British Colonial Low Country – The Style of Hospitality

Monta Consulting & Designs is your destination for timeless custom home design services.

Discover more about the process and customer experience our team delivers when designing custom homes in this article featuring a British Colonial Low Country style home located in Alva, Florida, a charming town near Ft. Myers. Alva is one of the oldest settlements in southwest Florida and is known for its sprawling oaks and access to the Caloosahatchee River, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico. The street name Oakview Circle only provides a glimpse into the resident’s stunning views and natural surroundings. The home is nestled between large oak trees on a corner-shaped parcel abutting the Caloosahatchee River, allowing for breathtaking panoramic sunsets. 

This designer home is now available for purchase and is listed by Paragon Florida Realty. (View the Oakview Circle listing here >)

Inspiration

Owner and Realtor Luann Collins was inspired to build this British Colonial Low Country style home from her visits to the Carolinas, a complimentary choice for the characteristics of the land. During her travels to Charleston, North Carolina, homes designed by Classical Designer W.A. “Bud” Lawrence caught her attention. After researching the award-winning designs of Bud Lawrence, she commissioned him to design her family home in 2002. 

When Lawrence reminisced of his first visit with the owner, he stated, “it was clear that Luann was well informed about the authentic British Colonial style and the value the details would bring to the home, making the process straightforward.” The initial visit included an interview where Lawrence learned how the family needed the home to function and confirmed the British Colonial Low County style preference. To achieve the client’s vision, the history of the style was considered and integrated into the final product. 

British Colonial Low Country Characteristics

The British Colonial Low Country was initially constructed in the lower portion of the 13 colonies, including the Carolinas and Georgia. Settlers from England started with one-bedroom cottages that were designed to British Colonial standards. Over time the style evolved to incorporate materials readily available in the region and accommodate the warm, humid climate. Additionally, the footprints of the style expanded beyond one bedroom, where “wings” were added as the family grew.   

Common architectural features found in British Colonial Low Country homes and the Oakview Circle home are: 

  • Raised first floor or stem wall. 
  • Large hip roofs. 
  • Dormers or transoms. 
  • Large porches with columns around the house. 
  • Large windows in the front and rear of the home. 
  • Shutters.
  • Centered entryway.  
  • Centralized main living areas. 
  • Private living areas located in “wings.” 

Historically, these design features were highly functional, especially for coastal and intercoastal homes. Over 300 years later, these same design features are still highly functional and aesthetically pleasing.  

Design Process

Lawrence successfully integrated all of the classic British Colonial Low Country style elements into a home for a modern-day family. The total living space is 5,802 square feet, containing two stories, five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and an office and game room. As you enter the inviting front porch, a guest en suite is immediately adjacent to the foyer for easy access. After passing through the entrance, the sight lines lead to stunning views in the main living, kitchen, and dining areas that overlook the river. The master suite has private entry off the main living areas and rear porch and hosts a large closet, master bath, and a scenic sitting area with water views. The upstairs features two en suite bedrooms and a bonus room with a balcony. Another modern-day amenity successfully integrated into the British Colonial Low Country elevation is the expansive three-car side load garage.   

Interior millwork and finishes were equally important to achieving an authentic British Colonial Low Country style. The moulding and casing proportions reflected the original proportions of the design style. In addition, Lawrence provided designs on other interior finishes and features, including the kitchen millwork, staircase and railings, and the fireplace. Every detail of this home was carefully crafted to honor and replicate the authentic British Colonial Low Country style. 

Today, many production designs allow the floor plan to influence the elevation and footprint; but when creating classic designs, it is crucial that the massing and proportions of the elevation lead the way. Lawrence stated, “the most challenging part about this design was getting the massing right and fitting the floor plan into the form.” Although that was the most challenging part, he said his favorite design element of the home was the front porch and window dormers, which give a warm, southern hospitality welcome.  

Client Experience

The southern hospitality the home offered will always be a fond memory for owner Luann Collins who hosted many gatherings for their church family and the Annual PTA party.  Luann recounted there was “plenty of space for entertaining in the kitchen and the open living room with getaway space for the kids and teens in the upstairs area.”  The family enjoyed the finished product of the home for many years and created lasting memories.  Luann acknowledged how much hard work and attention to detail Lawrence poured into the design to ensure the family would love living in it.  By the time the project was finished, their families became lifelong friends.  Luann stated, “Bud Lawrence and his family made all of their clients a part of their own family.”  This is a true testament to Lawrence’s ability to immerse himself in understanding the functionality of a design according to the lifestyle of the client while incorporating the aesthetic elements that make life beautiful. 

The Oakview Circle home will always be a part of the Collins ‘memories.  As they close this chapter; they hope this home will provide beautiful memories for a new family.  The British Colonial Low Country Style home is now on the market, and offers the perfect space to gather, to decompress, and to grow. For information on the listing, please click here.

Monta Consulting & Design is pleased to feature the designs of W.A. Lawrence and Period Style Homes. If you would like to begin building a vision that you and your family will love well into the future, schedule a consultation today.  

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