Home Discovery: SOUTHERN SANCTUARYClassic touches, custom features and a focus on natural light give this Berkeley Hall home a relaxed elegance.

It’s no wonder the 4,328-squarefeet neo-Mediterranean property at 30 Lancaster Blvd. in Berkeley Hall was a 2010 Lighthouse Award Finalist in five categories — including the prestigious Best Overall.

Randy Jeffcoat Builders, Inc., along with in-house designer Dan Bennicas, worked with owners John and Edie Tarbell to create a second home that could serve as a relaxing escape from the couple’s Maine winters, while showcasing the spectacular views that drew them to Berkeley Hall in the first place.

This casual, French-inspired residence, crafted largely from reclaimed materials, lends a European air to Colleton River.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KAUFMAN

76 Oak Tree in Colleton River PlantationSituated under its own forest canopy, the rustic residence at 76 Oak Tree in Colleton River Plantation blends French country-inspired design with the majestic natural surroundings of the Lowcountry. Constructed for Barbara and Patrick Sommers by architectural firm Court/Atkins and built by Pat and Ron Strimpfel of Bluffton based Reclamation by Design, the lakeside property was conceived using a meticulous design theme that aimed to preserve as much of the surroundings as possible. That meant using reclaimed materials and maintaining the property’s five live oak trees; in the end, only a small amount of strategic pruning was required to accommodate the 8,000-squarefoot living space.

The house is built in part from reclaimed wormy heart pine. The outdoor living space and sidewalks are made from a creative blend of brick, bluestone and crushed stone. The beam trusses and siding were rescued from Ruby Mill, N.C., and a feature lintel that sits above the billiard room’s custom-built mahogany door was reclaimed from a 100-year-old building on Bay Street in Savannah.

11 HEADWATERS ROAD, BLUFFTONThis “casual, warm” home at the headwaters of the May River is designed for rustic comfort — and the location is perfect for its photography-minded owners.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BUTCH HIRSCH

11 HEADWATERS ROAD, BLUFFTON

With its Lowcountry appeal, thoughtful design and character-rich features — such as wooden beams and a quirky garden railroad — it’s no wonder the Palmetto Bluff property at 11 Headwaters Road won the 2009 Gold Aurora Award for being the best house in competition across the southeast United States and the National Best in Living Award for best custom home of 6,500 square feet or greater.

Kitchen and BathSometimes, the big, splashy home design trends you see in the slick pages of magazines don’t always translate to the Spanish moss-framed homes of the Lowcountry. And while the rest of the country follows the latest trends in designs and products, the South has often simply followed its own sense of style.

“In the southern marketplace, it’s more traditional,” said Lora Donoghue, president of the Carolina Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “In the northern marketplace, it’s more contemporary.”

Kelly Hughes of Designing to Sell, a home staging business, said today’s market is different than it has ever been.

 

130 Tidewater ManorThis masterpiece in the Tidewater Landing community can’t seem to stop collecting building and design accolades. Take a look inside.

In the past year, 130 Tidewater Manor has won Silver at the National Association of Home Builders’ Nationals in Las Vegas, was a Pinnacle Awards finalist at the South Carolina Home Builders Association and claimed Best Overall at the  Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association Lighthouse Awards, among its many local and national honors.

But for Todd Hawk, owner of H2 Builders, and wife Tracy, the initial idea was to simply turn a raw piece of land into a home wedded to its surroundings. “We’re very much outdoors people,” Tracy said. “The dark tile roof, the stone application, paver driveway, it’s all designed to aesthetically complement nature.” There’s also a sprawling outdoor entertainment area, complete with woodburning fireplace, pool with beach entry, summer kitchen and deepwater dock (where you can often find the couple’s son, Hunter, an avid 9-year-old fisherman).

 

5 WAYS to improve your home’s valueIn a tough real estate market, the difference between selling a home and watching it stay listed month after month can come down to making a few changes to capture the uniqueness of your home.

While budget busting renovation projects are one way to update your space, they are often far too expensive for people looking to sell their homes. But tearing out your kitchen and adding a new bathroom aren’t the only ways to get your house sold.

If you want to make some changes, but don’t want to empty your wallet, here are five affordable tips to help you improve your home’s marketability.

Stylish, sustainable interior design ideasWhen you think of the colors associated with cool weather, green doesn’t necessarily come to mind. Environmentally speaking, however, it should. There’s no better time than now to lessen your home’s impact on the environment and change the way you decorate and live. It’s not nearly as difficult to become earth-friendly as you might think. These days, you can find stylish, eco-friendly design elements for every room in the house. And, contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for sustainability. The two can coexist quite effortlessly.

You can start simple by dressing your bed in luxurious sheets, throws and comforters made from fabrics such as rich, renewable bamboo or soft, organic cotton. Cover your floors with formaldehyde-free carpets constructed of recycled fibers or select a natural material, like stone, slate or even concrete. Then, hang energy-efficient window treatments with high insulation and shading properties.

Have you been feeling a little cramped in your kitchen, but you don’t have the finances to knock down walls or build more storage space? Don’t worry. With a few simple changes, you will discover new space that you never knew existed.

The first task is to look inside your cabinets. If there are mugs, water bottles or plastic cups that seem to never be used, donate them. For Tupperware containers, pots and pans, stack them inside each other.

Spruce up your cabinetryWhat better way to welcome in summer than to incorporate a creative color palette into your living room, bathroom or home office? With Americans spending more time at home these days, many are investing in home upgrades. Take a cue from Mother Nature and bring in functional and affordable cabinetry in surprising colors.

Designers are reporting increased demand from consumers for cabinets with painted finishes, according to the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence. Cabinet manufacturers are expanding finish options beyond the traditional brown and reddish tones to include bright and relaxing hues that create a summer retreat within your own home.

Several cabinetry making companies are experimenting with surprising new colors, including a sunny, buttery yellow called Honeysuckle; a lagoon blue appropriately dubbed Oasis; a chameleon- like neutral, Portobello and Tidal Mist, which is reminiscent of foggy, ocean-front summer mornings. Other finishes include Moss — an
earthy green — and Crimson, which emulates the look of summer berries.

Yes, it does exist! And, no, you can’t do it yourself.

Kitchen RemodelingAre you looking at your kitchen, thinking it needs to be renovated and realizing the funds are just not there? Consider a cheaper alternative with an affordable facelift. Making a few budget-friendly changes and adding modern accents could be enough to transform that kitchen from frumpy to fantastic.

Where to Begin

Before starting this project, it’s important to determine what is outdated, falling apart or in need of a little improvement. Are your cabinets salvageable? Do your appliances need to be replaced?