Monday, December 5, 2011

Future Home of Victorian Swag: Martin's Point Plantation

While we could probably never get tired of dreary old England, it is time to move along for another week in a new estate.  The weather has been dank and cold up north as of late so we decided to take a jaunt south down to Martin’s Point Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. Built in 1772, this whitewashed Greek revival plantation home pre-dates the Declaration of Independence (Swoon!).  It also just so happens to be the house that – as Mariah would say, “Someone get the smelling salts" – Noah rehabs for Allie in The Notebook (Double swoon!).  Whatever your feelings are about the movie, you cannot deny that this house has swag, Victorian Swag, that is. 
Since the house is privately owned and not available for tours, most of what we know about the house is from the movie.  However, it just so happens that the owners (new acquaintances of ours) are out of town to Europe this week and have asked us to house sit for them.  We couldn't be happier to help.   Martin's Point Plantation is just so lazily romantic in a way that only an old southern home can be.  We love the grand columns, blue shutters, and the view of the marshes from almost every room.  Our plan for our week in the South is to soak up every bit of sun and warmth that this locale has to offer before surrendering ourselves to the dark of winter.  We are looking forward to sitting on the veranda, sipping glasses of sweet tea , and watching the early winter sunsets in the mild evenings.   There are also plans to take the canoes out to the marshes for some nature photography, spend an afternoon or two painting in the fabulous art studio, and cook some fabulously creative dinners in the vintage kitchen. (I've been watching too much Food Network lately, so I know where I will be!)

This roomy house and its semi-seclusion will ensure our lazy mornings are not interrupted and that we have plenty of room to relax for an entire week!  If we do happen to have a few visitors I am sure we won't complain (especially if they look anything like Noah, aka Ryan Gosling and his plaid clad friends from the lumber yard).  This house is made for formal southern entertaining and we'll be happy to oblige. I know Sally will be waiting at the door with some freshly squeezed lemonade and I might even have to whip up some shrimp étouffée!  We'll have dessert in the parlor, or course.  This is the prefect spot for some pre-Christmas relaxation.

Here are the scores: Location: 8 - Ah, good old South Carolina.  I don't think I'll ever tire of the slow paced coastal towns.  You'll see that the hot sticky summers are worth the trouble for the mild winters.  Flip flops are in season up until the end of November some years and we are looking forward to hanging out outside as much as possible while we're here.  
Exterior/Landscape: 9 - GORGEOUS!  Magnolia trees and marsh grasses are part of the draw on this estate.  Proximity to the water and also the 4 porches on this place add plenty of space for outdoor living (a must in the South).  I think we might invite our new friends over for a barbecue at the end of the week.  We'll eat outside to enjoy the scenery and the weather!
Interior: 8.5 - One look at the the details inside and all I can think of is WOOD!  I don't know about you, but I love lots of wood in a house.  It adds depth, character, and an authenticity to the craftsmanship.  The classic floor plan and plethora of doors is also wonderful. Other things to love are the high ceilings, tiled fireplaces, and the beautiful main staircase.  This house also gets bonus points for having TWO staircases, the formal in the front, and the private or servants' stairs in the back off of the kitchen.  I love this feature in old homes!    
Overall Design: 9 - Quality.  This place has been around for almost 240 years and it still looks amazing.  Not only that, but it is still a stylish place to live.  Something about the enduring quality of its design is quite endearing.  
Creativity/Originality: 6 - Let's face it, Greek revival plantation homes aren't terribly original.  But they weren't supposed to be.  They were popular at the time (and for good reason) and their abundance does not make them any less desirable.  In fact, part of the draw is that these houses are so recognizable with their austere columns and broad facades.  I've always loved these homes.  They just beg to be accompanied by Spanish moss.  Creativity points are limited, however.
Party Hostability Factor: 8 - As of now there are no plans to host a party this week (you know, aside from our dinner party with the boys from the mill and our small end-of-the-week barbecue).  We are gearing up for a serious Christmas bash, after all.  That being said, this house would support a grand get-together or two, especially in the spring or autumn when the outdoor spaces could be used.  For now, we are content to enjoy many a pancake breakfast in the sunny kitchen whilst plotting our next adventure.  

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  1. I've said it once and I'll say it again... Oh, the South. It really is a magical place. I'll bet Christmas is magical here: white lights in the oak trees, candles in the windows, the smell of pie wafting through the house.

  2. Thank you for mentioning plaidified men from the lumberyard :) But heck yes! I can't wait to move in! THE SOUTH!!!!!!

  3. You are welcome for our friends from the lumber yard. :) And I am with you on loving the South. There is just something magical about it.