Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina

In all the words I’ve written over the past 25 years, these were and still are the most meaningful. Please read the December, 2014 online issue of fete Greenville and always remember, “they gave their all so we could be free.”

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While writing for fete Greenville, I was given the opportunity to feature two local non-profit organizations dedicated to the Upstate’s military veterans in back to back issues. My November 2014 article was devoted to Upstate Warrior Solution and the December 2014 piece was on Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina. Interviewing Paul Howell and compiling the research for both these articles touched my heart.

There is contact information for Upstate Warrior Solution and Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina at the end of each respective article and I sincerely hope you’ll be inspired to get involved.

Doug Cone Greenville’s True Renaissance Man

Come meet Greenville’s most popular and beloved modern day renaissance man. Husband, avid cyclist, tech extraordinaire, good Samaritan, and since the original article was published in the July 2015 online issue of fete Greenville, Doug has added Dad to twins to his impressive resume. Want to know more? Click here! 

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A Traditional Neighborhood

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

Hibben is Reminiscent of a Small Southern Village 

Located in Belle Hall Plantation just minutes from I-526 in Mt. Pleasant, the community of Hibben is a peaceful respite from the stress of daily life. Reminiscent of a traditional small Southern, the streets of Hibben meander around grand oaks, saltwater marshes, community green spaces and nature preserves.

Covering more than 110 acres and overlooking the Wando River, Hibben shares community amenities, including an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, playgrounds and a state-of-the-art clubhouse, with the neighboring subdivisions in Belle Hall Plantation. Hibben, which eventually will include 300 homes, offers a wide variety of wooded home sites. Future phases of the subdivision will feature more than 40 marsh- or creek-view lots.

While traditional neighborhood developments are urban in theory, public opinion surveys have indicated that prospective homeowners want more green space. All home sites at Hibben are at least 10 feet wider and 10 feet deeper than lots at other traditionally designed neighborhoods.

“At Hibben we are sensitive in how our homes relate to the environment,” said Mark Regalbuto of Crescent Real Estate, which is marketing Hibben. “We want to retain as much of the natural pristine beauty as possible.”

Conceptualized as a traditional neighborhood design, Hibben’s real focus is its authenticity, balanced with affordability. Floor plans, in a variety of period styles, capture the true feeling of small-town Southern charm. While traditional neighborhood design is conducive and appealing to an eclectic, diverse grouping of people, in practice it is very expensive to develop. Most traditional neighborhood developments demand authenticity in every respect, driving up not only construction expenses but also long-term home maintenance costs.

Hibben, on the other hand, has chosen a true traditional neighborhood design but with modern construction materials to reduce costs. For example, instead of exterior wood siding, which is costly to install and maintain, Hibben uses cement fiber siding such as Hardiplank, which offers the distinctive look of wood combined with low maintenance and durability. These economics-based measures allow Hibben to adhere to architectural guidelines governing style while still providing the affordability that draws a wide variety of homeowners.

Since Hibben appeals to newlyweds, executives, young families with children and empty-nesters looking to downsize, homes vary in size from 1,400 square feet to 4,000 square foot. And at $165 a square foot, Hibben offers an affordability that is hard in find in Mt. Pleasant.

Simonini Builders, The Lantana Company, Driftwood Construction, Palladio Homes, Heyward Builders, Robert Benjamin Homes, Custom Homes of Carolina and Airlie Homes are some of the outstanding preferred builders available to help prospective homeowners with all their construction decisions.

**Author’s Note: While this article was posted on leeanncarter.net on 8/7/19, it was originally published in print sometime around 2002/2003.

 

www.EastCooperBuilders.com Will Make Your Life Easier

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

Whether you’re moving to the Lowcountry from another state and building your dream home, remodeling the family homestead or updating your office decor, http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com can help make the job easier.

Full of comprehensive information, with links to local architects, builders and home decorating companies, http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com is easy to navigate and offers all the resources necessary for designing, constructing and furnishing your home or business.

Are you unsure how to selected the right architect? http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com offers a list of Coastal Carolina architects and a handy guide containing useful questions and facts to help you choose the architect best suited for your project.

Information about the Top 10 Coastal Carolina Builders is available at http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com. Each builder profile includes a brief bio, diagrams of the builder’s number one selling floor plan, contact information. and a link to the company website. From the comfort of your own home or office, you can discover who is tops in the Charleston new home construction market and see how their company philosophy translates into outstanding customer satisfaction for you.

