West Coast interior design meets East Coast tranquility in this Daniel Island custom home

by DANA W. TODD / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

Interior designer Trudie Krawcheck worked with the homeowner to choose and customize the rugs in each room, which were the springboard to the entire home’s design.

The homeowners of this peaceful Daniel Island home have a history of living on the water. From Lake Norman just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Wild Dunes, water defines their homeownership story during the years they were raising a family. Now with two grown daughters, the couple decided it was time to build a home with every detail they desired for this stage of their lives. With experience building and renovating five times over the years, they understood the process and wanted a clean slate with a fresh look and feel and all-new furnishings for the home.

“The home my husband and I planned included one floor for us to live on plus an upstairs with an elevator for guests,” says the homeowner. “We like to spread out on a single floor with the outside living connected to the interiors. We chose Daniel Island for more of a neighborhood feel with fewer tourists and found a quiet marsh lot on which Axon Homes constructed a custom home that we could design and furnish exactly as we wished.”

The homeowner worked with the builder to choose hard surface finishes such as countertops and flooring and sourced her own lighting. She then called designer Trudie Krawcheck of Southeastern Galleries while the home was still in the framing stage. Krawcheck had designed a previous home for the owner, so she felt confident Krawcheck could deliver a new flavor for this next home. “Trudie has a magic touch. I like to say she ‘trudifies’ a home,” says the homeowner. “I trust her style. She brings in a cheery vibe in my taste. She is so fun to work with, and I can rely on her to touch and feel materials and make decisions in my absence.”

Like the remainder of the home, the kitchen’s color palette consists of gray, white and cream.

Krawcheck employs a tried-and-true linear design process that is proprietary to her project management methodology. She leaned on that process to design the home, starting by hand-drawing plans on paper the old-school way. “It’s a better way to see and feel the home, including details such as egress, ingress and fabric patterns,” Krawcheck says. “By drawing the plans to scale, we can easily see the paths of movement throughout the home and quickly understand the size of furnishings needed in each room. My clients tease me about my A-B-C process, but if we go through that process in order, we end up with a happy homeowner.”

After initial drawings, Krawcheck worked with the homeowner to choose and customize the rugs in each room, which were the springboard to the entire home’s design. She chose fully custom hand-knotted rugs for the main living room and primary bedroom and customized cost-sensitive broadloom rugs for other areas, such as the guest bedrooms. Southeastern Galleries has deep industry expertise in specifying and sourcing fully custom rugs as well as semi-custom options such as broadlooms, which can be specified to the inch. In the dining room, for instance, Southeastern Galleries sourced a special broadloom patterned floor covering and specified it to be custom cut with clipped corners as a special touch.

After finding the upholstered sofa frame for the living room, the sofa’s legs were customized and the upholstery fabric was chosen, as were the number of cushions and the throw pillows.

Similarly, while Krawcheck chose unique fabrics to design custom bed coverings for the primary bedroom, she dressed guest beds with linens from luxury linen companies such as Ann Gish and only customized some of the bedding’s details. “Everything doesn’t have to be fully custom. We can special order some linens, which are quicker to ship than full custom designs,” Krawcheck explains.

Through relationships with a wide range of vendors whose furnishings are displayed in its 30,000-square-foot showroom, Southeastern Galleries can handle a range of homeowner budgets by mixing and matching stock, semi-custom and fully custom furnishings. “We visited the showroom, sat in chairs and decided how to customize them for this house,” says the homeowner. “I wasn’t necessarily interested in customizing furniture just for the sake of it being custom. I chose some fully custom and some off-the-floor furnishings.”

The VMA-301 Wren two-door cabinet is crafted with walnut hardwood solids and starburst ofram veneers.

“They visited the showroom, found the upholstered sofa frame they found comfortable for lounging in the living room, and then we customized the finish of the legs, chose the fabric upholstery and the number of cushions, and specified the throw pillows,” Krawcheck says. “At Southeastern Galleries, homeowners can customize to the nth degree down to the style of the arms and back of the furniture if they want to.”

