Lofts Provide “Metropolitan Style” in Historic Downtown Charleston, SC

Published in Coastal Condo Living 2003

Photography: I. Wilson Baker

Charleston has a wonderful reputation for safeguarding its treasured historic buildings. While in many cases these structures are still being used as originally intended, others have been creatively remodeled and now serve an entirely different purpose.

Such is the case with the circa 1947 Edwards Department Store building located on Upper King St. Now being marketed as the King Street Lofts, this post World War II building offers discriminating residents an uptown, big city experience. Conveniently located within walking distance of up-and-coming restaurants, pubs, and shops, King Street Lofts has allowed their owners the opportunity to customize each unit to their individual tastes.

In the case of owner Lee Richardson, this has translated into a very clean, contemporary and minimalistic three-level residence complete with a one-of-a-kind rooftop garden and pool area. “We were going for a very Manhattan look,” says interior designer Sissy Bradham, owner of Bradham Interiors. “What Lee has is absolutely fabulous and something not seen in Charleston,” continued Bradham.

One of 14 units, contemporary lofts in downtown Charleston are the exception rather than the rule for Lowcountry architectural style. “Lee knew the spaces and the look he wanted when we began the project,” says T. Doggett, owner of T.O. Doggett Architect and Planner Inc.

Incorporating, rather than concealing many of the prominent features already in place, Doggett created faux-finish marble columns to surround and camouflage existing steel support columns. Covering the original concrete flooring in the main living areas is white oak with a natural matte finish. The gourmet kitchen is raised, making it the focal point for the entire level. Tajah Malabar tile surrounds steamed European beech cabinetry, Cambrian Black granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. John Cook, owner of The Mill, the company responsible for all cabinetry and millwork says, “Use of the black accents really helps to set off the clean lines.”

Flanking one end of this level are twin guest bedroom suites. Creative use of all space is showcased underneath the free-flowing cantilevered staircase. This is the place Coco and Smokey, Richardson’s two British shorthair/Abyssinian mix cats call home when not checking out the rest of the 5,300 square foot loft.

Creating multi-level spaces instead of a traditional upstairs/downstairs floor plan, the next level includes Richardson’s home office, media room and climate control wine room. General contractor David Crawford, owner of Seaside Construction says, “This was a very challenging and complex project.”

The wine room, located off the second floor staircase landing was obviously designed by a wine connoisseur. The 120- square-foot space, with Giallo Reale tile flooring, has custom redwood racks, Volga Blue granite topped pouring station, and is enclosed with a smoked glass front.

Handcrafted specifically for the office is a maple desk and built-ins. Creating an interesting look, all the pieces have been painted creme and then finished with a hand-applied Van Dyke Brown glaze.

As owner of Atlantic Electric, Richardson’s home is a Mecca for all that is new and cutting edge in the lighting business. Radio control switches power all lighting, with certain switches controlling banks of lights. Plus, with only a touch, lighting moods can be set. “Richardson’s use of low voltage lighting is both striking and efficient,” continues Crawford.

The penthouse level is home to the spectacular master suite complete with home gym, tanning area and sauna. At the entrance is a custom bar built of New South Wales lace wood. Highlighted with ebonized beech, the bar was also designed and manufactured by The Mill.

In the master suite the futuristic rimless soaker tub has Kohler fixtures, including a faucet recessed into the ceiling, which when turned on, flows down in a vertical column. Side jets eddy the water up and over the side of the tub and flows to drains placed underneath.

The master bedroom is minimalistic, with only the essentials of a bed and nightstands. The oversized closet/dressing area is complete with built-ins, eliminating the need for traditional bedroom furniture.

Probably the most challenging facet of the entire project was the revamping of the penthouse veranda. Richardson wanted to take advantage of the almost 5,000 square feet of roof space in spite of structural concerns.”Tremendous engineering details were involved because of all the rooftop changes,” notes Crawford. “We had to place five 18×26 beams just for the pool support.”

Ipe decking, a Brazilian hardwood, was used over the entire roof area. In addition to the infinity lap pool there are also fountains, gazebos, planters and a hot tub. The green metal gazebos, built by John Johnson of Precision Metal Fabricators, were designed with palm tree cutouts lending a tropical feel and will one day be covered in Carolina jessamine.

