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Never before seen photos from our Hausful Project File featured in our Fall 2019 issue.

Read the full story here: Hausful

Photography by Patrick Brickman

Never before seen photos from our Vitoria International and Stone Central Project File featured in our Fall 2019 issue.

Read the full story here: Vitoria International and Stone Central

Photography by Patrick Brickman

Never seen before photos from the Priester’s Custom Contracting and Crosby Creations Home Designs Project File featured in our Fall 2019 issue.

Read the full story here: Priester’s Custom Contracting and Crosby Creations Home Designs

Photography by Patrick Brickman

Never seen before photos from the Rush Dixon Architects Project File featured in our Fall 2019 issue.

Read the full story here: Fall 2019: Rush Dixon Architects

 Photography by Tripp Smith Photography

Never seen before photos from Melcer Tile’s Project File featured in our Fall 2019 issue.

Read the full story here: Fall 2019: Melcer Tile

Photography by Listings in Motion

When and how did your company get its start?

Ryan grew up on his father’s job sites. From the age of thirteen, he knew he wanted to start his own
custom home building company. About five years ago the time was right to begin his own company,
SHELTER Custom-Built Living.

What does your company specialize in?

Our company provides a true custom home building experience. We source unique and out of the box
fixtures for clients. We provide a team environment to assist in the building and designing process.
SHELTER creates one of a kind projects that are truly unique.

Photography by Patrick Brickman

What’s a typical day working at your company look like?

There is not a typical day at SHELTER Custom Built Living. Each project has different needs which allow
every day to be different from the next.

What’s your favorite part of working and living in Charleston?

We love Charleston’s diverse culture. It is a historic coastal city with a modern twist. This allows us to
build a wide variety of homes.

Photography by Patrick Brickman

What is the best advice you could give to people in the market for your services?

Partner up with someone who you feel comfortable with and trust.  There are several quality builders
around but they all don’t communicate and operate in the same manner.

Lastly, is there anything else you would like people to know about your company?

Our mission is to provide a transparent, straightforward, seamless approach to custom home building
with the client engaged in as much of the process that they feel comfortable with. SHELTER believes the
process of building a home should be an enjoyable experience.

Owner Ryan Butler and Design Coordinator Kecia Heyward of SHELTER Custom-Built Living
Photography by Patrick Brickman


For more information about SHELTER Custom-Built Living, please call (843) 471-1833, or visit them
online at

When thrown the phrase “southern living” many cannot help but conjure images of rocking chairs placed along porches as homeowners sit peacefully sipping on sweet tea. Yet this traditional picture is but one scenario when it comes to outdoor living in the 21st century. One of the great advantages of living in the Charleston area is the year-round weather, specifically the climate, which even in winter months only dips to around 60 degrees. These averages are what encourage homeowners to adopt outdoor living spaces. But how amazing would if be to bring a bit of the indoors outside?

Mt. Pleasant’s AV Lifestyles, a custom provider of media and audio technology, allows homeowners to make the most of their outdoor living areas by providing the opportunity to install state-of-the-art entertainment centers. The systems provide a modern and unique way to entertain. The entertainment systems allow homeowners to tap into streaming and audio devices and apps, such as Pandora or Spotify so that the mood is perfectly set for any event. The best part is, AV Lifestyles caters individually to the homeowners’ preferences and will build any system to the homeowner’s likings while still making these specifications financially realistic. Through AV Lifestyles, the traditional porch or deck setting can boast a unique flare, by becoming accessible as well as entertaining all year round.

One of the many charms of the Lowcountry is its charming southern culture and unmatched sense of vibrancy, and nothing embodies these characteristics better than the artwork, be it architecture, furnishings or paintings, the city produces. Arts, etc., an organization founded by Kiawah women in 2001, is committed to supporting this endeavor. Often raising funds dedicated to the development and cultivation of the arts in the greater Charleston area, the organization is sponsoring the annual Kiawah Island Art and House Tour.

The tour, taking place on Friday, April 7th, allows visitors the rare opportunity to view five spectacular homes on the beautiful and tranquil island. Located on the variety of coastal landscapes the region has to offer, the homes consciously utilize the natural surroundings to their advantage. For instance, the Ocean Front home being showcased invites guests in through the open layout of the living space, giving visitors a breathtaking view of the Atlantic; similarly, the Ocean Park home, situated in the newest upcoming neighborhood, posses a outdoor den-like space, including a porch that benefits from the quiet beauty the marshlands have to offer. Meanwhile the Rhett’s Bluff home, located along the Kiawah River, utilizes traditional fauna such as live oaks and cedars to create a natural and relaxed setting representative of a simpler time the English styled country house is modeled after.

However, the tour also showcases the owners’ exquisite tastes in artwork, whether it is the detail required for the house’s moldings, the hand crafted furnishings, or the one of a kind sculptures and paintings collected from neighborhood, even global locations. The Vanderhorst Plantation, which is another home that will be presented to visitors, exhibits such artworks by collecting an abundance of paintings from around Europe. Yet the homes also display pieces created by local artists and artisans. For instance, The Preserve home houses several fireplace screens, an elegant stair railing and a carefully crafted table, all built of old iron workings by local artisan John Boyd Smith. Other talented local artists include German firm, Gaggenau, Lowcountry landscapes by Linda Fantuzzo, as well as Manning Williams, and the artwork of Alfred Hutty and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, leading figures of the Charleston Renaissance.

