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Once a practicing lawyer, Jon Goldfarb kissed his desk job goodbye 14 years ago and entered the world of commercial construction. In 2005, he transitioned to residential projects and began his own company, Riverland Builders. Recently, he had the opportunity to remodel a home for himself, his wife, Amanda, and his daughter, Ava. He met with the Charleston Home + Design team to offer an inside peek and some expert advice for those just beginning their own projects.

The Riverland Terrace home on James Island was originally built in the 1950s. “It was a small 1,400 square-foot concrete-block bungalow,” Jon describes. The house had very little character, small windows, a closed floor plan, and retro finishes. Jon chose to remove every non-load-bearing wall to open the space, incorporate larger windows, and give the abode a contemporary feel. Walking through the front door, visitors are greeted with stark white walls, mid-century modern furniture, local art, a simple fireplace, and an eclectic kitchen. To the left sits a den created out of the old home’s carport. To the right lies a hallway leading to Ava’s room. Upstairs is the master suite with an attention-grabbing bathroom featuring a freestanding tub set against a bold teal tile backdrop.

It takes a creative eye to walk into a dated home and envision an altogether new space. These types of recreations are a passion of Jon’s. He remarks, “Renovations are just fun. When you have an older house, you can really use your imagination and come up with something totally unexpected.” His expertise helps to fuel that imagination. Upon looking at the house for the first time, he already knew what walls could be removed and which elements of the original home needed to remain intact. “Amanda and I have a pretty good sense of visualizing and realizing that a space can be more than it is,” Jon adds. This vision from the beginning and their experience allowed them to enjoy the project—something Jon and Amanda see as a struggle with many who are in the building stage. “Because we’ve worked on so many houses together,” Amanda reveals, “we didn’t quite have the amount of stress that others who are renovating or building tend to experience. We could just have fun and be creative with it.” To combat this prevalent home-building stress, Jon recommends keeping the project in perspective and understanding that everyone working on the house has the same goal of completion in mind. Amanda advises, “It’s also good to know what’s important to you and what’s not. Then, you can let certain things slide and focus on what matters most.” This wisdom, gleaned from years in the industry, guided the two through the building process smoothly, allowing them to find joy in the project and transform the old home into a modern creation tailored to their style. What’s in the future for Jon? Not only working on several new projects around town, but also wrapping up another family endeavor—the renovation of a circa-1900 cabin in North Carolina.

For more information, call Riverland Builders at (843) 693-2117 or visit

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Yellow Traditional Style SunroomKids and Chaos

Carpeted floors and kids might not sound like a match made in heaven. What about stains and spills? But fear not—there are stain-resistant carpeting options designed to protect against everything from juice explosions to pet accidents. Countless styles and colors to choose from as well as a myriad of textures makes it easy to select the best option for your busy family. The soft comfort of carpet is perfect for cozy movie nights or family game time around the coffee table. An added bonus? Sound absorbing fibers and carpet cushions make for quieter rooms—meaning that just because the kiddos get up early on Saturday morning doesn’t mean you have to, too.


The Animal Lover

Value your pets above all else? Consider engineered hardwood floors.
This elegant choice in flooring not only enhances the beauty of your home while adding lasting value but is also a durable option designed to withstand the scratches and scuffs of cats and dogs. The floors are low-maintenance and vacuuming pet hair is simple and easy. Installing engineered hardwoods leads to less irritation from pet dander, as the floors won’t retain dust and allergens. Design flexibility means you don’t have to sacrifice personal style when selecting the ideal home flooring for you and your pets.

Single and Social

If you are your own main priority when it comes to home décor and enjoy the excitement of entertaining, tile or stone flooring could be the floor for you. Consider it in the kitchen, our modern age’s main stage for hosting guests. A huge assortment of types—porcelain, ceramic, glass and mosaic, plus a variety of colors and patterns, provide an opportunity to indulge your creativity. Stain-resistant grout keeps high traffic areas clean and spotless. Make the space your own with unique designs and every guest is sure to be impressed by your decorative prowess.

These and many other flooring options are available through Floor Coverings International. They can set you up with a consultant to help figure out what type of flooring is best for you and your lifestyle, as well as your budget. Floor Coverings International then delivers your flooring choice and begins the installation progress, ensuring that you can enjoy your new floor in no time.


Written by Katherine Bryan

To some, outdoor living means lounging on the beach, kayaking through the marsh, or sipping tea on the back porch. To one homeowner, the term outdoor living means being able to enjoy every moment of Charleston’s famous weather. After building his home on Isle of Palms, this particular homeowner approached Ken Good and his team at Palmetto Outdoor Kitchens to accomplish this goal.