Next in the process, Krawcheck took samples of the surface finishes provided by the homeowner and shopped for the newest offerings at the furniture market. She also curated original artwork from an art show hosted at Southeastern Galleries for the most visible spots in the home and sourced giclée prints for other areas, finding just the right touches to create the coastal California style the homeowner requested. “We have a daughter who lives in California and really like the West Coast style,” the homeowner says. “It’s warm but still modern and clean. We wanted that look for our home.”

Original artwork was curated from an art show hosted at Southeastern Galleries for the most visible spots in the home, while sourced giclée prints worked for other areas to create the coastal California style the homeowner requested.

To achieve the bones of the look, the design and construction team mixed white oak flooring with a hint of gray and a soothing, neutral color palette of light gray, white and cream with touches of dark brown and caramel. Krawcheck pulled colors from a luxury Sherwin-Williams paint collection called the Emerald Designer Edition, a curated palette inspired by designers of 200 whites and neutrals that cover the walls in a flawless, ultra-durable finish. She chose furniture and accessories with clean lines and neutral colors, with just a hint of luxurious glamour.

Two important spaces to the homeowners—the wine room and outdoor living—received special attention from Krawcheck to bring in the furnishings to make them comfortable for whiling away hours of free time. “Wine is our passion, and this house has the first proper wine room we have ever had,” says the homeowner.

Guest rooms are streamlined and peaceful, with neutral color palettes, plenty of texture and small pops of color.

“We designed a wing dedicated to their passion for wine,” says Krawcheck. “We added seating for family and friends to gather and enjoy wine in a long glass wine room that holds many bottles of their favorites.” A gray leather Chesterfield sofa sits in front of the glass doors leading to the room, beckoning guests to enjoy an upscale experience. Krawcheck chose nubuck chairs with a sueded leather texture to highlight the brass in the room. The wine room is near the sitting room, where guests can mingle and relax in overflow seating. A built-in bar in the sitting room also makes that space a place where guests naturally want to gather to enjoy good drinks and camaraderie.

While a wine room was requisite for the homeowners, they also wanted a pool for family and friends to gather outside. An elevated pool off of the dining room on the main level answered the call for outdoor living, with durable Summer Classics chaise lounges customized in an onyx finish that blend with the steel windows and doors separating the indoor and outdoor spaces.
A comfortable deep-seat sofa and chairs on the nearby screened porch pull up to an outdoor fireplace. Teak chairs and ottomans provide private seating for the couple in another screened porch accessed off of the primary suite.

The master bedroom features the Novella bed from Hickory White in white sand and night tables with Carrara marble tops. The hand-knotted rug is from Tamarian and the lamps are Visual Comfort. The chaise lounge is Mr. and Mrs. Howard custom fabric and finish, and the coverlet on the bed is Eastern Accents. European pillows by Lee Jofa, decorative pillows from D.V. Kap and a custom boudoir pillow with Anna French fabric complete the room.

And while the home boasts many spots for relaxation, there also is a home office outfitted to the nines for those days when a little work must get done. A kitchenette in the office provides a place to grab a cup of coffee. Dramatic artwork and a luxurious marble conference table make the workdays a little more pleasant. Krawcheck chose a pair of filing cabinets, pushing them together to function as a credenza.

“It was a joy to see it all come together, from paper drawings to the homeowners’ vision,” says Krawcheck. “Our past working relationship made it very easy for me to make choices since I know what energizes them. There was that level of trust between us that allowed me to choose details that I knew they would find appealing and would work to achieve their desired style.”

An elevated pool off of the dining room on the main level answers the call for outdoor living. Summer Classics chaise lounges customized in an onyx finish blend with the steel windows and doors separating the indoor and outdoor spaces.

“This was a fabulous experience from beginning to end,” says the homeowner. “Southeastern Galleries is very easy to work with, and I love that they can work within any budget. I had some inspiration photos, but once I got started with Trudie, I didn’t need them. She went the extra mile to do things like pick up paintings from local art shows that would work in our home. This is just a well put together home. There are a lot of happy spaces here.” *

Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and fine art.

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