Holly and Michael Culp’s 3,400-square-foot redesigned home at 3200 Waterway on the Isle of Palms optimizes the spectacular views of which Lowcountry dreams are made. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the golf course that abuts it, the 4-bedroom home mixes modern touches with traditional beachside hallmarks.
The husband-and-wife co-owners of Culp Real Estate Group recently completed a full renovation that included replacing floors, windows, doors and lighting. They also remodeled the entire kitchen, overhauled the bathrooms and closets and installed an outside deck and pool area.
They and their three daughters, Addison, Ansley and Livie, previously lived on deep-water property in Mount Pleasant. Although they could always access the water and the beach was never far, they made the decision to relocate and fully embrace island living. The aquatic life holds tremendous appeal for this family of boaters, surfers (everyone except Holly surfs regularly), swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. They love the family-oriented and social aspects of Isle of Palms.
The lifestyle is everything. Their boat is now docked in the IOP Marina, just a short golf cart ride away. The girls and their father hit the beach to ride the waves whenever the urge strikes. The Culps’ two springer spaniels, Buddy and Cowboy, also give their morning beach runs two paws up. When not on the beach or the water, Holly and Michael like listening to live music at The Windjammer.
“It’s been a different lifestyle than just walking down the dock and getting on your boat,” remarked Holly. “Now we tell people to meet us at the marina. It’s all so convenient. And everyone stopped wearing shoes—except for me.”
Before they could fulfill their vision and settle into their new coastal sanctuary, the house needed considerable restoration. Renovations were extensive, and except for a few weeks, the Culps stayed put while the house underwent the equivalent of an extreme makeover.
Compounding the issue, all this happened during the pandemic, while the children were in remote learning. The shiplap renovation of the walls involved the constant racket of nail guns.
“That was a challenge,” Holly recalled.
Since the doors were removed and replaced, there were also times when a room had no door or doorknobs, and the kids couldn’t shut their doors. Then, replacing the kitchen required renting a crane and removing the upstairs deck railing to swap the old appliances for the new ones.
Although enduring the clamor tested their patience, the finished product ultimately made it worthwhile.
“We did feel like we completely turned something around and made it into something beautiful,” Holly said. “In the original house layout, you couldn’t see the Intracoastal Waterway from the living room deck—only from the top deck—but floor-to-ceiling windows now provide clear, unimpeded views. These two outdoor decks off the living room area offer breathtaking vistas. A beautiful spiral staircase winds you to the top deck. We’re big outdoor living people. So, we eat all our meals outside. To have a view was huge.”
The window and door design emphasizes the use of natural light. The ambience and art aesthetic exudes coastal vibes. In that spirit, Caribbean heart pine flooring was laid throughout the home. Haven’s Furniture did all the furniture for the home, and Cabinet Works designed the cabinets and closets. Brick mason Johnny Brown crafted the custom brickwork for the living room fireplace, which Holly exclaimed was like “watching an artist.”
Holly and Michael live upstairs and the children each have their own room downstairs in addition to a shared laundry room. They had the tub removed and replaced with a walk-in shower and had separate sinks installed in their bathroom. Closets were redone and customized to improve functionality.
The final renovation entailed the outdoor deck, which features a double-edge infinity pool and jacuzzi installed by Atkinson Pools & Spas. There is also a fireplace and kitchen. The bar is equipped with a grill, cooktop, griddle and ice maker. The Culps love hosting gatherings, so the outdoor space has become a popular hangout spot. The mounted big-screen TV is the cherry on top.
“We’re such entertainers,” stated Holly. “During the winter, we had a fire every day.” It took a year to finish the interior renovations and a total of 18 months to finalize everything, including the pool deck. Now, the Culps can fully relax and enjoy island life. The hard worked paid off, and now every day has a little vacation built in, the best renovation of all.
By Colin McCandless