Lush deck landscaping has been created in spite of obvious limitations. Andrew Hargett of T. Hunter McEaddy says, “In planning we had to be constantly aware of weight restrictions.”

Since everything had to be set in pots and planters there was also the added challenge of creating a more sophisticated irrigation system. Richardson’s unit faces south so Hargett had to make sure all plantings were heat and wind resistant. “Shade became an important element, along with making sure we chose plantings which would retain their lushness in spite of the heat and wind,” Hargett says. “Plus, Lee wanted everything to be easy maintenance.”

While this was a project that included a bit of trial and error simply because of its uniqueness, by surrounding himself with visionaries Richardson now has a home unlike anything else found in downtown Charleston.

Traveler’s Rest Farmers Market on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Come for the Veggies, Stay for the Experience!

Published in the March, 2015 issue of fete Greenville, you get to find out all about the wonderfully exciting TR Farmers Market and also meet Adrienne Hawkins, the leading force behind the Market.

A Traditional Neighborhood

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

Hibben is Reminiscent of a Small Southern Village 

Located in Belle Hall Plantation just minutes from I-526 in Mt. Pleasant, the community of Hibben is a peaceful respite from the stress of daily life. Reminiscent of a traditional small Southern, the streets of Hibben meander around grand oaks, saltwater marshes, community green spaces and nature preserves.

Covering more than 110 acres and overlooking the Wando River, Hibben shares community amenities, including an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, playgrounds and a state-of-the-art clubhouse, with the neighboring subdivisions in Belle Hall Plantation. Hibben, which eventually will include 300 homes, offers a wide variety of wooded home sites. Future phases of the subdivision will feature more than 40 marsh- or creek-view lots.

While traditional neighborhood developments are urban in theory, public opinion surveys have indicated that prospective homeowners want more green space. All home sites at Hibben are at least 10 feet wider and 10 feet deeper than lots at other traditionally designed neighborhoods.

“At Hibben we are sensitive in how our homes relate to the environment,” said Mark Regalbuto of Crescent Real Estate, which is marketing Hibben. “We want to retain as much of the natural pristine beauty as possible.”

Conceptualized as a traditional neighborhood design, Hibben’s real focus is its authenticity, balanced with affordability. Floor plans, in a variety of period styles, capture the true feeling of small-town Southern charm. While traditional neighborhood design is conducive and appealing to an eclectic, diverse grouping of people, in practice it is very expensive to develop. Most traditional neighborhood developments demand authenticity in every respect, driving up not only construction expenses but also long-term home maintenance costs.

Hibben, on the other hand, has chosen a true traditional neighborhood design but with modern construction materials to reduce costs. For example, instead of exterior wood siding, which is costly to install and maintain, Hibben uses cement fiber siding such as Hardiplank, which offers the distinctive look of wood combined with low maintenance and durability. These economics-based measures allow Hibben to adhere to architectural guidelines governing style while still providing the affordability that draws a wide variety of homeowners.

Since Hibben appeals to newlyweds, executives, young families with children and empty-nesters looking to downsize, homes vary in size from 1,400 square feet to 4,000 square foot. And at $165 a square foot, Hibben offers an affordability that is hard in find in Mt. Pleasant.

Simonini Builders, The Lantana Company, Driftwood Construction, Palladio Homes, Heyward Builders, Robert Benjamin Homes, Custom Homes of Carolina and Airlie Homes are some of the outstanding preferred builders available to help prospective homeowners with all their construction decisions.

**Author’s Note: While this article was posted on leeanncarter.net on 8/7/19, it was originally published in print sometime around 2002/2003.

 

www.EastCooperBuilders.com Will Make Your Life Easier

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

Whether you’re moving to the Lowcountry from another state and building your dream home, remodeling the family homestead or updating your office decor, http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com can help make the job easier.

Full of comprehensive information, with links to local architects, builders and home decorating companies, http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com is easy to navigate and offers all the resources necessary for designing, constructing and furnishing your home or business.

Are you unsure how to selected the right architect? http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com offers a list of Coastal Carolina architects and a handy guide containing useful questions and facts to help you choose the architect best suited for your project.

