Tag Archives: Savannah

Developments/Lee Ann Carter

ROSE DHU CREEK PLANTATION

Harkening back to an easier way of life, Rose Dhu Creek Plantation reminds you of lazy summer afternoons spent rocking on Grandmother’s front porch, shaded by grand live oaks, their branches draped with lacy Spanish moss gently swaying in the warm breeze. Photography: Ted Borg and Jay Vaughan.

For many Lowcountry areas, the building boom of the 90’s has begun a shift from clear cutting large land tracts and building homes within mere feet of one another, to a more environmentally responsible plan of development. And nowhere along the South Carolina coast is that more evident than at Rose Dhu Creek Plantation.

Located only four miles from historical downtown Bluffton, Rose Dhu Creek, a saltwater tidal creek, is home to egrets, wood storks, wild deer and the occasional alligator. Named by early Scottish settlers, “dhu” is Gaelic for black, and refers to the color of the brackish currents that flow from the May River.

Originally part of the 6,000 acre Buckwalter tract, Rose Dhu Creek Plantation was initially envisioned as a golf course. Stephen Anthony, president of the Legacy Group, developer of the tract, upon realizing the number of moss draped grand oaks, towering pines and other indigenous trees and planting which would be destroyed in the process, decided to shelve that plan. Desiring the community’s input on what potential homeowners were seeking in a development, he placed an ad in the local Bluffton newspaper. Overwhelmingly the responses included large wooded home sites secure within a gated community along with an equestrian center. And thus the 264  acre Rose Dhu Creek Plantation was conceived. But David Lively, sales executive with the Southern Lifestyle Group, exclusive listing agents for Rose Dhu Creek, is quick to assure the golfing homeowner, “There are 44 golf courses in the Bluffton-Hilton Head area; all within an easy drive from Rose Dhu Creek Plantation.”

Sensitivity to nature began with the initial infrastructure. Roads are eight inches of crushed granite and all utilities are located underground, eliminating unsightly wires and poles. Wherever possible, as roadways, home sites and the Equestrian Center were being cleared, grand oaks, wild crepe myrtles and native marsh grasses were protected. The end result is 73 estates, ranging in size from one acre to almost five acres, skillfully planned around the natural elements.

While each home has to be approved by the Rose Dhu Creek Architectural Review Board, the community allows a great of flexibility when it comes to personal preferences. In fact, on estates two acres and up, private paddocks are allowed and dogs aren’t required to be leashed while on your property. Rose Dhu Creek believes in many more freedoms than restrictions. Tree houses and front porches; vegetable gardens and horses; these are just a few of the differences found at Rose Dhu Creek Plantation.

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Rose Dhu Creek is a refreshing departure from the developments that have been popping up everywhere in the last ten years. Here, there are no houses that sit right on top of each other. Plenty of room to breathe-and play- is available. 

Complementing Rose Dhu Creek, two man-made, freshwater lagoons were created and will be stocked with bass, bream and catfish. These small lakes are the perfect setting for a lazy afternoon of fishing or picnicking.

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Rose Dhu Plantation is a wonderful community for families. It offers more than horses and room to run. The creeks and lagoons offer an excellent opportunity for fishing, crabbing or exploring in a kayak. The community pool-complete with bath house-and outdoor pavilion also draws families outdoors for active fun. 

Handy with a cast net? Rose Dhu Creek is ideal for shrimping and crabbing. Plus, it also offers homeowners a place to try their hand at kayaking and canoeing. No individual or community docks will be allowed in order to preserve the natural setting around the creek.

Centrally located and convenient to all homeowners is the community pool and outdoor pavilion. Complete with a bathhouse and barbecue area, this is destined to become a great neighborhood gathering spot for oyster roasts and pool parties.

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During the planning stage of Rose Dhu Creek, the Legacy Group placed an ad in the local Bluffton paper seeking input from the community on what potential homeowners were seeking in a development. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of large wooded home sites as well as an equestrian center. 

