A different kind of cool
The bold colors and timeless lines of mid-century modern design are alive and well in this retro-chic Sea Pines home
Story by Barry Kaufman + Photos by Photography by Anne
It may be hard to believe in this era of reclaimed bric-a-brac and brick-and-tubby rusticism, but there was a time when bold colors and even bolder designs ruled the world of home design. At the dawn of the space age, European designers like Hans Wegner and Catherine Holm redefined what the home could look like, infusing it with a vibrancy that reflected the optimism of the post-war era. What they created was called mid-century modern, and it defines cool as much today as it did then.
Stepping into the Sea Pines home of Bill and Alexis Buryk is somewhat like stepping back into that optimistic era, albeit one that is tempered by both a more modern sensibility and a sense of place that bows to Hilton Head’s natural beauty.
“It doesn’t look like a 1950s house. It’s artfully curated,” said Kelly Caron, who worked with the Buryks in realizing their mid-mod dreams. “It’s a different kind of cool.”
Indeed, while furnishings like the Hans Wagner “papa bear” chair, with its wide wings and timelessly cool stylings, and detail pieces like the Cherner Pretzel Chairs, give off a strong retro futuristic vibe, there’s far more to this house than just throwback charm.
“What makes this house? We have these big windows. You don’t see this that often,” said Bill, gesturing toward a wall of plate glass beyond which the waters of Calibogue Sound sparkle. It was this view that first attracted the couple to the property, even if the design sensibilities in place didn’t match their style.
“When we bought the house, I thought it had the bones for a modern house,” said Alexis. They got to work gutting their new home, pulling up red oak flooring in favor of a light and airy engineered wood that doesn’t compete with the home’s bounty of colors. A closed-off galley kitchen was completely opened to let the entire room breathe in some of the home’s best scenery. And the formal dining room was repurposed as a den, dominated along one wall by a blazing blue bookshelf highlighting some of the many artifacts from the golden age of mid-century modern.
“My mother was a mid-century modern fanatic, so a lot of the pieces here are things I grew up with,” said Alexis. “I’ve been dragging those around with me for quite some time.”
Those include the delightfully vintage bedroom set, the cocktail table, pretzel chairs, the Fornasetti and Raymor pottery and the dazzling Catherine Holm kitchenware. Not all of it came from her mother’s house, however. Alexis is an avid collector of mid-century modern furniture and décor, regularly scouring websites and auctions for fresh finds, like the dresser in the upstairs bedroom that was once an office credenza.
“I try to get mostly original,” she said. “You know, sometimes you have to fill in with revival, but the quality isn’t there.”
Walking the tight rope between vintage and revival, mid-century modern and Lowcountry luxe, this Sea Pines home is more than just a blast from the past. It’s a painstakingly crafted love letter to a design philosophy that continues to define cool.
THE HOME TEAM
Architect: Kermit Huggins Builder: Gaal Custom Home
Interior Design: Kelly Caron Designs, ASID
Appliances: Billy Wood Appliance Cabinets: Advanced Kitchen Designs
Quartz, Granite and Tile: Stoneworks
Hardware: Bird Decorative Hardware and Bath
Flooring: Gilman Floors Lighting Fixtures: Capital Lighting
(click on gallery thumbnails for larger photo)
Get the look of this featured home
According to interior designer Kelly Caron, the powder room mirror was sourced by the designer from Made Goods, end tables were sourced by the designer from CTH Sherrill Occasional and rugs throughout were sourced from local rug dealer Gilman Floors. Here are a few items to help you achieve the look of this unique home.