July 2016

Interior Design Trends for the Lowcountry

Author: Gregory Vaughan

Photography by Atlantic Archives/Richard Leo Johnson

Are you building a new house in the Lowcountry or remodeling your existing home? Might you be considering a much needed addition for extra space or just want to update the tired decor? Do you need to make your home more competitive for an upcoming sale of the property? No matter the purpose or scope, chances are your project will be a success if it showcases some of the latest décor trends today.

Your home should reflect your personal style, lifestyle needs and general attitude towards living. These are revealed in the mix of colors, fabrics and furnishings that make your house a home. Take a good look around. Does your home look the same as it did the day you moved in? Has it evolved with the changing times, technology, fashions and you—or is it totally out of step? It may be time for some updates.

The following design trends will continue to be showcased prominently in new construction and remodels here in the Lowcountry:

Outdoor Living Spaces
In the Lowcountry, we enjoy a mild climate, and we love being outdoors. It is no wonder outdoor living spaces have become an expected feature for homes here. Decks, porches, covered lanais, and courtyards allow us to connect with nature and expand our living space. Outdoor kitchens, bars, fireplaces, pools and spas all further blur the boundaries between inside and outside.

Open Concept Plans
No doubt great rooms have been a “thing” since the mid 1980s, and the formal living and dining room are slowly fading into the past. But even more walls are opening up for today’s living. We live a more casual and relaxed lifestyle than we did years ago, and along the way have found we would rather have a few larger, more open rooms than a bunch of smaller, closed-off and seldom-used ones. Multi-function, flexible-use spaces make more sense when factoring in the cost per square foot of a new home.

Well-Designed Kitchens
We have embraced home cooking like no era before, and our food fetish continues to flourish as evidenced by the ever-growing popularity of cookery shows and home entertaining blogs. Thus the focus on our kitchens has been fine-tuned and amplified. We have all learned that a truly great kitchen does not have to be huge; it just needs to be well-designed. High-end appliances and high performance finishes combined with thoughtful touches can turn your kitchen into your inner chef’s fantasy food laboratory. Clever storage, an efficient layout, and integration to living areas enhance the experience for the cook as well as the guests.

Detailed Millwork
Correctly done, moldings can take a room from bland to beautiful. They do not have to be excessively elaborate or grandly over-scaled to make their contribution known. In fact, sometimes the simplest of moldings are all that is needed to give a space that just right finish and pizazz. Simple, flat, beveled or coved moldings look just as good with contemporary designs as they do with more traditional looks.

Luxurious Baths
The idea of a home spa is nothing new, but as with a well-designed kitchen, bigger is not always better. In fact, even in really high-end homes, the size of the master bath has shrunk a bit. The focus is now on the finishes and the amenities, not the actual square footage. The size of the tub and the vanities take a backseat to that of the shower stall. In fact, many homeowners are giving up the tub altogether to devote more attention to a completely tricked-out shower with dual rain heads and multiple body jets.

Grey as the New Neutral
Move over “builder beige.” There is a new neutral in town. Grey has ascended as the most commonly requested color for interior walls, and it is easy to see why. Today’s trendiest neutral is far more versatile and complex than yesterday’s dull and drab tan. After what seems like decades of uninspired and “safe” backdrops in our homes, I say, “Bring it on!” Grey is more complex than beige and pairs well with the colors right outside our homes in the natural landscape of the Lowcountry. It tends to make more of a statement but is still not offensive to most tastes. And it can work with any style decor. Go in any model home in any new subdivision in the area, and I guarantee you will find some, if not all, of the rooms painted a shade of grey.

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