Home Tour: Riverside Cottage

front porch house in trees savannah
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Front of the House

front porch house in trees savannah

A young family's riverside home in Savannah merges relaxed outdoor living with traditional Low Country elegance.

This home on the banks of the Skidaway River, a branch of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, was built in the 1820s as the caretaker's cottage of an antebellum plantation. A decade ago, the McGaugheys bought the house, and they recently restored the exterior to its original appearance.

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The Porch


Vintage rocking chairs on the porch, paired with a stone-topped iron table from decorator Sim Harvey's Savannah shop, Arcanum.

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The Front Porch


The porch is decked out with a mix of classic and contemporary touches, including a slatted swing (a must on any Southern veranda), a concrete-and-steel coffee table, and zinc planters.

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Porch Details


A mirror framed with reclaimed wood, a faux-bois urn, and a demilune console table create a rustic tableau on the front porch.

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The Side Porch


The side porch, enclosed by screens to keep out bugs, is one of the most frequently used spaces in the house.

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Garden Cuttings


Freshly cut camellia blossoms from the McGaugheys' garden.

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The Dining Room


A round mahogany table in the dining room offers an intimate spot for meals. The painted plaster walls have a honey hue, and the silk-and-linen slipcovers give the dining chairs a pared-down profile. The iron-and-crystal chandelier is a Niermann Weeks design.

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Dining Room Detail


In the dining room, a faux-plaster paint finish gives the walls a well-worn patina.

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The Living Room


The living room reflects the McGaugheys' taste for mixing traditional and contemporary styles. The original wainscoting was treated with several coats of paint for a lustrous finish. The sectional sofa, which is upholstered in Belgian linen, combines a modern silhouette with the antique touch of a brass nail-head trim.

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The Bedroom


Stella lounges in the master bedroom, where a ceiling fan with mahogany blades and tongue-and-groove wood paneling convey a cottage feel. Plantation shutters create privacy but let the breeze flow through.

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The View


The family's dock on the Skidaway River, where Sam's vintage motorboat is moored, is a plum spot for crabbing and trout fishing.

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