Who doesn’t cherish the Lowcountry outdoors, especially if it features twisty, towering live oak trees and a grassy marsh that stretches wide until it gives way to the peaceful Okatie River in the distance? Especially if this grand view can be enjoyed while sitting comfortably in a cozy spot somewhere in the more than 1,000 square feet of screened porch that embraces two backside floors. Inside this elegant residence, the same majestic natural backdrop captivates the eye from the kitchen, “great” room, dining room, master suite, and two upstairs bedrooms and media room.
This is the Thames family’s view in their vacation home on Old Oak Road in Oldfield Plantation. Lowcountry beauty resides in every inch of this 4,000-squarefoot, four-and-a-half bathroom architectural masterpiece that anchors the ¾-acre property. (Above the attached garage is a 400-square-foot bonus suite with full bathroom.)
“We wanted the home to be airy inside, with the marsh, river and oaks as the focal points,” said Miguel Thames, managing director in asset management for a large financial/insurance company. “I love it when I walk inside (the home) and look out the back to the marsh and water.”
This visual delight with a direct sight line begins at the 20-foot, double-entry foyer along the wide-plank, hand-scraped walnut flooring to the great room and outside to the porch and beyond.
“The way it sits in those live oaks looking out over the marsh…the (trapezoidalshaped) lot has a lot to do with it,” said Todd Hawk, president of H2 Builders Inc. in Bluffton that built the home. “This turned out unbelievably. This is one of the top Lowcountry homes we’ve ever built.”
H2 built 24 custom homes last year and more than 280 since its founding in 1996. What H2 constructed exudes “southern charm,” added Executive Vice President of Sales and Client Relations Gus Hetzel. “It’s a nice blend of Lowcountry and coastal.”
Inside this elegant residence, the same majestic natural backdrop captivates the eye from the kitchen, “great” room, dining room, master suite, and two upstairs bedrooms and media room.
“We were looking for a Lowcountry open floor plan, a little bit modern, easy to entertain and enjoy,” Connie Thames said on the phone from the family’s primary residence in Montclair, N.J. “It’s open and cozy at the same time. I wanted straighter lines, something a little cleaner with an upscale high-end style.”
Her vision can be found in the sunlit kitchen. A display of artistic yet functional design showcases an oversized island with a countertop made of Alaskan white granite with leather finish and ¼-inch bevel edge, maple cabinets with a custom finish, a unique coffered ceiling, a 36-inch stainless- steel Sub-Zero freezer and refrigerator with glass door, two U-Line wine storage units, an undrafted 48-inch Dacor dual range and two stacked dishwashers.
“All of the appliances are really high end,” said Betsy Miller, sales specialist with Billy Wood Appliance on Hilton Head Island that provided all of the state-of-theart products. “It’s a very elegant gourmet kitchen.”
All elements in the more than $1 million home designed by Allison Ramsey Architects in Beaufort are custom made
with “amazing trim work and detail,” Hetzel said.
For instance, Sales Manager Andrea McGilton of Distinctive Granite and Marble worked with her clients to achieve “earthy and natural” textures, colors and materials in all the countertops. The HHI-based company imported granite and limestone from quarries in Brazil, Turkey, India and elsewhere to give each room a distinct personality.
“This beautiful home has a very modern updated feel,” she said. “We played with a lot of textures.”
The his/her master bathroom with a Roman-style walk-in doorless shower features a limestone Azul Valverde Perlino countertop with honed finish. One of the daughter’s bathrooms shines in a Perla Venato quartzite with a look of marble and onyx while the other daughter’s bathroom countertop dazzles with a Club Med-style shell stone, McGilton said.
While the bathrooms create their own world of comfort and luxury, elegant interior design and furnishings by J Banks Design Group and detailed craftsmanship by H2 Builders abound in every room.
The homeowners find custom-made sliding barn doors between the kitchen and study, stained pine doors in the master suite, and Savannah grey brick framing a two-sided see-through fireplace downstairs. Drop beams add structural support and warmth in the dining room, and custom wainscoting, coffered ceiling details backlit with rope lighting enchant the great room. Out back in the Gullah-inspired pale-blue ceilinged porch, a tabby chimney wraps around the fireplace, above which is an antique heart-pine mantel. The front porch features a painted tongue-and-groove cypress ceiling and a wood deck, which welcomes guests to the custom mahogany front-entry door.
These striking touches create a Lowcountry ambiance and style that barely hints at the ultra-modern workability as a “smart” home. Audio Video Experts, a Bluffton-based electronics and design integration company, installed a Control4 home automation system to provide easy control of lighting, audio/ video, security, HVAC and more with the ease of a single swipe.
“The automation is a big deal…there’s lot of neat stuff there,” Hetzel said. “It’s a ‘smart’ home. He (the owner) can literally control his house from his iPhone.”
When the Thames family returns to their Lowcountry getaway for one of their weeklong visits, no one will be happier than daughter Sydney, who, at the age of 12 in 2006 after a long day of viewing property lots at several plantations, said to her father, “Daddy, this is the one you should buy.”
Audio Video Experts
Billy Wood Appliance
Cab inet Gallery at H2
Distinctive Granite and Marble
Low Country Shelving
Pa lmetto Coastal Landscaping