HGTV Dream Home 2004

Located in St. Mary's, Ga., HGTV Dream Home 2004 is an elegant home with a classic blend of Victorian and French country style.

Graceful Staircase

HGTV's Dream Home 2004 has wonderfully relaxing exterior spaces, beginning with the long, shady front porch and its graceful staircase. "I call that my family reunion staircase," says architect Barry Coyle. "I envision the families having their reunion photographs."

The view of the house front makes one appreciate the fine craftsmanship involved with the construction, a task taken on by two friends: Bill Gross and Terry Stover.

Reinforced Pillars

As is common along the coast, the house sits on stilts that raise it above flood level. But these are not ordinary pillars; they are reinforced with steel and finished with 100-year-old brick from North Carolina. Tie-down steel cables run between the studs from floor to ceiling. "The main thing we are trying to accomplish with the tie-down system is to create an anchor system from the foundation through the walls and to the roof," notes Bill.

All 60 windows are durable as well as stylish. "The windows are made of an aluminum exterior, with wood on the inside," Bill says. "The aluminum on the outside is for low maintenance."

Pine Porch

The porch decking is custom-milled tongue-and-groove yellow pine. These boards were designed to meet the demands of coastal weather.

Vintage Columns

The vintage-looking porch columns are state-of-the-art fiberglass, with threaded rods inside for wind protection. The roof is also weather-friendly. The tower and cupola are roofed in metal, while the main roof is clad in an asphalt shingle with Victorian flair. And the cement-based siding is impervious to sun and rain. Even the exterior paint has an additive to make it mildew-resistant.

Innovative breakaway walls give the house a grounded, finished look. The walls literally break away, allowing water to flow underneath without sacrificing the integrity of the main structure.

Versatile Porch

One of the most versatile spaces in the HGTV Dream Home 2004 is the screened veranda. Cool breezes, shade and ceiling fans make the screened-in porch area a perfect destination on a hot Georgia day, and if you love a good thunderstorm, you'll find yourself taking it in here. The screens, which keep summer insects at bay, pop out in a jiffy.

Outdoor Gas Fireplace

One of my favorite elements in the house is the screened-in veranda with the fireplace," says architect Barry Coyle. "It's a perfect place to sit in the evening and it's also the perfect place for breakfast." With one flick of a switch, the gas log fireplace jumps to life.

Perfect for Gatherings

The sturdy teak dining table can seat six - perfect for close friends, wine and plentiful snacks. Three sets of French doors leading to the great room and dining room provide open access for mingling and approaching the expansive view of the adjacent marsh.

Warm and Cozy Entryway

White-on-white walls showcase dark wood furniture that is accented with an inviting floral arrangement, making the entryway warm, cozy and friendly.

Wood Elements

A key aspect of the decor that contributes to the home's Victorian personality is the extensive use of wood. When guests enter, they are immediately introduced to the wainscoting that is prevalent in the house. Much of the wood flooring is reclaimed antique heart pine, and a closer look reveals nail holes from where it was previously used.

Antique Furnishings

Decorating with antique architectural elements really warms up the entryway. There's an old palladium shutter above a rustic wooden shelf supported by antique brackets or corbels.

Rustic Touches

Just past the wooden shelf is a dark accent table and chair contrasting the white wainscoting. Two rustic sconces filled with candles continue that classic styling that is steeped in tradition and contemporary sensibilities.

Inspired by Nature

The striking scenery of the marsh and tidal creek served as inspiration for interior designer Linda Woodrum. "We started with neutral fabric on the upholstery and built from there, which is a great approach to decorating a room when you have something really spectacular you want to enhance." Linda borrowed from the colors and textures of the surrounding marsh grasses, leaves and trees and brought them indoors.

Rich Fabrics and Textures

The upholstered furniture, wainscoting and upper walls are all neutral in color, allowing the outdoors to become the center attraction. But Linda paid particular care to the fabrics and how they contribute to the great room surroundings. "The great herringbone weave, the wonderful chenille on the chair. Just a sort of subtle play of texture-on-texture. It makes it a really rich, comforting room that sets the stage for what's outside."

