A functional place by the sea

Renovation brings Sea Pines home back up to speed

As development at Sea Pines emerged from a master plan drawn up by the Fraser Land Holding Company in 1956, visionary Charles Fraser built a home on Green Heron Road and the community’s first condominiums appeared early in the next decade.

functional place2Sea Pines approached build-out on its 5,200 acres in the mid-1970s. Land availability became a premium, and its scarcity eventually would extend to the rest of the island.

Unlike neighboring Bluffton, Hilton Head has been experiencing a dramatic rise in the number of permits for home renovations for several years. The only other option for homeowners on the island is to buy an existing home, tear it down and rebuild.

Interior designer Hope Hunter at Plantation Interiors knows all about the surge in renovations — she has done many of them. One of her recent projects was a major eight-month makeover of a ranch home in Sea Pines that was built in 1972.

functional place6“It was an intriguing project from beginning to end,” said Hunter, a lead designer for the company, which traces its roots on the island to the Fraser regime. (Dudley King purchased the island institution in 1983.) “I had a vision of reconstructing it into something understated, yet sophisticated and a functional place by the sea.”

In fact, the couple and their three children from Charlotte can skip to the beach in five minutes from the vacation home they purchased two years ago. The renovation was completed June 2015.

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“It’s my job to help create a home the client will love, a home that looks and feels fresh and comfortable as it stands the test of time,” said Hunter, whose varied design portfolio includes transitional, traditional, cottage, contemporary and various hybrids.

Time did not treat this particular three-bedroom home very kindly. It had a decades-old look and feel — notably the popular architectural trend of that time to compartmentalize every room with a wall.

functional place5Hunter enlisted the remodeling talent of Dan Wallace, who removed all the flooring and knocked down the walls in the foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen hallway and an interior wall in the kitchen where an unused hall closet was located. This expanded space enabled the installation of an island in the kitchen.

The home’s new “bones” transformed the former foyer, dining room and kitchen into a large great room with an open floor plan.

The new open space was further enhanced when Wallace carved a skylight in the kitchen, which “allowed volumes of natural light” to brighten the entire living area, Hunter said. She selected a “refreshing white” from her color palette to complement nature’s bounty and create an “airy ambiance.”

Wallace replaced the original kitchen cabinets, with cabinets with an abundance of drawers for storage space. The countertops now gleam with handsome quartz in a variety of colors and patterns with no visible seams. The backsplash shines with metro tile. Contemporary art prints adorn the wall and add splashes of color that are reminiscent of the ocean, a color scheme that resonates throughout the home.

functional place3Wallace also showcased his craftsmanship to the custom millwork and fireplace details. The original stucco fireplace wall was replaced with shiplap, but the surround retained the stucco, which was painted and framed with trim. Existing dark beams were repainted in white trim. Two large pendant lights, with metal frames and diamond-shaped inset glass accents, now hang in the great room. Subtle zebra print wallcovering graces the foyer wall that wraps around into the kitchen and hallway.

Comfort and subtle elegance grace the great room furnishings, which feature a mixture of soft upholstered sofas and chairs with stylish fabrics and vibrant textures. The sofas, chairs and ottomans were specially ordered by Hunter from a large library of suppliers in Plantation Interiors’ design studio, but the cocktail table, end tables and accessories were selected from the floor of its 25,000-square-foot showroom.

Hunter and Wallace teamed up to give the master bathroom the royal treatment. He removed a sunken tub, the flooring and walls, allowing space for his-and-her vanities set against an “awesome pop of color on the accent walls,” she said. The walk-in shower was refurbished with white tube tiles and a seamless glass panel that creates a large, open feel in the shower enclosure. Four matching side lights complete the makeover.

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From a bathroom window, the couple can catch a glimpse of the swimming pool in the backyard. A hot tub with wading areas on both sides and water jets that shoot 8 feet skyward straddles the pool.

A Lowcountry-style oyster shell concrete deck encloses the area to the doors leading to the great room, master bedroom and screened-in sitting area.

“The outdoor living space can be seen from the open entry, great room and kitchen, giving the home a comfortable, chic, amazing balance of casual living near the sea,” Hunter said.

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This Sea Pines home was 43 years in the making and one year in the redoing. Lowcountry beauty is timeless.


Interior Design:
Hope Hunter, Plantation Interiors

Dan Wallace

Kitchen Cabinets:

Plumbing Fixtures:

Bird Hardware

Custom Paint:
Paint & Paper Tiger, Benjamin Moore Paints

Kitchen countertops and tile: