Searching for Low Country Style

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.

Low country marshlands

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.  Searching for low country style

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.  Unique front porch with blue ceiling

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.  Unique Garden GateI 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.   low country style architecture

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.Charming small chapel for weddingsThis 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.  Front Porch with a bed swingA 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.  Single house with double porchesFans 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.   double porches with shuttersOne 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.  Low country porch with shuttersI 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!

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  1. Oh how I enjoyed reading this! We too live in Florida (Vero Beach) and also love the charming southern, low country style architecture. Yours is beautiful! So special isn’t it? Can’t wait to have ours. We just bought a lot to build one of these adorable houses on, in Beaufort!
    Thank you for the wonderful post. It was so much fun to read!

    1. Loved your post. We also live in the low country, McIntosh County and on the marsh. After living in Beaufort, SC for a few years we modeled our tabby home in the low country style and have enjoyed the low country life. I found the haint information interesting, wish we had done that.
      Keep up the great work, I love reading your blogs.

  2. Lovely inspiration, Chloe. One of my sisters lives in Beaufort, and never wants to leave, even though no other family is anywhere within 5 hrs of her. She moved there about 20 yrs ago and just loves it.

  3. I was born and live in the low country and I HATE it! First, the heat. There is one season, hot. I have lived several places and have never met another breed of people like those from the low country, unfriendly, selfish, self-centered, greedy, proud , ignorant and that’s their good points. I must not forget the biggie, inbred.

    1. Oh Daisy, I guess having not lived there and just visited, I have an entirely different perspective. Here in central Florida, I know the heat thing, there is no escaping it!

  4. Lovely! Living in Charleston, I love seeing all of the low country style. Downtown is particularly beautiful. I haven’t spent much time in Beaufort, but my husband works there. We considered both cities when we moved to SC years ago. Charleston won out over Beaufort for us, but I know there are lots of beautiful places there as well. It’s great that you have some low country style in your Florida home.

  5. I love the history you wove into this post. I had no idea all those southern porches were warding off evil spirit. I always thought it was to be the sky—grins, lovely post here, Chloe, thanks, Sandi

  6. Thanks for sharing your trip to the low country. We visited Savannah and Charleston for the first time last May and I fell in love with them both. We don’t have a porch here, but I can dream of lounging on the front porch bed. We also go to New Orleans every year after Christmas. We’ll have to visit about that sometime. I would love to visit Beaufort because it was home to Pat Conroy, one of very favorite authors.

  7. As I remember, you live in Celebration, a lovely front porch community. Been there a number of times.
    Living in Richmond a number of years, I remember second story sleeping porches on a lot of homes. It was hard before air conditioning even with big covered porches on Victorian homes.
    Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

    1. Oh, Myrna, you remember well. I remember visiting a summer community called Lakeside in Ohio where there were sleeping porches on most of the homes. What a dreamy way to drift off to sleep on a warm summer night.

  8. I find Beaufort to be very friendly and all the history there is wonderful to hear about and to experience some of it. Yes, they have hot weather but there is A/C, and if you live along most coast lines, you expect it to be uncomfortable at times. But, they don’t have 8 – 10 inches of snow so you take the good and the bad. I live in the Upstate of S.C. and we like to go to Charleston, Beaufort, and Savannah to visit. We all like to pretend and to me being in those towns makes me close my eyes and do just that. I can picture Rhett Butler coming to take me to dinner at a lovely restaurant somewhere in the middle of Live Oak trees with song birds flying along our path. To each his own, but for me, I could swing on a front porch in Beaufort many times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  9. The stories and traditions are just as interesting as the architecture. These homes are beautiful and I really miss having a large porch. When I was little we always had one and I didn’t really appreciate it. This is a beautiful part of the country and I hope to one day visit.

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