• Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

    Retreat into Nature: An Oasis for Hunting and Relaxation

    ByJames Forsyth

    Nov 20, 2023
    Retreat into Nature: An Oasis for Hunting and Relaxation

    Growing up in south Alabama, Woody Woodall’s love for hunting was ingrained in him from a young age. He dreamt of having a place where he could escape to the woods with his friends and a pack of dogs, seeking out quail, ducks, and doves. Discussing the idea with his wife, Keely, she encouraged him to find a country retreat while assuring him that she didn’t need to be involved. However, Keely soon realized that Woody had bigger plans in mind.

    Their search led them to the Savannah River Preserve, a sprawling 2,500-acre property located between Beaufort, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. This land had been a haven for sportsmen since the 1890s when it was known as the Pineland Hunting Club. The Woodalls fell in love with the property, enchanted by its natural beauty and the majestic oak allée that greeted them upon arrival.

    The existing house, built in the 1980s, immediately appealed to Keely, as it exuded timeless Low Country style. They worked with architecture firm Cronk Duch to convert two four-car garages into additional living spaces, accommodating their college-age son, teenage daughter, and extended family. Designer Andrew Howard spearheaded the renovation, ensuring that a proper bar was included in the design, a must-have for any hunting lodge.

    To furnish the retreat, Keely and Andrew embarked on their own adventure, combing through Savannah’s antique shops for furniture and art pieces. They aimed to create a collected and evolved ambiance, allowing the house to reflect its history and authenticity. The bathrooms and kitchen were also updated, with touches of Keely’s favorite color, green, appearing throughout the space.

    The retreat embodies sophisticated comfort, inviting the Woodalls and their guests to unwind after a day in the field. One can almost feel Woody’s stress melt away as he enters the property, immersed in the natural beauty that surrounds him. Their children explore the expansive woods, basking in starlit nights around the fire pit. In the kitchen, everyone gathers to help Keely with the cooking and carving, coming together around the large pine dining room table.

    This retreat is not just a place for hunting; it has become a family outpost where the Woodalls celebrate holidays and invite friends for long weekends. It is a testament to their love for nature, quality time spent with loved ones, and the joys of South Carolina’s Low Country lifestyle.


    **Q: How did the Woodalls come across the Savannah River Preserve?**
    A: The Woodalls discovered the Savannah River Preserve during their search for a country retreat that would allow them to indulge in their love for hunting and spend quality time with family and friends.

    **Q: Who played a significant role in converting the property into a comfortable living space?**
    A: Architecture firm Cronk Duch helped transform the existing garages into living quarters, while designer Andrew Howard spearheaded the renovation and interior design process.

    **Q: What type of ambiance did the Woodalls aim to create with the furnishings?**
    A: Keely and Andrew focused on finding furniture and art pieces that felt like they could have been part of the house’s history. Their goal was to create a collected and evolved atmosphere, emphasizing authenticity.

    **Q: How does the retreat cater to both hunting and relaxation?**
    A: The Savannah River Preserve offers ample opportunities for hunting various game, satisfying Woody’s passion. Additionally, the retreat provides a comfortable and inviting space for the Woodalls and their guests to unwind and spend quality time together.

    **Q: What is the Woodalls’ favorite dish to enjoy at their retreat?**
    A: Keely proudly declares that “quail” is a must-have on the menu when they gather at the retreat.