Regarding truly inspired architecture, nothing is universal except for beauty.
Story by Barry Kaufman + Photos by Ellis Creek Photography
As one of — if not the— most celebrated architecture firm in the Lowcountry, Pearce Scott Architects has put its stamp on some of the most dazzling homes in Palmetto Bluff and beyond. That reputation evolved from giving each project focused attention and painstaking planning of every wall, angle and detail to create magic.
Generally speaking, the firm’s architects don’t design one-size-fits-all home plans. But sometimes they create a concept that can be replicated, altered and customized so that creating a beautiful home is as simple as making a few subtle changes.
Case in point, this stunning Palmetto Bluff home began as a concept and ended as a masterclass in efficiency and style. Designed simply as a starting point for Shoreline Construction, the original design concept was to create something that would make a spectacular statement, even on smaller home sites.
As Pearce Scott described the concept, “It was designed to be a tight little cottage with a lot of drama.”
But a concept only goes so far. Applying that concept to the lot takes a practiced eye and loads of architectural creativity. Fortunately, that’s PSA’s stock in trade.
“Houses can’t just be plopped down. You need to react to the lot,” said project manager Amanda Denmark. “Fortunately, this concept was very versatile. You have the main body with the gabled roof and everything coming off of that, so you can move things around.”
Come see how a few tweaks turned the template into something that’s anything but standard.
Vaulted to voluminous
The noticeable change from the original design comes in the great room, whose soaring vaulted ceiling once stretched all the way into the kitchen. Bringing the roofline down created a lovely dining space and allowed for a third bedroom on the second floor. Meanwhile, the fireplace centered on the wall was removed, allowing a third window to add light and spaciousness.
“This room is only 15 feet wide, but it feels larger than it is,” said Denmark. “It’s very dramatic with the volume it has, and it’s great to have all of those windows.”
Shifting the original design also included swapping the left and right wings of the house and moving around some of the ancillary rooms. This created a more efficient kitchen by adding a back kitchen.
“People especially like adding back kitchens when you have a smaller space so you don’t have a lot of cabinetry caving in on you,” added Denmark. “Everyone has a view they want to take advantage of.”
Thin floating shelves add to the generous sense of space, another inspired choice that adds volume to the modest size of the floor plan.
Mastering the master
While the master suite didn’t stray too far from the original design concept, it still shows PSA’s versatility in customizing the template. The changes between concept to finish product primarily happened in the en suite bath, where original plans for a tub and shower were scrapped to create a greater space for the eye-catching walk-in shower.
Even the features retained from the initial design underscore the meticulous planning behind the concept. “The slider between the bedroom and the bathroom was designed to be left open, to really allow the whole space to feel like one,” said Scott. “And it was great to see the window between the mirrors in real life. That’s one of those elements people don’t really get until they see it.”