The tour is self-guided, allowing visitors to explore at a leisurely pace. Those interested are welcome to preorder tickets at, however, on the day of the tour, guests must exchange the ticket for a tour brochure at the Square in Freshfields Village. Whether you are hoping to design your own dream home, or just appreciate the arts, the tour offers a stylish and interesting take on southern living and celebrates the Lowcountry culture we all cherish.


For more information or to purchase tickets click here!

One South Battery Street homeowner called upon Bennett Hofford Construction to breathe life back into her historic home.

116-s-battery_ve_fall_16-06Classic Charleston brick with white pillars lined by a graceful iron fence set the perfect scene for a quiet, sunny afternoon stroll along South Battery Street. But behind the brick is a beautiful home, filled with French-inspired antique furniture, equestrian artwork, and a soft white and floral palette, all masterfully blended with a modern kitchen.

And that’s just the first floor. “Elizabeth called us after she purchased the house,” says Jessica Hofford, of Bennett Hofford Construction. “It hadn’t been updated in a while and the color scheme was kind of dark.” Elizabeth, the homeowner, is an attorney and a full-time mom, so she wanted a cheerful home to return to after long hours in the office. Unfortunately, before the renovations took place, there was only a formal dining room and formal living room to offer space for family time. At Elizabeth’s request, the team at Bennett Hofford began plans for an addition to accompany the renovation.

It was important to Elizabeth that there be a less formal place for unwinding with family and friends. And because the house faces South, it was vital that large windows be added to the family room to maximize the natural light flowing through the space. She chose to have custom built-in shelves and storage added in order to assist the family in running a smooth, organized household. The brass horse statues, family photos, trophies, and stacks of academic books comingling among the shelves complement the traditional décor.

The newly refurbished staircase, with original wood steps and wrought iron spindles, leads to the second floor, where the master suite and guest rooms are located. “Much like the first floor, we renovated all of the rooms on the second story and restored all of the moulding, which is original to the house,” Jessica points out. The only exceptions are the two spectacular bathrooms. Each lavatory was entirely gutted to the studs, which allowed for the plumbing to be thoroughly updated. The guest bathroom features dark stained cabinetry with a white marble countertop contrast. In comparison, the master bathroom sparkles with white marble countertops that complement the original wood flooring. A stand-alone soaking tub creates a spa-like atmosphere.

Up on the third floor is where Elizabeth’s daughter’s room, a third bathroom, and a den are found. The den, which was formerly attic space, is enveloped with floor-to-ceiling original wood paneling. It has been stained to a rich, mahogany color to lighten and warm the room, due to its singular small, round window. Elizabeth’s daughter’s bathroom was also redesigned.

Now, there are endless possibilities to where Elizabeth and her family will land when they return to relax in their historic abode, and they can relish every moment together in a refreshingly spacious home.

For more information, call Bennett Hofford Construction at (843) 722-8169 or visit

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When Laura Schonholz began designing her home with her daughter Johanna, they both wanted to find a way to use products and design elements that would blend in their aesthetics with the traditions of Charleston.

Bringing in the “new” can be tricky—especially when the “old” is as cherished as it is in a place like Charleston. Architect and homeowner Laura Schonholz, with the help of her daughter Johanna Sztokman and companies like Nichiha, brought in new looks to a stunning Lowcountry setting in a way that still honors and highlights the style traditions of this area.

“We fell in love with Charleston as soon as we saw it,” gushes Laura as she explains how her husband’s position at MUSC brought her family to the Lowcountry from Argentina 12 years ago. “When settling in here, we wanted to have a contemporary house that took advantage of our location and maximized our view of downtown Charleston.” Laura set out to design a home that met all of the Charleston Board of Architectural Review guidelines and still stayed true to her personal design style that she describes as a mixture of contemporary, minimalistic, and eclectic. To achieve this aesthetic, she worked diligently with her daughter to find all of the right contractors, vendors, and materials.

Nichiha fiber cement paneling was one such product that worked well for Laura and Johanna’s design style, both inside and outside of the home. Buck Lumber supplied Nichiha’s Empire Block product on the exterior of the house as well as on the floor-to-ceiling custom fireplace. “We make both residential and commercial products,” explains Brandon Tart, Territory Manager of Nichiha. “You can choose one of our products to have the look of lap siding or board and batten, or you can select our commercial panels that also can be used in modern single-family homes or commercial buildings.”

“I was trying to think of a non-conventional material, and after investigating Nichiha, I thought it was perfect,” Laura adds. “Also, we really wanted to interconnect the exterior and interior of the home and the look of this gray material was ideal.”

Nichiha’s product was a way of incorporating the modern material into a more traditional form. It’s a very modern product, so we tried to create a house shape that would resemble a Charleston single,”
Johanna includes.

Throughout the home, the mixture of contemporary and traditional can be seen. Laura used hardwood flooring, but instead of ending the flooring at the baseboard, she continued the flooring all the way up the wall in some of the rooms of the home. AGM Imports helped to blend the contemporary with the traditional in the bathroom tiling also by adding unique flair to traditional bathroom shapes and silhouettes.

This Lowcountry residence has been designed and built to stand the test of time. With a mixture of durable materials and design choices, Laura and her family will be able to enjoy the Charleston views in style from their home for years to come.

For more information, call Nichiha at (866) 434-4421 or visit online at For more information about Holz Design Group call (843) 478-4906. For more information about Buck Lumber call (843) 795-0150.


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