Do you need help choosing colors or fabrics, or do you simply want some up-to-date decorating tips? Check out the Inner Beauty section which includes new product information and helpful hints on transforming your home into a true reflection of your life. From lighting to home furnishings, to gardening tools and plants, to decorative door hardware, the Inner Beauty section lists Charleston area companies ready to assist clients with all their home and business decorating needs.

As http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, you will also find a complete relocation package featuring local maps, a copy of the latest Carolina Homes & Interiors magazine and information from some of the area’s leading builders.

Do you have a golfer in the family? http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com has an extensive directory of golf courses located East of the Cooper as well as throughout Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head. You will also find interesting articles on golf legends Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus and others.

For up-to-the-minute weather information on Charleston, simply bookmark http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, where you will find Lowcountry weather forecasts in addition to tidal charts and breaking weather bulletins.

At http://www.eastcooperbuilders.com, you also can access a plethora of exciting links to other coastal South Carolina communities and retirement villages, real estate and lodging information and an offer for a free issue of Carolina Homes & Interiors magazine.

Increasing Numbers of Parents Seeking Educational Choices For Their Children

Published in Realtors’ Who’s Who East of the Cooper 2002 issue and the East Cooper Newcomers Directory 2003 Spring/Fall Edition 

In today’s competitive job market, parents know that a quality education can help guarantee their children a secure future. With this in mind, an increasing number of parents are seeking educational choices that give them an active role in how and what their children are taught.

Regardless of the circumstances, relocating to a new area is a stressful event. For families with children, the stress level can be multiplied by uncertainty about the educational climate. In many cases, information about an area’s public school system is readily available on the Internet or in relocation guides, but the same information concerning private or independent schools can be a bit more elusive.

The Charleston, S.C. area has a proud history of outstanding independent school. Some of them, such as Ashley Hall and Bishop England, have been educating Lowcountry children since the early 1900’s. Others have been established more recently, with the growing influx of people relocating to the tri-county area fueling a substantial rise in the number of independent schools now serving the educational needs of pre-school, kindergarten, grade school and high school children throughout the region.

Parents choose independent schools for many reasons. “Independent schools give parents a choice. We are different than public schools, with different goals and ideas,” says Jill Hiers, executive director of the Charles Towne Montessori School.

Most independent schools focus on a specific academic or religious mission and almost all offer smaller classes than those found in public schools. This equates to a lower student to teacher ratio, a stronger teacher and parent commitment and more personalized attention for each student. For example, the average class size at Porter-Gaud is only 14 students.

Some institutions have grown to include daycare for children as young as 12 months, extended after-school care for students of working parents and summer camp programs.

Unlike private schools of the past, today’s independent institutions offer more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. A wide and varied number of extracurricular activities, from band and choir to all types of athletic programs and even cheerleading camps, are being offered on most independent school campuses. “Our baseball team won the 2A South Carolina state championship this year,” says Phyllis Beach, a spokeswoman at Northside Christian School.

Since independent schools are self-supporting, they must charge tuition and other fees. But because cost is a factor for some families, many schools offer scholarships, tuition rates based on a family’s ability to pay, flexible payment plans and discounts for families that have more than one child at the school.

The Lowcountry is now home to more than 100 independent schools, giving parents a wide variety of educational opportunities. Located throughout Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, all are within an easy commute, and some even offer transportation.

 

South Carolina Homes & Gardens Coastal Comfort

Published in the September/October, 2003 issue

 

The winning combination of a homeowner with definite ideas, a cooperative architect and builder, and an exquisite seaside site makes this Debordieu retreat the epitome of comfortable coastal living. Text: Lee Ann Carter. Photography: Ted Borg. Interior Design: Faye Harrington Altman. Architecture: Steve Goggins. Landscaping: Patrick Pernell. Builder: Ron English. 

A seaside community with plenty of amenities to keep two active teenagers busy attracted this family to Debordieu Colony. “I was looking for an area not too far from our primary home in North Carolina. I also wanted a place that was on the water and had lots of fun things to keep my children occupied,” the owner says..