Information about the Top 10 Coastal Carolina Builders is available at http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com. Each builder profile includes a brief bio, diagrams of the builder’s number one selling floor plan, contact information. and a link to the company website. From the comfort of your own home or office, you can discover who is tops in the Charleston new home construction market and see how their company philosophy translates into outstanding customer satisfaction for you.

Do you need help choosing colors or fabrics, or do you simply want some up-to-date decorating tips? Check out the Inner Beauty section which includes new product information and helpful hints on transforming your home into a true reflection of your life. From lighting to home furnishings, to gardening tools and plants, to decorative door hardware, the Inner Beauty section lists Charleston area companies ready to assist clients with all their home and business decorating needs.

As http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, you will also find a complete relocation package featuring local maps, a copy of the latest Carolina Homes & Interiors magazine and information from some of the area’s leading builders.

Do you have a golfer in the family? http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com has an extensive directory of golf courses located East of the Cooper as well as throughout Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head. You will also find interesting articles on golf legends Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus and others.

For up-to-the-minute weather information on Charleston, simply bookmark http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, where you will find Lowcountry weather forecasts in addition to tidal charts and breaking weather bulletins.

At http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, you also can access a plethora of exciting links to other coastal South Carolina communities and retirement villages, real estate and lodging information and an offer for a free issue of Carolina Homes & Interiors magazine.

South Carolina Homes & Gardens Park West

Published November/December 2001 issue

Park West

Along with breathtaking natural beauty, Park West also has that “small town charm.” Designed to respect nature and providing amenities and services normally not found in most neighborhoods, Park West has become one of the Lowcountry’s premier communities.

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Already a signature landmark in Mt. Pleasant, the entrance to Park West offers calming pools, sparkling fountains, lush foliage, and brick walls scripted with the Park West name. Welcoming and graceful, blending into the natural beauty of the land, the main entrance of Park West showcases the carefree and serene lifestyle found within. 

Remember as a child riding bikes with your best friend who lived right next door? Now with a family of your own, haven’t you wished your children could walk to school or ride their bikes to the pool or tennis courts? Wouldn’t it be wonderful on a lazy fall afternoon if the whole family were able to enjoy a walk to the local ice cream parlor?

Welcome to Park West! A magical community with neighborhoods, schools, a sports complex, jogging trails, bike paths, a planned marketplace and so much more!

Conceived in 1996, Park West, located in Mt. Pleasant, just north of Charleston, is set on 1700 acres of prime Lowcountry property. Bordering Toomer and Darrell Creeks as well as the Wando River, Park West has over 4 1/2 miles of waterfront property and also includes 250 acres of saltwater marsh and 292 acres of freshwater wetlands. From its inception, the developers, Bill Bobo and Pat Tomlin were committed to the “town within a town” concept. Realizing that people were seeking more quality family time and less commuter headaches, Bobo and Tomlin worked to create a community where a family could work, play, attend school and shop while never having to drive onto a major highway. While zoning allows construction of multi-family and single-family homes, in addition to office/commercial property, Park West, has developed each stage with a keen sense of protecting the environment. Zoned for 6,000 residences, Park West envisions no more than 2,800 homes when fully developed. This spectacular site features massive moss draped oaks, rustling palmettos, grand pines, and swaying marsh grass, alive with herons, egrets and deer. Roads as well as building sites have been mapped out to follow the natural lay of the land. Sensitivity of the preservation of wetlands as well as Park West’s mission to safeguard the abundant vegetation and forests within has made them a pioneer in residential development.

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Meandering throughout Park West is the Wando River, along with tidal creeks, salt marshes and freshwater wetlands all preserved and protected to maintain the integrity of Mother Nature. Imagine enjoying the sunrise with a steaming cup of coffee, or the thrill of your child catching their very first fish from your own personal dock! Each waterfront home site comes with approved dock corridor plans. 

A development as unique as Park West deserves a unique entrance and at a cost of over one million dollars, the Park West entrance is spectacular! Lining the incoming and outgoing roads are twin tiered pools fronted by elegant brick walls showcasing the Park West name. Entering Park West, the water gives the impression of reflecting pools. Actually because of the natural topography of the land, each pool is tiered, creating waterfalls, which feed into the next level. At the end of the entrance the pools culminate with three cascading fountains. Using Chinese elms, weeping willows and magnolia-leaf hollies, the landscaping is simple yet elegant, reflecting the serene and calming environment which lies within.

