Paradise on the Okatie

From Capitol to Coast

Story by Paula Magrini + Photography by John McManus

What a difference the right home site can make. For years, Rick and Kay Adams called Great Falls, Virginia, home. The thriving Washington, DC, suburb was a good fit for their diverse careers (he’s an attorney, she’s a teacher) and a tight-knit neighborhood for raising their two children, Richard and Caroline. But they’ve also always had a strong connection with the South Carolina coast, dating back to their honeymoon on Kiawah Island almost four decades ago. “We’re outdoor people, with a passion for colorful sunsets, dolphins, birds and other wildlife,” Rick explained. “Lowcountry living clicks with us.”

Fast forward to 2020 and the Lowcountry backdrop and coastal habitat are very much a part of the Adams’ daily routine as they settle into their sprawling new transitional Lowcountry home along the shores of the Okatie River in Oldfield Plantation. “We wake up to the most breathtaking sights and sounds,” Kay said. “After visiting a number of other coastal communities, we fell in love with Oldfield. Then we found our dream lot,” she adds.

ALL GOOD WITH THE HOOD • A custom matte finish range hood is the centerpiece of the Adams’ kitchen, offset by elegant ivory tile.

The Adams’ Southern slice of heaven meanders along lush marsh front and is dotted with clusters of live oak trees that provide an elaborate backyard canopy of twisting branches and wisps of Spanish moss. Rick and Kay chose Boshaw Residential to build their coastal haven. Ron Boshaw is known to have a knack for seamlessly blending floor plans with flora, and he took his skills to a new level at the Adams’ Carrier Bluff address. “Our goal is to leave nature’s footprint intact, especially when it comes to live oaks,” Boshaw said. “These trees are steeped in legend and legacy for many South Carolinians, so we handle them with care.”

The classic clapboard-sided home features most of the living space on the first floor, including a spacious master suite and generous study, each at opposite ends of the open floor plan. “We wanted to keep the private living spaces secluded and away from the common areas where we gather and entertain,” Kay pointed out. “Both the master suite and study have direct access to rear outdoor porches.”

HAPPY FAMILY • Rick and Kay Adams with daughter-in-law Casey and son Richard (left) and newly engaged daughter Caroline and son-in-law-to-be Jake (right).

A semi-retired trial lawyer, Rick consults with clients online from the crack of dawn until mid-afternoon. His spacious study accommodates much more than his desk and office equipment. Glimpses of hobbies fill the shelves, and wide water views are a welcome distraction. Rick likes the convenience of dashing out for a jog on Oldfield’s extensive network of running paths when the spirit moves him. “My study was originally a junior master suite, but we tweaked the design so I had a designated space for my consulting business.”

Thanks to the flexibility of Boshaw Residential, the study evolved with a natural interface to an adjoining foyer, additional storage areas and stairway to the second level bonus room. The master bedroom suite also features a sweeping marsh views, foyer and is flanked by large walk-in closets and laundry room. “These two more remote wings on either side of the great room are like symmetrical bookends, showcasing the focal point of the home, the great room,” Boshaw said. “We credit architect Pearce Scott with fully capturing the spectacular backdrop through his design.”

A welcome sight • Sweeping marsh views prevail throughout the bright open Oldfield retreat, from great room to study.

Bright, airy and filled with abundant marsh views, the Adams’ great room encompasses a formal kitchen, large dining nook, gracious, elegant living room and a grand foyer. Tall windows and French doors abound. “The great room concept is new to me,” confessed Kay. “I’m used to a more traditional layout, although I’m thrilled with this approach to our new Lowcountry lifestyle,” she said. “We plan to host lots of casual gatherings with family and friends, and the flow from inside to outdoor decks and porches will be lovely, especially in the spring and fall.”

[blockquote position=”right”]We plan to host lots of casual gatherings with family and friends, and the flow from inside to outdoor decks and porches will be lovely.”[/blockquote]

Kay has relinquished her days as preschool teacher and spent the last year focused on the interior design of the new Oldfield retreat. “It was a fun full-time commitment, and I’m grateful for the support and ideas of Laurie Sundberg (Boshaw Residential) and our local professional interior designer, John Kilmer.” She immersed herself in blending her favorite brands of fabrics, finishes, lighting and appliances. Kay’s choices reflect a refined elegant style but playful elements as well.

CATCH THE SUN • Outdoor living on the Okatie River begins with brilliant daily sunrises.

“John had to rein in my use of bright jewel tones,” she explained, “and some less conventional family heirloom items have been a challenge to fit into the mix.” Now that interior selections are complete, Kay’s finding her stride in the community, volunteering at Okatie Elementary School, and serving as one of the facilitators of the after-school program known as the “Good News Club.”

Each day at their new address reminds the Adamses why they fell for the Lowcountry in the first place. They look forward to making new memories with their family in the years ahead. Son Richard and wife Casey were engaged the same day Rick and Kay purchased their Oldfield retreat, one of many omens that have convinced the couple their life along the Carolina coast was meant to be. Recently, daughter Caroline was engaged to her fiancé, Jake, on the back porch. “Now everything about this home feels right,” Rick concluded. “For us it has completely checked all the boxes.”

The home team

Builder: Boshaw Residential
Architect: Pearce Scott Architects
Appliances: Billy Wood Appliance
Countertops: Precision Granite & Marble
Tile: Savannah Hardscapes
Hardware: Bird Decorative Hardware
Ironwork: Salt Marsh Metalworks
Landscaping: Coastal Shores Landscaping
Shower: Low Country Shelving & Glass
Storm shutters: Storm Solutions of the Lowcountry
Wood Floor: Rick Bent Flooring

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