In style, the house defies classification, drawing on mountains, coastlines, Southern woods and Western grasslands. Its traffic-stopping front porch, in architect Darryl Cobb’s view, “is one big piece of sculpture.”
The effect was deliberate. Cobb designed the home in Daniel Island Park for a husband and wife who live surrounded by art. Ultimately, the house became the largest piece in Steve and Laurie Meyer’s collection. Learning that Cobb was once a painter tipped the scales for the Meyers, who had studied several of the nearly 60 homes he’s designed for Daniel Islanders. Likewise, Cobb says, “I’d always wanted to design a home for an artist,” and the Meyers’ need for both living and studio space gave him the chance.
“Darryl got both the physical and the metaphysical side of our ideas,” says Laurie. “He took the idea of an open floor plan and still gave us so much room to hang paintings—and create more.”
Laurie is a professional artist whose oils hang in the Hagan Fine Art Gallery in Charleston as well as in three other galleries in the Carolinas. She makes annual trips to Italy to teach plein air painting and, at home, teaches classes in her own studio.
Steve Meyer, vice president of the Burton-Meyer Group of UBS Investment Bank, is a wealth management professional and a volunteer high school football coach. What he didn’t know until the building project started is that he’s also a craftsman.
That self-discovery was sparked by a relative who owns a Revolutionary-era estate in Winnsboro and offered Steve access to a stockpile of antique wood.
About 80 square feet of walnut was earmarked for the countertop for the Meyers’ kitchen island, but there was wood left over. With Laurie’s encouragement, Steve bought $500 worth of tools and set up shop in his garage. His first piece was a large, white pine table for the back porch, followed by two walnut sink stands and a white pine table for Laurie’s studio.
With husband and wife so fully vested in the project, and with the selection of Roy Mahshie as their builder, Cobb says: “Everything fell into place. We all got to be creative.” Cobb says he enjoys the fact that you can see straight through the house, from the front door to the 16 feet of glass doors opening to the back porch. The view of the yard, the pool and the golf course beyond is unobstructed, giving the Meyers the sensation of living outdoors.
The stairwell—“one of my favorite ‘rooms’ in the house,” says Laurie—also creates openness. Behind iron balusters, floor-to-ceiling wainscoting creates gallery space with dimensional interest.
Does even a professional artist get stressed over wall paint decisions? “I did so much research on paint colors,” recalls Laurie. “Steve would leave me at the table looking at samples and come back hours later and say, ‘Have you moved?’” She finally settled on two cool-hued Sherwin-Williams shades, “Useful Gray” and “Analytical Gray,” to create a neutral backdrop for both vibrant and subtler colors. She chose “Ivory Lace” for the trim work and ceilings.
The resulting airiness is grounded by the interior doors, which are painted “Enduring Bronze” and by the dark floors, which are a mixture of 3-, 4- and 5-inch-wide planks of white oak in a fumed and oiled finish.
Upstairs, a velvet view of golf course and treetops greets the Meyers in their master bedroom, where the v-groove ceiling soars to an 18-foot vault. Cobb says the master suite came together well, noting its luxurious bathroom, a closet sectioned with built-ins, a laundry room (one of two in the home) and a separate water closet.
Laurie’s enthusiasm bubbles over when she enters her studio. Located above the three-car garage, it, too, is a suite containing a workroom, bathroom, office and balcony. Sixteen windows provide both northern and southern exposures and are outfitted in blackout shades for maximum light control should she choose to dramatically light a model. Designed with built-in cabinets, special ventilation and a laminate floor (forgiving of drips), the studio provides Laurie ample room to work before she puts down her brush and migrates downstairs to a home where beauty has been captured on a highly livable canvas.
Margaret Locklair writes and edits books and magazine articles from her home in Berkeley County. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.