The classic beach-style house set along the Isle of Palms’ iconic Palm Boulevard never failed to catch the eye of interior designer Amy Trowman when she passed by. Traveling between home, her Mount Pleasant-based design firm and meetings with her clients on this South Carolina barrier island and neighboring Sullivan’s Island, she always admired both the house and its expansive view of the Atlantic.
“Of course, I was already familiar with the house,” states Trowman, who began her design career in Montana about 18 years ago. “I knew it was built as a spec home by Thomas M. Evans. He has built a number of magnificent homes on the Isle of Palms.”
For this project, Evans teamed up with architect Steve Herlong of Herlong & Associates. According to Trowman, they were the perfect pair to create a custom home on one of the last remaining oceanfront homesites on the Isle of Palms.
Perhaps it was fate that on a busy day just before a holiday season Trowman’s phone rang. The offer of an introduction to the new owners of the house she had long admired quickly resulted in an opportunity to do the interior design for the whole house. Trowman was thrilled.
“The owners, an Ohio couple, first saw the house online,” recalls Trowman, whose design firm handles mostly residential and hospitality projects. “They immediately contacted the listing agent and made arrangements to fly to the area just to see the house. They both fell in love with it and ended up making the purchase.”
When the couple returned for the closing, they met with Trowman to walk through their new home. “Because they were living long distance at the time and still had children in school, they knew up front that they didn’t have time to devote to furnishing the house,” says Trowman. “Fortunately for me, they already had a good idea about what they wanted. It was just a matter of getting to know the couple and their goals, and getting to know the house, inside and out.” For Trowman, both were a pleasure.
Soon after the closing, the couple returned home to Ohio, and Trowman and her design team went to work on a presentation. By the end of the year, Trowman’s plan was approved and her team kicked into high gear to get the project completed by May, just in time for the family to enjoy their new beach home for the summer.
Today, this welcoming home serves as a family retreat for the couple, their four children and two grandchildren. Like most of the oceanfront homes on the Isle of Palms, the house features a reverse floor plan. “The main living space is on the second floor where the owners and their guests can take in the best views of the dunes, white sandy beaches and the Atlantic beyond,” explains Trowman. “This means the sleeping quarters are tucked away downstairs and offer a place to escape from all the activity.”
Featuring an open floor plan that flows from living room to dining room to kitchen, the main living space exudes a palpable nautical feel throughout.
Lighted hickory ceilings complement the space’s black walnut floors, which are perfect for bare feet. Cozy window seats offering a comfortable place to stretch out after a long day on the beach flank the fireplace, the main focal point of the room.
The living space overlooks a deck, which includes an infinity pool that visually merges with the ocean. An outdoor fireplace warms a conversation area on the deck on chilly winter nights, and a wooden dock made of durable ipe stretches from the house all the way to the beach. The downstairs features a small family/game room equipped with a kitchenette and large-screen television—and a small reading room. Rather than a huge master bedroom, the architect opted for a smaller, cozier bedroom that is situated to take full advantage of the ocean view. Instead, additional square footage was incorporated into large his-and-her closets and a spacious spa-like master bathroom that features a soaking tub.
“This is a much loved and much lived-in home,” concludes Trowman, who remains close to the family. “The family has turned this classic beach house into their perfect home away from home.”