October 2020

Outside In: For Don and Becky Kimble, it all started with a marsh view. It ended with a Sea Pines home that exults in the extraordinary.

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: John McManus

8 Bunk beds flank this game room that was designed to entertain and serve as an added media room.

If there is a single defining element to the elegant Sea Pines Resort home of Don and Becky Kimble, it’s the marsh. That nearly uninterrupted view across spartina grass and winding tidal creeks was what drew the couple to the lot in the first place. And when Hurricane Matthew claimed their first home, that view ultimately became the driving force behind their new home.

“We call it our marsh house,” Becky said. “We fell in love with that little house and the views.”

When it came time to rebuild, the marsh took center stage. “The Kimbles were looking to create a timeless Lowcountry home with an emphasis on every room having spectacular long-marsh views,” builder Rhett Jeffcoat of Randy Jeffcoat Builders said. “Terry Rosser did a fantastic job capturing that request for each room.”

As the pictures show, Rosser, whose architecture has defined homes in Sea Pines and beyond for 43 years, nailed it. The rear of the home boasts a multitude of frames for that scenery, whether it’s multi-depth bays of picture windows, the wide screened-in porch and elevated deck, or the sheltered patio, there’s barely a corner of the home that doesn’t soak in those views.

The use of stained cedar wrapped beams, stained cedar tongue and groove for the hallway and vertical board and batten create a truly custom space.

“Terry gave us a view everywhere you look,” Becky said. Their first visit to the house with the full family in tow confirmed it. “I knew he did a great job when everyone thought they had the best view from their room.”
But then, with the Kimble house, Rosser found himself at a distinct advantage, as he lives on the same marsh. “I always look at a house or a property as if it would be my house,” he said. “I can see their porch from mine, and they can see my porch from theirs.”

Whether it’s an oceanfront view or a marsh front view, Rosser has made it his signature to draw that scenery in through his designs. That’s not to say the Kimble house was easy. “The property has a very small lot, so it was a bit of a challenge to get what they wanted,” he said.

Part of that challenge came in raising the grade to meet the new standards set by FEMA while satisfying the notoriously strict Sea Pines architectural standards. Several designs for the front of the house were rejected for one reason or another, generally because it simply looked too tall.

A unique and creative custom concrete mantle was used to soften the space while faux finishing the wood work above to create a timeless look and feel.

“We had to squeeze a lot in, but there are several tricks to that,” said Rosser. “For example, instead of a straight vertical wall, you put in smaller elements, smaller roof forms, and changing elements that make
it appear shorter.”

The result is the architecturally intriguing façade of the home, where varied roof lines and a blend of shingled and board-and-batten exteriors dazzle. It’s tall, but thanks to Rosser’s expertise it’s not imposing
and still meets the famed Sea Pines mandate, established by Charles Fraser, that homes complement their surroundings.

It also boasts a pair of Eden Coast garage doors with gel stain finish, courtesy of Tyler Clark at Hilton Head Garage Doors.

The use of a bold center island color opposite of the main cabinetry creates interest and pulling your eye to the “Blue Tides” granite that was leathered finished.

“It’s the vision of both the homeowner and the architect that we work within, bringing those visions to a tangible creation,” Clark said. “A front-loaded garage door adds a lot of curb appeal and beauty to a home, and
I think we achieved this perfectly here. The marsh views not only dictated the design of the home, they also informed the rich color scheme. In much the same way as the tide changes a marsh’s character throughout the day, these colors manifest themselves in a variety of ways through-out the home.

“Don and I love the color of the marsh. When you look out, you see all those colors…. When we picked out the kitchen island, we tried to pull some of that out-side in. Downstairs you see darker blues because I feel like you see those across the marsh.”

Taking a strong hand in the home’s marsh-inspired color scheme, Becky enlisted the help of Alison Fargione of Al & Harry’s Home Fashions to find furnishings and colors that fit the bill. With each project Fargione undertook, whether it was the painted TV cabinets in the living room orthe powder room, each presented its own chance for artistic expression.

This screen porch offers exposed ceiling rafters which were stained while housing a cupola in the center to allow for natural light to flood down and through.

“She wanted the feel of a marsh,” Fargione said. “So, there are three or four colors layered in there: umber, blue green, light green … lots of layers” Becky and Fargione worked hand-in-hand bringing these outside colors in, plus pulling inspiration from elements already in place. A rug from John Kilmer inspired the colors on the TV cabinet. The vanity in the powder room drew colors from the eye-catching tile work. “I worked really well with her,” Fargione said. I got a good feel for her, and I think she felt confident and knew I was on the same page. “
If you ask Becky, that partnership was definitely reciprocal. “She’s so talented,” Becky said. “She never pushed anything on me. We really worked together.”

In all aspects of the home, the ability to create partnership was essential, as the Kimbles were working on their new house remotely from their home in Ohio. “We’ve built seven homes, but this was the first time working remotely; working with Rhett Jeffcoat was the best experience we’ve ever had,” Don said.

“As with all of our homes, quality was of the utmost importance for all aspects of this build,” Jeffcoat said. That quality isn’t just about building a home that looks magnificent in photos (which this one, quite obviously, does). It’s also about building a home that will stand the test of time while advancing the art of building healthy homes.
“Creating a healthy and energy efficient home was also paramount and why special steps were taken to have a fully spray-foam insulated home with high SEER rating HVAC units, make up air kits for fresh air, and dehumidifier systems to name a few,” Jeffcoat said. “With the harsh elements we have to deal with in our Lowcountry environment, creating a healthy and energy-efficient home is how we help our clients create
a sustainable home to last a lifetime.”

Keeping the worst part of the elements out, while inviting the best parts of the elements in, is a delicate balancing act. But it’s one that makes this Sea Pines home truly extraordinary. 

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