By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
The couple had scouted out the narrow, 1.36 acre lot that stuck out like a thumb (albeit not a sore one) into a Stono River tidal creek.
They liked the property but weren’t sure how to build a home there. Then it dawned on them: Take a page from historic Charleston and its prized single-home design.
Combining the elongated style with an inverted floor plan — main rooms upstairs and bedrooms below — husband and wife Tim and Ann Marie DeMars crafted a 3,968-square-foot home at 4004 Gift Blvd. The Johns Island dwelling, built in 2006, is on the market for $1,286,000.
The peninsula property offers nearly panoramic 150-degree views of lowlands and the Intracoastal Waterway in the distance. Marking the sights are oaks, palmettos and neatly trimmed hedges in the couple’s yard, which is at the end of a lengthy driveway.
“It sits back, but you have neighbors,” says Samantha “Sammi” Ensign, Realtor with Coldwell Banker, United Realtors and the home’s listing agent.
Gift Plantation, launched more than a decade ago, counts 122 home sites for custom-built residences, Ensign says. Neighborhood amenities include a swimming pool, tennis courts and a crabbing dock.
The 4004 Gift Blvd. owners secured a permit to build a 183-foot long, four-foot wide pier with 12-by12foot dock and are considering constructing one as part of a sale.
Six years ago, the couple took the lead role in designing their house. Tim DeMars, a retired executive, has developed into a proficient woodworker with some of his furniture winning awards and being shown in national venues. Two of his meticulously carved wood kayaks hang in the garage. Ann Marie DeMars, meanwhile, is an interior designer at Southeastern Galleries.
Among the features they developed for 4004 Gift Blvd. is a deck for each the four bedrooms. Four of the five porches are screened-in and include ceiling fans.
“They really had to think how to maximize the view,” Ensign says.
Crown molding rims much of the house, which has hardwood floors in main living quarters, carpeting in bedrooms, travertine bath flooring and Brazilian ironwood for at least one of the deck floors.
As an energy-saving move, the couple installed double doors to shut off the stairs between the first and second floors when not in use. Other cost-pruning benefits are a 46-kilowatt generator and a 500-pound propane tank, both of which can be used for emergency power.
Ann Marie DeMars says, “In designing the house, we were required to work around the restrictions of the waterfront set backs all around the property. After climbing a tree, we knew the best view was from the third floor, thus the plan evolved. Every room has a breathtaking view.”
The living room-kitchen was designed for entertaining and spills out onto the screened porches, she says. “A pair of framed original watercolor paintings mounted on cabinet doors above the living room fireplace conceal the television. The paintings are of the beautiful marsh outside the window done by Gaye Sanders Fischer, a local Charleston artist,” she says.
From the front of the house, a long set of brick steps leads to a sizable porch and the main door. In the upside down floor plan, the second floor showcases an office- guest room sporting a cherry and slate gas fireplace; three roomy bedrooms with porches and river views and a gathering area off the stairs with window seat and kitchenette. Tying together the bedrooms is a large bathroom with walk-in shower, Ensign says.
Carpeted stairs lead to the main, top floor sporting master suite, kitchen, living room and laundry room.
Sparking the living room is a barrel-shaped ceiling, wood-gas fireplace flanked by bookcases and large windows looking out on the marsh.
The gourmet kitchen showcases top-of-the-line appliances including Thermador refrigerator, Wolf gas cooktop and electric stove and Advantium light wave-microwave oven. Also in the kitchen are granite countertops, custom cabinets and a redtray-ceiling above the center island.
The master suite boasts a fireplace with travertine surround, vaulted ceilings, bay windows, custom closets and a sitting area in the bedroom. A walk-in travertine shower with multiple shower heads spruces up the bath, which also has a jetted tub and private water closet with toilet and bidet.
A three-car garage is on the ground level. DeMars has set aside a wing for his all-purpose woodworking shop, which looks out on the scenic rear expanses.
“That’s the luxury of having a property like this,” Ensign says.
The Gift Boulevard house is near a main neighborhood intersection. Traveling south, take Savannah Highway out of town. Turn left on Main Road and cross the Limehouse Bridge. Once off the bridge, make a right at the traffic light on Chisolm Road. Follow Chisolm for just more than a mile and turn right on Plantation Lakes Drive into Gift Plantation. Follow Plantation Lakes Drive to Gift Boulevard and turn left. Ahead on the right is 4004 Gift Blvd.
For more information and photos, visit www.postandcourier.com.
Reach Jim Parker a 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Agent: Samantha Ensign
Office: Coldwell Banker, United Realtors
Philosophy: “I’ve been told I’m too generous with my time and efforts in this business, but I believe ‘what goes around, comes around’ and as proof, I am blessed in many ways. Helping buyers and sellers is my passion! Let my passion work for you.”