OR 10 YEARS, A HANDCRAFTED 56-FOOT SAILBOAT WAS the beloved second home for Trish and George Maloomian, who loved to escape their hectic lives whenever possible to glide along the Atlantic coast from New England to the Caribbean. When the couple finally decided to sell their sailboat and build a land-based home away from home, their search for the ideal site focused on the coastline between Southport, North Carolina, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At the end of their months-long search, even the Maloomians were surprised to discover their coastal “sweet spot” was South Carolina’s Kiawah Island.
“We’ve been going to Kiawah on and off for about 20 years and were familiar with it,” says George Maloomian, a real estate developer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We didn’t stay there extensively, but it was always on our radar.”
The couple initially dismissed Kiawah Island as the site for their new home because it felt more like a vacation resort to them than the close-knit seaside community they desired. But that changed when friends suggested they consider Cassique, a private golf community situated just above the mouth of the Kiawah River where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
According to Maloomian, Cassique’s easy access almost contradicts its absolute seclusion. “If I didn’t tell you to turn right a half mile after the traffic circle, you’d probably miss it,” he notes. “That, and the fact that Cassique has a beautiful golf course and clubhouse, plus an incredible fitness facility and boathouse, made us reconsider Kiawah Island.
“Within Cassique, we began looking closely at Eagle Island. It is a unique property that is absolutely stunning. Eagle Island is within walking distance of the finest amenities available on the Carolina coast, including a Tom Watson-designed golf course. Yet, when you cross the causeway between the 15th and 16th holes onto Eagle Island, you are suddenly surrounded by the peace and solitude of nature.”
With just a handful of homes at build-out, Eagle Island offers Cassique’s first south-facing views of the Atlantic Ocean. That southern exposure was exactly what the Maloomians had in mind for their home. “The natural elevation of the lot we purchased was an important factor in our decision to build on Eagle Island,” notes Maloomian. “We didn’t want our house to tower above the lot with the garage below it. And as it turned out, the dimensions of the home we envisioned fit perfectly on the lot.”
After interviewing several contractors, the couple chose Osprey Construction Company, Inc., a well-established custom homebuilder that has built on Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands for nearly 30 years. “We build your dream home on budget, on time and with no surprises,” says company president Douglas James, who is known in the industry for his expertise, particularly with relation to ever-evolving building codes and technological advances, and his personal attention to detail on every project. “Our experience in custom homebuilding has taught us the most effective way to achieve our goals is to be actively involved with the homeowners and architect throughout the design, development and construction process. This team approach is the most reliable way to assure the best possible outcome for our clients in terms of both cost and quality.”
Guided by Osprey’s ingrained philosophy of teamwork, James brought together the couple and architect Wayne Windham. “Wayne quickly understood and embraced our vision and absolutely enhanced it,” says Maloomian, who was hands-on throughout the building process. “I give him a lot of credit for the home being what it is today.”
According to Maloomian, the house adheres to the Voysey Design Concept, named for the early 20th-century English architect Charles Voysey, who believed no aspect of a house was too small to merit his attention. Voysey’s spirit was evident throughout the design-development-construction process. The 5,000-square-foot cottage-style home doesn’t scream size, but rather blends gently into the colors and textures of the tideland environment and the original vision for Eagle Island.
Adjacent to the front of the house, a European-style motor court connects the spacious three-car garage with the front of the home. At the rear of the home, the outdoor space includes a pool deck elevation, a rear porch elevation and a rear patio elevation, each designed as separate exterior rooms that flow seamlessly together. “Working with the architect and interior designer, George and Trish did a fantastic job of integrating their outdoor living space with the views,” notes James.
Designed for entertaining family and friends, the interior floor plan keeps guests connected, from the gourmet kitchen to the dining room to the main living space, with plenty of glass doors and windows overlooking the marsh, the Kiawah River and the Atlantic beyond.
“We decided we needed an additional living space on the second floor,” explains Maloomian. “The architect dubbed it the ‘playpen’ and it’s the perfect place to hang out with family and friends, watch the big game and take in the best views from the house.”
“The kitchen, bathrooms and playpen all have their own unique cabinetry and pulls,” says James. “That’s a benefit of working with the William C. Pritchard Company, a local cabinetmaking company that can create anything in cabinetry you can imagine. The variety of cabinetry, along with many of the stunning fixtures acquired from Charleston’s own Ro Sham Beaux, are just a couple of the design features that help make the interior of this home so interesting and beautiful.”
“Rebekah Carter with Red Element Design was also instrumental in the process from the beginning,” adds Maloomian. “She not only helped us immensely, she helped Doug interpret the best way to execute many of the details that fall in between architecture and interior design. She was very hands-on and engaged with the builder on a number of issues.
“We are very pleased with the quality of the home. Doug is very attentive to details and making sure things were done well. He has a thorough understanding of the construction process.”
Patra Taylor is a full-time freelance writer who lives in Mount Pleasant.