Heartthrob Homes

February 2014
Written By: 
Denise Mullen
Photographs by: 
Christopher Shane

This year’s annual home tour features stunning bedrooms and pulse-raising kitchens, a room that is truly the heart of any abode




Home of B.V. & Harriet Belk
{4100 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach}

Conventional wisdom dictates that when you buy a tired 1960s beach house that needs immediate attention (as in a whole re-wire, re-plumb, plus new insulation and a roof replacement), it might be better to bulldoze and start over.

But these new oceanfront owners and designer Barbara Graham put their heads together to come up with a plan that could preserve the structure and “make it the best thing it could be.”
The huge screened-in porch overlooking the sand dunes sold the Belks on the property, and it had to stay intact. They needed enough space to accommodate their large tribe of kids and grandchildren and B.V., a sports fanatic, had to have an area where he could watch three games at one time.

Like most beachfront homes of its era, the interior was clad in wide planks of pecky cypress. There was a bit of a tug-of-war between owners and designer over whether to keep it or drywall over it. In the end, Graham was able to prove that by sanding away age spots, the cypress reclaimed its former luster and imbued a sense of history.

The kitchen was expanded and now stands as an open, airy gathering place with skylights overhead and banks of countertops. In keeping with the surrounds, the palette reflects oceanfront living in blues and driftwood grey.

Four original bedrooms would never do for family vacations, so the storage space under the house was cleverly turned into two more bedrooms.

B.V. has his own sports den set up in the living room with a fireplace, three flat screens and laid back seating.

The Belks live in Charlotte but make the pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach at least once a month for the soothing sound of breaking waves.    

Home of Marilyn Gantt
{918 Monterossa Drive, Cipriana Park at Grande Dunes}

To be honest, Marilyn Gantt can turn almost any home into a vision of style and function. For years, she has been a partner in a family hobby-turned-business where condos and beach houses were bought, renovated, staged and flipped. At one time, the group even built log cabins.

But her latest life venture (she moved from Lexington, South Carolina, to Myrtle Beach in September) landed her in an all-brick model home in Cipriana Park, right next door to her twin sister.
Marilyn sews and refurbishes consignment furniture and gardens. She’s a self-taught decorator who learned well how to create showroom-worthy spaces on a shoestring by using vision and DIY determination.

This is a stop on the tour to tap into clever design ideas.

The cream-and-white-toned living room packs in a lot of seating with matching sofas and is given a punch of expansiveness with panel mirrors overlaid by artistic lighting sconces.
It is a must-do at this home to check out the master bedroom, to gaze upon the stunning buffet mirror cleverly repurposed as a headboard. The statement bed plus mirror inlays in furnishings and a curvy vanity table set a glamorous Hollywood-esque mood.

A found portfolio that once belonged to a fashion student in the 1940s captivated Marilyn’s imagination. The scholar’s sketches of rooms and high-fashion designs made their way into frames to become fetching art pieces throughout the house.

It’s hard to coin a particular style to describe Marilyn’s aesthetic, but it works.

“If I had to describe it, I would say it’s French-Deco-Glam with an eclectic mix of antiques,” Marilyn says. “With hits of chartreuse as an accent color.”

Home of Brad King & Susan Walker King
{5517 Woodside Ave., Pine Lakes}

Welcome to this landmark home in Pine Lakes that puts you in touch with the roots of the granddaddy greens of the Grand Strand—the Pine Lakes Country Club.

In fact, the original part of the house was built in the late 1920s, entirely from the tall pine trees that were felled to construct the former Ocean Forest Country Club golf course and clubhouse. For many years, it served as Ocean Forest’s exclusive quarters for single gentlemen.  

From the ceiling beams, built in bookshelves, wall paneling, floors and putting green, the King home is as much a part of the Pine Lakes golf course as the clam chowder that is served.
Susan Walker King is an A.S.I.D. interior designer who has dabbled in real estate for years. Her career, coupled with an intense love for the Grand Strand, cultivated a personal passion for rooting out elusive historic properties in Myrtle Beach and doing what she can to recognize their stories and preserve them.

“Could there be a more perfect home for me than this one?” Susan says. “When we heard that the old Miles house was up for sale, I couldn’t wait to check it out!”

 From the outdoor gaslights and tiled foyer graced by an arbor entwined with Confederate jasmine to the European-style kitchen and yawning fireplaces, Susan fell in love with the home’s grace and sense of place.

The Kings turned the billiard room into a stately library, its padded walls swathed in rich chocolate fabric and heavy wooden doors salvaged from a Mt. Pleasant church that was otherwise destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.

“That back wall in the library is amazing,” says Susan. “It’s a puzzle of different woods and doors that were harvested after Hurricane Hugo. I see something new every time I stare at it.”
Throughout the nearly 4600 square feet of this U-shaped home, architectural surprises make their mark. Take a moment to gaze upon the solid wood columns taken from a Charleston plantation in the formal dining room, where gentlemen visitors of days gone by used to gather around the hearth to play cards.

Be sure to check out the fully renovated “his” and “hers” galley bathrooms with pane glass mirrors, vessel tub and drop-dead gorgeous dressing room. And those 12-by-12 Mexican tiles you’re walking on? Heating pipes from the 1920s lie underneath that kept guests’ feet warm during a winter stay.

New to the property is a sign on the brick entrance column, naming the property “Villa Elise” after four generations of namesakes in Susan’s family.

“There’s so much history here,” she says. “I feel like I was always meant to live here.”

The Art Museum’s 14th annual Spring Tour of Homes, to benefit the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.

Saturday, March 8, 2014
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets $40 ($45 day of tour). A luncheon buffet will be served at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, 9000 N. Ocean Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. for Tour of Homes ticket holders. Lunch tickets are $17. Reservations are suggested. Call (843) 238-2510.


Featured Homes

■ The Belk Home
4100 N. Ocean Blvd.

■ The Gantt Home
918 Monterossa Drive,
Cipriana Park

■ The King Home
5517 Woodside Ave., Pine Lakes

■ The Lee Home
8357 Leone Circle, Grande Dunes

■ The Skelley Home
6502 North Ocean Boulevard

■ The Trio Home
906 Monterossa Drive,
Cipriana Park