Horses are a big part of the Lowcountry, and Rose Dhu Creek was designed so that horses feel as much at homes as their owners. The 20 acre Rose Dhu Creek Equestrian Center is state of the art! Professionally managed by Tracey Martino, the equestrian center offers riding arenas, paddocks, and one of the best constructed and equipped barns of its size on the South Carolina coast.

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The plans for this property originally involved putting in a golf course. The large number of moss-draped oaks and other indigenous flora convinced Legacy Group president Stephen Anthony otherwise. 

Tracey hails from California and has been a part of Rose Dhu Creek since February 2004. Her furniture wasn’t the only thing Tracey moved to the Lowcountry. Over a dozen of her own horses, an Australian sheep dog and several “barn” cats, came with Tracey  and her mother and co-manager, Dee Dee Martino. This mother and daughter team created and managed a successful training barn before moving South.

 Tracey’s philosophy is “you never stop learning,” and on a regular basis continues her own education so she can manage and teach to the best of her ability. Tracey also plans on offering on-site dressage clinics with Amy McElroy and a Downunder Horsemanship Clinic with renowned horseman, Clint Anderson.

Designed and constructed by Legacy Construction, the barn has over 14,500 square feet and includes over thirty-two 11′ x 12′ stalls, four tack rooms, two grooming and wash bays, a lounge and restroom with shower for patrons, and a convenient manager’s office. Upstairs there is a spacious apartment for the on-site manager along with an educational center adjoining a covered porch overlooking the arenas and paddocks. Each of the 32 stalls was designed with the latest equipment insuring each horse’s comfort, including individual cooling misters for those hot and humid Lowcountry days.

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The Rose Dhu Creek Equestrian Center offers riding arenas, paddocks and one of the best equipped barns on the South Carolina coast. The barn has over 14,500 square-feet and includes four tack rooms, two grooming bays and a lounge and restroom with a shower for patrons. 

Presently the Equestrian Center includes run-in sheds with cooling misters, an all-weather round pen, farrier shed, an all-weather dressage area and an all-weather jumping area. Tracey says, “The Rose Dhu Creek Equestrian Center is not only beautiful but very function. Mr. Anthony had the facility designed and makes all decisions pertaining to the center based on what’s best for the horses.”

Construction recently began on the 20,000 square-foot indoor arena. When complete, this area will be used for judged horse shoes, night-time riding, and events scheduled during inclement weather.

Rose Dhu Creek also offers over six miles of eight foot wide nature trails. Riders can spend the day exploring the surrounding woods and creeks without ever leaving the Rose Dhu Creek boundaries.

Rose Dhu Creek Equestrian Center is not reserved strictly for plantation homeowners. Area residents have the opportunity to use the facilities for boarding, lessons and training. Summer riding camps are offered and open to the public as well as vaulting classes and membership into the local chapter of the United States Pony Club.

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Californian Tracey Martino was imported to South Carolina to manage the 20 acre equestrian center. Along with her expertise, Tracey also brought along her mother, Dee Dee Martino, as her co-manager. 

Presenting large lots at reasonable prices, Rose Dhu Creek is quickly on its way to being completely sold out. An additional 60 acres have recently been optioned and will be marketed in the near future. Owners also have the flexibility of purchasing their home sites now with no time limit on building. Rose Dhu Creek Plantation is not a second-home or investment community. Appealing to a diverse group of local Lowcountry residents, Rose Dhu Creek Plantation is home to growing families and working professionals. And with full-time homeowners comes a sense of community not found in many Lowcountry neighborhoods with a large percentage of out-of-state owners.

Homes in Rose Dhu Creek Plantation are reminiscent of days gone by with wide covered front porches, river rock fireplaces and upstairs balconies designed to capture the late afternoon summer breezes. While the Architectural Review Board is quite lenient, contemporary and futurist building plans need not apply. “Rose Dhu Creek is all about a more relaxed way of life and we want the home to reflect that by having a gracious southern Lowcountry traditional design,” says Lively.

