Dan Marino's Family Island-Hide-Away

Ten Miles Of Pristine Beaches, Views To The Sea And The Freedom Of Island Living — A Hall Of Fame Quarterback Has Fallen Captive To Kiawah's Magic

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When Dan Marino, an nfl man of the year, retired after 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, he didn't retire from sports. Golf became a passion and the Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island in South Carolina offered just the kind of course and ambiance he and wife Claire were seeking. It only followed that with his family of six children, their friends, and his wide circle of professional relationships, a getaway home on Kiawah was a perfect fit.

"I've worked with the Marinos on at least four homes," interior designer Phyllis Taylor says. "Of them all, this one has Dan's input and imprint. Claire didn't like the original stone floors, so Dan insisted the new ones be in the warm wood found in the Sanctuary. He also decided on the blue and white theme."

Other priorities were to have not only a beach-style, vintage-feeling home, but one that was open for large groups to congregate in several spaces at once, from the main family areas to the oceanside verandas. In keeping with that directive, walls came down to expand the interior spaces of the 5,500-square-foot cottage. Taylor incorporated ceiling brackets and narrow bookcases to display trophies and family photos along the lines of the walls that were removed. Thick molding and dramatic wainscoting, along with the original transom-style windows give a nostalgic nod to centuries past.

In the dining room that was once a porch, Taylor designed a megalithic circular table to accommodate the whole family. Seating slip-covered in fabric from Holly Hunt handles wet bathing suits, sand and even friendly golden retriever paws.

With an eye to the sea, Taylor's decor tells a tale of sailing captains who might have brought Delft dinnerware and exotic accessories to American shores. "Pairing these elements in blues and whites, delicate pillow prints and the occasional surprise piece are like subliminal suggestions the mind picks up," she says. Yet the living room's braided area rug by Stark, hand-stitched by Amish from Pennsylvania, is pure Americana.

The master bedroom's blue-green offers another mood from the sea. "A rich shade of teal can be handled with grasscloth-clad walls," Taylor says. "They absorb light in a way that lets the color vibrate without overpowering." Palm-motif draperies again speak of distant ports, and even a "fantasy four-poster" from Noir Furniture lends a note of a faraway voyage.

"This is a home where a woman's sensibilities and a man's comfort levels are combined," Taylor says. "Pair that with golf, family, and the beach, and you see why you may not want to leave."

Interior Design
Phyllis Taylor, The Taylor & Taylor Partnership, Miami Beach, FL

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Atlanta, GA

Interior Architecture
William Taylor, The Taylor & Taylor Partnership, Miami Beach, FL

Exterior Architecture
Shope Reno Wharton, South Norwalk, CT

Jay Sifly, Sifly Fine Custom Homes, Charleston, SC

Text by
Marina Brown