The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

The Art Of Lowcountry Living

By Amy Bailey — December 20, 2014

Lydia Mondavi was born in the South and shares a great love for the South with her husband Rob. So when she and Rob decided on a home in Beaufort, South Carolina it was no surprise. Lydia exudes a simple, yet sophisticated beauty in everything she does including their Mondavi Home Collection. The couple’s new coastal home overlooking Parris Island is a magical example of her exquisite style. With the debut of this charming home, the Mondavi Home Collection hosted a fabulous event for press and influencers this fall at the coastal cottage by the sea. Whether you are looking for inspiration for a coastal home or your main home, this Beaufort home is one that will enchant you with its comfortable decor and natural beauty. The kitchen is gorgeous, yet simple and functional for family entertaining. The screened porch areas make outdoor living a daily luxury. The private beach and outdoor shower will beckon you to the ocean for a casual day by the sea sunning and fishing. The Mondavi’s have captured the essence of Lowcountry living in this home and it should encourage any homeowner that living well means creating a comfortable, yet beautiful space that is welcoming, full of love, and family friendly. MyScoop interviewed Lydia and we are so inspired to incorporate her ideas into our homes.

What made you choose Beaufort as a second home? I am from the South, Rob and I met in the South when he was transferred handling the import division of their wines out of Atlanta. As Rob says he fell in love with me and also with the South.  When we moved to Napa we agreed that once we had a family we would look for a place to share the joys of the South with our family.  My maternal heritage is from South Carolina and my paternal grandfather Y.T. Abernathy was stationed at Parris Island as a marine.  We started looking for a place on the water in the South and found a great piece of land right on the Atlantic overlooking Port Royal Sound and Parris Island where my grandfather was stationed. We fell in love with the property and the area.


What was your inspiration in creating the ideal coastal living space? We wanted to create an amazing place for entertaining our friends and family and a true escape retreat.  A big open kitchen and great room with lots of windows bringing the beautiful Lowcountry settings indoors as well.  The kitchen is the focal point of the home with an amazing Pro Grande Steam Range from Thermador. Rob enjoys bringing in fresh shrimp, clams, oysters and catching fish right off the beach in front of the home and creating incredible culinary delights paired with delicious wines. Also the Kohler designed outdoor shower is perfect to come in from the beach and rinse off before enjoying a glass of wine and cooking up the Lowcountry boil. We also wanted to design a home that was very easy to maintenance and was a luxurious home with very efficient space planning. When we escape to the Lowcountry the last thing we wanted was a house to be a huge project and require lots of maintenance.  mondavitableThe house is less than 3000 sq ft, we worked diligently with our architect Caroline Rolader with Reu Architects to design the house to be very comfortable, low maintenance and quaint. “We want to raise the art of living well,” Rob says and that means more time enjoying family and friends and less time on house projects.  Lighting was very important. In creating soft ambient lighting we chose Circa Lighting out of Savannah to help us accomplish this in each room of the house. mondaviscreenedporchWe created several screened in porch relaxation areas to encourage outdoor living. Trex makes an amazing product of decking called Transcend in the color Island Mist that we love which is featured on all the decks and walkways on the dock. My mother Anita Wilbanks is the interior decorator for the home and she worked with Benjamin Moore paints to create a true soft color palette with colors reminiscent of the views of the high and low tides such as wet sand, waters of Port Royal Sound, oyster shells glistening on the beach, Spanish Moss draped in the trees.

mondaviprivatebeachWhat is your favorite thing about being on the South Carolina Coast? We love the friendly people of the South, the fabulous sounds of the South at night such as crickets chirping, katydids, shrimping on the beach, harvesting clams, views of Spanish Moss draped in the trees and glistening waters of the Atlantic.

mondavikitchen2What is your favorite room? Why? We love the kitchen and great room as this is where most of our time is spent enjoying amazing food and wine and sharing with friends and family. The great room has a wonderful bar featuring the our new Mondavi Home Collection as a backsplash.  The french oak barrel tops and bottoms we reclaim and ship to Authentic Reclaimed Flooring in Locust Grove, GA to create beautiful floors, backslashes and table tops. The backsplash features the cooper’s marks from the barrels and the stains of the wines from Rob’s winemaking.  We also reclaimed and utilized clear heart redwood tanks from the family’s first winery to create a sliding barn door in the great room, beams and a fireplace mantel.

Also part of the Mondavi Home Collection of flooring is their floors called Mondavi’s Choice which are reclaimed heart pine from the Old Crow Bourbon Distillery in Kentucky, we love bourbon as well as wine.mondaviwetbar

How do you want your home to feel? Comfortable and Luxurious

What is the best part of coming home at night? The sounds of the waters lapping on the beach and the deep sounds of the South.

How did this house inspire the Mondavi Home Collection?  (See story on

What values will consumers find in the Mondavi Home Collection? We are reclaiming pieces of history and creating an exclusive but affordable flooring for everyone to enjoy.

mondavikitchenWhat inspires the Mondavi Home Collection? Capturing the essence and the art of living well. We are inspired by things we love whether they be in the South or in Napa or from all over the world. (Click to enlarge photos.)