In one residence at the southern tip of Hilton Head in South Carolina, the comforts of home are on impressively seductive display. Chicago-based interior designer Suzanne Lovell was responsible for it—she executed a nine-month renovation of the property, including its outdoor spaces. Lovell was more than up to the task, thanks in part to her pre-existing relationship with the clients (she also designed their home in Lincoln Park, Illinois).
Upon entering this warm-weather retreat—far from the icy winters of the Midwest—several details immediately stand out: a covered brick patio that overlooks the dunes, a tidy stand of palm trees and a boardwalk that slopes down to the Atlantic, the sublime primary bedroom suite, and the massive kitchen, notable for its warmth. All in all, it’s a “lovely life,” Lovell says of the routines made possible by this home’s design.
Grass cloth and hemp may be popular today, but Lovell used simple poplar shiplap, painted white for its flexibility, on nearly every room in the house. “We used it horizontally and vertically to connect it to the house’s pine beams,” she says. “It created a dynamic and architectural language that is consistent while also bringing a fresh energy to the house.”
The great room possesses a sense of depth, thanks in part to its network of pine beams that supports the ceiling and one of the home’s blackened steel fireplaces, which is flanked by Grigio Alpi brushed limestone. “[It] is light and bright with natural textures and modern patterns,” Lovell says of the interior. “The space feels at once luxurious and relaxed.”
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She also hired some of her favorite designers, such as Christian Astuguevieille, to spruce up individual rooms, and asked for input when tackling one of the guest bedrooms. “We invited the clients’ children into our process for their spaces, so we were able to create these fun suites for them,” Lovell says.
The Hilton Head home is also notable for its bounty of original art. Lovell and her team were instrumental in helping the owners curate its many paintings, even traveling to Ireland to work with sculptor Joseph Walsh, who was commissioned to create a cabinet for the family’s dinnerware. Paintings by Christopher LeBrun, Mark Francis, and Celia Paul, among others, bring the colors of the sea indoors. “We were buying paintings and furniture as the architecture was happening,” Lovell says.
And yet, it just might be the house’s surrounding nature that makes for its most compelling element. Indeed, lounging on the patio and listening to the waves break against the shore seems like a perfect way to spend an afternoon. And luckily, the house is outfitted with hurricane glass, and the outdoor furniture is easily stored in sheds. “It’s a very big protected area with eaves,” Lovell says. “It’s light, bright, and happy.”