Few homes truly capture the essence of the South like this estate on Spring Island in Okatie, SC. Whether you're enjoying the purple hues of twilight from the screened-in porch or kicking back with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, this home invites a slower pace of life, Southern style.
Listed for $3.5 million, the 9.43-acre estate, custom designed by Jim Strickland of Historical Concepts, was a labor of love for owners Rick and Buffie Baxter. While the property has modern conveniences such as two master suites and massive walk-in closets, the little details are what really mattered to Buffie.
"It is a very unusual property," says listing agent Sally Papineau. "All the finishes are very high-end. The exterior is cedar shake and cypress. The floors are heart of pine."
Every room has a little something extra. In the spring, rows of plantation-era french doors open to a lush courtyard, giving the home a pleasant breeze. In the winter, the stately wood-burning fireplace keeps things cozy.
The formal dining room takes you back in time to a more graceful era with its custom crystal chandelier, high ceiling, and fireplace.
In the library, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves flank the massive fireplace. The space feels classic, but it has modern touches. A computer desk can be quickly tucked behind a false panel to maintain the period look.
It might be Buffie's favorite room in the house. "I love my office," she says.
Even the butler's pantry got a special touch. "There is stained glass along the pantry," Buffie says, "and you can open up the french doors on the other side to get a breeze."
Outside, there is a stocked pond in the front yard. "We just got a 10-pound catfish out of there last weekend," says Rick Baxter.
In the back is a mature orchard with citrus trees, grape vines, and even kiwis. A large barn can be converted to horse stalls, and there is plenty of space to add grazing pastures.
There is even a gorgeous guesthouse. "It matches the main house exactly," says Buffie.
Spring Island is a small community with only 400 homeowners, according to Papineau. It feels more like a small town than a vacation resort, and everyone makes a point to know their neighbors.
"They're all fabulous people, and I don't know how that has happened in one place," says Buffie.
The community also has a golf course, equestrian center, sport center, clubhouse, and two restaurants; and everything is designed for year-round living.
"There is not a better place on the East Coast, from Miami to Maine, that is better than Spring Island," says Rick. "It is a little piece of heaven."