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Home Showcase: Exploring the space

Inside a stunning Palmetto Bluff home that pushes the envelope.

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photography by Bryan Stovall

The dramatic entrance serves as a visual introduction to the ingenious way this home spins the Palmetto Bluff look to its own ends.

It sounds like an oxymoron, but there is such thing as an “ordinary Palmetto Bluff home.” While the word “ordinary” seems wildly out of place in this lushly bucolic community, there exists nonetheless a certain visual language that typifies its homes. 

It just doesn’t exist within the walls of the Palmetto Bluff home of Lisa and Ed Goeas, thanks to some ingenious designs by Pearce Scott and Amanda Denmark of Pearce Scott Architects. 

“It’s a little bit different, a little edgy for Palmetto Bluff,” said Scott. “It’s not modern farmhouse, it’s pushing more toward contemporary.”

Much of that came from the suggestions of the homeowners, resulting in a fresh look that was executed brilliantly by CS Thomas Construction. 

“They weren’t afraid to explore,” said Denmark. “It’s refreshing to have someone try some new things.”

Outside the box 

Your first inkling that what awaits you within pushes the boundaries of what a Palmetto Bluff home looks like is the stunning way it defies tradition outside. Soaring above the main entryway, the rising gable makes an outsized statement and was one of the first suggestions made by the owners.

“They sent us a picture of what they liked, and it was a home with this massive central gable,” said Scott. He then added with a laugh, “We made it better, of course.”

That gable anchors an exterior that Scott calls “balanced, but not symmetrical,” with the longer side of the house obscured by the garage to project an even profile while allowing for larger spaces inside. On the gable itself, the larger triple bracket seen at the center added a touch of rustic flair, becoming a running theme across the roof lines as the design developed.

Formal logic 

One running theme of the home is the respectful way it tweaks tradition.

“We like to push the boundaries,” said Denmark, to which Scott added, “But within the spirit of the place.”

Ironically, moving away from tradition in the living room meant moving toward tradition. The coffered ceiling was one of the client’s requests, a stately look not often found in the more rustic sophistication of the Bluff. “It’s definitely more formal than a lot of our Palmetto Bluff projects, but it’s done well,” said Scott.

Inside, old-world millwork and soaring ceiling lines defy the rustic traditions of Palmetto Bluff homes.

Grand entrance

Facilitated by the heights of that gable, the towering main foyer represents another departure from the Bluff’s traditions while adding grandeur and drama to the entry. 

“They really wanted this grand interior in the entry,” said Denmark. “Although that central staircase was the trickiest part, making sure everything felt right.”

This foyer represented the biggest challenge Denmark faced, particularly as designs changed. “In the beginning, we weren’t going to access the space under the roof,” said Denmark. When the plans shifted to take advantage of the space, “we had to find another place for the stairs and figure out how those spaces really work.”

The result was a beautifully open space that allows for three stories of living, something rarely seen in the Bluff.

About the size of it 

One hallmark of a Pearce Scott home is the way even the smallest spaces are crafted with the utmost attention to detail. When asked about some of his favorite spots in this particular home, Scott gave the surprising answer of the mudroom. “It’s kind of a back kitchen slash mudroom,” he said. “It’s a beautiful room in and of itself, but it’s all about function.”

Likewise, Denmark points to this vibrant study as one of her favorite rooms. The bright yet powdery cyan stands out from the typical Palmetto Bluff palette, but it’s the design itself she finds intriguing.

“It’s a cozy space,” she said. “I don’t think it’s too large. It’s nicely sized and proportioned. It has a great sense of scale.”