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Family Builds on Grand Scale in North Charleston`s Coosaw Creek

THE LARGEST HOUSE IN COOSAW CREEK, a gated community located in North Charleston, South Carolina, is nearing completion. At 14,000 square feet, it offers all the comforts of home and then some and even includes two circular towers, one at each end of the back side of this spectacular home.

After a year of planning and two years of construction, the Stewart family looked forward to moving into their new home at the end of June. The Byers Design Group in Charleston assisted with the project, incorporating the Stewarts' ideas, providing the plans and obtaining the necessary permits. Because Dennis Stewart has experience in building, he is managing the project.

"We're landscape architects as well as architects," says Sandy Byers, "so we've been involved in both phases. We've worked with the retaining walls, gazebo and pool area in addition to the house."

Denise and Dennis Stewart originally planned to build on Daniel Island but, after some initial concerns regarding the size of the planned house, they opted instead to purchase two adjacent lots on the golf course in Coosaw Creek.

Located at the end of the road, the house rises majestically from a small hill. A retaining wall is already in place, but major landscaping won't be on the agenda until construction is completed.

Denise is proud of her new home and happy to show off the fine details that set it apart. The well-thought-out layout is conducive to the lifestyle of a family that loves to entertain. We stop to admire the in-ground pool and spa that sit between the house and the brick gazebo.

The first floor of the house is all about fun. Doors that open onto the terrace serve to lure guests into the house - but only to the first floor for casual gatherings. One of two spacious kitchens, where visitors can gather, is part of an open floor plan, and a home theater, a workout room and a racquetball court are also on the ground floor.

"I wanted two kitchens so it would be easy to entertain," Denise says. "We love to entertain and, in the summer, everything is downstairs on one floor."

The real living area is upstairs on the second floor, where another state-of-the-art kitchen will be installed, complete with a dining nook in the adjacent round tower room. The living and dining areas feature square columns, which add elegance and dimension to the space, but the true beauty must be the floor-to-ceiling windows that bow out toward the golf course. Originally, this section was to be walled, leading out to a rounded second floor terrace, but the Stewarts chose to make it interior space. It works beautifully to embrace the outdoors.

Dennis Stewart has his own wing off the main living space, and it will include an office, a pool and poker room and a wet bar, which overlooks the racquetball court. It's the perfect setting for a "boys' night in." Denise doesn't mind because, in this house, there is space for everyone.

Sleeping quarters take up the third floor, and 10-year-old daughter Melissa will have a suite fit for a princess, including a sitting room in the tower. The master bedroom suite on the opposite end of this floor takes advantage of a tower room also and has a fireplace, huge his and hers closets and a spa-like bathroom. Eight-year-old Angela has the middle room, and she'll have a state-of-the-art pop-up television to compensate for not having a tower room.

Son Brian, who attends law school in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. visits occasionally and has his own room on the third floor. A guest room rounds out this level. Each bedroom has its own bathroom.

One more set of stairs (there will be an elevator, of course) takes you up to a large open space on the fourth floor that can be used for storage. A built-in cedar closet/storage area is about the size of the racquetball court.

It's hard to resist Denise's excitement about the house.

"I love my doors," she exclaims and, indeed, they are not your common, everyday doors.

But then, there is nothing ordinary about this house. It demands your attention but offers comfort and serenity. It is elegant but definitely not stuffy. It is a home built for joy. Is it too big? Perhaps it is just the right size.

by Barbara Patrick

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