Built-In Window Seat

A built-in window seat with lots of pillows and two slipper chairs provides an added space to enjoy the view and could prove to be the most popular spot in the entire room. Deep in-wall bookshelves are another vintage touch that allow for one's favorite books and decor.

Red Accents

Not to be ignored is Linda's use of red as a strong accent color with the pillows and the eye-catching furnishing above the fireplace. "The red makes the room come alive and feel alive," Linda says. "The star is such a find. It is such a great thing when you come around the corner, don't know what to expect and you look up and there's a star."

Soaring Ceiling

The plank wood ceiling soars to the second and third floors. Visible from the great room is Dream Home 2004's signature feature: the cupola. Although only a glimpse, the three-floor view will make one's spirit soar.

Simple Yet Elegant Cabinets

Unique to Dream Home 2004 is the furniture-like, custom-built cabinets. The kitchen design theme is built around these large, wonderful and timeless, cabinets crafted by Jerry Boyett.

Ample Storage Space

All the cabinetry, including the center island and the stovetop base, have bracketed feet that integrate well with the Victorian style of the home. All of the pieces have a myriad of drawers and shelves, providing ample space for food and cookware. The stainless-steel appliances are located on one wall (with a dishwasher tucked into the island), giving the kitchen and great room spaces the sense that it's filled with furniture.

Luxurious Additions

Two more distinctive features that give the kitchen its timeless warmth are the tin ceiling tiles and the dumbwaiter. The appeal of the tin ceiling is immediate and striking, evoking Victorian style while still allowing the modern features of the kitchen to shine. Tucked underneath the stove is a dumbwaiter perfect for lifting groceries and other goods from the ground floor garage.

Victorian Chandelier

Looking up at the ceiling is a special treat when one notices the unique chandelier. "The chandelier is wonderful," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "It's just such a wonderful statement, very Victorian and the finishing touch in the room." The delicate balance of old and new, as well as connecting the great room and dining room, make the kitchen a vibrant social destination for family and guests alike.

Inviting Natural Light

Grand windows on each of the corner walls flood the room with natural light and bring the grass and marsh practically indoors. The design of the dining room uses wainscoting to contrast boldly against the brown walls, while an antique mirror adds depth and personality to the space.

Nature Indoors

The decorating detail in this dining room is what makes it so special. The beautiful cocoa brown walls flow with the color of the marsh outside. The great green outside is echoed in the room with the flowers and accessories.

Breezy Linen Curtains

"The trestle table and the ladderback chairs add wonderful weight to the room," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. The rich, warm wood and huge windows make the room magical. The doors open to allow a breeze to flow in and with the linen curtains moving there could not be a better place to dine.

Open Yet Private Office

With an open entry, the home office has an airy feel while still providing privacy from the great room and back deck. One wall is dominated by windows and the natural blinds are a nice touch to the cheery red-and-white checkered window dressings and furniture upholstery.

Vibrant Red Hues

"This beautiful study, with red-on-red colors, has beautiful cabinetry, bookshelves and decorative objects" says interior designer Linda Woodrum. Behind the desk, the wall makes a strong statement with four bold nautical prints, accurately evoking the ship-and-sea themes found throughout the house.

Hidden Shelves

Additionally, a door almost invisible by design opens to reveal handy shelving. This subtle addition enables you to organize and store numerous items completely out of view.

Sitting Area

On the second floor of Dream Home 2004, the guest bedroom has long views of the marsh and warm, radiant coastal light. It is serene and beautiful, with colors that tie in to the marsh and sky. The dramatic wainscoting continues here, along with continuity in wall color from the sitting room, expanding the space into a guest suite rather than two separate, distinct areas.

Crisp Colors

"I loved using the camel color on the wall, so rich and deep," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "It plays so well against the sky and the views of the marsh. And then the blue and white is so clean and crisp, and I think the room has such a nice sense of belonging to the house, but having its own identity. This is perfect for a guest suite."