Once inside Park West you notice a distinctive European flair in the use of roundabouts or one-way traffic circles. The roundabouts complement the natural beauty by eliminating overhead traffic signals as well as slowing traffic and helping the flow.

Of particular interest to homeowners with growing families is the 105 acre educational complex. Jules Deas Jr., Director of Sales for Park West told me, “Children attending our state of the art elementary and middle schools are being offered cutting edge technology which is reflected in their academic performance. And having the schools actually located inside the community has certainly fueled sales!” A brand new high school slated to open in 2004 is being constructed adjacent on Hwy 17.

Mt. Pleasant Recreation Park is located inside Park West on 59 acres and includes a football/soccer field, a baseball field, a multi-purpose athletic field as well as a community center which hosts a variety of activities from continuing education classes to seniors’ programs. The fields are lighted, restroom facilities are available and parking is plentiful. In the works is an additional baseball field and runner’s track. While the recreation park is open to the general public, the residents of Park West benefit since it is located only a short bike ride, relaxing walk or brisk jog away!

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Along with football and soccer fields at the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Park, which is conveniently located inside the Park West development, is the newly constructed 4,000 square foot community center. Complete with kitchen and restroom facilities, this versatile building is home to a variety of adult and children’s programs. 

A junior Olympic pool with bathhouse, kiddie pool, summer kitchen and toddler playground are available for homeowners to enjoy at the Park West Amenity Center. As the community continues to grow, tennis courts, an outdoor concert area and two additional pools will be constructed as rooftops dictate.

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During the summer the whole family can take advantage of the junior Olympic pool complete with gazebos and a full service bathhouse. As development at Park West continues tennis courts and additional pools are planned. 

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Time to put your toddler in his stroller and take a leisurely walk to the Park West Amenity Center. He plays on the tot lot while you help plan the neighborhood oyster roast to be held at the adjoining summer kitchen. 

The Park West community will build out at approximately fifteen neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. With the emphasis on Lowcountry design, the attention to detail combined with the beauty of the land makes these neighborhoods a welcome respite from the outside world. Each neighborhood has a themed entrance, some with fountains, which correspond with the main entrance. Natural buffering provides privacy as well as architectural harmony for each area. No matter what your housing needs, Park West offers it! multi-family neighborhoods featuring elegant townhomes and patio homes are included as well as pre-designed single-family residences and distinguished custom built homes. With 22 custom builders and 4 national builders including Centex Homes, D.R. Horton, David Weekley Homes and Beazer Homes, potential homowners have the option of purchasing an existing home for immediate occupancy, working with an approved builder to custom design their dream home, or using a builder of their own! Park West is truly a community for all of life’s stages and budgets, with homes ranging in price from the low $100K’s to over a $1 million. All waterfront homesites have pre-approved dock corridors for future development. All homes, whether site or custom built are constructed with a detailed list of criteria from the Park West Architectural Review Board in order to produce an atmosphere of compatibility. Deas said, “Park West has two ARB boards each which include an architect and meet on a weekly basis to address issues in a timely manner.” Strict adherence to architectural standards as well as approved builders who follow these rules have contributed greatly to the success of Park West.

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From the beginning, Park West developers worked hand and hand with environmental specialists to make certain that roadways and home sites were constructed following the natural lay of the land. Architecturally distinctive homes, meticulous landscaping and seasonal perennials and annuals enhance each neighborhood. 

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Spacious lots, home sides designed with sensitivity to nature, wide streets with sidewalks, bike paths and jogging trails, Park West’s neighborhood range from patio homes to custom-built waterfront estates. Suited for growing families as well as “empty-nesters,” prospective homeowners have the option of an existing home or working with a custom builder to create the “home of their dreams!”

Taking cues from a “Mayberry” style of small town life, which revolves around a center town square, the proposed marketplace will be a quaint village built to reflect “Lowcountry Charm.” Architectural features such as peaked roof, dormers, windows and doors shaded with colorful awnings, and old-fashioned chimneys, will highlight the intended “town within a town” concept. While future plans include bringing in a national anchor tenant, more immediate retailers will be specialty shops and cafes, along with service businesses such as dry cleaners and personal care salons. These will be ground floor tenants. Second and third floors will be utilized as offices for physicians, accountants, and other professionals, along with unique one-of-a-kind apartments. This diverse mix will create a self-contained community, meeting the needs of all residents.

