COUPLE’S GARDEN STILL THRIVING DESPITE WALLOP FROM TWO HURRICANES

Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch created his “The Garden of Earthly Delights” in oil on a triptych oak panel. Homeowners Mark and Renee Woodruff put theirs in their Windmill Harbour backyard, and its bright colors and imaginative design were on full display during the annual All Saints Garden Tour, held in May.

Sgt. Major Donna Dunbar of Bluffton, a retired Marine and successful Realtor, passed away last month. Originally from Washington, D.C., she was a member of the Coastal Group at Charter One Realty and specialized in helping military families find homes.

CHARTER ONE EARNS TOP NOD FROM REAL TRENDS

Charter One Realty has been ranked as one of the nation’s top brokerages by REAL Trends 500. With more than 130 agents and 11 offices throughout the Lowcountry, Charter One Realty is also one of the largest independent firms in the nation with more than $900 million in sales last year. Rankings are based on those firms who choose to participate, and then listed by closed transaction sides and closed sales volume.

Many homeowners find themselves eyeing their homes, wondering if it’s time for an update.

One of the easiest ways is to redo a kitchen or bathroom, changing the color scheme, textures, materials, finishes, fixtures and hardware and adding furnishings, architectural details and smart technology. And while some trends come and go, many Lowcountry interior designers have crafted a coastal aesthetic with staying power — one that still embraces some of the design trends popping up around the country.

COASTAL LONG TERM RENTALS OPENS SECOND LOCATION

Coastal Long Term Rental Company has opened a second location in Bluffton. The company has been serving property owners, investors and renters on Hilton Head Island for nearly 40 years. The new location is at 7 Simmonsville Road in Bluffton.

THESE HOME RENOVATIONS WILL PAY OFF

If you’re planning to do some home improvement projects this year, it’s important to spend your money wisely. What you'll get back on your investment when you eventually sell your home depends on a variety of factors: the value of your house, the value of houses in your immediate neighborhood, how soon you sell after making improvements, and the quality of the project itself. Installing a $10,000 stove in a $200,000 house, for example, usually isn’t a good idea.

NEW SUBDIVISION COMING TO HILTON HEAD

The Estuary, a new gated subdivision, is planned for Fish Haul Road next to the Arthur Hills Golf Course at Palmetto Hall Plantation, said Village Park Group marketing manager Leslie Ehlers. Buyers will be able to choose from several models offer three, four or five bedrooms.

The homes will be priced in the mid-$300,000s. Construction on the homes will not start for a few months, but Village Park Group has begun clearing trees and installing utilities at the site.

A NEW HOME IN COLLETON RIVER SURPASSES EXPECTATIONS

When a couple who has moved 22 times decides to relocate to Bluffton, they don’t rush in uninformed. From an apartment in Paris to a house in South Africa and many residences in the U.S., Betsy and Jim Utterback are familiar with the process of building a custom home or remodeling an existing structure.

CENTURY 21 DIAMOND REALTY OPENS NEW OFFICE

The Sun City and Okatie branch of Century 21 Diamond Realty celebrated a grand opening in January. The new location features closed-circuit televisions, a conference room, coffee bar, large training center, private cubicles and a welcoming reception area. The new branch will also include offices for Washburn Law and Southern Trust Mortgage to help clients seeking legal advice or mortgage information. The branch will be open seven days a week.

LOCAL ARCHITECT PUTS ENVIRONMENT FIRST

When Elaine Gallagher Adams designed her home in Bluffton two years ago, the award-winning architect and sustainability expert set out to “walk my talk.”  She wanted to incorporate as many eco-friendly features as possible in her 1,721-square-foot home in Old Town Bluffton.

“My house generates more energy than it uses,” she said. “Global sustainability is a big, fat, hairy challenge and there are a lot of us working on this problem — including myself.”