Sometimes the best way to create your dream home is to build it. This is especially true if you are building the house your kids will grow up in, and it’s on one of the most scenic plots of land in the Lowcountry. Located on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, this remarkable coastal transitional home was designed by architect Carl McCants of Mc3 Designs and built by King & Society Construction.
McCants is known for designing homes that reimagine traditional beach house style. His homes read as timeless instead of trendy, with dramatic overhangs, a blend of exterior materials and varying elevations and bump-outs. McCant’s design was brought to life by the construction arm of King & Society, a powerhouse team led by the company’s director of construction, Trae Redmond. As a Citadel graduate and combat veteran with a Master of Science degree in project management and leadership, a PMP certification and a Graduate Master Builder, Redmond takes respect, communication and creative problem-solving to another level. To him, obstacles are opportunities, which is a superpower in the construction world these days.
The clients asked McCants and Redmond for an open floor plan home that would be cozier and more functional than traditional open plans. They also wanted to bend the design around their lifestyle; the family has three young daughters, so room for the girls to play together while still having their own space was essential. They also wanted a laundry room on both floors—one for the primary bedroom and one upstairs near the girls’ bedrooms—a guest suite with a private entrance and a home office with an exterior door so guests arriving for meetings wouldn’t have to walk through the family’s personal space.
What McCants designed and Redmond and his team built is a stunning, 4,976-square-foot dream home with five bedrooms, five and a half baths and a separate guest suite connected to the main house by a covered porch. From the outside, the new home looks as if it’s been there for decades; varying rooflines and elevations make it seem as if it’s been added on to over time.
Inside, the calming, contemporary design has subtle surprises in every room. “What we were trying to stay away from is getting lost in cream and white. We wanted to give the space character, so we pushed the envelope on the design a little bit,” Redmond says.
Our first surprise is in the entry, where the Caribbean heart pine floor has been hand-painted in a harlequin pattern using tinted sealer to bring out the character of the wood. The spacious entry leads to the open-plan great room, kitchen and dining room, which has incredible views of ancient live oaks and Shem Creek.
In the kitchen, the island, painted “Citadel Blue” as an homage to the homeowner’s alma mater, provides extra seating and plenty of work spaces. Vintage-inspired table legs and pendant lights and an antiqued mirrored backsplash give the room an elegant French brasserie vibe. Behind the kitchen, a scullery provides extra storage and a second work space for entertaining.
The primary downstairs bedroom is right-sized to be roomy without feeling cavernous. Besides the view, the show-stealer in this home just may be the primary bathroom, with its combination of varying marble tile, crisp white his-and-her vanities, an elegant linen closet and a grand soaking tub built into a niche under the window.
Also downstairs is a laundry room connected to generous his-and-her closets, an elegant powder room, a mudroom with built-in storage cubbies for each girl and the homeowner’s office. His office is comfortable and functional, with grasscloth wallpaper, shiplap vaulted ceilings, built-in cabinets, a wet bar and a separate exterior entry for guests.
The upstairs is a haven for the three daughters, with flexible design elements meant to grow with them. Each of the girls has her bedroom and bath, and each got to pick her paint color. Including kids in design decisions is something King & Society is noted for. “When there are kids involved, we let them come in and write their names on the stud walls, or quotes or whatever they want. They can take part in making decisions about their rooms. Then, they watch the house go from empty space to final product, so it’s fun for them too,” Redmond says.
Near the kids’ bedrooms is an expansive playroom with built-in cabinets, shelving, a snug window seat and a TV. The girls also have their own desks where they can do craft projects now and homework when the time comes. As they grow, the room can change from a playroom to a teenager-friendly living room.
Outside, the family wanted to focus on having a place to enjoy the outdoors year-round. The rear of the home faces Shem Creek and features an outdoor living area downstairs and a more private sitting area on the second floor. The pool, a collaboration with Atkinson Pools, is a modified L shape with a portion tucked in the shade under the house. “I was born and raised in Charleston,” Redmond says. “In July and August, you don’t want to be in full sun—even in the pool. Having a little shade in the summer keeps the outdoor space comfortable when it’s really hot.” A grill, sink and beverage center make this the perfect place to enjoy the view for casual lunches and dinners. Infrared outdoor heaters that are designed to heat objects, not the air, keep the patio functional into the fall and winter.
Building a home always has challenges, but Redmond and his team never take their eyes off the ball. “Whether we’re building for ourselves, our family, friends or someone we’ve just met, there is not a difference in how we treat our clients. Everything we do has an integrity-based litmus test; it makes a big difference and makes the experience enjoyable,” Redmond says.
Robin Howard is a freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at robinhowardwrites.com.