House Tour: Returning to the Original

Built more than 150 years ago, this three-story riverside house in Georgia was the perfect choice as this active family's vacation home. But before they could enjoy the locale, the homeowners needed to uncover the home's original bones and bring it back to its natural state.

Riverside Haven

Built in 1859, this three-story clapboard house received a thoughtful renovation and tailored makeover after an unfortunate '90s addition complete with overly formal decorating. The renovated 3-acre homestead redefines its natural and rustic cottage style with a muted palette and varied textures.

A Breath of Green

Covered porches flank the entrance, creating a shady place to dine outdoors on a mix of wicker and wood furnishings. Well-worn red brick and a large lantern atop the table cast a nostalgic and serene atmosphere.

Natural Vintage

Heart pine floors and soapstone countertops in the kitchen resonate with the home’s vintage roots. Airy open shelving replaced upper cabinets. The pine table was handcrafted for the space, surrounded by relaxed seating, and mustard yellow accents spice up the neutral interior.

Humble Handicraft

Two French doors lead from the kitchen to the calm and inviting dining room. A hand-painted mural of a waterfront view creeps along the walls. With its exposed ceiling, handmade table, and old Savannah-style mantel, the simple setting bears a rough elegance.  

Natural Draw

Nature inspired every color in the house. Subtle shades of green are drawn from the river, Spanish moss, and marsh plants found on the property. Warm tones of saffron, sienna, and ocher play well with textured linens in shades of wet sand and driftwood. Hand-forged iron lighting on the ceiling and flanking the fireplace adds exquisite appeal and the weight of history to the living room.

Raised and Reclaimed

In the part of the home that was added in the 1990s, the homeowners replaced the out-of-place drop ceiling with exposed beams. The new lofty ceiling is clad in tongue-and-groove pine from the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Louisville. French doors open the room to the outdoors, and in the bar area, bold coral lamps and a crab trap suspended from an exposed beam enhance the relaxed coastal Georgia style.

Study in History

An opened-up ceiling and rustic plank walls add character to the study. Comfortable chairs are clustered around the fireplace, while vintage tortoise shells adorn the wall, hinting at the home’s riverside roots.

Rustic Refined

In the master bedroom, burnt orange accessories are balanced by a calm driftwood color scheme. Details, such as the carved posts on the bed frame, the patchwork rug, and embellished linens, give a layer of refinement to the rustic room.

Breeze In

A pair of beds in the guest bedroom are positioned in front of the windows to catch the breeze, an old Southern tradition. The modern iron frames juxtapose the old-time planked walls and wood floors, as well as the nubby texture found on the rug, benches, and even the bedding.

Touchable Texture

The guesthouse is all about texture. A woven hemp bed and an interlaced beige carpet mingle with the distressed finish on the dresser and the salvaged beams on the ceiling, lending a weather-beaten, at-the-beach feel.

Gather Around

For historical accuracy, the new storage structure was designed to look like an 1850s smokehouse and was built with a mix of stone and old Savannah gray brick. Shaded by live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, family and friends gather around the outdoor fire pit to roast oysters.

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