Imagine spending an evening watching a deep blue and orange Lowcountry sunset from a westward-facing screened porch, with the light of downtown Beaufort reflecting upon the deep and wide Beaufort River. You then wake up the next morning to behold the same view in daylight through the fronds of a palmetto tree right outside your master bedroom.
That dream is a reality for Terri and Gilly Bailey, who divide their time between their Columbia home in Old Shandon and a new riverfront home on Lady’s Island. With three grown sons — Will, 31, who lives in Greenville; Austin, 28, who lives with his wife, Emily, in Columbia; and Ryan, 27, who is engaged to Mary Neal Stipp and is based in Charlotte — the Baileys downsized from their former home in Wildewood while working on the Lady’s Island project.
Plans were finalized in June 2017, and this June, Terri plans to retire from her job to spend more time at the newly completed Lady’s Island house. The family will keep their Old Shandon Columbia house in Columbia because Gilly is still the chief operating officer and co-president of Climatic Corporation. Thus, they can go back and forth to the island from Columbia.
Terri knew from the outset that she wanted to have an architect, a builder, and a designer involved. While decorating her Wildewood home years ago, she developed a close working relationship with Linda Burnside of LGB Interiors, and she wanted her to serve as her designer and liaison among the other creative members of the Lady’s Island project team.
The Beaufort architectural firm Frederick + Frederick drew up blueprints for the property, which had an existing two-bedroom home that the architects converted into a matching guest house. “This is a husband-wife firm,” Terri says, “and Jane and Michael Frederick have won many awards. I knew I wanted them to get all my ideas on a plan, but I knew we were then going to tweak it.”
“To build a house,” Linda says, “you need the designer, you need the architect, and you need the builder, and the builder needs to listen to all these people.” Modern technology has made the collaborative process easier. The architects provided three-dimensional plans in virtual reality, and the entire team communicated using an online project management program. When one member of the group had a question or wanted to alter a detail, everyone else got an email update so that all aspects were documented.
These relationships have melded together to help make the Baileys’ dreams a reality.
“The home displays careful attention to detail that Terri and Gilley spent perfecting, and it matches their lifestyle to a tee,” says Linda. “Specialized craftsmen were brought in by the project team to complete the Baileys’ vision. Lighting custom made by Lowcountry Originals appears in the foyer and living room. We love working with local companies, like Lowcountry, which is in Bluffton. And the finishes throughout the home move in an organic fashion, incorporating silver, bronze, and wicker, as well as white oak floors from Italy.”
The downstairs powder room features hand-blown glass bubble fixtures, which play off an oval mirror by Currey and Company, and Oly Palm wallpaper by Romo. In the family room is a pair of gorgeous lamps resembling delicate, white wentletrap shells; their spiral shape is organic in texture, thus the lamps appear to have come straight from the sea.
In choosing furnishings, Terri was certain from the beginning that she wanted all white Sunbrella fabric on the streamlined, track-arm sofas in the family room. Gilly desired swivel chairs to make it easier to see the television.
For the dining room, Terri told Linda, “I want a table for eight, I want it to be round, and I don’t want any other furniture in the room.” The table and chairs, made of linen with nailhead trim, were custom made by Tritter Feefer. The architects designed the dining room to overlook the river, but it also has a view of their neighbors’ heirloom camellias and azaleas.
“When we built this, we said, ‘This is a grandchild trap,’” Terri says. “I want grandchildren, and I want to make it nice enough that everybody’s going to want to come. I put a king-sized bed in every guest room. And I did showers and tubs. You can’t bathe a child in a shower.”
Jane added an elegant and unobtrusive spiral staircase to the back of the house, so everyone can get to their rooms from the river or the plunge pool in the backyard without tracking water through the house. The back of the house also features moveable Marvin glass doors to open the space completely to the riverfront.
Terri was adamant that the home should draw the eye toward the river. “I wanted 10-foot windows and no window treatments. I like to walk through the home and look through it and see that view right there because it’s about the view,” she says.
Linda echoes that sentiment: “The interiors are the same way … a minimalistic approach. We’ve pulled the colors of the marsh into the space. You don’t feel like you’re separate from the outside. You’re part of it.” A large original painting by Kenneth Harold with marshy green hues and a rug by Stark Carpet reflecting the colors of the sky illustrate her point.
While the home’s entrance is paved with timeless Savannah brick and tabby — a traditional Lowcountry concrete made from lime, sand, water, and oyster shells — the flooring on the back porch is coquina, a limestone consisting mostly of oceanic fossil debris.
Linda enjoyed working with the homebuilder, Patrick McMichael of Broad River Construction. Regarding his attention to detail, she notes, “If you tell him you need a doorknob, he’ll say, ‘You can’t have just any doorknob. You have to go to so-and-so.’ He cares about his craft.”
Jane and Michael designed the home to accommodate two ancient, mossy live oak trees, one of which literally curves around the edge of the house. Landscape architect Shannon Lindsay installed native grasses, azaleas, and camellias, following Terri’s request to keep the plantings low maintenance and low to the ground so that the view of the river would be unobstructed, even from the plunge pool.
Near the foyer of the home is a staircase with open, steel-cable railings and a single wall of shiplap. Even though shiplap is traditional in the Beaufort and Hilton Head areas, Terri originally did not want to follow what has become a fad popularized on home decorating TV shows. Instead, Linda used a more streamlined design, similar to one she had created for a house in Newport Beach, California. “This fireplace is made out of Dekton,” Linda says. “Dekton can handle up to 2,000 degrees of heat; it’s large slabs of stone with a metal grid.” Instyle, a Charlotte stone and tile company, installed the fireplace, which features a floating hearth with lighting underneath.
Linda also designed the kitchen to include a cove cedar ceiling and a custom-made kitchen ventilation from Vent-A-Hood. Terri says, “The vent hood is my favorite part of the kitchen.” Kitchen counters are honed marble, and the backsplash is decorative marble with a little blue veining. An undermount farm sink boasts a Rohl faucet, and all appliances are by Thermador, including a matching freezer and refrigerator on either side of floor-to-ceiling cabinets, painted Sherwin Williams’ Creamy.
Farrow and Ball’s Shadow White was selected for wall color throughout the house to achieve a sense of continuity. Marble flooring in the Baileys’ Shandon home bathroom, which is too cold for bare feet, prompted Terri to opt for a different surface in the riverfront home. Marble is also difficult to maintain, Linda says. “Many of my clients are telling me the same thing now. ‘I don’t want to clean it or see water stains. I don’t want to worry about what product to use.’”
Therefore, the Baileys’ master bath has ceramic tile that looks like marble, with radiant heat built into the floor. White cork wallpaper with metallic undertones by Phillip Jeffries covers the wall, and his and hers counters flank the clean and crisp room.
Another luxury for the family is Gilly’s “man cave,” a room over the three-car garage, featuring leather swivel chairs in front of television screens, a large window overlooking the river, a remote-controlled overhead fan, a billiard table, and a shuffleboard table. Terri quips, “I’ve got to get up there and start practicing so I can take everybody’s money.”
Linda says that everyone who enters the Baileys’ riverfront home expresses a similar sentiment: “It’s like the outside is inside … it’s a healing, spa-like space, part of nature.”
“I was so honored to work on this project and with this team,” she adds. “It’s so important to have a good working relationship with the builder, architect, and designer, and because of that, a client’s dream home is realized,” says Linda. “That’s what happened here.”
With breathtaking views from sunrise to sunset, a dream kitchen, man cave, and pool and bedrooms sure to attract adult children and future grandchildren, the Baileys will be “living the dream” for many years to come.