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Butterfly Garden Cottages at Kiawah River: an interview with interior designers McLaurin Parker

Some properties just speak to us on a deeper level. Nowhere has that been more true than Kiawah River. Just 15 miles from Charleston and across the river from Kiawah Island, the land and budding community are an inspiration. A dream. We’re delighted to share more about the Butterfly Garden Cottages, designed by renowned coastal homes architect Julia Sanford and built by yours truly. The first in the limited collection debuted this summer, with interiors styled by local designers Mary Scott McLaurin and Frances Parker. We had the opportunity to hear from the McLaurin Parker duo about how they worked with the architectural details of the Butterfly Cottages and Kiawah River’s stunning natural environment to create a cozy, sea island-inspired interior.

Read on for tips, tricks, and inspiration. Then come visit to see the homes for yourself. We know you’ll be charmed.

Q: Please tell us a little about McLaurin Parker.

McLaurin Parker is based in Charleston and lead by designers and sisters, Mary Scott McLaurin and Frances Parker. With broad exposure to design spanning the United States and Europe, we highlight clients’ existing collections by incorporating new pieces as well as vintage and antique finds.

We choose design elements with an eye for what is timeless, but also one that cultivates classic and comfortable environments. We balance our understanding of modern lifestyles with a passion for architecture and creating bespoke environments for each of our clients.

Q: How would you describe the overall design aesthetic of the Butterfly Garden Cottages by Saussy Burbank? 

 A charming cottage that lives large regardless of size, with multiple opportunities for gathering and entertaining and utilizing the generous outdoor spaces.

Q: What inspired the interior styling of Butterfly Garden Cottages at Kiawah River? 

We looked to the incredible surroundings of Kiawah River for inspiration and envisioned the homeowners as embracing this very special community and its lifestyle.

Q: Any tips you can share for maximizing space in smaller square foot homes?

You’ll see in the Butterfly Garden Cottage we used a great looking table in the center of kitchen for dining, but also for prep, or for serving and entertaining in lieu of an island. We used less bulky chairs in the main living space and vintage rattan chairs that are not only very comfortable, but are visually open and can be moved easily about space. We also created an additional den downstairs allowing for multiple opportunities to relax, unwind, and entertain. Lastly, taking advantage of outdoor spaces for dining, gathering, and entertaining greatly increases the flexibility of a small space and truly embraces the beauty of Kiawah River.

Q: What is your favorite room in this home? 

The main living space. We chose beautiful pieces to maximize seating, stunning local artwork, gorgeous fabrics, and special moments throughout.

Q: We love the indoor/outdoor living areas. How did you decide on those selections?

For outdoor spaces, we focused on comfort and flexibility. Dining for few or many on the screened porch with, of course, the well-appointed bar. The front porch is truly an additional room taking advantage of cool breezes and the beauty of the Lowcountry. There is also seating near the outdoor grilling area allowing for the cottage to live large. The cottage is a perfect place to entertain on a small or large scale – indoors or al fresco!

Q: How can readers replicate the aesthetic? 

Surround yourself with pieces that reflect who you are and how you live…..books on subjects important to you, artwork reflecting your interests, your community, and collections that tell your story.

Q: What’s your favorite part of styling a home? 

The details! The antique hook in the powder room, the vintage glasses on the shelves, a sculpture, art and masses of greenery foraged from surroundings placed in interesting vessels.

Thank you, Mary Scott and Francis!

We invite you to explore Charleston’s sea islands and the homes available by Saussy Burbank. Then come experience what life is like along the river for yourself. Schedule a tour today.

Image Gallery

Kiawah River - Saussy Burbank Cottage
Kiawah River - Saussy Burbank Cottage
Kiawah River - Saussy Burbank Cottage
Saussy Burbank

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