He wanted long-lasting cabinetry and the ability to cook in a myriad of ways with minimal appliances. Furthermore, he desired to enjoy the cooler nights by an outdoor fire. When he and the design team met to draw up plans and determine which features he wanted, the choices were easy. The first step was to select cabinetry. This homeowner picked a high-density polyethylene material by Wherever Cabinetry. Then, it was time to ask the big question—which grill is the best fit? “He chose a dual-fuel Alfresco grill, which is one of the few on the market that can cook with gas, charcoal, and wood,” describes Ken. The grill doesn’t clog up the kitchen’s design with too many pieces of equipment and is efficient on all forms of fuel.

The other aspects of the outdoor kitchen, including the sink, refrigerator, and a giant burner to the left of the grill are also made by Alfresco. The extra-large burner, known as the Vespa Power Burner, is “great for those big pots full of delicious Lowcountry Boil,” Ken explains. “In fact,” he adds, “it’s useful for big pans too. Just last week, the homeowner sent me a picture of him cooking breakfast on it.”

With a gas-lit, linear Napoleon fireplace just feet away and plenty of space for entertaining or relaxing, this homeowner has just the right balance for the best kind of outdoor living—the kind that lasts all year long.

For more information, call Palmetto Outdoor Kitchens at (843) 216-0006 or visit


Dennis and Jan Murray married over forty years ago in 1973. After moving several times between Michigan, California, and Georgia, working in the medical field, and raising two children, the Murrays decided to relocate just once more to a slice of marsh-front land in Hollywood, South Carolina. “In our years of being married,” Dennis recalls, “we have never had a house with a view of someone else’s backyard. That was important here, and the look of the marshland is something that I particularly like.” The stunning view, however, was not the only essential request the Murrays had when they set out to build their new home.

Dennis notes, “As Jan and I approached retirement age, we knew we needed a place where we would be comfortable and a place that our children and friends would want to come visit. Stono Ferry [a growing community in Hollywood] was just that.” Furthermore, mobility considerations had to be made for the aging couple. Dennis and Jan had quite a bit of help designing the perfect house for both their current lifestyle and anticipated
future needs. Their daughter is an architect, and she originally began the floor plan. Because she was licensed out-of-state and unfamiliar with South Carolina’s codes, she passed the project on to Jodi Crosby of Crosby Creations Custom Home Design, whom the Murrays met through their builder, Tommy Priester of Priester’s Custom Contracting.

Working with the Murrays’ daughter and Tommy, Jodi developed the floor plan and elevations to match Dennis and Jan’s
vision for the home, which included provisions for aging comfortably. Jodi reveals, “When I design for a couple that is of retirement age, I always want to make sure that they’re not going to have to retrofit their house if their mobility decreases.” For this home, Jodi incorporated wider hallways and doorways, a first-floor master suite, and an elevator. “We rarely use it now,” Jan says of the elevator, “but at some point, it’s going to be very important.” These features will make growing older a bit simpler and prolong (or in some cases eliminate) the need for assisted living.

Just because this home boasts aging-in-place features, though, does not mean that it is lacking beauty. The house is a flawless mix between contemporary and Lowcountry. Modern art installations blend with rich, natural hardwood floors, and a progressive stair tower meshes with marsh views and sweeping porches. The design matches the look and lifestyle of the homeowners, and that is truly the goal. Jodi concludes, “I come up with ideas, but if the homeowners don’t like them, we revisit those ideas until they do.

I want to help them through the process and create a house that fully fits them.” Pleased with their own well-suited home, the Murrays are looking forward to living the sweet retired life (you know, golf in the afternoon, visits from children, and long strolls through the neighborhood) as residents of Stono Ferry.

For more information, contact Crosby Creations Custom Home Design at (843) 514-7354 or visit
To contact the builder, call Priester’s Custom Contracting at (843) 200-8495 or visit

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Charleston |1290 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, West Ashley, SC | 843.571.5142

It’s that time of year again—the weather is hot, the drinks are cold, and nothing screams summer more than relaxing out back on the patio. But why is it that outdoor seating never seems as comfortable or stylish as our carefully curated indoor spaces? GDC Home is helping put that issue to rest with their outdoor living collections. There’s no need to sacrifice indoor-level luxury when designing your dream outdoor living space.

GDC’s outdoor collections are featured at each of their three locations: Mt. Pleasant, Kiawah, and West Ashley. The collections are packed with furniture, fabrics, rugs and pillows that will elevate your outdoor space to the same level of style and comfort as any indoor sitting areas.

Sag Harbor, a new woven collection from Kingsley Bate, features all-weather wicker fiber and fabrics resistant to the wear and tear that goes hand-in-hand with outdoor living. Dash and Albert indoor/outdoor rugs can add a splash of color to your space, or try a GDC Home tan flat weave rug for an earthier texture. Pine Cone Hill indoor/outdoor pillows are great as colorful accents to tie the look together.

For a space that has a sophisticated feel, like the one shown in these GDC displays, try black wicker furniture paired with cream cushions. Turquoise and floral accent pillows liven up the space and create a festive flair, a crucial element of any backyard seating area. The possibilities are endless when it comes to designing your ideal outdoor sitting area with the help of the furniture collections of GDC Home.