The actual town square will be a neighborhood park and pavilion where residents can sit and leisurely visit with neighbors or just people watch.

Park West is the community of a life-time. Designed for homeowners of all ages, from growing families to busy executives to downsizing retirees, Park West has successfully created a blueprint for small town living combing a plethora of amenities with careful consideration for Mother Nature. Park West, the epitome of what Lowcountry living truly is all about.

South Carolina Homes & Gardens Quiet Elegance

 

Published November/December 2001 issue


 

farris home

Winner of the Charleston Trident Homebuilder’s Association 1997 Prism Award for Best Resort Home, the Cowart residence is very symmetrical. Farris Cowart of Osprey Construction Company, the builder of the home, was involved in every detail. 

Seabrook Island, a setting of beauty and serenity. Farris and Jackie Cowart have certainly captured the essence of the island as well as incorporating their own ideas and tastes into a home than can best be described as “quietly elegant.”

Hidden from the main road behind a natural screen of wax myrtles, magnolias, live oaks, oleanders and ligustrums;  positioned as if the building process disturbed nothing, sits the Cowart’s 4,000 square foot Lowcountry Vernacular residence. Architect Wayne Windham told me, “While the Cowart home isn’t what one would call a true Lowcountry home, its roots and origins are Lowcountry based.”

Retaining the majority of mature vegetation was a primary goal of the Cowarts. John Hires of Three Oaks Landscaping mentioned, “We tried to retain the natural look of an old pasture, which it used to be. The rear of the property overlooks Horseshoe Creek and the mature live oaks were left in place to provide a shady canopy. Shrubs and plants were planted for different seasonal interests.” The placement of the home was dictated not only by the existing vegetation but also by the view. Every room except for the dining room and master bath embrace the panoramic marsh view.

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The rear porch has a spectacular view of Horseshoe Creek and the surrounding marsh. White wicker furniture with relaxing blue and white cushions invite you to sit and enjoy the tranquility. Baskets of ferns along with other thriving plants give testimony to the owner’s “green thumb.” 

Turning onto the drive, which was designed to wrap around the existing wax myrtles, you are greeted by a Stylus Lucas brick “welcoming arms” staircase. Lined with concrete planters bursting with shades of fall color, the staircase beckons you to the welcoming front verandah. This verandah, flanked on either side by bow windows, showcases the perfect symmetry of the home. Stately white Tuscan columns offset the richness of the classic mahogany front door and transoms.

Upon entering the soaring two-story foyer it becomes apparent that Farris, Owner and Partner of Osprey Construction Company, Inc. and his wife Jackie, a retired high school business education teacher, have created a graceful home full of warmth and comfort. A stunning hand-rubbed gold chandelier is the centerpiece of the entrance way. Capturing the different shades of gold from this chandelier are two Chinese inspired lamps resting atop a mahogany and granite Ralph Lauren console table.

Conveniently located off the foyer, the powder room is one of my favorite rooms! On a trip to the North Carolina Mountains, while browsing through an old junk store, Farris spotted a 1920’s dining room buffet with serpentine side doors. A master craftsman, Farris purchased the buffet for a future project. Deciding that it would make a perfect powder room credenza, Farris refinished it with crotch mahogany, then added brass hardware and a Kohler Artist Edition handpainted flowered sink with matching floral faucets. Picking up the rich reds, Jackie chose an eggplant hue for the walls.

The towel rack adds a touch of the unusual! The top part of an antique dresser mirror frame, it has been refinished and pegs added, making it stylish as well as functional. “I like the rustic look of the towel rack with the elegance of the rest of the room,” Jackie told me. Another unique touch is the antique copper calling card stand.

Entering the sophisticatedly appointed living room through two sets of Tuscan twin columns your eye is immediately drawn to the custom fireplace mantel. Designed and constructed by Farris, the detail work is exquisite, making it truly a work of art! Built-in bookcases along with dental moulding and window cornices are more examples of Farris’s talent and craftsmanship. From the Maitland/Smith ostrich leather cocktail table to the Jacobean animal print chairs flanking a gaming table, this room is filled with unique and eclectic pieces. The soothing palette of reds, olives and golds is accented by Jackie’s collection of Spode and Flow Blue china.

