PARADISE FOUND

BY BRIGITTE SURETTE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

FeatureJeffrey_1The bright white exterior and ice blue shutters of this Charleston-style coastal home stand out against the emerald hues of the marsh, creating a dramatic and beachy welcome.

You wouldn’t know it, but just off one of Mount Pleasant’s busiest thoroughfares exists an ideal location for viewing our magnificent Lowcountry sunsets. Located just a few miles from Charleston’s pristine beaches, the small neighborhood is tucked back among lush greenery and opens up to breathtaking marsh views.

Here, the Medlock family— Stephanie, Roger and their two boys, Jack and Brady—occupy a home where they can observe nature and its colors from many points of view.

Stephanie Medlock remarks that those views are a constant in their day-to-day lives. “We’re in our family room, kitchen and dining room 90 percent of the time,” Medlock says. “It’s like our own little sanctuary.”

The Medlocks lived upstate for years before relocating to the Charleston area. It took nearly eight years to find the perfect lot for their paradise, but they knew immediately who should build their home.

FeatureJeffrey_2Builder Grady Jeffery worked with the Medlocks to design the perfect outdoor living space; rattan furniture warms the space and pairs perfectly with the cool ocean-like colors of the accent pieces. A flat-screen TV and fireplace make it the ideal gathering spot for family and friends.
FeatureJeffrey_3The pool, designed by Eric D’Angelo of Crystal Clear Pools, is surrounded by travertine tile. It features two shallow ends for endless summer water games and a large hot tub on one end for relaxing during the fall and winter seasons.

Working with Grady Jeffery, a premier Lowcountry builder, they constructed a 5,200-square-foot home, with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths that truly brings nature inside. Three sets of mahogany doors front the home, while large windows stack above them. Smaller windows bracket the center doors and double staircases welcome guests in grand coastal style. The living areas sit atop a double garage with oversized doors, one of which houses an extended bay to make room for a boat and large vehicles. The back of the home has windows along the entire length of the living spaces with a screened-in porch on the first level, complete with cushy seating, fireplace and flat-screen TV. Upstairs, there’s an open porch.

A turquoise pool and hot tub sparkle in the back, beckoning one to relax and rejuvenate.

The result? Three levels of subdued elegance with a blissful, beachy personality. Though the Medlocks and Jeffery started from scratch, they knew instinctively what they were going for, accomplishing it over the course of 11 months.

“I like to tell our friends, ‘Welcome to Club Med,’” Medlock says, laughing.

FeatureJeffrey_4Above: Bright white tiles from Buckhannon Brothers installed vertically mirror blue hues and create a flow-like-water feel down to the Calcutta gold quartz from Creative Countertops. The fixtures and large farm sink from Moluf’s Supply lend a casual elegance to the bright and expansive kitchen. Top: Dark-stained oak floors flow from the kitchen into the dining and large family living space. Century-old beams adorn the shiplap ceiling. Bottom: Upstairs, the ultimate man cave is complete with bar, roomy leather seating and six flat-screen TVs.

A Marriage of Minds

“I tell people you have to love your builder,” Jeffery says. “The Medlocks aren’t just clients to me. We wanted to build a house that worked for everybody, but it’s not just the materials that make it beautiful, it’s the people that make it a home.”

“Grady’s like family,” says Medlock. “We had fun building this house together. If we ever needed anything, he’d have someone here ASAP. And he’s honest. He advised me how to cut costs in certain areas.” Medlocks adds, laughing, “I went over budget in some areas, but that wasn’t his fault.”

Jeffery relies on vetted artisans and craftsman he’s worked with throughout his career, which spans nearly two decades. Working as an apprentice to contractors and builders since he was a boy, he discovered his passion quickly. That passion, along with an unwavering dedication to clients, is why his business has grown exponentially over the years—and always by referral. “I don’t have a big office or a big staff. I’m just a normal guy who loves building beautiful houses,” Jeffery says. “The guys [his subcontractors], the clients, the architects— everyone involved in this, it wouldn’t happen without them.”

FeatureJeffrey_5Open, airy and filled with light, the family living space off the dining room has plush seating, custom built-ins and a large wood-burning fireplace. Splashes of turquoise, a blue ikat rug and organic accessories complement the coffered ceiling, which carries the same blue color as the exterior shutters (Benjamin Moore “Ice Blue”).

Medlock credits Jeffery’s attention to detail for giving their home a personal stamp. “Grady recommended 8-inch shiplap through most of the downstairs to get that beachy feel I so wanted. He surprised me with the beams in the dining room and over the fireplace in the living room—it’s one of my favorite things about our home,” she says.

Jeffery salvaged wood from a century-old barn. “The wood and the flooring pop against the white of the shiplap,” Medlock says. She worked with a designer but drew from her own sense of style as well. “I knew what I wanted—open, light and airy.”

The spaces are expansive yet flow seamlessly, creating a sense of continuity and comfort. The color palette—blues, grays, whites and taupes—are mainly reflected through accessories, bought locally and at a designer’s market in Atlanta.

FeatureJeffrey_6The master bedroom is a haven of soft textiles in colors of the sea. The walls and shiplap ceiling are Benjamin Moore “Puritan Gray.” Vintage inspired turquoise nightstands were found during an Atlanta buying trip and rattan roll-up shades give the space privacy yet let in the light
FeatureJeffrey_7The master bath has gray porcelain-tiled floors, an extra-large shower and a claw-foot tub. Wall color is Benjamin Moore “Harbor Gray.”

At the End of the Day

Jeffery and the Medlocks are planning a few finishing touches in the future—an outdoor kitchen, bathroom and an outdoor shower near the pool. But for now they’re delighted with what they’ve created. “We live a busy, stressful life and we wanted a place where we could shut that off,” Medlock says. “I come home sometimes, pour myself a glass of wine, gaze out over that marsh and just decompress.” Sounds like paradise indeed.

Brigitte Surette is a full-time freelance writer living near Charleston. Find out more at brigittesurette.com.