Open spaces. Large rooms.

This Palmetto Bluff home started with two simple mandates. It ended with a beautiful example of Lowcountry living.

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photography by Richard Leo Johnson

For Bill and DianeHammack, it was love at first sight.

“We had an anniversary coming up, and a friend of mine said you need to go to Palmetto Bluff. After I took her the first time, the next anniversary she wanted to go back,” said Bill. “By the third time I just said, ‘You know what? We’re going to build a house… I need to get serious about this. She really likes it.”

Great Walls • The two-story great room is a majestic statement, with reclaimed beams towering overhead in contrast to stark white shiplap.

Working with architect Wayne Windham, builder Richard Best and Plantation Interiors’ Dean Huntley, the couple began work on their permanent vacation home amid stunning waterfront views in Palmetto Bluff.

[blockquote position=”right”]We want open space and large rooms. That was priority one.”[/blockquote]

“We took a lot of ideas from the cabins we stayed in,” said Diane. “We liked that Lowcountry look. That’s where we started.”

Along with adopting some of the elements of Lowcountry style, Bill Hammack had one simple rule. “What I told Wayne to start with was, we want open space and large rooms. That was priority one.”

That priority resulted in one of the most jaw-dropping aspects of the home, the towering two-story great room. Marked by antique hand-hewn alpine beams and a trio of Juliet balconies above, and a wall of glass doors soaking in scenery below, the room stands in marked contrast to the understated living spaces typical in a Palmetto Bluff home.

“They wanted a relaxed place to gather with family and friends,” said Huntley. Filling that space with furnishings challenged Huntley to work outside her normal boundaries. “The sofa in there is probably 100 inches and the chandeliers are around 60 inches,” she said. “When you have that much volume and you put a petite chair in there, it can look ridiculous.”

The oversized furnishings complement the vastness of the great room perfectly, establishing a sense of scale that only enhances the feeling of spaciousness. And beyond its size, the great room contrasts with typical Lowcountry stylings in another way – rather than the standard open kitchen to one side, a wide bar serves as the main hub for gatherings.

All the small things • Exquisite attention to detail fills the house with visual magic, from the coffered ceiling in the kitchen to the bold contrasting orientation of the siding on the walls.

“The great room was going to be the main entertainment point of the house, so I told them I want a bar on one side with wine coolers and a wet bar,” said Bill. Straying away from the standard layout is just one way the Hammacks made this house their own. The other was by incorporating their artwork into the design aspects of the home, building around it.

“They had quite a few treasures, artwork and bronzes they wanted to incorporate into the design scheme,” said Huntley. This includes easier-to-incorporate pieces like the heron that greets you in the foyer, as well as larger works like the oil painting of a grizzly hanging over the mantle. “We had to make sure the fireplace was big enough to accommodate the art.”

Ultimately, this home is a master class in personalization. It’s the best elements of Lowcountry homebuilding, subtly tweaked and altered by the Hammacks and their team to truly make it their own. And that includes, but is certainly not limited to, open spaces and large rooms.


Interior Design: Plantation Interiors + Architect: Wayne Windham Architect
Contractor: Richard Best Custom Homes + Cabinetry: Coastal Millworks
Countertops: Creative Stone Accessories, Inc.
Wood Flooring: Timberstone Antique Flooring + Tile and Rugs: KPM Flooring
Lighting: Visual Comfort, Chaddock Lighting, The Light Post, Low Country Originals

Get the designer look of this home

If you’re looking to recreate a bit of this featured home’s elegance, Dean Huntley of Plantation Interiors suggests incorporating these accessories.

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