Legacy Construction, a subsidiary of the Legacy Group, constructed the first home, appropriately named Seven Oaks, on over two acres directly across from the Equestrian Center. Built for the discriminating buyer, this 3, 780 square-foot home, reminiscent of a turn of the century farmhouse, can be purchased along with the adjoining property for a total of almost 6.5 acres. Complete with a full-length covered front porch, second floor exterior balcony, rear screened porch accessed from both the kitchen and great room, large rear deck off the master suite and great room, this custom home also offers a formal dining room, study, spacious kitchen with breakfast nook and separate laundry/mud room.

A great room fireplace, heart of pine flooring, custom cabinetry, granite and marble countertops and custom mouldings throughout, make this home special.

The three car garage is connected to the main house by a covered walkway. Topping the garage is a 720 square-foot guest suite complete with full bath and coffee bar.

Professionally decorated by Kay Buck, owner of Interiors by Kay Buck, Seven Oaks in very much a country gentlemen’s estate. “The captive charm of the development inspired the interior,” Buck says. “Along with the obvious equestrian touches there are also many subtle references to the overall aspect of gracious country living.”

Legacy is now in the planning stages with two additional homes for sale.

Each home built in Rose Dhu Creek is a custom home and while Legacy is the preferred building, as long as plans meet ARB approval, any builder may be used. Square footage requirements start at a minimum of 2,000 square-feet and increase depending on lot size. Each home is specifically tailored to the site allowing for maximum retention of trees and shrubs.

Whether it’s fine dining, a gourmet grocery store, cutting edge medical care or places of worship, new homeowners are always concerned about local services and amenities. Residents of Rose Dhu Creek Plantation have the added advantage of Bluffton, a quintessential riverfront village, only minutes away. The larger more sophisticated Hilton Head Island with its numerous golf courses is less than half an hour and the big city of Savannah is a relaxing forty-five minute drive. For those with growing families, the community of Rose Dhu Creek is only two miles from the new Bluffton educational campus.

Rose Dhu Creek Plantation offers privacy, peace and serenity at an affordable price. What could be better than experiencing the soul of the Lowcountry surrounded by love oaks, a stunning marsh view, sleek horse and the knowledge that Rose Dhu Creek has been carefully developed with long-range preservation goals incorporating sensible land development, care and concern for the environment and promoting a simpler, gentler way of life.

For more information on Rose Dhu Creek Plantation please call David Lively or Steve Anthony at (843) 815-2500. To find out more about the Equestrian Center, Tracey or Dee Dee Martino can be reached at (843) 757-2927.

South Carolina Home “Quiet Elegance” November-December 2001

 

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Winner of the Charleston Trident Homebuilder’s Association 1997 Prism Award for Best Resort Home, the Cowart residence is very symmetrical. Farris Cowart of Osprey Construction Company, the builder of the home, was involved in every detail. 

Seabrook Island, a setting of beauty and serenity. Farris and Jackie Cowart have certainly captured the essence of the island as well as incorporating their own ideas and tastes into a home than can best be described as “quietly elegant.”

Hidden from the main road behind a natural screen of wax myrtles, magnolias, live oaks, oleanders and ligustrums;  positioned as if the building process disturbed nothing, sits the Cowart’s 4,000 square foot Lowcountry Vernacular residence. Architect Wayne Windham told me, “While the Cowart home isn’t what one would call a true Lowcountry home, its roots and origins are Lowcountry based.”

Retaining the majority of mature vegetation was a primary goal of the Cowarts. John Hires of Three Oaks Landscaping mentioned, “We tried to retain the natural look of an old pasture, which it used to be. The rear of the property overlooks Horseshoe Creek and the mature live oaks were left in place to provide a shady canopy. Shrubs and plants were planted for different seasonal interests.” The placement of the home was dictated not only by the existing vegetation but also by the view. Every room except for the dining room and master bath embrace the panoramic marsh view.