While the design phase took six to nine months, the actual construction process for this 8,800 square-foot home, was approximately one year. Architect Steve Goggins, President of SGA Architecture says, “This owner brought definite ideas to the table, she wanted clean open living spaces, lots of natural building materials, and a sense of privacy and seclusion. It was demanding at times but in the end her ideas resulted in a better house.”

Ron English, Vice-President of Construction for Paragon Builders remarks, “This home was challenging through and through but it was also a wonderful experience. Anytime we ran into a design vs. construction problem, the owner was very receptive to corrective solutions.” For example an important part of the family are the dogs, A Boykin Spaniel and a Lhaso Apso. Since the dogs are crate trained, a space was needed for their kennels and accessories. English custom designed and built into the laundry room cabinetry dog kennels complete with cultured marble shower pans for easy cleaning. “These dog crates were a great idea and the dogs love them,” says the owner.

Designed as a techno/smart house, all lighting, heating and cooling, and security can be controlled via phone lines while either at Debordieu or from North Carolina. For example, returning for a sunset cruise, the boat lift dock lights can be activated with one cell phone call.

Since the owner wanted the home as secluded as possible, the entire building footprint was utilized. “We had several functional issues due to county restrictions and existing flood zones,” notes Goggans. “But through meticulous planning and working hand-in-hand with the builder and landscape architect we were able to give the owner everything she requested.”

With residences on each side, natural screens were created for privacy by planting low maintenance wax myrtles, Yaupon hollies, American hollies, and sable palms among the existing vegetation. Patrick Pernell, Landscape Architect with SGA Architecture observes, “When the plantings reach full maturity the home will be completely and naturally secluded from the main road and the neighbors.”

This owner desired a casually comfortable coastal second home with an emphasis on easy entertaining. From the main level rear covered porch overlooking the marsh, clearly defined areas flow from multi-level upper decks all merging together effortlessly. The zero water line pool designed by Pernell and built by Aqua Blue Pools frames an open gazebo. A Gloster teak table and chairs casually arranged in front of a wood burning fireplace are perfect for outdoor dining.

Presenting another design challenge was the owner’s request for a fully functional outdoor kitchen. Building materials were required to be durable as well as visually pleasing. Ipac wood, normally an outdoor floor decking material was used in constructing the kitchen cabinetry. Stainless steel appliances include an icemaker, dishwasher, and refrigerator along with a Viking grill, wok, and warming drawer. Again, for durability, custom outdoor lighting fixtures were fashioned with powder-coated stainless steel shades.

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A screened outdoor dining area is easily accessed from both the interior and patio kitchens. Old fashioned rocking chairs are the perfect spot for enjoying the water views. 

Clad in Eastern cedar white shaker siding, accented with hand cast brick, and using traditional Lowcountry staircases, Googans describes the overall home design as eclectic shingle style.

In the two-story open foyer, the focal point is a circa 1825 pine tri-sliding glass buffet, complete with the original glass. Originally in one of the owner’s previous homes, designer Faye Harrington Altman, owner of Harrington Altman Interiors remarks, “It was a given that this piece would be in the Debordieu home. It was one of the first antiques I ever found for the owner and when we started planning this home that was one of her first questions, “Where is the pine piece going?The tri-level main staircase located to the right between the entry foyer and main living area helps to create a unique visual effect along with maintaining a clean uncluttered sight axis from the front door to the rear tidal creek. An additional reason for the unusual location of the staircase has to do with golf carts. Since golf carts are a main mode of transportation on Debordieu, it was necessary that an area be created for cart storage. Requiring only half as much room as a regular garage bay, Goggans finished the area in front of the golf cart bay as the garage stairwell. In keeping with the owner’s request for open space it was a natural progression for the additional stair levels to be constructed in the same area. Goggans says, “These floating stairs offer a special dynamic articulation.”

An antique hand-carved pond yacht circa late 1800’s is prominently displayed on the custom knotty pine mantel. Sanford upholstered sofas and chairs in soothing sages and rusts frame the cozy fireplace. 

