With longtime friends coming together as client and designer, a dream home becomes a breathtaking reality in the Lowcountry.
Story by Barry Kaufman + Photography by Lisa Staff
For years before it existed as a stunning two-level beachfront home in Port Royal Plantation, everything you see here existed inside the mind of Dr. Trey Bishop. The South Carolina native had harbored lifelong ambitions of building a dream house by the beach where he and wife, Kellie, could live. It was simply a matter of pulling those designs out and bringing them to life.
“Growing up, when we would vacation, my parents could never afford to be in the beachfront-oriented home. We were always back a couple of blocks,” said Bishop. “I remember walking back from the beach and seeing all these two-story homes with double screen porches, and I wanted that feel.”
Turning that vision into reality would take an enormous amount of skill and an intuition for finding those extraordinary details that make a house truly magical. Fortunately, the couple had a close friend with a long pedigree. Denise Stringer with John Kilmer Fine Interiors has been winning awards for her classic, creative designs for years and enjoyed a deep rapport with the Bishops.
Already renowned for her ability to create beachfront and Lowcountry homes that enchant with layered details and textures, Stringer would have been an ideal choice even if the Bishops didn’t happen to be dear friends.
“Denise is one of the first people we met when we moved here (in 1994),” said Kellie. Working in tandem, the close friends were able to create a design that brought all three of their visions to life.
One of the most visible aspects of this three-part vision comes in the open great room as it transitions through the dining room into the kitchen. From Trey’s beach house rusticism come wide-plank reclaimed floors mirrored in the ceiling. Made all the more spacious for outdoor living with French doors that open wide for entertaining, this space exudes an inviting Southern hospitality. From Kellie’s more glitzy tastes evident in the “blingy” crystal light fixtures and from
Stringer’s textured aesthetic comes the dramatic custom live-edge dining table, which seals the yin and yang of this room. The dichotomy of these two tastes blends into a beautiful aesthetic that sets this home apart.
“It’s fun for me to see Kellie’s personality and Denise’s personality juxtaposed throughout the whole house,” said Trey.
The entire color scheme of the open living space can be traced back to one thing. The dramatic Van Gogh granite center island, sourced from AGM, boasts rich blues, grays and neutrals that spin off in a million variations throughout the space.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind granite that we were lucky to get enough of, “ said Stringer. “We took the whole scheme off of this coloration.”
With the colors showing up throughout the living space, the kitchen boasts a soft dove white contrast, save for one dazzling element – the wood and tabby range hood, trimmed with the same reclaimed wood as the ceiling and fireplace.
“Bringing the tabby over to the kitchen created a sense of unity flowing across the entire space,” added Stringer.
A study in color
Stringer was able to work with the Bishops in infusing a vibrant yet unified sense of color throughout the home. Nowhere is that more evident than in the quiet spaces she was able to create for Trey and Kellie.
In Kellie’s sanctuary metallic pinks, crystal chandelier and Chanel fabric reflect her refined palette. In Trey’s study Gentleman’s Grey pairs with monkeywood and forged metal accents for a vibrant, yet masculine, getaway.
In the delightfully open master suite, the couple’s respective tastes are reflected – quite literally – in a pair of inspired accents. In the Liquid Nails ceiling fan, we see Kellie’s bold “blingy” style. In the antiqued mirrored cabinets, we see Trey’s more pastoral tastes.
The mirror’s surface also welcomes in views across the treehouse-inspired porch. Set beyond wide French doors that open to let the sea breezes in, this spacious elevated lanai boasts a pair of hanging beds that offer pure indoor/outdoor living amid lavish style.