This iconic Spring Island retreat rises on a narrow home site with wide water views, so the architect seized the opportunity to create a doubly rewarding floor plan.
Story by Paula Magrini + Photography by J. Savage Gibson
Founding principal architect, William Court, of Court Atkins Group faced a dilemma when bringing Carol and Brian Eidt’s home vision to life. Their Spring Island home site is large and secluded, with spectacular southern water views as well as western sunset glimpses of a tidal cove. However, the site is also long and narrow. “What this means is that the process of the ‘arrival experience’ had to be carefully considered,” Court said.
A win-win solution
Court and team focused on an engaging flow, offering a floor plan that unfolds with an intriguing sequence of spaces. At the same time, they attempted to maximize privacy while capturing sweeping glimpses of the lush coastal habitat that is synonymous with Spring Island.
“We decided to split the home in two parallel, linear wings with an enclosed ‘dogtrot’ space between them,” Court explained. “The dogtrot concept allows for a shallow space that both visually and physically connects the arrival courtyard with the rear outdoor living terraces via a glass-filled foyer space,” he added.
The eastern wing of the home is the more private side of the home. It juts forward toward the water and provides amazing views from the owner’s suite while creating privacy for the rear terraces. “The western wing is where all of the magical entertaining happens,” Court noted. “It’s a combination of indoor and outdoor gathering areas that focus on the coveted deep-water views and dramatic western skies.”
East meets West
The Eidts embraced the dual aspect of the design, pointing out that the strategically elevated plans also allow them to enjoy the breathtaking backdrop of the low-lying floodplain without concerns over King Tides or severe storm surge. “Views in the lowlands of Spring Island are unmatched,” Brian said. “That’s what drew us to this home site in the first place.”
The eastern master suite has become one of Carol’s favorite private spaces for reading and reflection. “We’re remarkably close to nature and island wildlife,” she shared, adding that she’s seen Lowcountry neighbors who remind her that’s she’s no longer dwelling in metropolitan Houston (Carol and Brian both worked in the energy industry). “One morning we were up early preparing for travels, and as I gazed out the window, I saw an unfamiliar creature which I later learned was a bobcat!”
Carol and Brian also savor the five-star views from the western wing, particularly in the glass-encased dining nook and expansive screened porch. “Because the western wing is just one story, opportunities opened for wonderful dormer lighting in the gathering spaces and stunning vaulted spaces with exposed structural elements,” Court said.
The common thread
The volume of vertical spaces along with the open floor plan in the main living areas were major considerations by the interior design team as they determined the scale of furnishings for the Eidt residence. “Through the use of printed linen fabrics, rich textured textiles, beautiful hardwood floors, luxe finishes and natural stone features, we created a Lowcountry nuance which feels refined, relaxed and inviting,” said Design Director Deb Van Plew.
Like the architects, Van Plew and team were committed to blending the Eidts’ lifestyle with island nature. “Throughout the home native materials provide a sense of place and support the idea of bringing the outside in,” explained Van Plew. “Nickel gap wood walls, Savannah gray brick, natural wood finishes, hardwood floors and tabby…all reflect textural materials thoughtfully composed to hint at a sense of history and surrounding habitat,” she added.
Finding new balance
Transitioning to their new Lowcountry retreat has inspired a welcome shift in lifestyle for the fast-paced energy industry couple. Brian and Carol are spending more time within the Spring Island community, meeting neighbors and immersing themselves in resources provided by the island’s trust. “We are involved in the Spring Island Trust bluebird monitoring program to observe the routines and rituals during the spring hatch,” Carol said. “It’s been refreshing to apply our professional skills to a whole new set of experiences.”
The Eidts are about to embark on another new adventure, wedding planning. One of their two daughters will marry her fiancé at a local church this December with the reception on Spring Island. Club support and insight from members regarding their own Spring Island wedding experiences have been invaluable. They anticipate a steady flow of traffic and excitement through the eastern and western wings of their home this fall. Yet that will be accompanied by memorable family moments amid the consummate backdrop for the upcoming Eidt nuptials.