Two miles from Hilton Head Island, and separated from the world by a 1,200 acre nature conservancy, this 2002 French Normandy-inspired estate practically lounges under moss-draped water oaks and magnolias. In a nod to romanticism, it's probably not what you'd think of when someone says "lowcountry manor." The turreted entrance, dovecotes, and shutters painted in a shade of blue common to Provence present a unexpectedly Euro twist to the concept of Southern coastal living. It's impressive but not imposing, because really, isn't the point of getting away from it all relaxation? If Old World style isn't your cup of cafe, you might want to look elsewhere. This place is all about the Continent.
Forgive the less-than-elegant comparison, but doesn't this place remind you of Sharon Osbourne's decorating style depicted on her family's reality show? It's especially true of the oversized kitchen, which is decked out in creamy faux finished and deliciously embellished cabinetry. Why not top it off with an old-fashioned china collection? The great room moves in a cozy direction with its massive trusses and previously-in-Paris-paneling, but what's with the pulpit? Entertaining on a grand scale was no doubt an influence on the home's design. Consider the dining room decked out with multiple chandeliers and tables - the kind of arrangement that requires agonizing over who sits where and next to whom. Utterly breathtaking is the tea room with its antique stained glass dome depicting - what else - glowing palm fronds.
An airy groin vaulted passage runs along the edge of the home's beautiful courtyard, which could just be the best "room" in the house. Enclosed by the home's sturdy architecture, it's a well planned medley of trees, shrubs, and flowers that practically begs for an afternoon of quiet enjoyment. Well, if we're going by the behavior of the Osbournes, I suppose really anything could happen there. Don't judge a homeowner by his or her taste! The listing is really more than just the house, though. It includes just under 10 acres of luscious Lowcountry land, as well as a well appointed guest house and pool. The private deep water deck is the perfect launching point for a day of watery exploration. Outside the home's frilly gates, the community of Colleton River Plantation is more resort than housing development. With seven miles of pristine shore, a Junior Olympic sized pool, two golf courses, and a massive fitness center, it's hard to imagine boredom ever setting in. Vive lla Bluffton!