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In the living room, overstuffed reading chairs are positioned to enjoy the fireplace. Three sets of French doors leading to the rear porch help bring the outdoors in and allow for an unhindered marsh view. 

Natural outdoor light reflects through the wall of French doors that lead to the tiered rear porch. The level nearest the house is shaded and has a wrought iron table and chairs perfect for brunching al-fresco. Comfortable white wicker chairs complete with blue and while cushions invite you to sit and enjoy the relaxing marsh view. Located on the lower tier and convenient to the kitchen through the breakfast nook door is Farris’s custom designed BBQ grill. This state of the art gas grill and side burner is recessed into a cedar shake cabinet with Spanish cedar doors, a Mexican tile counter and rustic hardware. More of Farris’s handwork is evident in the unique plant stands he has created from antique sewing machine bases with Corian or granite tops.

With the kitchen, breakfast nook and sunroom to the right of the living room, the house flows nicely and is very “user-friendly” for entertaining. White cabinetry with white Corian offers a nice contrast to the cherry center island and its Verde Fontaine granite counter. Tiled into the backsplash to the right of the sink is a colorful cornucopia of flowers and fruits overflowing a graceful urn. Over the center island is a light box constructed of cherry featuring a custom designed stained glass panel. Artist Susan Suffel told me, “The stained glass design is what I envisioned the top of the tiled flower urn to look like if you were gazing down on it.” Windows surround the sunroom and breakfast nook filling them with natural light and maximizing the spectacular view. Along with the entire house, this room is filled with plants. “Before Farris and I married I had a greenhouse and I wanted our home to reflect my love of plants,”Jackie said. A cozy room perfect for watching TV or curling up with a good book, the sunroom features a Lillian August settee in shades of red, gold and pumpkin which coordinate perfectly with the two Drexel Heritage wing chair recliners and a round reading table with a chenille paisley topper. An antique sewing machine found scattered in pieces in an old garage, was painstakingly reconstructed by Farris and is on its way to becoming a treasured family heirloom. The bamboo paddle fan brings a touch of the islands to the room. “I like to throw in the unexpected,” said Jackie. Resting on the window cornices, adding holiday cheer are Farris and Jackie’s collection of a Dickens Christmas Village.

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The center cherry island with custom stained glass paneled light box is a striking contrast to the white cabinetry used throughout the rest of the kitchen. 

Holding court in the stately dining room is a Maitland/Smith mahogany table, chairs and sideboard. A Theodore and Alexander mirror reflects the beautiful Royal Albert Old Country Roses Christmas china. Victorian reproductions of Monkey lamps from Chelsea House along with monkey ornaments and napkin holders add a whimsical touch.

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Rich deep red walls framed with white wainscoting and moulding complement the Maitland/Smith mahogany table, chairs and sideboard. A Theodore and Alexander mirror reflects the beautiful Royal Albert Seasons of Color Christmas china. 

Located at the other end of the home for privacy is the master suite. Calming green seafoam walls with white moulding make for a soothing respite from the rest of the world. All colors and fabrics are soft and peaceful and work well with the four-poster pineapple bed and writing desk. An antique green and blue Oriental rug placed at an angle on the oak stained mahogany hardwood floor complement the chosen fabrics and bedding. Artwork here, as well as through out, is mainly from a Savannah artist, Sharon Saseen Dillon. Since Farris and Jackie are both from the Savannah area, Dillon’s work reminds them of home!

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The E.J. Victor French Legacy four-poster pineapple bed makes a beautiful statement in the master suite. 

Through a dressing area complete with double vanities and a walk-in closet you enter the striking, spacious master bath. The soaking tub is set into the bow of the windows and surrounded by Verde Empress marble which has also been used on the bath floor, creating long sleek lines. Concave shelves are recessed at each end of the tub and hold treasured family heirlooms along with personal pictures and other mementos. A crystal chandelier directly above the tub reflects sparkles of light and color that play around the room. Gazing around this room as with all others it is easy to see Jackie’s passion for loving accumulation. “I don’t subscribe to the ‘less is more theory,’ I buy by instinct, because I know what I want and where I want it to go.”

