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From the earth and air

Dazzling stone accents ground a light and airy refresh of this stunning Sea Pines home.

Modern love • The textures of wood grain and stone veining add visual drama to this airy modern kitchen.

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photos by Ryan Chowansky

Light. Breezy. Open. Airy.

This is the language of the oceanfront home, of an overriding design aesthetic that favors minimalism just barely tempered by the textures of coastal chic décor. For its part, it’s a beautiful way to create a house. After all, when the vast beauty of the sea lies just beyond your rear windows, why would you try to compete with that?

There is a school of thought, however, that encourages such competition. Not content to merely frame the oceanside scenery, these homes enhance the view with subtle color choices and unapologetically bold materials. In this Sea Pines home, we see that philosophy beautifully executed.


GLAM ROCK Facing one another in the kitchen, the backsplashes complement one another with natural stone.


“With this particular home, the client was great about being open to a different approach,” said interior designer Kelly Caron of Kelly Caron Designs. “The stone was the art. It was sculptural in the color and the space, but made to simply pull everything together.”

While still feeling every bit the light, breezy, open and airy oceanside home we’ve come to expect, this home has magnificent stone accents in nearly every room that quite literally ground the home. “(The client) wanted a more transitional home, modern and coastal but cozy,” said Caron. “She loves tile and stone, so that gave me opportunity to think outside the box to find materials that are connected to the coastal environment, but still have modern flair.”

Raise the bar • By far the most compelling visual element in the great room, the bar delights with the patterns of Tiffany quartzite.

The stone not only added texture to the home’s palate, they enlivened it with a splash of color. As seen in the kitchen, a quartzite swirl of seafoam and blue on a mitered-edge counter pairs with the natural tones of the ocean, with more blue stone accents found among the home’s bathrooms. Generally in an oceanfront home, the scenery defines the visual palate. In this case, it was the dazzling tones of the earth. Said Caron, “That’s really what set the color palette; these stones.”

The stones found throughout the home were supplied by Distinctive Granite and Marble, which found itself rising to fresh challenges with this home. There is the en suite in the owners’ suite as one example, where counters of semi-precious geode rock allow for uniquely luminous back lighting. And there is the signature piece of the home’s geologic theme, the bar.

BLUE STREAKS • The unique cuts and layout of the bar help the quartz veining pop against Tiffany blue.

Comprised of fabricated shelves and a backsplash that waterfalls down to a leathered countertop, the full vein of the rock is allowed to run free as a statement of the earth’s artistic beauty. “It’s not something we’ve done a lot, because there is a lot of structural thinking to put that much weight on one wall,” said Courtney Jansen of Distinctive Granite and Marble. “But it turned out awesome.”

Attention to details • This home is defined by its rich stone details, adding flair to nearly every space.

DGM’s metaphorical fingerprints are everywhere throughout the home, with each room showcasing some brilliant new stone. “Every room has a different look, but it flows,” said Caron. “It doesn’t feel broken up by a different dramatic stone piece in each room; it actually pulls it together more.”

The architecture is informed by the owner’s design brief to create a contemporary yet comfortable generational beach home.

“We looked to reimagine the classic Sea Pines beach architecture with modern, authentically scaled, low-maintenance materials,” said Tom Parker of Parker Design Group Architects. “We updated the theme with a tabby cement stucco first floor, artisan cement shiplap siding with mitered corners on the second floor, deep synthetic bead board overhangs, abstracted PVC rafters and an aluminum standing seam hipped roof.”

The pool area was designed by PDG Architects to reflect the architecture and define several unique seating areas. The pool has a beach entry, built-in shade umbrella, lap pool and spa, providing something for everybody when not enjoying the beach and ocean just a few steps down the beachwalk.

A masterclass in stone and sea, this home proves that even rocks hewn from the earth can be light, breezy, open and airy.


The Home Team

Fabricator: Distinctive Granite and Marble
Architects: Parker Design Group Architects
Builder: Graves Construction
Interior Design: Kelly Caron Designs
Stone: AGM Imports
Tile: Savannah Surfaces
Plumbing: Cregger Plumbing
Lighting: Capital Electric