The first time Becky and Marty Kanipe visited The Ford Plantation, they say it felt like coming home. “Looking out, it was like it had been staged,” Becky says of the property. A boat zipped between the marshes on the Ogeechee River; horseback riders ambled along a trail in the distance while children played tag on the lawn. “The only thing that would have made it better,” she says, laughing, “is if an eagle had soared through the sky.”
Eagle or not, the Virginia couple has experienced their fair share of picture-perfect moments in their home at McAllister Point. With 2,600 square feet of porch space and a rooftop terrace, there’s a stunning view from every angle. From the swaths of rice fields and marshland at the back of the house to the perfectly manicured formal garden and quaint neighborhood square at the front, the pair is happy to be spoiled for choice.
“We were inspired by homes we had seen in Charleston and Savannah and wanted to build vertically so we could take full advantage of the scenery,” Marty says. “The row-home style really lent itself to that.”
With the help of architect Erik Puljung from Hansen Architects of Savannah, the couple was able to maximize their space through the addition of a porte-cochère below the porches overlooking the garden, leaving plenty of room on the lawn for entertaining guests.
On mild days—in true row-home style—the couple likes to open all the windows and take full advantage of the coastal breeze. The picturesque views make their way indoors, too, through the use of color and pattern.
“I’m a total color person,” Becky admits. “And I know what I like when I see it.” Amy Porch, an interior designer also with Hansen Architects, gracefully translated the organic, Lowcountry landscape into a neutral color palette with pops of bright hues and prints.
In the great room, muted cool tones mimic the blue of the river and green of the marsh grass. Punchy coral pillows reminisce on the sunsets that the Kanipes are so fond of watching, while paintings by artist Bellamy Murphy (a Lowcountry staple) further impress visions of the marsh upon guests.
“We have always been a family that likes to entertain,” Becky says. Whether it’s for family members stopping by for a spontaneous weekend getaway or hosting Marty’s annual hunting party, the couple is more than willing to provide a generous invitation. One of their most memorable gatherings happened shortly after the completion of their home in 2018. As Southern etiquette insists, the Kanipes hosted a housewarming party—and invited all 300 residents of The Ford Plantation. Guests breezed in and out of the home all day and into the night, gathering on the myriad porches to wish their newest neighbors well.
“The component of welcoming friends and family was a big part of the design concept,” Marty says. “I think it’s safe to say we’ve succeeded with that,” he adds, chuckling.
When asked about their favorite room in the home, the question is met with laughter. “Really, it just depends on the time of day,” Marty replies, though he admits to being particularly fond of the porch off the master bedroom in the morning. As for Becky, she jokes that her least favorite room is the laundry room. “But, as far as the rest of them, they’re all my favorite rooms,” she says.
As much as they enjoy spending time at home, the Kanipes are also fond of taking advantage of all the amenities The Ford Plantation has to offer. Becky has recently rediscovered her love of horseback riding and takes lessons once a week, whereas Marty is no stranger to the golf course. “We love keeping our days open,” the couple says. “You never know what opportunity might spring up on a Saturday afternoon.”
Beyond the views and the amenities, there is something even more exceptional about the place the Kanipes have chosen to call home. “The feeling that you have here, you can’t put that on paper,” Becky says. “Being able to witness someone who’s never visited before experience that is really special. Most of the time, they ask us why we would ever leave.”