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This tub is the perfect place to soak away the troubles of the day! Curved shelves at each end of the tub follow the progression of the bow windows. 

Adding an artistic touch on the second floor staircase is a Chelsea House chinoiserie folding screen featuring birds and foliage in shades of black, gold and red.

The upper level houses the Charleston library room and two separate bedrooms each with full baths. While masculine in feel with a leather couch and khaki, beige and deep red striped fabric chairs, the library also has a TV, VCR and computer, perfect for keeping the grandchildren entertained! This room, just like the entire home, contains many antiques in addition to treasured family pieces and “junk store finds.” French doors open to an upstairs balcony, providing another fabulous waterview.

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The upstairs Charleston library holds treasured eclectic pieces that when put together with Jackie’s eye for detail blend perfectly! More of Farris’s handiwork is shown in the design of the fireplace mantel on which rests their collection of Byers Choice Carolers. 

In the guest room on the right hangs the framed marriage certificate of Jackie’s parents. The soothing palette of roses, pinks and creams are also highlighted in the adjacent bath. The guest suite to the left has been decorated in blues, reds and creams and hosts a separate dressing area along with separate bath. This bath, in addition to the usual cabinetry has a unique antique dressing table with full-length mirror and needlepoint antique chair.

Emanating a sense of quiet elegance, and showcasing furniture and collectibles from traditional to French to custom designed one-of-a-kind creations, every pieces in the Cowart home has been chosen and placed with care, concern and love. Definitely creating a home with a heart.

Charleston Living & Home Design Distinctly Different

 

published in May/October 2002 issue

 

Bright yellow Italian Pace chairs add bursts of color in the contemporary living room. The room’s focal point is the brushed stainless steel mantel and Blue Pearl granite fireplace.

Larry and Jan Lipov certainly were thinking “out of the box” when in 1996 they purchased a 1960’s two-story brick Greek Revival home in South Windermere on James Island and envisioned in its place a spacious 9,600 square-foot yellow stucco contemporary with standing seam metal roof. Builder Steve Brenner, President/Owner of Solaris, Inc. on Johns Island says, “This was as major a rebuild as I have ever done. The original home drove the entire design. Larry and Jan threw conventionality to the wind ending up with a whimsical fun contemporary that suits their lifestyle perfectly.”

A sixth generation Charlestonian, Jan Pearlstine was living in Washington, DC when she met her future husband Larry Lipov. Returning to Charleston to run the family business, Pearlstine Distributors, Jan and Larry initially relocated to Mt. Pleasant. After the birth of their first child they decided to return to the neighborhood Jan grew up in. Working hand in hand with architect G.M. (Skip) Wallace, Jr., owner of Island Architects in Chester, Virginia, it took two years before Larry and Jan’s dream home became a reality. “Working with Larry and Jan was a lot of fun. They were open to new innovative things and that was refreshing. It was an unusual project, limited in many ways by the original home’s footprint,” recalls Wallace.

The Lipov’s love of family and friends along with their many philanthropic interests factored into all design decisions. “We use the house to promote good in Charleston. From children’s events to Jewish functions to the Charleston Symphony, we constantly open our doors for fundraisers and other gatherings,” says Jan.

 

Perched on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway and complete with a pool, it’s easy to see why their son Edwin and daughter Halle are true “water babies.” In the summer when the Lipov’s host swimming lessons it isn’t unusual to have 50 children splashing in and around the pool. With that in mind, a special pool area was created inside between the garage and kitchen. Cubbies full of brightly colored beach towels, cabinets for guest’s personal belongings and a separate refrigerator full of drinks and snacks is across the hall from a full bath featuring Shirley Kratz hand-painted tiles.

 

 

In the main hall leading from the garage, Jan decided against the traditional coat closet instead creating a wall of lockers. “With coat closets, stuff gets pushed to the rear and lost; individual lockers allow each person their own personal space,” Jan remarks.

Another sensible idea is the two separate laundry rooms; one upstairs and one downstairs near the pool. A gift-wrapping station and drip basin for wet swim-suits located in the downstairs laundry fall into that “why didn’t I think of that” category.

