10-foot glass sliding doors that offer unobstructed views of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course and a connection to the outdoors whenever the owners want.
“The doors and screens open up and get out of the way, which allows the spaces to flow together, blurring the line between indoors and out,” said interior designer Gregory Vaughan of Kelley Designs on Hilton Head Island, who is working with the homeowners. “The house celebrates outdoor living — with its multiple porches, deep balcony, and patio with fire pit — which is something we get to do much of the year because of our mild climate.”
Shades of brown, blues, taupes and creams pair with bright white trim and distressed woods to create a color palette that is fresh and relaxing. Hickory floors, tabby fireplaces, and light-washed ceiling beams give the space a rustic, natural feel. Vertical paneling throughout the home adds an element of casual sophistication.
“From day one, the homeowners wanted a light, bright cottage retreat that offered paired-down ease,” Vaughan said. “Everything came together exactly as I envisioned and the homeowners are so pleased. The materials used inside and outside really complement each other nicely.”
Embracing the contemporary, the furniture selections have smooth surfaces and clean lines (no skirted sofas) and are covered with light-colored neutrals in fabrics that have a menswear feel (think tweed and basket weave).
The master bathroom offers the latest in spa-like luxury, with a oversized soaking tub, and shower with therapeutic body sprays, massaging shower heads, and linear drains.
The home was built for the future, with high-performance appliances, LED lighting, and capabilities for the latest in audio/video technology and home automation for maximum energy efficiency.
With this house in the books, Iskandar is looking toward the future.
“Designing houses is always evolving. We’re constantly learning from what we’ve done and improving for the future,” Iskandar said. “This house has been tremendous for us. The layout, the functionality of it is fabulous. We’re taking what we’ve done, elaborating on it, and plan to build another house in 2017. But certainly this is the best house we’ve built so far.”
Cate Fitzpatrick: 843-706-8181
Get the Idea Home-inspired look
Create your own relaxing escape with these Benjamin Moore colors used in the 2016 Idea Home.
1. SEA SALT (CSP-95): Taupey neutral that feels like a relaxing spa massage that leaves your skin and senses completely renewed.
2. QUIET MOMENTS (1563): Tranquility seems to ooze from this light, blue-gray that inspires moments of quiet meditation. This soothing shade creates a look of elegance and simplicity.
3. ASHLEY GRAY (HC-87): Elegant and rich, this muted shade of gray has a slight olive tint that pairs well with satiny hardwood floors.
4. BONE WHITE (OC-143/PM-30): Pairing flawlessly with deeper hues, elegant bone white is a versatile neutral with a touch of yellow.
5. MOUNTAIN MIST (868): Part of the Benjamin Moore Classic Color Collection, this hue is crisp, cool, timeless and elegant.
6. PERSPECTIVE (CSP-5A): Some know how to please everyone. Is it a light gray? A faint blue? A silver-white? It’s all in how you look at it.