Two generations make a life on Coffee Bluff
In the corner of Carla and David McCorvey’s kitchen, among the calming hues and clean lines of their modern coastal home, is a single vintage tile. Its homespun charm stands out with its adage: “No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best.”
In a home adorned with memories and stylish new touches, Carla cherishes this token of her family’s journey. It was originally a part of the décor in her parents’ home while they were attending veterinary school, and Carla packed it up to hang in her college dorm room, as she followed in her parents’ footsteps to join the Case Veterinary legacy. Through the years, the tile’s observation still rings true, and there is much for guests to like about the McCorveys’ luminous kitchen and their open-concept home perched on Savannah’s Coffee Bluff.
For the family of four, the six-bedroom, five full bath and two half-bath house is a forever home 15 years in the making.
With the help of Konter Quality Homes, the McCorveys’ vision of an inviting, airy Lowcountry nest came to life, and the whole crew officially moved in in December 2018 after purchasing the land and its original home in 2003.
The Coffee Bluff area was not unfamiliar to Savannah native Carla and husband David, originally from Atlanta — Carla’s parents moved into the house next door when she was 16 years old. They quickly fell in love with a neighborhood where generations of fishers cast lines into the Little Ogeechee River, and neighbors share their grapefruit tree bounties with the Carmelite Monastery nuns just down the road.
“It’s very much a community here,” Carla attests.
Carla and David met at the University of Georgia and moved to Savannah in 1999. After living in apartments and in a house in Midtown, they intended to build on Dutch Island. Plans were drawn, but their Midtown house sold sooner than expected, and Carla, David, their three-month-old daughter and dog moved in with Carla’s folks as the Dutch Island plans were finalized. Then, suddenly, the house next to Carla’s parents was put on the market.
“We thought, ‘there’s no way we can make this happen — we’re only 30’,” Carla remembers. “But we went out on a limb with the financing, and things have just fallen into place. We’re here forever now.”
After 15 years, they decided to start from scratch, building a new home on the property that was roomy enough for their kids, pets and guests, yet cozy and comfortable. Guests enter the property via a driveway that winds beneath a moss-covered live oak and charming tree house. Carla’s taste for Lowcountry style is immediately evident in the foyer, where oyster shells, natural fibers and clean white shiplap add a vintage touch. Prints and original works from Southern artists like Ben Jam, Ray Ellis, Sharon Saseen and Lori Keith Robinson add to the local aesthetic. To the left of the entryway, the dining room is anchored by a hand-carved table that had belonged to the owners of the original house. The tabletop is a gate door from Mexico, and two ox yokes serve as legs.
Texture abounds in the open concept kitchen and living room — a red brick backsplash behind the kitchen range, a rope-and-wood chandelier crowning a circular dining room table on a woven rug. Driftwood and other natural finds from the river are lovingly displayed alongside family photos, and cut crystal gleams in the crisp, backlit butler’s pantry. And from any seat in the house, there isn’t a bad view to be found.
“We have 180 degrees of horizon,” Carla says, gesturing to the expansive view that’s framed by the living room’s French doors. A small porch with rocking chairs is a tempting relaxation spot and leads to an adjoining screened-in porch, also accessible from the kitchen. The breezy room offers a wide view and a fireplace for cooler days, and the wall-mounted TV makes it David’s favorite spot to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play.
Standing on the McCorveys’ dock, one has a direct line of sight to Richmond Hill. Getting to the Richmond Hill Marina and Fish Tales restaurant would take an hour and a half by car, but the McCorveys prefer to travel by boat, a mere 15-minute journey.
“In this area, there’s not an interruption in your view,” says Carla. “And there are no lights — just the twinkle of Richmond Hill. There’s not a big marina, no parkway or powerlines. Even a lot of the coveted places have something man-made that you’re looking at. Here, it’s just flat-out gorgeous.”
Due to structural problems, the home’s original dock had to be rebuilt and moved; now, it dovetails perfectly with the center lines of the home. The spacious dock has ample seating and plenty of fishing and watersports gear for thrill-seeker David and the kids.
Upstairs, the views continue from their daughter’s room, the family room, and Carla and David’s master bedroom, which includes an elegant master bathroom and walk-in closet, accessed through a hand-carved Mexican door that was original to the McCorveys’ old home. There is also a bedroom downstairs that is currently for guests but will serve as a more easily accessible master bedroom when the couple gets older.
For now, Carla and David watch sunrises over Wassaw Sound while enjoying their morning coffee on their upstairs bedroom porch (the walk-in closet is outfitted with a Keurig for easy caffeine access). The kids will be moved out before the McCorveys know it, but the adjoining garage’s upstairs bedrooms and the two acres of family land will be waiting for them, along with shared dinners, fishing sojourns and quality time together for generations to come.
Owners: David & Carla McCorvey
Year built: 2018
Year land purchased: 2003
Square footage: 4,680 heated (6,740 including screened/covered porches & garage)
Number of bedrooms & bathrooms: 6 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms
Time to complete: 12 months
Architects/planners: Konter Quality Designs
Interior designers: Owners and Gwen Wachsman
Contractor/builder: Mark and Jerry Konter, Konter Quality Homes
Director of construction: Carl Ward, Konter Quality Homes
Tile/flooring: BWF Flooring
Paint/wallpaper: Brett Baxter, Baxter Painting
Windows/doors: Howard Lumber & Hardware and Ryan Belfry, The Louver Shop
Kitchen Design: Owners and Becca Webber, Konter Quality Designs
Bath design: Owners and Becca Webber, Konter Quality Designs
Lighting design: Pace Lighting
Landscape design: Simon Landscape LLC, Paul Daniels Design and Pope Landscape
Landscaper: Simon Landscape LLC and Pope Landscape
Electrician: Raymond Adams, Ray’s Construction
Audio/visual: Best Buy
Carpenter: Paul Seibert
Plumber: Jake Patrick, Jack Patrick and Sons Plumbing
HVAC: Mark Gerrald, Gerralds Heating & Air
Furniture: Owners’ collection, Whelan’s, Havertys, Rooms to Go, Nadeau, Ashley and Wayfair
Rugs: David Poppell and Gwen Wachsman, Poppell Brothers Flooring
Appliances: Livingood’s Appliances
Art: Owners’ collection, Ben Ham, Ray Ellis, Sharon Saseen and Lori Keith Robinson
Dock design & construction: Dock Supply and Construction
*all resources supplied by homeowners