Hotel at Home
The Burgess family, inspired by hotel design, transforms their 1960s home into a contemporary showplace.
When Patrick and Carol Burgess travel, the souvenirs they bring home aren’t typical tchotchkes. “Most of our design ideas come from our favorite resorts or hotels, like The W in New York City and The Atlantic in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” says Patrick, whose dental practice is located in the old Daniel Boone Hotel in Charleston. “After we see something we really like, I search the internet.”
High-end hotels often employ leading architects and interior designers to transform their spaces into trend-setting and innovative havens, and the results can often be easily replicated in individual homes. Hotels offer many design lessons—how to use space efficiently, how to incorporate luxury and comfort, and how to create an environment that will hold up to heavy use, proving that homeowners looking for great design inspiration should look beyond the local home improvement center.
Six years ago, the Burgess’ collection of innovative ideas found a home when they purchased a 1960 California Modern-style house in South Hills of South Charleston. Patrick and Carol’s taste have always tended to err on the contemporary side. So when Patrick first stepped into the house, he saw its incredible potential. “I fell in love with the windows. I love the fact that it feels like we are in a treehouse,” he says. “In the fall and winter, the view is just unbelievable.”
As is typical in California Modern-style houses, the barriers between the outdoors and indoors are minimal. The floor plan is open with long horizontal spaces that are great for large gatherings, yet intimate in scale. “The house had great bones. I loved the use of stone and the pink Tennessee marble floors,” he says. “We kept all of that but we gutted the place and then added an addition.”
It took one year to renovate the home. The original master bedroom, located right off the entranceway, became a den and study. The foyer was reconfigured and the guest bathroom was tastefully sheathed in mirrors, giving the small stainless sink and urinal the appearance of floating in the room. A handful of wide marble-clad steps lead down to the main living area. “We replaced all the windows with floor-to-ceiling ones so that the outside really seems to be a part of the inside of the house,” says Patrick.
Patrick and Carol relied on Contemporary Galleries in Charleston to outfit their home with the appropriate aesthetic. Rich leather upholstered pieces and a unique collection of decorative items create a livable and inviting space. “When people think about living in a contemporary or modern house, they think it's cold and impersonal, but our home isn’t like that at all,” says Patrick.
“Our friends were all surprised when we bought this house,” says Patrick. “But we just love it.” The Burgesses no longer need to travel to experience trend-setting décor—all they need to do is open their eyes each morning.