Waterfront Getaway in South Carolina

South Carolina lake house exterior

Text by Kate Abney

A doctor and a jewelry designer, both Southern-bred and exceedingly gracious, already owned a midcentury ranch on South Carolina’s Modoc Shores, so they thought they wanted to build a new home further away on Kiawah Island, a place they also dearly loved. But the lake surroundings at their current location were too beautiful to pass up. Instead, they razed their existing residence to the ground and rebuilt with the intention of capturing the exact views they wanted. Architect Greg Palmer with Harrison Design knew precisely how to harness the clients’ love for Kiawah Island while maximizing the surrounding vistas. Shingle-style architecture, first popularized in New England during the late 19th-century, is a go-to for the upscale Charleston-area resort community—and its creative, rambling layouts just so happen to be perfect for meandering around a lakeside as well.

glass enclosed conservatory
Photography by Gordon Beall

“There are about 270 degrees of water around this house,” says Palmer, who strategically positioned picture windows and verandas. As the house twists around the site, still more views overlook the cove and boat dock.

Project architect Bulent Baydar assisted Palmer on the exterior architecture. Taking cues from the clients’ Kiawah inspirations, they picked materials such as Savannah gray brick, knotty alder, cedar-shake shingles, standing-seam copper roofing, and, of course, the eccentric green trim so central to Shingle style. Harrison interior design director Karen Ferguson played a big part in selecting that hue, likewise connecting exterior finishes to the ones used indoors. The unusual green, for example, was incorporated into leather dining-chair seats and unique fixtures that punctuate a hallway.

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