House Tour: Coastal Chic

This Greenville, SC, designer brings her signature style to a coastal retreat.

When Greenville-based, interior designer Michele Johnson of Michele Johnson Interior Design was approached by her clients to completely overhaul a beach home in the Isle of Palms, she jumped at the chance.

Getting to design, source, and style every element from the flooring to the dishes is a designer’s dream, and Johnson has earned that level of trust from her clients during her 20-plus years in the industry. “Creating a space where my clients can relax, recover, and retreat from the hurried pace of their busy lives is so rewarding,” shares Johnson.

Located near Charleston, South Carolina, this beach home, built in the early 2000s, was in desperate need of an overhaul. Johnson and her team were able to take the dark and dated home down almost to the studs, and rebuild a fresh, clean, relaxing, and surprisingly family friendly retreat. “I was pleasantly surprised that the client was completely on board with going mostly white throughout the home. To keep things from feeling too stark or sterile, we used elements of brass, browns, and natural materials,” explains Johnson.

coastal chic

Durable, kid-friendly fabrics and materials that required minimal upkeep were a necessity for the beach home. Nothing could be too precious or serious…balanced and polished, but still appropriate for a family of six.

Sitting at the water’s edge, the views from the living room are allowed to take center stage, with furnishings and artwork playing a supporting role. The sectional is finished in a performance fabric with a subtle geometric pattern that adds a modern edge, and helps disguise wear and tear, “You can hop on it in a swimming suit and not panic,” laughs Johnson.

In the center of the room, above the large jute rug, a leather ottoman serves as a space to restsandy toes or play board games, which are hidden from view in a bleached wood console. Two hair-on-hide pillows with a leather welt sit atop the high-back wicker chairs. The lounge chair is finished in a pale blue Belgian linen. Johnson adds, “The entire palette of the room mimics the colors of the coast.”

A delicate plaster wreath-like lighting fixture softens the lines of the ceiling without impeding the view of the ocean.

coastal chic

In the kitchen, an oversized hood elevates the entire space and is balanced by a pair of Abica rope light fixtures, suspended above the marble island. Marble flows from the countertops, along the backsplash, and even into the oversized apron front sink, a dramatic statement enhanced by the gleaming faucet fixture. Sterling silver appliances play with brass hardware and lighting. “All silver-toned can look too cold, and all gold-toned can feel too trendy or even gaudy—mixing metals feels timeless,” advises Johnson.

coastal chic

The open floating shelves are adorned with dinnerware and glasses, kept within the strict white and wood palette. A quirky lamp in the corner brings a warm glow at night or early morning.

coastal chic

For the primary bedroom, Johnson created an oasis for the parents of four, playing with patterns and scale. “High end doesn’t have to be formal—you can have fun and add some whimsy.”

The headboard of the custom poster bed was finished in a ZAK+FOX textile, with a grid-like pattern forged from iron on the footboard. The snake print by Schumacher slithers across the pillows, resting atop the pair of swivel chairs in Belgian linen, a surprisingly durable material.

The oversized plaster lamps juxtapose natural materials with modern lines. Roman shades in a woven wood block out sunlight and neighbors while lending another natural element to the room, and echo the warm tones of the worn-leather footrest.

In the playroom, to add a touch of personalization, Johnson had swimming trunks that once belonged to the twin boys, suspended in lucite frames. The orange of the trunks is repeated in the oversized pillows with a black and white diamond-pattered material gracing the edges. Both fabrics are by Schumacher.

Cartoonish lamps watch over games of bingo. A concrete table appears to be growing up from the ground, anchored by a cream-hued hide and rounded poofs, created from outdoor performance fabric.

If this style resonates with you and you’re considering going with an all-white home, follow Johnson’s advice: “Rely on heavy textures and organic elements. Add touches of woods, wicker, and leather to keep the overall feeling warm and inviting.”

~ We shared this story with you in the Summer 2023 issue of NEST Magazine. To subscribe to NEST Magazine, click here  — and be sure to follow us on Instagram @NestRealty


Spread the love

Written by
Posted in Asheville, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Jackson, Lake Norman, Morganton, NEST Magazine, New River Valley, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Roanoke, Shenandoah Valley, Summer 2023, Wilmington
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments closed

Comments are closed.

Join our Newsletter