A Fresh Start

Wide open spaces and architectural brilliance give this Sea Pines family home a dazzling new look.

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photography by John McManus

The Sea Pines vacation home of an active Charlotte family had served the family well for a long time as both a part-time retreat and income-generating rental property. So when it came time to take this two-story retreat on the third row from the ocean off the rental market, the family turned to Group 3 Designs to truly make it their own.

“Completely upgrading the whole home was one part of it,” said architect Mike Ruegamer. “The second part was making it more livable for the family and more open.”

The most obvious step in that direction came with the removal of a wall that had previously separated the living and dining rooms, allowing for greater flow throughout the house and better sightlines to the outdoor living spaces. A wide bar set in hardwood now delineates the space, incorporating load-bearing beams and bar seating opposite a gourmet-caliber kitchen boasting chef’s range, granite counters and exposed beams. It’s a tastefully modern approach to coastal casual that makes the kitchen the centerpiece of a now-open living space. This one simple change allowed for several more, each resulting in more usable space.

“There was more of a formal dining area to the back of the kitchen, and when we extended the kitchen into that area it became much more open and casual,” said Ruegamer. Opening up that space, he said, made for easier access to a grilling porch created from a back deck that had rarely been used.

Likewise, the new grilling deck became an important part of a revamped outdoor living space, marked by an extended paver terrace set around the existing pool. “It gave the whole home much more of an indoor/outdoor feel.”

Home improvement • Every room in this Sea Pines home underwent a complete transoformation. These before and after photos show the difference.

Also, the newly opened space in the living area allowed Group 3 and the team from Tropical Builders to create a separate powder room from what had previously been a combination powder room and laundry room. Now, a hallway runs between the laundry room and a free-standing pantry set in shiplap accent walls. Installation of the new powder room on the far side of the open living space created a pleasing symmetrical look.

And it didn’t stop there. The extension of the pantry and the addition of the powder room allowed the team to imbue an upstairs walkway with a cozy seating area, creating livable space out of what had been essentially a hallway.

Complementing the open, airy feeling created by these ingenious renovations was an entire redesign of the home to create breezy Lowcountry couture feel.

A subdued color scheme of seafoam green against white trim pairs beautifully with shiplap accents and European white oak flooring.

The team upgraded light fixtures and window treatments throughout the home, even going so far as to eliminate one of the living room ceiling fans to accomplish a thoroughly updated look that evokes the best of Lowcountry living.

Interior Design Group 3 Designs  +  Builder Tropical Builders
Countertops StoneWorks  +  Plumbing fixtures Cregger Co.
Cabinetry Coastal Millworks  +  Flooring Floors to Go

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