Tour this gorgeous beach house retreat nestled on Kiawah Island

beach house exterior entry gate

Robert A.M. Stern Architects has reimagined this dreamy beach house retreat located on Kiawah Island, a barrier island just southwest of Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina. The architect had originally the home just over twenty years ago and the property had changed hands several times over that time period.

The new owners commissioned the architects for an addition to their home along with a complete overhaul to the interiors. Initially, the scope of the project was limited to opening up the kitchen and family room along with the addition of an expansive room for entertaining and a small office just behind the pergola with inspiring views of the swimming pool.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Robert A.M. Stern Architects BUILDER Grossman Building Group INTERIOR DESIGNER Tammy Connor Interior Design LANDSCAPE DESIGN Wertimer + Cline

beach house exterior

Before long, this project evolved into so much more: in addition to replacing the finishes and fixtures in every room, the architects gutted and re-planned the owner’s bedroom suite and reimagined the third floor into a beautiful guest suite that includes a bunk room to sleep six.

The project enabled the architects a unique opportunity to revisit, carefully assess, and re-imagine what they had done before, and to make enhancements that would dramatically transform the house as they reinforced the fundamental integrity of its architecture.

beach house entry

A large Dutch door brings one into the living hall, which then leads the way to the principal formal rooms through expansive cased and beamed openings. Following the tradition of several shingle-style predecessors, the primary staircase commands a central location within its designated space in the layout. When entertaining, guests can seamlessly move through the room and out to the piazza.

beach style staircase

What We Love: This beach house retreat on Kiawah Island provides its inhabitants with warm and inviting living space framing dreamy oceanfront views. We are loving the newly refreshed living spaces with stylish furnishings and beautiful design details throughout. The project team did a fabulous job of creating a living environment that is perfect for lounging and entertaining, enhanced by the tranquil outdoor living areas.

Tell Us: What details in the design of this seaside home do you find most inspiring? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other amazing home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign in the state of South Carolina: A beautiful coastal style home on Kiawah Island that inspires tranquility and Tour this stunning Kiawah Island beach house with pops of color,

beach house entry with built-in bench seating

beach stye living room

beach stye kitchen

A key feature of the renovation was the newly expanded kitchen which opens to the adjacent family room. A shift in the direction of ceiling beams distinguishes one space from the other.

beach stye living room

beach stye beach in front of a window

beach stye living room

beach stye living room

In a corner bay of the living room, floor-to-ceiling double-hung windows provide unhindered vistas and seamless passage to the piazza through their generously proportioned lower sashes.

beach stye living room fireplace

beach stye living room

Seen through double pocketing doors, the dining room’s deep-blue walls create a striking juxtaposition against the informal openness of the living room. Centered around a second bay of expansive windows, the dining room is oriented towards the vast ocean view beyond. Distinguished by its wood-and-plaster strapwork ceiling, it stands apart from neighboring spaces characterized by their beamed ceilings.

beach stye dining room

beach stye powder room

beach style bedroom with a window seat

beach house deck with a hanging swing

beach style window seat

beach style bedroom

In the second-floor bedrooms, bay windows offer both direct and angled perspectives of the dunes, the beach, and the ocean. A country-style bathroom on this level brings together high wainscot paneling, a wide-plank wood floor, and a freestanding tub, creating a distinctive and cohesive aesthetic.

beach style bathrooms with a freestanding tub

beach style bedroom

beach style family room

beach style living room with doors opening to the deck and beyond to the swimming pool

Folding doors retreat along the entire expanse of the pool room, effectively converting it into an open loggia nestled behind the pergola by the poolside. The arrangement of the pergola columns widens slightly in the central bay, offering an unobstructed yet elegantly framed vista of the sea.

beach style swimming pool and pool house

While the main house shields the pool from the worst of the afternoon sun, the pergola controls sunlight in the space below it and in the pool room. Set down a few steps from the first floor, the pool, and its deck are a clearly delineated outdoor room.

beach style swimming pool patio

beach house porch steps

beach house porch

Designed with added depth to provide protection from the intense southern sun, the piazza extends beyond the family room, forming an al fresco dining area that is perfectly oriented towards the dune.

beach house exterior

With a fairly straightforward rectangular structure, the house is adorned with gables, dormers, bay windows, and a spacious wraparound porch on the main floor. Elevated a full story above ground level in compliance with flood regulations, it rests on a plinth that upholds the Tuscan colonnade gracing the porch of the main level.

beach house exterior with a pathway to the beach

Along the ocean side, primary rooms are meticulously arranged in a suite-like fashion, while thoughtfully positioned angled bay windows rhythmically frame breathtaking vistas of the shoreline and expansive sea. Notably, a brick chimney runs through the center gable of the entry facade, providing a commanding vertical contrast to the robust foundation.

beach house exterior at dusk

Rarely visible in its entirety at any given moment, both the main house and the addition can be admired together from the boardwalk above the dunes.


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10 months ago

Such a beautiful home but for me, that outdoor swinging day bed/chair is the best place in the whole home!