Text by Bethany Adams
How do you turn a South Carolina farmhouse into a space that can serve as both a functional hunting lodge and an attractive weekend getaway for a family of six? For this family, the answer was simple: call on designer Melissa Ervin. Having worked with the homeowners before, Melissa had earned a level of trust that garnered her near free rein to create something that would have the whole family—along with a slew of visitors—retreating to the country as often as possible.
“It’s an easy weekend destination,” Melissa says. She explains that, while the homeowners once leased the structure, they eventually purchased and added onto the home. “They ended up adding a master suite off the back the house; [they] renovated the bathrooms, the kitchen, and then even added a couple of barns on the property,” she adds.
While the house retained its original hardwood floors, the design team brought in wood planking in a bright white that was crucial in balancing the masculine elements Melissa introduced throughout the home. “We kind of started with the curtain fabrics,” she says of the Jane Shelton fabric that dresses the windows in the entry.
The olive and tan hues presented in a botanical pattern helped set the palette for the entire home, and the influence can be seen in the front living room, where aqua wingback chairs and green throw pillows balance animal hide, leather, and antique wood—something that pops up in nearly every corner.
“I think we kept in our minds that this is an old farmhouse,” Melissa says, noting they tried to maintain that feeling throughout. “And that’s why we felt like we wanted to bring pieces in that might have been there from the beginning.” It’s a goal they entwined with the family’s functional needs, opting to use reclaimed wood on the ceiling and island in the majorly renovated kitchen. With a shortage of grocery stores in the vicinity, plenty of storage was paramount, and double sinks offer added ease in both food prep and cleanup—a necessity, since most meals are eaten at home.
The kitchen connects to a more casual den designed for watching sports and gathering after meals, where the masculine motif appears in both the furniture and the wall art, a woodland scene containing deer that Melissa calls transitional. “It has a traditional subject . . . but it’s done in such an abstract way,” she explains.
Art meets antique allure in the dining room, where a gallery wall of vintage works dresses the wood planking above a galvanized metal table. “One of my favorite stores in Charleston is called Antiques of South Windermere . . . and they had all those great pieces,” Melissa says. While the collection spans etchings, oil paintings, and Audubon prints—as well as a map of South Carolina—each piece shares the common themes of the land outside and an aged finish, connecting them not only to one another but also with the rest of the home.
As is the case with so many weekend getaways, entertaining played a vital part in the design—a priority that’s visible in each of the bedrooms on the property, including a loft bunk room that makes the barn an appealing spot for the family’s sons and their friends.
In the main house, the master bedroom reflects the entry point of the design, with the palette taking its cues from a nature-inspired window treatment. Though in this space, that palette draws from the softer side of nature’s beauty, it’s still a testament to the family’s desire to escape the city in favor of the charms of the countryside—even if it’s just for the weekend.