Corner Windows

Two highlights of this room are the corner windows and bathroom. The dual windows in the far corner of the room provide guests with their own special view of the marsh — one that rivals many views available in this gorgeous home.

And, of course, a Dream Home would be less so if guests were forced to walk down the hall to use the restroom, so a private bath is included. The guest bath is a special treat with its unique shower. The tile looks like whitewashed antique brick, adding to the Victorian comforts that guests are expecting, and because it is tucked underneath the tower staircase, the soaring tiles give the space a homey, old-fashioned touch that warms the heart.

Crown Jewel

The tower room is the crown jewel of Dream Home 2004. Architect Barry Coyle designed this room with delight, knowing the views — 45 feet off the ground — would be unparalleled. "I wanted to play to the child in all of us," says Barry. "I wanted the tower to feel that way. Every kid wants a treehouse, every kid wants to be in the tower. I call it my Swiss Family Robinson house."

Victorian Influence

The Victorian influence is evident from the moment you approach Dream Home 2004. "You see it in several places," notes Barry. "The exposed wood (of the front porch), a wonderful cupola, which is very Victorian; of course the porches and, my favorite, the tower."

Widow's Walk

"The tower has a widow's walk, which is where the sea captain's wives would stand to watch the ships come in. And when you are up there, you have a wonderful view," Barry says.

Breathtaking Panoramas

The interior was architecturally designed to capture the essence of the past, while showcasing the breathtaking panoramas you see every day. "One of the key things I wanted to do with the design of this house was to maximize the view," continues Barry. From the moment you arrive at the top of the stairs in the tower you are surrounded by windows with panoramic views.

Bold Colors

A subtle addition to the drama of the outdoors is the exposed wood ceiling, handsome blinds and comfortable furniture, transforming a showcase room into a cozy retreat. Contrasting from the neutral tones of the great room, interior designer Linda Woodrum amplifies the impact of the room with bold colors, distinctive furniture and prominent prints that blend well with the dark wainscoting — yet another departure from the whitewashed beadboard found throughout the home.

Bookshelf Doorway

Stately bookshelves hide a secret room along the gallery wall of the second floor sitting area. Pushing the left side of the bookcase closest to the stairway reveals itself as a hidden door to your own home theater! "This was a very unexpected surprise," notes project manager Jack Thomasson. "The secret door was originally designed to be there, but to enter into attic space."

Entertainment Area

"There's only one window, so there is low light," Jack says. "It has great proportions and it's in a great location in the house, perfect for a media room." With its big screen TV and DVD, this is sure to be a popular spot for film buffs, sports fans and anyone who loves television and games. With its comfy sofa and sound system, this could also be the perfect place for soft music and a mid-afternoon nap.

Durable Furniture

"In our very special media room, we started out with upholstered furniture," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "Fabulous microfiber fabric, easy to care for and perfect for family and groups of friends. We don't have to worry about what happens with this furniture because it will be there forever."

Coordinating Colors

"Because the red was so vibrant and such a strong color," Linda continues, "We wanted to put the perfect backdrop around it. We used the dusty, navy blue walls that makes the red pop, such a cozy, inviting room that you can't wait to get in to see a movie."

Cozy Sitting Area

"At the top of the stairs, we have a unique space that is ideal for watching television or playing games," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "It's yet another wonderful space so special to this home." The cozy sitting area provides yet another place to get away from it all.

Inviting Furnishings

Character abounds here with a vantage point of the cupola, the gently sloping ceiling that gives way to the tower staircase and gorgeous windows and wall sconces. "The sitting area has wonderful upholstered furniture that is easy to maintain and care for," Linda says. "We have a slipcovered sofa, a blue-and-white chair. It has a relaxed, beachy feel to it and is inviting to anyone, all ages."

Space for Socializing

Guests can feel free to take advantage of the space, having a living room at their disposal to provide elbow room for the guest suite. Since the tower is just up the staircase, while the kitchen is at the bottom of another stair, the sitting area gives guests the convenience of a late-night snack and the drama of the tower only a few steps away. The family will find this area perfect for gaming and casual socializing.

