Home showcase: Dually designed retreat

This oceanfront home was made for both retirement and short-term rental.

Story by Libby O’Regan + Photography by John McManus

The owners of this Hilton Head Island oceanfront home intended for this dreamy residence to be their retirement home but, being in their 40s, they weren’t quite ready to make that move. They sought to capitalize on the area’s booming short-term rental market. Especially with the impressive ocean views, they knew they had a home that would rent well. 

For architects and interior designers, designing a residence that can be a great rental home and a great primary residence later down the road requires careful thought. Group 3 Designs tackled it carefully with much input from the homeowner while simultaneously using their decades of experience. This wasn’t the first time that homeowners wanted a home for both purposes.  

The result was a home that was ideal in the short term to maximize rental income and value while providing a home that the family could enjoy many years later and retire to when ready. 

From conceptual architectural design to the selection of the artwork when the build was finished, the owners worked closely with Group 3 Designs on everything. They designed the home with six bedrooms – including a primary suite, junior suite and impressive bunk room that rivals most bedrooms. They included things like an owners’ pantry in the kitchen so the owners could leave essentials all year-round. They kept the design neutral and didn’t go overly bold but also inserted their tastes with eclectic and unique lighting fixtures to give it personality.  Here’s a look inside and how the home was designed for the short- and long-term. 

Bathroom design with character  

The junior suite bathroom was designed to accommodate a large soaking tub as well as maximize the ocean view. Because the tub is perfectly designed, one can lay in it and take in the view of the water. The mosaic tile waterfall feature provides a soft texture and visual interest adding to the serene feeling of the en suite. Vintage-style sink chests with natural stone tops provide both elegance and durability for users.  

Note the built-in tub deck that was extended to store towels neatly.

Details that make a difference

There are two kitchen islands for extra workspace, perfect for gatherings during summertime family vacations or hosting Thanksgiving dinners. 

Double pantries were tucked into corners, providing one for the guest and one with a lock for the owners. 

Details like these set a home up for success from rental to retirement.

Lighting – but make it cool

Details like this powder bath sconce blends the coastal vibe of an oceanfront rental with the traditional preferences of the owner.

Speaking of details … 

Intentional architectural details such as dark stained woodwork contrasted against bright white shiplap introduce elements rooted in the past with updated design trends.

Maximized seating 

A comfortable, built-in bench with custom-made seat cushions and pillows in the kitchen allows for more people to gather in more ways that just standing around a kitchen island. The owners envisioned reading a book or the newspaper with a cup of coffee in this space in the kitchen and knew vacation guests would enjoy that too.

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