Colorful Rooms Invigorate A Casual Sullivan’s Island Home


sullivans island

A vibrant, vintage-inspired home on Sullivan's Island provides the backdrop for a Charleston couple's more leisurely lifestyle.

The hallway leading to the living room of this Sullivan's Island residence signals the whimsical tone designer Angie Hranowsky used throughout the home. A console is draped with Hunt Slonem's Monsterra fabric for Lee Jofa, accented with amethyst Samuel & Sons' Aquitaine fringe. A Serge Roche-style mirror and bentwood Thonet chairs add to the playful feel.

In the entryway, a colorful flat-weave runner from ABC Carpet & Home in New York provided the jumping-off point for the home's design. A rose-dyed turned spindle chair and cane-back bench--both vintage--are perfect perches for slipping on shoes on the way out the door. The patterned bench cushion fabric is Katherine Rally's Monaco in Bougainvillea.

Jayson Home's Kennedy sofa, covered in denim-colored linen, nestles into a bay window adjacent to the dining area. The throw pillows are covered in Walter G's Antique China Blues linen. The vintage swiveling rattan chairs were reupholstered in Peter Fasano's plum Sarpa linen, purchased through Ainsworth-Noah in Atlanta.

A Nobilis wallpaper with a woodgrain effect covers the ceiling of both the living and dining areas and is "the first thing everybody notices," Hranowsky says. The custom walnut dining table, surrounded by a sextet of Møller's teak-framed side chairs, features a marble lazy Susan insert at center--one of the husband's suggestions. A Danish-modern teak-and-white glass chandelier hangs above.

A hand-troweled wall treatment by Suzanne Allen Studio swaths the TV room in soothing turquoise. Vintage Milo Baughman Cube Scoop chairs--upholstered in Lulu DK's lively Catwalk fabric--join Montauk's Harris sofa atop a vintage Beni Ourain souk rug. A melange of 20th-century modern art enhances the pattern play.

A concrete-topped custom teak table and matching benches define dining on the porch. Tucked into the corner are RH's Coronado lounge chairs and an accompanying turquoise garden stool by Legend of Asia. "The palette of blue, green and purple ties the porch to the interior, creating a cohesive space for reading, relaxing and, occasionally, working," Hranowsky notes.

The master bedroom's sea grass walls were stenciled in a diamond pattern by Suzanne Allen Studio--a metallic detail that converses with the 19th-century faux bamboo wardrobe from Fritz Porter and draperies made from Muriel Brandolini's Gold fabric. Petrol blue velvet on the vintage chaise tethers the interior to the seascape.

Hranowsky converted an upstairs bedroom into a restful guest retreat, where a rattan folding screen partitions off the sleeping quarters, allowing the room to do double duty as the wife's office. Raoul Textiles' Sari linen unites the headboard, bed skirt, side chair and Roman shades with a single block-print motif, and Serena & Lily's Amagansett Zig side table provides a chic spot for a drink.

Moving invariably offers a chance to start fresh. But that feeling is amplified when the new space marks a complete shift in architectural style. In anticipation of selling their business and embracing a lighter workload, a couple traded in their traditional abode for a more casual one on Sullivan’s Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Thanks to its open floor plan and breezy locale on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway, their new retreat called for a relaxed, fun look.

Departing a traditional white stucco residence was a dramatic change, and the couple’s mostly neutral furnishings didn’t make the transition with much grace. “It was clear the minute we moved our furniture in here that it didn’t fit,” the wife recounts. “I didn’t really know what to do.” So, she turned to the Internet, where a search introduced her to the work of designer Angie Hranowsky. “This is the only client I’ve ever had who found me through a Google search,” says Hranowsky, a Kentucky native who’s called the Charleston area home since 2001.

The project started small: The clients were eager to convert a large first-floor guest bedroom into a TV room, workout space and guest bathroom. They also hoped to have Hranowsky’s input on the downstairs office, living room and dining room. The designer’s eclectic presentations included an array of vintage finds, custom furnishings and colorful art. “I don’t do traditional beach house style,” Hranowsky explains of her globally influenced outlook. Thrilled by the designer’s ideas, the clients ultimately tapped her talents for the revamp of their entire home–from the kitchen and porch to the master bathroom and upstairs bedrooms.

A multi-hued striped runner Hranowsky discovered around the time she was hired sets the tone from the moment one steps over the threshold, and its casual cotton weave signals the home’s playful informality. “It’s really about balance,” the designer says of her ability to harness bold colors. For instance, rich jewel tones in the living room’s chairs, sofa and draperies are tamed by neutral grass-cloth walls and a sisal rug. Corresponding tones in a bright grouping on the opposite side of the adjoined living and dining room also help temper the vibrant hues.

The husband, an engineer by trade, encouraged the project, allaying his wife’s fears when creative risks–like a green faux bois wallpaper on the ceiling–felt overwhelming. His skill set solved two of the home’s most perplexing issues: how to improve the functionality of the oversize custom dining table and how to discretely incorporate a TV into their living room. His clever suggestion of insetting a marble lazy Susan into the center of the table solved the first problem. A French chest that conceals a television was likewise the result of his ingenuity.

With work on the house well underway, the owners decided the surrounding property also would need refining. They brought in landscape architect Brad Mann to sculpt an environment that would feel organic to the marsh-side setting. “It was really about simplifying the landscape,” Mann says. Because a full moon flood tide can fully submerge the backyard, Mann chose plants such as Empire Zoysia, clumping bamboo and Adagio grass that are known for their salt tolerance. Little Gem magnolia trees, Carpet roses and Vitex Chaste trees add soft washes of color. By removing the unruly plants that previously blocked the views, “we just completely opened everything up,” he explains.

The result enhances the owners’ life on the island, where they have the perfect porch from which to enjoy it. “They have views of the water all along the back,” says Hranowsky, who corralled vintage French and contemporary teak chairs around a coffee table with a custom concrete top–all beneath a classic Haint blue ceiling. On mild mornings, when salt breezes blow across the nearby inlet, it’s hard to imagine a better place to sip a cup of coffee. Nor is the location half bad in the evening, with the sun meeting the horizon as pink and golden streaks. “We both love what Angie proposed and we love the way it feels,” the wife says. “Everyone who comes to our home says how amazing it is. It fits us, and we couldn’t be happier here.”