an oceanfront retreat

Kiawah Island Living

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Kiawah Island is not the first place you’d expect a family of New Yorkers to choose for a vacation spot. But for a Manhattan family of six, the island offered distance from the daily routine and a respite from the city’s hectic pace. After selecting the perfect home just steps away from the ocean, the clients tapped designer Courtney Bishop to create a relaxing getaway. Wary of mimicking the island’s traditional beach house style, the clients chose Bishop for her youthful approach and urban taste. For Bishop, this was a return to her roots, having spent childhood summers at her family’s home down the street.












Kiawah’s seaside locale and the clients’ cosmopolitan roots, Bishop designed an inviting, modern home that redefines beach house style. Architect Mark Maresca, who worked with Bishop on the renovation, realigned the rooms around ocean views and put an emphasis on natural wood throughout the interior structure. Building on these additions, Bishop selected natural textiles and a light, muted palette to accentuate the home’s natural surroundings.





an escape from the nonstop pace of New York, the beachfront home is distinctly informal, emphasizing a laid-back lifestyle and casual spaces. At the same time, the Manhattan family was keen to maintain a modern and refined aesthetic. In the dining room, shiplap walls nod to the nautical surroundings and contrast pleasantly with the contemporary oak table and mid-century furniture brought from the clients’ New York home. The result is a home that feels both comfortable in its island setting and sleekly cosmopolitan in its style.










with four children, practicality was as necessary as style. Bishop achieved both by designing the kids’ suite around a bunk room with a central play area – a shared space that encourages family time and provides ample room for weekend and summer fun.






New York chic with Southern simplicity, this Kiawah Island abode sheds the cliche patterns and blue-and-white palette usually associated with beach homes. With its informal style and contemporary furnishings, the house is a serene and sophisticated getaway that lends its busy inhabitants a chance to slow down in the island sun.



Design: Cortney Bishop Design

Architecture: Maresca & Associates, Architects

Photography: Katie Charlotte



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