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Tropical Decor Features inside Renovated House in South Carolina

Design studio Basic Projects and architect Heather Wilson have revamped a South Carolina house, pairing white walls and concrete floors with colourful vintage decor.

Working together, Wilson and design duo Kate and Ben Towel of Basic Projects have completely reconfigured the layout of the house, which is located on Sullivan’s Island, an island at the mouth of Charleston’s harbour.

Interiors walls were stripped down and resurfaced, the existing roof, staircase and fireplace were replaced. These were then paired with furnishings and fittings that take cues from the client’s surf trips to Fiji and Hawaii, including a set of three French doors.

“The French doors are mahogany and meant to enhance the Hawaiian bungalow feel of the new roof,” said Wilson.

Polished concrete floors and white walls feature alongside vintage pieces from Hawaii. Other elements include brass fixtures, paper lanterns, organic linens, hand-dyed pillows and wool rugs.

“The clients love the Outrigger Club in Hawaii, so we found an original Outrigger canoe paddle from the 60s, and put it next to a few of their Surfer’s Journal magazine collections framed on the wall,” said Kate and Ben Towell.

Basic Projects often uses second-hand finds and tropical inspiration for its projects – with recent examples including a restaurant in the local area.

The same goes here. A living room, which was originally a garage, has two light-coloured sofas and a wicker peacock chair with vintage pink Hawaiian fabric. Other pieces include a poster of Hawaii from the 1950s, a vintage map, and an old hula girl photo.

The tropical aesthetic is completed with dozens of potted plants, a surfboard, and a taupe-and-blue painting by artist Ty Williams.

The house contains two storeys, with living and sleeping areas on the ground floor in a new L-shaped plan, and a small attic and study upstairs.

At the entrance is a foyer and a bathroom, followed by a hallway featuring an airy timber staircase and a wet bar with dark wood cabinets.

The open-plan kitchen and sitting area is divided by a white plaster fireplace with two built-in floating benches and an alcove for storing wooden logs. This space also includes a minimalist oak dining table and two benches, and a kitchen with white countertops and pale wooden doors.

On the other portion of the residence are three bedrooms, two of which have private bathrooms.

Light teal walls colour a bedroom and a bathroom, evocative of the ocean. “One of the guest rooms we call the Hawaiian Room. We took more inspiration from 1950s Hawaii than the current day,” said the design duo.

A vintage Hawaiian lamp is on a nightstand, and the homeowner’s guitar is displayed as well.

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