Charleston |1290 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, West Ashley, SC | 843.571.5142


Mt. Pleasant |695 Coleman Blvd, Mt. Pleasant, SC |843.849.0711


Kiawah Island |420 Freshfields Dr. Kiawah Island, SC | 843.768.4246


Kiawah Island |420 Freshfields Dr. Kiawah Island, SC | 843.768.4246

Written by Katherine Bryan

Growing up in historical homes will develop an eye for well-constructed, classically beautiful domiciles. That’s exactly what Dana Todd has—an appreciation for the details that make ancestral abodes stand out from the rest. When it came time for her family to build in the early 2000s, she knew exactly what she wanted her residence to look like. She modeled the home with a vintage theme in almost every way. However, over the years, she realized that her bathroom didn’t quite fit into her vision for the rest of the home and didn’t provide the function she needed.
When Dana met with Pam McPeak, ASID, owner of Southern Places, she was ready to tear everything out of her bathroom and start from scratch. “The bathroom had a decent amount of space,” says Pam. “Dana and her husband just needed more functional space.” Pam suggested a slightly different approach. Instead of tearing out the flooring and the lovely pedestal sinks, which are reminiscent of older, sophisticated homes, Pam thought it would keep the continuity of Dana’s style, if they worked with those aspects. She had a custom cabinet built to fit between the sinks and a special flat pullout surface for Dana to use for her makeup (a space-saving alternative to a countertop).

It was important for Dana to keep her classic claw-foot tub as part of the bathroom design, so the duo focused on updating the shower. She and Pam decided to remove the acrylic stall and replace it with custom tile featuring a smaller, iridescent accent for interest. To draw attention to the tub, they installed a crystal chandelier. After swapping the small beadboard on the walls for a wider option and adding a hint of color, the bathroom was nearly complete. There was just one thing missing. Pam and Dana, during their efforts to find all the necessary accents for the new master bath, discovered a beautiful rug. “Every room needs a splash of color,” proclaims Pam. “Rather than adding art to the wall, we added it to the floor.” The floral rug completes the circle of the room, so that attention is drawn from the shower to the tub and the chandelier, over to the cabinets and sinks, and then to the floor.

For more information, call Southern Places, Inc. at (803) 788-0559 or visit

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SHELTER-19 Watroo Point- PhotosByPatrickBrickman_12Josh and Jean Soper moved from Richmond, Virginia to Daniel Island in 2007 when Josh’s company transferred him to the Lowcountry. They purchased a new coastal-style home that was nearly complete. Although they loved the house, the Sopers and their three daughters were outgrowing the space. They chose to stay on Daniel Island (because they enjoy the atmosphere of the neighborhood) and build a new home more appropriately customized to their needs with the help of longtime friend and local builder Ryan Butler of SHELTER.

Knowing pretty clearly what they loved and disliked about their first Daniel Island home, the Sopers had a vision in place for the new house. The coastal charm of the original home carried over to the second one, and Ryan, in collaboration with Alison Ramsey Architects, incorporated shiplap and plenty of light into the structure. Ryan explains, “The home is very airy with plenty of coastal aspects, like white oak floors and board-and-batten elements in the dining room. The white cabinets and countertops in the kitchen give that space a clean, bright feeling.” With a passion for interior design, Jean decorated the living spaces with seaside hues. She admits, “I was a little sad when the project was over; I really loved doing it.” The view of the neighboring marsh—visible from the front door beyond the two-story-high shiplap wall in the foyer—completes the coastal look.

Considering the portions of the old house that weren’t quite right, Jean and Josh worked with Ryan and the team to make one important change: reconfiguring the bedrooms. In the old home, all of the bedrooms were located upstairs, which worked well when the Sopers’ children were very young. At this house, the homeowners chose to place the master downstairs and give their three girls a space of their own upstairs. “We felt like they were at an age whe re they could all be upstairs and Josh and I could quietly enjoy our space downstairs,” notes Jean. Each girl’s suite was decorated and designed to suit her personality—a teal room with bunk beds, a purple room with twin beds and elephant décor, and a ballerina-inspired pink room (with a built-in barre) for the youngest.

However, this change in the floor plan is not just practical for the family today. It carries with it a long-term vision. Josh and Jean hope to be in this home for many decades. The first-floor master suite will allow them to age comfortably, while the upstairs bedrooms will give each of their girls a room to herself when they are all grown up and return home to visit. Jean adds, “There’s even a third floor that’s currently unfinished. The plan is to turn that into a bunkroom one day to hold grandchildren. When we were planning, we tried to think about what suited our needs now and what will suit our needs in the years to come.” Excited about their future on Daniel Island and raising their girls in this home, the Sopers are grateful for the team that put their house together so that they can enjoy time with each other, whether they’re cooking supper or curling up on the porch to watch a movie.

For more information, call SHELTER at (843) 278-2914 or visit