A Traditional Southern Beauty

When Lou Ann and Mike were first told of Ribaut Island, they — like many people — needed a map to find it. “We’d never heard of it,” Lou Ann said. But they set out to explore, “and we fell in love.” Located within Hilton Head Plantation, Ribaut Island is a close-knit gated community of just over 60 home sites, the majority of which are waterfront or tidal marsh settings.

When it came time to buy, the couple had narrowed the decision down to two homes. “But really, this was the one I wanted,” Lou Ann said with a smile. And it’s easy to see why.

Nestled on a rare double lot, the home is virtually hidden from passers-by. The professionally designed landscape of palms, pines, live oaks, hydrangeas and azaleas affords privacy from the road and neighbors. “That was one of the things that drew us to the house,” Lou Ann said. “Since you can’t see it from the streets, the home slowly reveals itself to you as you approach.”

What unfolds at the end of the curved oyster shell driveway is an elegant, six-columned, antebellum-style home that appears to have been plucked from a Southern plantation and rooted along the water’s edge where Skull Creek meets Port Royal Sound.

The home’s gracious limestone butterfly staircase, centered on a working fountain, welcomes you home. French doors serve as windows on the first and second floors, and open to spacious 12-foot-wide balconies on the front and back of the house. This makes it easy to take full advantage of the panoramic sunsets and coastal breeze. “There is such wonderful flow to the home, which makes it perfect for entertaining,” Lou Ann said. “It’s a great feeling to be able to open the doors and let folks wander out onto the porch.”

The first floor features a living room, dining room, master suite, laundry room and laundry chute, open kitchen with double islands, a butler’s pantry and a 500-bottle wine room. Front and back staircases access the second floor, which boasts the potential of five en-suite bedrooms — all with garden or water views that rival five-star hotels. The homeowners are using two of the spaces as a sitting room and a study. Each room is outfitted with designer Scalamandre and Thibaut wallpaper.

The ground floor includes an additional 2,000 square feet and has a half bath, laundry room, kitchenette, workshop, exercise room and a 2,500-bottle conditioned wine cellar. There is also access to the a three-car garage, pool, Jacuzzi and private deep-water dock. “This house is the pinnacle, it really is,” Mike said as he stood in the open kitchen and gazed toward Pinckney Island. “What more could you want?”

Realtor Catherine Donaldson can be reached at 843-338-2069 or visit celiadunn.com.