Twin center islands topped with Lake Placid granite aid meal preparation by providing additional counter space. Using a freestanding Viking range instead of island cooktop and providing colorful polka dot barstools, there is plenty of room for family and friends to gather!

The original home had low ceilings which the Lipov’s raised to pay homage to the spectacular panoramic view. Offering access to the outdoors from each room, the kitchen, breakfast nook, living room and bar area has a vast expanse of glass casually draped with sheer silver fabric creating proper feng shui. “The main concept for the house since it is on the water, was being able to integrate inside and outside,” says Wendy Marcus Goer, owner of Marcus Goer Interiors, Inc. in Charleston.

Larry loves to cook and can often be found in the warm teal, bright yellow and purple kitchen inspired by Manual Canovis fabric featuring tulips and daffodils that drape the breakfast nook windows. “Jan is very innovative and had definite ideas on her color combinations,” notes Linda McLain, of Signature Kitchens and Baths of Charleston, Inc. Tay wood cabinetry was finished with a high gloss aniline dye that captures color while still allowing the beauty of the wood to come through. Stainless steel appliances and hardware were added for contrast. Gray granite is used as flooring through out the downstairs to blend and accent the vibrant color palette.

From the kitchen and breakfast area into the bar and living room resplendent in bold reds, yellows, purples and greens it is easy to imagine casual brunches as well as catered black tie cocktail parties being hosted on a regular basis. A Blue Eyes granite topped bar with comfortable, colorful chairs and glass shelves displaying the Lipov’s collection of Anheuser-Busch memorabilia reflect the nature of their business. The round remote control gaming table with Italian Pace chairs can be raised or lowered for dining or playing a friendly game of cards. In the living room an eclectic mix of furniture, family photos, fabulous artwork, objet d’art, and inherited treasures, including an antique silver tea set, which belonged to Jan’s great-grandmother, creates a room bold yet inviting.

Located in the soaring entry hall a free floating curved staircase with open risers and acrylic panels lends itself to the extreme open floor plan and magnificent view.

Above: Unique papier-mache and rope chandeliers coordinate perfectly with the rich red custom credenza and colorful fabric chair backs. Alternating gold and silver chair seats harmonize with glass topped silver table bases and glass accessories.

Defining the main dining room are silver graduated columns capped with mahogany bands. A Mona Lisa portrait and rich red credenza originally owned by Jan’s late mother are the focal points of this room. Two glass topped tables each seating eight are perfect for the rectangular space. “The two tables side by side make for easier dinner conversation than one single long table,” states Jan. A master craftsman from Chicago was commissioned to create the additional pieces in the dining room as well as the wet bar and living room built-ins.

Above: The custom crafted obeachy wood media center has been finished with an interesting trio of ceiling mouldings. This triple moulding effect has been used in different patterns throughout the home. Giving the media room a true “theater feel” is the black ceiling with spot and recessed lighting.

Across the hall mahogany pocket doors inset with Charleston artist Robert Hines stained glass lead into the state-of-the-art media room. From the surround sound media center to the comfortable relaxing black and red leather furniture resting on a cream wool rug with black leather squares, this is the perfect gathering spot for family and friends.

 

Emanating subtlety and sophistication with unexpected bursts of color, the master suite is a restful retreat yet continues to showcase Jan’s love of color. Soothing greens and muted golds commingle with royal purple accents. A raised fireplace flanked with lighted deco glass blocks is steps away from the outdoor hot tub. Original eight-foot ceilings visually soar with creative cuts hued in deep purple.

Purple cabinets in the master bath had Larry thinking twice about Jan’s color selections while the limestone floor has deep purple, emerald green and topaz colored glass blocks randomly placed. Jan initially wanted lighted glass blocks until Larry told her she would be responsible for going underneath the house to change the bulbs.

The second level is home to the children’s bedrooms each with private bath, two guest suites, family office and spacious playroom/exercise room with a second staircase leading down to the kitchen. Sweeping verandas featuring cozy sitting areas perfect for dolphin watching or enjoying a good book are accessible from all upstairs rooms.

Originally traditional and now boldly sculpted, Larry and Jan’s home truly reflects their love of family, their sense and commitment to community and their pure enjoyment derived from a home that is creative, comfortable and colorful.