HGTV Dream Home 2013: Great Room Pictures

Twelve-foot vaulted ceilings and walls of glass define the home's central gathering space, where all focus is placed on spectacular marsh views.

Living larger than its footprint — thanks to expansive 12-foot ceilings — the great room provides a front-row seat to Kiawah Island's dramatic marsh views. Glass doors offer a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.

A casual, durable braided rug in muted shades of gray anchors the great room seating area, where an overscaled sofa and a collection of cozy club chairs cozy up to two sandblasted pine coffee tables.

To install gates without damaging the fireplace surround, carpenter David Brown first determined the location of studs and predrilled holes for lag bolts. Four assistants then hoisted gates onto a scaffold where David and a fifth assistant stood ready to place the gates in position and drive bolts through gates and into the wall and studs.

Tropical resort-style furnishings blur the line between indoors and out. A cozy club chair with a handwoven rattan frame is dressed in apple-green upholstery, a subtle nod to the glorious palette of marsh colors just steps from the great room's French doors.

Plaid, fully lined drapes ensconce the great room, sound-proofing the two-and-a-half-story space and extending an understated design theme. "They make a room much more elegant," says interior designer Linda Woodrum. "I cannot emphasize enough what fabric does for a room."

In keeping with beach house interiors, HGTV Dream Home 2013 furnishings are chosen for both beauty and durability.

A series of tilt and turn windows overlook the home's plunge pool. Leather-covered cubes cozy up to the console and can be moved to accommodate a large crowd.

A pair of side chairs — the room's most formal furnishings — are covered in a chenille fabric that echoes the ornate design of antique gates displayed above the fireplace.

The gas fireplace surround is clad in an all-natural aggregate compound partially comprised of crushed pecan shells. Hand-troweling results in the unique finish and color.

Gleaming bamboo flooring, twice as hard as oak, is one of several durable building products that ensure the home's ease of maintenance.

A second-floor loft space shares the great room's vaulted expanse. Solid yellow pine scissor trusses draw the eye and form one of the room's most eye-catching architectural elements.

Just beyond the great room, 600-square-foot rear deck offers additional gathering space and an Infinity plunge pool, elevated 10 feet above ground level, provides a dramatic water feature.

HGTV Dream Home 2013 is built to withstand both hurricane and earthquake conditions. Energy-efficient German-manufactured windows are hurricane tested to withstand South Carolina's toughest coastal storms.

Industrial-style furnishings, including an oak plank-topped console table and pivoting brass table lamp, lend a modern aesthetic when paired with resort-style furnishings.

Dramatic marsh views stand in place of traditional artwork in the home's largest gathering space.