Fred Mix’s May River dock is the “green dock with a red roof.”

Fred Mix’s May River dock is the “green dock with a red roof.”Looking out on the reeds and oyster beds poking out of the solid sheen of the May River in Fred Mix’s backyard, it’s easy to see why this Bluffton resident wanted to keep his new dock ‘green.’ After all, the May is one of a kind; a rare chemistry of salt water rushes up and down her banks with each tide in a delicate balance upon which so much rests.

As he began working with Bill Sease of May River Marine Construction on this eco-friendly dock, Mix realized he was going to have to take a few ‘green innovations’ and get creative with them. Fortunately, if there’s anywhere you can get creative, it’s Bluffton.

High tech meets low ecological impact in the home of tomorrow.

Going GREENGreen causes and high-tech advancements seem to go hand-in-hand these days. In the following pages, we look at some technological advancements designed to ensure that the home of tomorrow will exist on a clean planet.

Going GREEN

Going green is a rapidly growing worldwide movement that is making a profound impact on the furniture and home building industries. Homeowners are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and are beginning to request eco-friendly homes and products. With more green homes being built all over the country, furniture and home accessory manufacturers are going green too.

Beware, Hilton Head – here there be dragons.

Hilton Head is full of lagoons – and during the summer, lagoons are full of dragonflies. These conspicuous insects come in diverse shapes, sizes and colors, and together with their slender-bodied cousins, the damselflies, are easy to spot as they cruise along the shoreline or swoop over deeper waters. South Carolina is host to over 150 species; worldwide, there are more than 5,000.

A lagoon full of dragonflies resembles a busy airport. The more delicate damselflies flutter near the water’s surface. Small and medium-sized dragonflies hover and dart above them, while the biggest and fastest species claim the highest flight paths. Some dragonflies have been clocked at speeds of over 35 mph.

How to achieve the best views, whether you are looking out or in

How to achieve the best views, whether you are looking out or inThe spectacular views of the outdoors often take our breath away, especially in the Lowcountry, where the views are often as beautiful as the homes.

But how can you best showcase that outside view from within your home? How about enhancing your home’s curb appeal or interior view? In the following pages, we will help answer those challenging issues. Whether it’s a window treatment that revitalizes your vista or landscaping improvements that give you an improved view worth showing the neighbors, here are some wonderful ways you can achieve the best view inside and out.

Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.

Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.This may be a good time to consider investing in an outdated condo or what we like to call villas in the Lowcountry. Many of these available condos are in need of major updating or remodeling and have been neglected since the ’70s or ’80s. Once you have completed the very important inspection of the basic plumbing, electrical and structural conditions, you will be ready to start creating a desirable living space.

The first question you will want to answer is, “Do you plan to rent this condo to vacationers, or will it be someone’s home?” You may even plan to sell the unit after completing the renovations. If you do a little research of your neighborhood, it will become evident as to what type of use this condo will have and how you should approach your remodeling. If it is for weekly rental, you will want to make sure all products installed are a quality that can endure this type of use. How this condo is used may also affect the décor, colors and style you plan to incorporate into the project.

Tips, tricks and hits for effective spring cleaning and organization

Tips, tricks and hits for effective spring cleaning and organizationSpring time not only signifies the arrival of warmer weather and blossoming flowers; It’s also an ideal time to get a move on with all of your spring cleaning and organizing.

DEEP CLEANING

You’ve been cooped up indoors over the winter with the windows and doors tightly closed. Before starting your spring cleaning, open up your windows and allow the natural scent of fresh flowers and the spring breeze to fill your home. Your normal cleaning routine may be all right for everyday, but the most used areas of the home need a deep cleaning a few times a year.

With a little sprucing up, your home will be ready for buyers.

With a little sprucing up, your home will be ready for buyers.We’ve all heard the term ‘curb appeal.’ When getting your home ready for sale, it’s the absolute most important goal you should have. Whether you keep your house immaculate out of habit or you have a tendency towards that ‘lived in’ look, there’s always something you can do to give your house that special something that dazzles buyers.

There’s a reason they refer to this process as ‘staging’ your home; you are not just cleaning up, you are setting a stage, you are creating a sense of peace and wonder. You are giving buyers the feeling that they are already home, much like a set designer of a play gives the audience a sense that they are in another time and place.

Property Owners’ Associations and Homeowners Associations help build better neighbors.

Purchasing a home is a major milestone in anyone’s life, whether it is a first home, a vacation home, or a home to enjoy your golden years. No matter what stage of life you are in, buying a home in a neighborhood you will enjoy is important. One way to help make sure you are choosing a neighborhood that will fit your lifestyle is to understand what is expected by the homeowners in the neighborhood of your choice. By understanding Property Owners’ Associations (POAs) and Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs), you will be able to make an informed choice about where to live.

Inovative energy solutions can help save the planet and hundreds of dollars in energy bills.

ENERGY EFFICIENCYAre you afraid to open your monthly utility bill? Cutting energy costs is easy – just look for the Star. In 2005 alone, Americans saved enough energy to power nearly 22 million homes – that’s more than $12 billion in energy costs – and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those produced by 23 million cars using Energy Star appliances. Energy Star is a program created by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy that helps businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.

If every American home exchanged the five most used light bulbs with Energy Star qualified bulbs, one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases would be kept out of the air – that’s the equivalent of the annual emissions of 8 million cars – over the course of the bulbs’ lives. At the same time, such action would result in $6 billion in energy savings, or the annual output of more than 20 power plants.