Kid-Friendly Canopy Bed

In the kids' bedroom, a lot of red is used in the fabrics, wallpaper and accessories. The bed is draped with a wonderful canopy held back on the sides. It creates a wonderful sense of luxury and comfort, but in a childlike way.

Victorian Furnishings

The furniture is charming and fresh - everything painted white, clean and crisp. The traditional white furnishings, keep the Victorian theme alive here.

Great for Guests

Though playful and light, with a seating area for reading and ample space for playing, the room is suitable and practical for not only a child, but guests as well.

Relaxing Spot

The master bedroom is built for a place to unwind. "It's wonderful," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "It's so romantic, with the candles, the beautiful flowers and fabulous fabrics. It's a special spot."

"I love the way the top trim of the beadboard lines up perfectly with the horizon," says Linda.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

The beautiful blue wall color represents the outdoors. "It's this beautiful rich teal that pulls the sky right into the room," says Linda.

Traditional Furniture

Linda went with tradition when selecting the master bedroom furniture. "This is a very traditional rice bed, a four-poster. I think the drama of the bed when you walk through the door is spectacular."

Inviting Window Treatments

The traditonal and rich fabrics in the bedroom invite you to touch. The window treatments are light and airy, but for added privacy, wooden blinds can come down. "We topped them with the linen panels and the toile band all the way from the ceiling to the floor," says Linda. "I think the wonderful naturalness of the fabric is perfect for this room."

Vintage Bathtub

While the master bathroom includes a spacious tiled shower for modern convenience, the white beadboard walls and the big, old-fashioned claw-footed tub near the French doors to the hall give the room a lovely, vintage look.

French Door Curtains

"We've curtained the French doors for privacy," says interior designer Linda Woodrum, "but it's a wonderful way, at the end of a hall, to have light. Very dramatic, very unusual and kind of frivolous and fun." Although fashioned with a touch of whimsy, practicality and added privacy is afforded with the toilet (plus an additional window) in a private space at the far end of the bathroom.

Victorian Chandelier

The beautiful, traditional chandelier dripping with beads and a rustic finish adds such a sense of drama to the master bath.

Double Pedestal Sinks

Two pedestal sinks allude to the history of the house. Against the background of beadboard and crisp blue, these pieces of Victoriana create a rich and beautifully-detailed home.

Combining the Landscape

For architect Peter Langham and his associates, the connection between house, sky, water and marsh is what HGTV Dream Home 2004 is all about. His simple, natural design combines native plants and trees with a smooth sweep of lawn that opens the house to its gorgeous setting.

Entertaining With a View

"This is an environment, a place where I could totally live in," says Peter. "You get all of the senses: the breezes, the salt from the marsh, the spectacular views, and then taking this wonderful architecture and carefully placing it on the site to maximize the views." The brilliant greens of saw palmettos and St. Augustine grass cozy up the house and provide a striking contrast to the multi-hued black needle rush of the marsh.

Simple and Natural

Guests can see the boardwalk from the back deck that leads to the boat dock. As dramatic as the view from the front driveway is, with the live oaks dripping Spanish moss and three towering palms, it's the back deck where the landscape surrounds you and emphasizes the closeness of the marsh. "I think it's important to understand that what we tried to create here is very simple," says Peter. "With the simple, natural landscaping, the house, lawn and marsh come together as one."

Relaxing Dock

The coolest thing under the warm Georgia sun is this breezy, relaxing dock. A boardwalk at the edge of the backyard stretches an amazing 230 feet out over the marsh to a dock house. The space is complete with a boat lift and screened-in living room.

Perfect for Entertaining

The wicker and wrought-iron furniture in the screened-in living room is comfortable enough for intimate morning coffee, yet offers enough seating for outdoor entertaining.

Connecting Walkway

A boardwalk from the screened-in deck leads to the boat landing below where the tidal creek is deep enough for a good-sized boat to navigate.

Beautiful View

A picturesque view of Point River Creek can be enjoyed from the screened-in living area.