Tour a Comfortably Chic Charleston Family Home

A family of six lives large after downsizing to a stunning Sullivan's Island contemporary home.

September 06, 2019

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

A Family-Scaled Home

With four boys from 12 to 17 (and dog Lucy), downsizing from a 4,700-square-foot home to a 2,600-square-foot one meant that Elizabeth and Curt Nesbitt had to be smart about their space. Their stunning, contemporary Sullivan's Island home on the lush green marsh of the Intracoastal Waterway benefits from an airy, open living room, dining room and kitchen on the home's second floor. Floor to ceiling windows let the light flood in and make the space appear even more expansive. Designer Jenny Keenan worked with the Nesbitts on the smart, chic design of their spacious-feeling home.

Organic Door

The massive, heavy cypress front door immediately establishes the mod-meets-organic bonafides of this chic but highly functional Charleston home.

Inverted Floor Plan

The Nesbitts put the kitchen and main living area of their Charleston home on the second floor for a very good reason. "We did that so we could maximize our views," says Elizabeth. Sliding glass and metal doors open the living room space up to the amazing view of the Intracoastal Waterway. The light fixture is a repurposed marine buoy.

Approachable Modern

Elizabeth describes her home as "not over-the-top modern. It's just manageable," she says of a home design that keeps extraneous clutter tucked away. "Everything has a place," says Elizabeth, and her new house rules are that shoes are left at the front door to keep the space tidy. She says that her home's California-modern look makes her life simpler and easier, in some ways, than the larger, traditional home her family moved from. Of her white marble countertops, Eiizabeth notes, "everyone tried to talk me out of it."

Bright Idea

The dining area, right off the kitchen on the home's second level, shows off the beautiful European white oak floors that were installed throughout the home.

Pantry Perfection

A pantry off of the kitchen is the perfect place for meal prep, a small bar area and extra storage.

Fashion-Forward Powder Room

Gorgeous statement wallpaper with a faux bois look and brass fixtures makes this guest bathroom on the home's second floor a real stunner.

The Sky's the Limit

A porch off of the Nesbitt's living room features a contemporary fire pit and minimalist, unfussy furniture that doesn't detract from the spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway.

In-Home Gallery

The Nesbitts have taken full advantage of this bright, long hallway leading from the living space to the master suite by using the space to display family photos. Globe lights enunciate the tall ceilings and look dramatic against the backdrop of the wooden ceiling.

Adding Warmth

Plenty of texture and wood help keep this modern space feeling both on-trend, comfortable and livable. All the windows feature blinds that let the light flow in but can be closed for privacy.

Mod Master Bath

Peaked ceilings lend an open, expansive quality to rooms in the Nesbitt home and help amplify Elizabeth's desire for "California" style in her space. Though she and Curt (who met on a blind date) both hail from the South, "I've always loved California," she admits.

A Well-Ordered Life

Elizabeth Nesbitt has cleverly stashed her work desk and a collection of family snapshots in her master bedroom closet to keep things squared away and neat.

Kids' Den

The four Nesbitt boys, John Garland, Lawson, Sullivan and Graham (and their beloved dog Lucy), share this kids' den on the home's first level which features work desks integrated into the contemporary design and more great views of the marshlands beyond the home.

Green Acres

A large oak tree frames this lovely view from the first floor porch of the marsh and Intracoastal Waterway. Furniture in the home is a mix of home goods retail (like this surf board table) and designer-sourced items. The dramatic, modern seven-foot couch is the perfect perch to take in the view.

Work Space Meets Chill Space

Elizabeth has solved many issues involved in downsizing to a smaller home by making great, strategic use of the space she does have, as in this living room off of her sons' bedrooms where a study/work area has been factored into the space without sacrificing style.

Sleepover-Ready

This first floor bedroom with four bunk beds is perfect for sleepovers or for when company comes to visit.

Seafaring Details

The charming rope ladder in Sullivan's room adds a coastal vibe. Extra storage underneath the bed keeps things organized.

California Cool

Part of achieving the California-cool vibe of this home is the mix of global textiles in linens, pillows and funky rugs, a mix of wood and white walls and lots and lots of light and windows to capture the beauty of the outdoors.

Kid Zone

Elizabeth loves the hyper-functionality of this combined laundry room and bathroom on the first floor kid-level of the home. A shower and ample closets for the boys' things are also worked into this smartly-designed space.

Outdoor Room With a View

One of several porches on each level of the Nesbitt home, this outdoor space on the first level features a surfboard coffee table Elizabeth found at a home goods store.

Terrace Hangout

The ground level of the Nesbitt home features storage for the family's bicycles and sports equipment, a ping pong table, fire pit and an open space to enjoy the outdoors.

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