Southern Sensibilities


Bordered by saltwater and marshlands, the coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina has a culture, geography, and cuisine all its own. Spanish moss, sweetgrass, and sea turtles lend the region an almost mystical allure, a timeless quality that can easily draw visitors into the past.

Located an hour inland from Charleston and Hilton Head Island, a remarkable new home whose interiors were designed by Atlanta-based Barbara Westbrook seems to have arrived from that past. It’s a place whose spirit dates to 1810, whose style is adapted to the region’s subtropical climate, and whose generations of imagined occupants modified its design by bringing the kitchen indoors, by enclosing a deep porch with glass, and by filling in stable doors to create a guest suite. Set on sixteen hundred acres with a natural pond and rice fields, the house is surrounded by enormous live oak trees that have been growing for centuries.

The structure was developed by a team of academics, designers, and historians at the Atlanta-based architectural firm Historical Concepts, a firm whose founding principle is to imagine the history of a property and home. This project embodies their ability to interpret and update past styles so as to evoke how a house might have originated and how various buildings on the property may have been used and changed, re-purposed, or added to over time. This completed project by Historical Concepts is so noteworthy that it is featured in their forthcoming book, Visions of Home, to be published by Rizzoli this spring.

This story appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of MILIEU. To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit to purchase this issue in digital format.