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A place by the river – Kelley Designs, Inc

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Suite in fishing camp style by Gregory Vaughan

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A peninsula in the marshlands of the South Carolina Low Country, with water on three sides, is an enviable location for a vacation home.

Because the setting is so compelling and has a long history, the property owners Rick and Kathy Fairman, wanted their vacation home to reflect the local architectural heritage rather than the McMansion-style houses popping up elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Interior designer Gregory Vaughan of Kelley Designs Inc says the house has a board and batten exterior, and the rustic ambiance continues on the interior.

"The master suite, for example, has painted butt boards on outside walls, and has been designed with the hunting lodge, fishing camp style in mind. Even the position of the suite – in a wing of its own off one end of the house – is designed to look as though the rooms could have evolved over many years. The bathroom, with its furniture pieces, could have once been a bedroom, with plumbing brought inside to provide facilities."

Vaughan says the starting point for the design was a glass-fronted armoire by Four Hands, found at the Highpoint International Furniture market. Made from reclaimed wood, the armoire has a white interior, which appealed to Kathy.


"She also loves the armoire's hardware mechanism, where the bolts open with the pull of a long rod."

The other furniture, including two recessed medicine chests copied from old photographs, was custom manufactured by John Zoot of Wood Creations.

"John was able to translate our ideas with great attention to detailing – the medicine cabinets even have dark bronze latches that probably date back to the '30s.

Other hardware and the bronze faucets are also true to the design, and in keeping with the look of the clawfoot tub and the perceived era of the home.

Vaughan says Kathy loves the idea of items gathering a patina. The hammered copper sinks will gradually change color, as the house itself will change as it settles in and weathers over time.

First published date: 30 December 2013

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Credit List

Architect Wayne Windham, Wayne Windham Architect (Bluffton, SC)
Interior designer Gregory Vaughan, Kelley Designs, Inc (Hilton Head Island, SC)
Builder The Stringer Group
Cabinet company Wood Creations, Inc
Bathtub Sunrise Specialty from Ferguson
Vanities Painted, with Persian Pearl granite tops
Basins Bates & Bates in hammered bronze from Ferguson
Faucets Rohl in Mayan Bronze from Ferguson
Shower door Frameless pebble glass
Bedroom flooring Oak by Rick Bent Flooring
Tile flooring AKDO ceramic tiles in Olive Blend and Medium Brick from Savannah Hardscapes
Wall tiles Traditions in Tile and Stone ceramic tile in Bone Crackle Tagina from Savannah Hardscapes
Lighting The Light Post
Accessories Rohl from Ferguson