Entering the well-appointed living room with its two-story dropped beam poplar ceiling, the continuity of theme and materials is evident from the custom designed crown cove molding used throughout the home to the bow front of the interior second level balcony. This bow front, a subtle nautical reference, is repeated on the exterior rear porches. Honey finished heart of pine flooring blends perfectly with the knotty pine cabinetry designed by Classic Touch and lends a warm glow to the soft pate wall color used in the main living areas. “I really like knotty pine, it adds such a cozy feeling to a room, ” the owner says. “In fact, some of the boards weren’t knotty enough, so we had additional knots faux-painted.” Bill Blakely, owner of Classic Touch comments, “I was lucky to work with a client who allowed us to be so creative.” This project worked so well because of the tremendous amount of communication between all parties involved.” Subtle rust, sage, and olive Stanford upholstered sofas and chairs are highlighted with soft gold. Occasional tables were chosen for size and placement. Mingling antiques with more conventional pieces, as seen in the antique trunks resting in front of the fireplace, helps to create a sense of permanence sometimes hard to achieve in a new residence. The owner declares, “Faye is awesome! I didn’t really know until I started looking at fabrics what I wanted. Faye was able to take the colors I kept coming back to and tie everything together!”

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Window treatments from Old World Weavers frame the living room French doors. Custom cove molding between the second level wall of windows, living room French doors, and transoms add a unique visual effect. 

Designed with a user-friendly flow for entertaining, the breakfast room and dining room are separated by a functional and stylish kitchen. Knotty pine cabinetry, again designed by Classic Touch, is topped with Uba Tuba granite and a slate backsplash. The Uba Tuba granite chosen has a slightly different coloration than most Uba Tuba and only four slabs were available. “That made the job a bit tougher; there wasn’t much room for error,” Says Altman. Travertine was selected for the center island. All these different textures create a unique look and work well together.

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The breakfast room is reminiscent of one in an English country estate with varying shades of rust, sage, gold and khaki found in the Freemark chair seats and Schumacher window treatments. 

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The main level guest suite is painted a relaxing shade of goldenrod, with bedding and window treatments by Old World Weavers.

The breakfast room, kitchen, and dining room blend varying shades of black, gold, sage, khaki, and rust in the wallpaper, window treatments, and chair fabrics. Lee Jofa and Schumacher fabrics cover the dining room chairs and highlight the color palette of the Thibaut window treatments and cottage green walls. The rest of the main floor is home to a guest master suite and an additional guestroom.

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A subtle nautical theme carried throughout the home is seen in the bow-shaped second floor interior balcony.

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The master suite soaking tub rests on terra cotta porcelain slate. 

On the second level are the children’s suites, their entertainment room containing a computer center, the owner’s study complete with a fireplace trimmed out with the same cove molding seen throughout the home, and the primary master suite. This master suite includes a fireplace, his and her dressing areas, double vanities, and serves up a spectacular view of the north Inlet.

The third level was designed for entertaining! A study/media room decorated completely in knotty pine raised paneling includes three sets of French doors, again knotty pine faux-finished, and a private balcony. Located at opposite ends, under the room eaves, are the gameroom and a complete home gym. English mentions, “The owner knew exactly where she wanted the exercise equipment located. While this room was being roughed in we were able to run additional HVAC ducts over the treadmill and stationary bicycle.”

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Top left: Two hand carved pine Arte De Mexico chandeliers are antique finished to blend with the heart of pine floors and knotty pine cabinetry. Top right: From the spectacular rooftop deck, the view is unhindered and far-reaching – all the way to the Atlantic Ocean! Bottom left: An antique wrought iron gate has found new life as an objet d’art wall hanging. Bottom right: Designed for entertaining, the rear patio has a fully functional outdoor kitchen dining gazebo, and rimless pool. 

Inside the third floor elevator alcove, a staircase leads to the spectacular rooftop deck. Goggans had originally envisioned a cupola leading to the roof. When height restrictions wouldn’t allow its construction, he had to do some creative thinking in order to gain roof access. Goggans designed a conventional staircase leading up to a stainless steel roof hatch. Push one button and the motorized hatch rises up and access to the roof deck is gained. With an Atlantic Ocean view, comfortable cast iron chairs and ottomans by Pompeii, a surround sound stereo system, discreet outdoor lighting, and easy access to the third floor powder room and wet bar, it’s clear to see why once the idea of a roof top deck was discussed it had to become reality.

This Debordieu dream home is a prime example of what can be accomplished when everyone involved is open and receptive to overcoming the challenges custom home building brings to the table. This owner and her family have certainly found their coastal comfort here.