One visit was all it took to entice Christie and Jim Bogrette to build a vacation home along the peaceful banks of the May River near Bluffton, South Carolina. “We weren’t even looking for property,” Christie says. “We made a trip with friends and were overwhelmed by the beauty there. When you walk along the river at low tide, you can hear the dolphins breathing. You have to listen carefully, but you really can hear them.”
Within a matter of months, the Philadelphia couple purchased a lot and began designing their sustainable and energy-savvy home in Palmetto Bluff, a planned resort community that prides itself on protecting the environment.
“The main appeal was the extraordinary natural landscape,” Christie says. “And we were aligned with the developer’s vision to preserve, protect, and enhance that incredible environment.”
Jim, an architect, and Christie, an interior designer and fine artist, collaborated with Joel Newman, a Beaufort, South Carolina, architect who designed many of the resort buildings at Palmetto Bluff. The team’s goal: Build a comfortable house that would take advantage of the natural setting without negatively impacting the environment.
The eco-friendly approach was from the ground up. A geothermal system that taps into the earth’s consistent underground temperature was installed to heat and cool the house. The system is extremely energy efficient and quiet.
The painting above the fireplace hangs on a moving panel that revolves to expose the TV mounted on the other side.
Photography: Emily Jenkins Followill
Produced by Andrea Caughey
Architects: Jim Bogrette, Kimmel Bogrette Architecture, 151 E. 10th Ave., Suite 300, Conshohocken, PA 19428; 610/834-7805; kimmelbogrette.com, and Joel Newman, Thomas & Denzinger Architects, 138 St. Philip St., Suite 200, P.O. Box 20157, Charleston, SC 29413; 843/723-6651, thomasanddenzinger.com.
Builder: J. T. Turner Construction Co. Inc., 2250 E. Victory Drive, Suite 104, Savannah, GA 31414; 912/356-5611, jttconst.com.
Landscape architect: Michael S. Small, Michael S. Small, LLC, P.O. Box 1788, Tybee Island, GA 31328; 912/704-1118.