Searching for Low Country Style
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My husband had business up in Beaufort, South Carolina so we took advantage of the weekend to get some inspiration for Low Country style ideas for our home and do some shopping, too! I thought I would get inspired, I had no idea how much! If you have never been to the Low Country, and it is within your scope of travel, I highly recommend a trip in your future.
The Low Country is the geographic and cultural area of South Carolina, North Georgia and the islands off of the coasts there. One automatically thinks about the historic cities of Savannah and Charleston, both of which I had previously visited. This trip took me to Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort and I really look forward to spending more time in this area.
The marshes like above are indicative of the Low Country. The tide comes in and goes out and the marshland fills with water and then drains as the tide goes out.
I wanted to come and absorb some of the style of the Low Country all because of this house we bought nearly two years ago. Even though I am land locked in central Florida, our home was built in the Low Country coastal style. Like this home lovely home in the Palmetto Bluff neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina, our house has deep covered and raised porches.
Also at Palmetto Bluff, this home featured a round addition to the porch to welcome guests. All of the streetlights and porch lights here as well as many in Charleston and Savannah are gaslights. These add such charm. A few of the homes in our neighborhood have gaslights and I know my husband would love to have them on our front porch. I have always loved secret gardens or courtyards. Perhaps this goes back to when I lived in New Orleans as a child. I love that little peek you can get into that secret place beyond the garden gates. Strolling around Charleston and Savannah you will find so many interesting gates giving just a glimpse of the cloistered world beyond.
Tabby is another thing you see all over the low country. Tabby is a concrete made by burning oyster shells for the lime and then mixing them with more broken oyster shells, water, sand and ash. Above you can see it used for a front walk along with some old brick for interest.This pretty little chapel in Palmetto Bluff is not particularly low country in style. I found it charming, and in this picture, you can see, that even though it is daylight, the gas streetlight is burning. They burn day and night, they aren’t as easy to switch on and off as an electric light, but they are so historic in feeling and style. In Charleston you will see many of them on homes. A common feature of the architecture of the low country is deep covered porches. I am so blessed to have both a covered front and back porch. The purpose of these porches is to shade the interior of the homes during the long hot summers, and of course sitting out on the porch to catch the evening breezes is a southern pleasure. Do you see the hanging bed swing? I love these and would like to have one on my porch. Fans on the porch will make it even more enjoyable during the sultry summer weather. The moving air of the fans will also help to ward off mosquitos. The blue traditionally painted on the roofs of porches is haint blue. Haint blue can be anything from a aqua, periwinkle, blue -green or robin’s egg blue. The fable is that “haints” are restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on to the afterlife. Painting the underside of the porch roof in haint blue is a way to protect you from those evil spirits. One cannot forget the shutters featured on homes in the low country. Shutters are great for protecting windows from threatening hurricanes, and on the porch like above, they can help offer some additional shade from summer’s heat. I really hope to incorporate some shutters outside of the faux ones used simply for decor on the windows on my front porch and on my small dormer windows. I know we will be painting our porch roof haint blue, and a fresh paint job with a new color palette will be coming to my house soon! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the low country, I will share more about the great chandelier we found on our adventure soon!