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The rear porch has a spectacular view of Horseshoe Creek and the surrounding marsh. White wicker furniture with relaxing blue and white cushions invite you to sit and enjoy the tranquility. Baskets of ferns along with other thriving plants give testimony to the owner’s “green thumb.” 

Turning onto the drive, which was designed to wrap around the existing wax myrtles, you are greeted by a Stylus Lucas brick “welcoming arms” staircase. Lined with concrete planters bursting with shades of fall color, the staircase beckons you to the welcoming front verandah. This verandah, flanked on either side by bow windows, showcases the perfect symmetry of the home. Stately white Tuscan columns offset the richness of the classic mahogany front door and transoms.

Upon entering the soaring two-story foyer it becomes apparent that Farris, Owner and Partner of Osprey Construction Company, Inc. and his wife Jackie, a retired high school business education teacher, have created a graceful home full of warmth and comfort. A stunning hand-rubbed gold chandelier is the centerpiece of the entrance way. Capturing the different shades of gold from this chandelier are two Chinese inspired lamps resting atop a mahogany and granite Ralph Lauren console table.

Conveniently located off the foyer, the powder room is one of my favorite rooms! On a trip to the North Carolina Mountains, while browsing through an old junk store, Farris spotted a 1920’s dining room buffet with serpentine side doors. A master craftsman, Farris purchased the buffet for a future project. Deciding that it would make a perfect powder room credenza, Farris refinished it with crotch mahogany, then added brass hardware and a Kohler Artist Edition handpainted flowered sink with matching floral faucets. Picking up the rich reds, Jackie chose an eggplant hue for the walls.

The towel rack adds a touch of the unusual! The top part of an antique dresser mirror frame, it has been refinished and pegs added, making it stylish as well as functional. “I like the rustic look of the towel rack with the elegance of the rest of the room,” Jackie told me. Another unique touch is the antique copper calling card stand.

Entering the sophisticatedly appointed living room through two sets of Tuscan twin columns your eye is immediately drawn to the custom fireplace mantel. Designed and constructed by Farris, the detail work is exquisite, making it truly a work of art! Built-in bookcases along with dental moulding and window cornices are more examples of Farris’s talent and craftsmanship. From the Maitland/Smith ostrich leather cocktail table to the Jacobean animal print chairs flanking a gaming table, this room is filled with unique and eclectic pieces. The soothing palette of reds, olives and golds is accented by Jackie’s collection of Spode and Flow Blue china.

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In the living room, overstuffed reading chairs are positioned to enjoy the fireplace. Three sets of French doors leading to the rear porch help bring the outdoors in and allow for an unhindered marsh view. 

Natural outdoor light reflects through the wall of French doors that lead to the tiered rear porch. The level nearest the house is shaded and has a wrought iron table and chairs perfect for brunching al-fresco. Comfortable white wicker chairs complete with blue and while cushions invite you to sit and enjoy the relaxing marsh view. Located on the lower tier and convenient to the kitchen through the breakfast nook door is Farris’s custom designed BBQ grill. This state of the art gas grill and side burner is recessed into a cedar shake cabinet with Spanish cedar doors, a Mexican tile counter and rustic hardware. More of Farris’s handwork is evident in the unique plant stands he has created from antique sewing machine bases with Corian or granite tops.

With the kitchen, breakfast nook and sunroom to the right of the living room, the house flows nicely and is very “user-friendly” for entertaining. White cabinetry with white Corian offers a nice contrast to the cherry center island and its Verde Fontaine granite counter. Tiled into the backsplash to the right of the sink is a colorful cornucopia of flowers and fruits overflowing a graceful urn. Over the center island is a light box constructed of cherry featuring a custom designed stained glass panel. Artist Susan Suffel told me, “The stained glass design is what I envisioned the top of the tiled flower urn to look like if you were gazing down on it.” Windows surround the sunroom and breakfast nook filling them with natural light and maximizing the spectacular view. Along with the entire house, this room is filled with plants. “Before Farris and I married I had a greenhouse and I wanted our home to reflect my love of plants,”Jackie said. A cozy room perfect for watching TV or curling up with a good book, the sunroom features a Lillian August settee in shades of red, gold and pumpkin which coordinate perfectly with the two Drexel Heritage wing chair recliners and a round reading table with a chenille paisley topper. An antique sewing machine found scattered in pieces in an old garage, was painstakingly reconstructed by Farris and is on its way to becoming a treasured family heirloom. The bamboo paddle fan brings a touch of the islands to the room. “I like to throw in the unexpected,” said Jackie. Resting on the window cornices, adding holiday cheer are Farris and Jackie’s collection of a Dickens Christmas Village.

