‘Retirement,’ isn’t that a nice word? It likely brings up a vision you have for your life in your golden years and the activities and home you want to live in to support your lifestyle. That lifestyle may include entertaining multi-generational family and friends for meals and overnight. It may also include hobby spaces and storage room for all your ‘toys.’ You’ve also likely begun to think about what part of the country you would like to retire to. In our opinion, which may be just a tad bias, South Carolina’s Lowcountry is one of the best places to retire. With beautiful weather, countless sites to see and the ability to enjoy outdoor activities year-round, there’s a lot to love about living here.

Finding the right home in the Lowcountry doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Renovation of an existing home or building a new, custom home to suit all your empty-nester dreams is attainable. Having worked with countless clients who want to retire in South Carolina, we’re familiar with often-overlooked opportunities and potential roadblocks. We’ve put together this blog post to help you identify what you should plan for along with some suggestions of what you could include as you start to turn your retirement ideas into reality.

First, think about the size and purpose of each room, the types of accommodations and storage that will be needed, and how to reduce household noise. For specific rooms and spaces, consider the following:

Master Bedroom Planning

Character ceiling in master bed with stunning ocean view

When it comes to master bedroom ideas, having more than one master bedroom suite is on-trend. Sometimes we design two separate-but-equal suites, other times we create a master and a junior master, and there are also times when we include a small sitting room adjacent to the master that can also be used for sleeping. These layouts allow each partner to observe their own bedtime and waking rituals and sleep comfortably in their own space. As an added bonus, dual master bedrooms are a desirable resale feature in the home market nationwide.


Create a Special Space for Guests

Satellite kitchen in converted den

Charleston is regularly voted a top U.S. and international vacation destination, your friends and family will want to visit you in South Carolina. For overnight guests, consider how you can make them feel comfortable and semi-independent. Whether that means a coffee bar by the guest bedrooms or extra beach accessories like towels, chairs, umbrellas, and beach cruisers so that they can get themselves back and forth to the beach without having to had brought everything with them. If you plan to have guests stay for long periods of time, consider a separate den or space so that everyone has somewhere to go when they’d like quiet or alone time.


Incorporate Hobby Spaces

Adding a room for card playing in your retirement home

Are you passionate about playing an instrument? Do you love to host card games? Are you a fitness fanatic? Perhaps you’ve quilted for years and have always dreamt of a large, bright sewing room. Whether you want to set aside space for your Peloton bike or create a dedicated hobby room, take the time to plan up front rather than retrofitting later.


Think Ahead About Storage

Lower level, elevated home with workshop

Because you can never have too many toys… there are many outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the Lowcountry: kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, bicycling, trips to the beach, cruising around your new neighborhood in a golf cart. They all require equipment that needs to be stored somewhere. Don’t stop at setting aside square footage; instead, create a dedicated storage solution. Plan for how you’ll keep things easily accessible, like appropriate racks or shelving, and decide if climate control is necessary. Remember, South Carolina is a hot, humid place; a dehumidifier is recommended in any storage areas outside of the conditioned area of the home.


Let Your Home Reflect Your Interests

Dining room with long range view to marsh and waterway

Make space to display the things you love. If you have an extensive art collection or want to share your treasures from your travels with your guests, make sure you make note of these things as your prepare your list.


Enjoy Outside

Exterior and outdoor living renovation of Sullivan's Island home

Enjoy the great outdoors and entertain in style with more time to truly savor and enjoy your day, consider the following features in your new home:

  • A fireplace and/or outdoor heater on the porch to extend its use in the cooler months
  • An outdoor fire pit
  • One or more screened-in porches large enough to accommodate a dining and/or sitting area
  • Multiple ceiling fans on porches and patios
  • An elevated pool with a waterfall edge to maximize the view or, if exterior space is limited, a ‘cocktail’ pool or oversized spa, which can be refreshing on a hot summer day.


Entertain the Way You Want to

Dining room in open concept floor plan set up for entertaining

The kitchen and eating spaces should function for your planned style of entertaining in retirement.

  • Do you like to dine in a formal dining room? Or do you prefer to grill and hang out on the deck?
  • Will you host large family events? Or do you prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings?
  • Will you have mostly adult house guests? Or will children and babies be coming to stay?

Considering how you like to entertain will make sure that you can comfortably host that party of 35 people for a holiday dinner or that you have plenty of TV screens in your outdoor bar for fall football Saturdays.

If you’ll be a new South Carolinian, moving to another area does come with some challenges–most of those are that you are unfamiliar with the area and the building codes and requirements. This is especially true when building a custom home or considering a whole house major renovation. If you’ve started thinking about your retirement home, you are on the right track to not being caught wondering, “Is there something I’m not aware of? Anything I’m forgetting or haven’t thought about?” We’d like to help you make your empty-nester dreams come true with a beautiful and functional Lowcountry home. Reach out and let’s talk, contact us.