Chateau in the Carolinas
Steps from the Lowcountry shores, a client’s beloved antiques collection guides Huff-Dewberry’s design of a worldly home
It’d be easy to mistake Pamela Harrington’s home as a sun-dappled chateau tucked into France’s rolling countryside. But its stateside, Lowcountry setting in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, specifically makes it all the more intriguing.
Authentic French details, from stone floors to antique doors—coupled with expansive views of South Carolina’s famed salt marshes through steel windows—offer a juxtaposition of sorts; a contrast that captures the best of Harrington’s worlds.
While Kiawah Island is home base for her family and business (she founded her successful real estate firm, Pam Harrington Exclusives, in 1978), France speaks to Harrington’s sense of adventure. Her love affair with the country’s Provençal charms began decades ago on a trip with her husband Monte. She’s since returned to France yearly, each time bringing back home an antique memento (or three).
“Pam loves to find the diamond in the rough,” says her go-to designer Will Huff of Huff-Dewberry, Inc. “She’s always on the hunt and it’s not unusual for me to get a call from Pam while I’m out hiking on the weekend to ask my opinion on a chair she’s fallen in love with at a Parisian market.”
The call Huff received from Harrington about three years ago though wasn’t about any one antique in particular, but rather all of her antiques. After Monte’s passing, Harrington wished to downsize and called upon Huff’s expertise once again.
“It took several visits to Pam’s old home to take a full inventory of her [art and antiques] collection and it was fun to hear the story behind each piece; whether she got it when she was with her husband or friends, or she had previously worked with Dan Carithers, so they purchased many antiques together as well,” recalls Huff.
With this home boasting a smaller footprint, space planning was paramount to incorporate as many pieces as possible, chiefly those that held sentimental value. A beloved three-panel 1780s tapestry, for example, graces the dining room and when one antique armoire couldn’t fit into the new home’s layout, the doors were utilized as access to an attic storage space.
Many of the home’s doors—front, master bedroom, wine room, among others—are stately antique pieces that further enhance the idea that the home’s been plucked straight from the green hills of Bordeaux. Toiles, checks and other fabrics throughout the home further speak to the French design vernacular.
Fittingly, the exterior boasts equal appeal. “We wanted the home to feel approachable and not too formal,” says Huff. To that end, in lieu of centrally located grand front doors, guests make their way through the front garden, being greeted by classical statues and then stepping through an archway onto a petite side-entry porch decorated with an antique console, mirror and porcelains. “You feel like you’re in this cozy little nook,” explains Huff. “It wasn’t designed to ‘wow’ you as much as it was to make you feel comfortable. Entering the home through the gardens makes you feel like you’re discovering the home; there’s something magical and very charming to it.”