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The center cherry island with custom stained glass paneled light box is a striking contrast to the white cabinetry used throughout the rest of the kitchen. 

Holding court in the stately dining room is a Maitland/Smith mahogany table, chairs and sideboard. A Theodore and Alexander mirror reflects the beautiful Royal Albert Old Country Roses Christmas china. Victorian reproductions of Monkey lamps from Chelsea House along with monkey ornaments and napkin holders add a whimsical touch.

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Rich deep red walls framed with white wainscoting and moulding complement the Maitland/Smith mahogany table, chairs and sideboard. A Theodore and Alexander mirror reflects the beautiful Royal Albert Seasons of Color Christmas china. 

Located at the other end of the home for privacy is the master suite. Calming green seafoam walls with white moulding make for a soothing respite from the rest of the world. All colors and fabrics are soft and peaceful and work well with the four-poster pineapple bed and writing desk. An antique green and blue Oriental rug placed at an angle on the oak stained mahogany hardwood floor complement the chosen fabrics and bedding. Artwork here, as well as through out, is mainly from a Savannah artist, Sharon Saseen Dillon. Since Farris and Jackie are both from the Savannah area, Dillon’s work reminds them of home!

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The E.J. Victor French Legacy four-poster pineapple bed makes a beautiful statement in the master suite. 

Through a dressing area complete with double vanities and a walk-in closet you enter the striking, spacious master bath. The soaking tub is set into the bow of the windows and surrounded by Verde Empress marble which has also been used on the bath floor, creating long sleek lines. Concave shelves are recessed at each end of the tub and hold treasured family heirlooms along with personal pictures and other mementos. A crystal chandelier directly above the tub reflects sparkles of light and color that play around the room. Gazing around this room as with all others it is easy to see Jackie’s passion for loving accumulation. “I don’t subscribe to the ‘less is more theory,’ I buy by instinct, because I know what I want and where I want it to go.”

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This tub is the perfect place to soak away the troubles of the day! Curved shelves at each end of the tub follow the progression of the bow windows. 

Adding an artistic touch on the second floor staircase is a Chelsea House chinoiserie folding screen featuring birds and foliage in shades of black, gold and red.

The upper level houses the Charleston library room and two separate bedrooms each with full baths. While masculine in feel with a leather couch and khaki, beige and deep red striped fabric chairs, the library also has a TV, VCR and computer, perfect for keeping the grandchildren entertained! This room, just like the entire home, contains many antiques in addition to treasured family pieces and “junk store finds.” French doors open to an upstairs balcony, providing another fabulous waterview.

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The upstairs Charleston library holds treasured eclectic pieces that when put together with Jackie’s eye for detail blend perfectly! More of Farris’s handiwork is shown in the design of the fireplace mantel on which rests their collection of Byers Choice Carolers. 

In the guest room on the right hangs the framed marriage certificate of Jackie’s parents. The soothing palette of roses, pinks and creams are also highlighted in the adjacent bath. The guest suite to the left has been decorated in blues, reds and creams and hosts a separate dressing area along with separate bath. This bath, in addition to the usual cabinetry has a unique antique dressing table with full-length mirror and needlepoint antique chair.

Emanating a sense of quiet elegance, and showcasing furniture and collectibles from traditional to French to custom designed one-of-a-kind creations, every pieces in the Cowart home has been chosen and placed with care, concern and love. Definitely creating a home with a heart.