Project Description

The Murdaugh Residence


The Murdaugh Residence_Patio Perspective


DESCRIPTION: Beach vacation home for Dr. Jim and Sara Murdaugh

LOCATION: Port St. Joe, Florida

SIZE: 3,200 sq. ft.


  • Create a welcoming retreat

  • Implement universal design elements

  • Specify sustainable materials

  • Embrace the ocean views


To create an environment that is just as calming and breathtaking as the surrounding ocean view, the experience of an evening walk on the beach was utilized to inform the design of the Murdaughs’ home. The sensations felt when taking a walk along the shore were translated into tangible design elements. The smoothness of the sand was represented through soft materials and fabrics. Furniture is arranged in an open layout to replicate the ocean breeze. The feeling of infinity had while glancing along the horizon is present through the emphasis of horizontal and clean lines. In the night sky, shimmering stars peek out against a rich blue sky, creating a sense of mystery and elegance. Architectural lighting was thoughtfully placed to establish a serene and intimate environment. Navy blue contrasts with a muted color palette to create emphasis and accent focal points throughout the home. By utilizing the sensory elements experienced during a walk on the beach, the design of the Murdaughs’ home establishes an atmosphere that is just as restorative and beautiful as a walk on the beach.

Ground Floor

One of the best parts about living in a beach house is the beach! The Murdaughs wanted a transitional space on the lower level so the kids can shower off or grab a snack before heading back inside from a day on the coast. This ground floor layout is complete with an outdoor kitchen and shower, dining area, and cozy seating area around the fire. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the summer nights.

The Murdaugh Residence Ground Floor_Floor Plan

Level 1

The Murdaugh Residence Level 1_Floor Plan

The first floor of the Murdaugh residence is all about accommodating. Both Jim and Sara plan on having friends and family come to visit their new home often. It was important to have adequate space for everyone to feel at home and be able to stay a while. The focus on this floor was their son Austin’s room. Comfy beanbag chairs and a flat screen TV allow space for gaming. The balcony is furnished with a conversational seating arrangement and a ping pong table to create a space for friends to hang out and enjoy the ocean view.

Level 2

The main level of the home focuses on hospitality and gathering. The kitchen serves as the center of entertainment while the living room provides a cozy place to read a book or sip a morning cup of coffee. In the living room, a copper-toned wall covering unifies this space with the kitchen. The navy blue accent wall embraces the colors of the ocean while contrasting with the white stone to create a focal point and conversation piece for guests who come to visit.

The Murdaugh Residence Level 2_Floor Plan

The layout of the Murdaughs’ kitchen was carefully planned to optimize efficiency and flexibility. Many features were included to create a universally designed space that the clients can continue to use as they age. For example, the microwave was placed beneath counter height to create ease of access, and open space was left behind the sink cabinets to accommodate wheelchair accessibility. The durability and clean style of the kitchen will make it a safe and attractive space to age in and enjoy for years to come.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and the center for entertainment for the Murdaughs. Navy blue cabinets complement the color of their copper range hood. White marble flows seamlessly between the backsplash and countertop and evokes the feeling of infinity as it drapes over the island. Cabinetry is made using sustainable woods and adhesives that are safe for the homeowners.

Level 3

The monochromatic gray color scheme of the master bedroom establishes a calming and relaxing retreat for the Murdaughs. A casual seating area creates space for a relaxed morning or a cozy movie night. Their dog’s crate is kept nearby underneath the television. Architectural lighting details create a mood of intimacy and elegance perfect for unwinding and falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean waves.

This detail illustrates how the tray ceiling feature will be constructed. It will softly graze warm light across the vinyl wall covering on the ceiling. The architectural feature will ground the seating area and establish a relaxing and sophisticated atmosphere.

This cove lighting detail illustrates how the feature wall in the master bedroom will be constructed. It will create a halo of light brushing against the rich texture of the upholstered headboard. The combination of lighting, reflection, and cool grays creates a luxurious environment that will relax the mind and rejuvenate the spirit.


The Murdaugh residence serves as a private retreat from their busy lives. Soft textures, soothing colors, and natural materials complement the surrounding landscape and create a relaxing atmosphere. The layout of each floor is arranged to support entertaining and hosting guests. A fire pit welcomes guests to enjoy the crisp summer air, a large kitchen island encourages gathering, and multiple guest rooms allow friends and family to feel at home with every stay. Overall, the Murdaugh residence incorporates the most relaxing elements of an evening walk on the beach to create a rejuvenating experience that the Murdaughs can enjoy for years to come.

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