Adding coastal styling transforms a Tuscan mansion


For Linda and Jim Flannery creating a Tuscan mansion on Kiawah Island’s Atlantic coastline was definitely a huge undertaking. As this entrepreneurial couple became immersed in the process, their combined passion flowed into every magnificent detail of their 7,845-square-foot home’s old-world styling. On the day the couple finally pronounced finito, the home was exactly what they envisioned. The only thing missing was a glimpse of Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea from the master suite’s private balcony. But they agreed the expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean was a grand stand-in.

Situated on nearly two lush acres in Kiawah’s exclusive Ocean Palms neighborhood, this three-coat stucco home with private access to a secluded stretch of sandy beach features everything expected in a exquisite Tuscan mansion— sweeping arches, Doric columns and nearly 4,000 square feet of tiled outdoor living space that includes a large pool, covered loggias and a lanai with fireplace.

FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-1The sweeping outdoor space of this Tuscan-style mansion on Kiawah Island received a spring facelift with the addition of furniture from Ro Sham Beaux’s own Sullivan Collection. The home was designed by Christopher Rose Architects.
FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-2The light-filled foyer includes a custom-painted cabinet as well as a work of abstract art that incorporates a sea fan, both created for the space by Susan Bishop of Bishop & Company.
FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-3Kim Rayburn assembled a talented team of creative women to handle the home’s redesign in record time. Team members include: Mendy McGuire of Charleston Luxury Interiors, Kim Rayburn of Charleston Luxury Interiors, Ann Yancy of Ro Sham Beaux, Sally Bennett of Mirth Studios, and homeowner Linda Flannery.

Inside, the five-bedroom, eight-bath home overflows with stained wooden-beamed ceilings, Jerusalem Gold tile flooring and wrought-iron details. The home also includes a stylish kitchen designed for a family that loves to cook together. Two Miele dishwashers, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a six-burner Wolf range help make preparation and cleanup a breeze. A library, office, four-car garage and 600-bottle-capacity wine cellar rank among the home’s many other extraordinary assets.

The Flannerys recently decided it was time to move on to their next grand plan. That’s when this busy couple turned to Charleston Luxury Interiors. “The couple designed the house and chose all the gorgeous furnishings,” states Kim Rayburn, an interior designer and owner of the con- CSD cierge-style design firm. “But when they decided to sell, they realized prospective Kiawah buyers are looking for something with more of a ‘beachy’ feel … something less formal and traditional on the interior.”

FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-4The home’s cozy sitting room opens to a sweeping piazza that captures the breezes off the Atlantic Ocean. Created by Annette Kreck of Southern Shades Custom Interior Fabricators, the linen draperies with Lee Jofa trim blend beautifully with the pillows covered in traditional African mud cloth.
FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-5Furnishings from Ro Sham Beaux sit atop a custom-designed hardwood tile floor created by Sally Bennett of Mirth Studio. The tiles are durable and can be easily removed and reinstalled elsewhere.

Through experience, Rayburn knew that professionally staging a home has a positive effect on a potential buyer’s perspective. But she also knew that staging the Flannery home ahead of the spring market would be challenging. That’s when she asked for a little help from her friends. With the deadline just weeks away, the women she called agreed, “Let’s do this project together.”

While transforming the entire house from traditional Tuscan styling to Mediterranean coastal styling wasn’t possible in the short time frame, the team decided to focus on the first level (of three) and the outdoor living spaces. “We wanted our design to show how the indoors and the outdoors can merge to create that coastal feel buyers are looking for,” explains Rayburn. “That’s where Ann Yancy fit into this project.”

Yancy’s company, Ro Sham Beaux, specializes in unique light fixtures, sustainable furniture and accessories. Drawing items from her King Street store, local outlet and Atlanta showroom, Yancy selected contemporary furnishings for all the outdoor spaces as well as several pieces for the home’s interior makeover.

The team agreed to lean heavily on the dining room to convey the design possibilities for the entire home. Sally Bennett of Mirth Studio designed custom-painted hardwood floor tiles, manufactured locally, for the dining room. These durable, easy-care tiles added warmth to the space while complementing the gold in the existing limestone tiles that flow throughout the home’s first level.

Rayburn also worked closely with fabricator Annette Kreck of Southern Shades Custom Interior Fabricators (, who handled the upholstery, drapes and pillows, and Susan Bishop of Bishop & Company (bishopandcompany .net), who created abstract art for the space.

“It was fun to work with this group of creative and talented women,” concludes Rayburn. “I think the final result speaks for itself.”

Patra Taylor is a full-time freelance writer in Mount Pleasant. Find out more at

FeatureChasLuxInteriorsVer3-Image-6The team added enough comfortable outdoor furniture to entertain a crowd on this 1,700-square-foot deck that features a swimming pool with spa and a cast-iron railing that blends with the island’s natural flora.
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