Home on the Water

This Palmetto Bluff stunner flipped the script on what a view could mean

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photography by Mark Staff

Greatest view
Stunning river views dominate the great room, an inspired architectural choice that eschewed the traditional Lowcountry front porch.

Set back among the roads of Palmetto Bluff, those winding ribbons that stretch between carefully preserved forests, there is a village called Moreland. Built from the ground up to mimic the quintessential small towns that dot the American South, its carefully manicured streets evoke a simpler life even as its homes promise unimaginable grandeur.

The home of Martha and Marty Strauss is the perfect example of this grandeur. Built facing a slowly turning eddy in Cauley’s Creek, the ingenious architecture of this home presented a unique way to capture the idyllic scenery. It also earned the Hilton Head Island chapter’s 2018 AIA Honor Award.

“We recommended large glass windows for the front elevation rather than the traditional Lowcountry porch,” said William Court, owner and president at the architectural firm Court Atkins Group. “It’s a Charlestonian approach, placing the entrance on the side of the home so owners can enjoy a seamless, sweeping view around the clock.”

Framing this view is a great room that serves as the template for the home’s unique blend of Lowcountry rusticism, modern farmhouse and modern elegance. Balancing the rough-hewn hardwood floors, reclaimed from the sunny side of a Pennsylvania barn, are crisp white lines on painted millwork and accessories that exude Lowcountry luxury.

Balancing act
A delicate balancing act between clean modern decor and a rustic farmhouse motif lends intriguing contrast throughout the home.

“Sharon Cleland at J Banks did all the interiors,” owner Martha Strauss said. “She was great to work with, incorporating my own art and helping us build around that. All of this you see is her.”

A wall of sliding glass to one side gives way to a blissfully comfortable screened-in porch, with its tabby fireplace and exquisite panorama of the water and the village surrounding it.

This balancing act of old and new continues in the kitchen, where a wide range hood custom hewn by a SCAD graduate lends industrial intrigue to a dazzling white space with spacious quartz counters and copious natural light. With a layout like an old country kitchen set in glistening high-end materials, the kitchen carries a farmhouse motif that isn’t just there to service a trend.

Lowcountry Luxury
Crisp white color and trendy accessories balance the rough-hewn hardwood floors, which were reclaimed from the sunny side of a Pennsylvania barn.

A fourth-generation tree farmer, Marty’s family farm in Newberry is what brought the couple to South Carolina.

Family is everywhere throughout the home, from a bench on an upstairs landing strewn with Martha’s mother’s petit point throw pillows to the upstairs bunk room built for grandchildren.

“This place was packed at Christmas,” said Martha.

The upstairs also boasts an intriguing idea for this active couple – private spaces that share something truly special. To one side, you’ll find Marty’s office, bristling with mementos from his career. To the other, Martha’s office and media room (“I got the big TV. It’s been amazing,” she said with a smile). And between them, an open balcony where the two come together for morning coffee and an elevated perspective on the view that defined their home.

Architect: Court Atkins Group  Cabinets: Tom Lauderdale, Advanced Kitchen Design (AKD)  Countertops: Ralph Chapman, Creative Stone Accessories
Plumbing Fixtures: Jessica Sellers, Ferguson Enterprises  Tile: Kellie McTyre, Garden State Tile
Electrical Fixtures: Traci Henderson, The Light Post
Shutters: Ellen Flynn, Coastal Shutter Company

(click on gallery thumbnails for larger photo)

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