Homeshowcase: Gather and enjoy life

Discover what happens when generations of history inform how beautiful a home can be.


The greatest gift an architect brings to a home is an ability to blend disparate elements, tastes and styles into one cohesive structure. With this magnificent Hilton Head Plantation home, the architect and designers at Group 3 Designs created something truly original from mandates that demanded the utmost in creativity and flexibility. 

The owners wanted something that blended their love of history and antiques with a more modern sensibility that captured the spectacular water views. They also wanted something suitably sized for immediate family but capable of entertaining their legion of extended family. 

It was an exercise in brilliance, and it resulted in a home that dazzles from every angle.

With careful consideration, several of the owner’s heirloom pieces were not only included but highlighted throughout the home’s design. Said interior designer Taylor Stone:  “Working with these pieces heavily influenced the rich walnut tones that were a constant theme across the home, marrying the old with the new. Blending in a mix of fresh colors and modern silhouettes helped breath new life into the historical pieces.”

Space for all

The large family and the views necessitated a grand living room, which architect Mike Ruegamer broke up through an inspired use of ceiling beams. “They have a lot of family, so we wanted to give them a space where they can gather and enjoy life,” he said. 

A testament to his creativity can be found in the accents on either side of the mantel, carved lattice that evokes the French-country theme while cleverly concealing air returns. Recessed lighting behind the screens only adds to the intrigue.

Colonial in the front …

As a nod to the history buffs who call it home, the front of the house weaves together architectural styles ranging from colonial revival to New England. “If you go through any old town, you’ll see wonderful old houses that are an artful mix of different styles,” said architect Rick Clanton. “The trick here was to break it down so it didn’t seem so massive.”

Taking advantage of the Intracoastal water views in the back meant the home’s façade was necessarily widened, creating a new dimension to which Clanton could apply those time-tested techniques. “In the back we blew it out with big glass doors, and that’s what changes it from a colonial house to a more modern house on the water.”

… party in the back 

While the owners’ love of history informed the classic stylings that directed the home’s interior, the back takes full advantage of the stunning water views in a way that feels ripped straight out of a five-star resort, and with nearly the same occupancy. This past Fourth of July saw the rear patio’s pool deck hosting a party of nearly 20 family members.

Helping entertain larger family reunions, the architects split the exterior spaces into several smaller zones. While one group unwinds beneath the shade of the covered deck, another can gather in the screened-in porch, where a custom-built fireplace and kitchen keep the party going.

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