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When a tornado destroyed part of their home in 2015, Chelsea and Ryan Meadows turned a tragedy into the perfect opportunity to redesign their Johns Island home.

Imagine you are awoken at midnight to hear a storm raging around your home. Now picture yourself racing into your one-year-old daughter’s room in order to pull her into your arms before rushing to find shelter. That is exactly what happened to Ryan Meadows when a tornado left a scar of destruction across Johns Island in September of 2015. “It was terrifying,” Ryan recounts. “My wife Chelsea was traveling for business, so I was on baby duty.” As Ryan was running down the back stairs, his daughter in his arms, almost the entire back side of the house was being wrenched away by the storm. He and his daughter, Madison, barely made it into the closet under the stairs before the sofa flew by, taking the bathroom door with it.

Fortunately, they stayed safe and Charleston County building department was especially eager to make the process of rebuilding as quick and painless as possible for those affected by the tornado. Even more fortunately,
the Meadows are good friends with several building professionals, including Travis Arnett of Arnett Construction as well as Chris Mevers of Mevers Kitchen and Bath. Once Ryan and Chelsea approached Travis about how to get started on the road to home recovery, he pointed them toward Jodi Crosby of Crosby Creations Home Designs to help draw the house plans to rebuild. Jodi walked through what was left of their home, and discussed with the Meadows the aspects of the home that they wanted to keep. “We loved our home before the tornado, but Jodi did a fantastic job of asking us the right questions and visualizing everything we talked about,” says Chelsea.Jodi worked tirelessly for four weeks (instead of the normal eight to 12 average) to redesign the missing parts of the house in order to integrate the panoramic marsh views for the new master suite upstairs and the living and dining rooms downstairs. “We did a little flip-flopping with the design,” adds Jodi. “The kitchen moved to the front of the home, we opened the floor plan, and incorporated larger windows.” From there, Travis took over the construction. He helped Chelsea and Ryan choose many of the finishes throughout. The floors in Travis’s own home turned out to be Chelsea’s inspiration for the rustic feel of the décor, and Ryan’s desire for an exposed brick fireplace played right into the charisma of the living room. “Once we were settled on a rustic theme, the Meadows and I had fun creating a space that they’ll love for years to come,” states Travis, who procured a lot of the reclaimed items in the living room, including the mantel over the fireplace.When it came time to design the kitchen, Chelsea and Ryan sought out another long-time friend, Chris Mevers. “They kept a lot of similar features from their old kitchen, with the spice racks and accessories on either side of the stove, but it’s the brick backsplash that ties the traditional cabinetry and the rustic feel of the living room together for a seamless look,” Chris mentions. Ryan adds, “I asked if the brick would even make a good backsplash and as soon as I brought it up, Chris said it would be perfect.”To pull Ryan’s traditional tastes and Chelsea’s rustic ideas together, Travis suggested barn doors here and there on the first floor, as well as marine rail fit
tings for the back porch so that the marsh view isn’t obstructed. Now, Chelsea and Ryan enjoy their lovely home and backyard scenery not only due to its beauty, but because it also reminds them of how their friends and community came together to help rebuild their dreams. v

For more information, call Crosby Creations Home Designs at (843) 514-7354 or visit crosby-creations.com. To learn more about the reconstruction, call Arnett Construction at (843) 271-8668 or visit arnettconstructionsc.com. For more information about the kitchen, call Mevers Kitchen and Bath at (843) 410-5656 or visit meverskitchens.com.

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We caught up with owner Jodi Crosby of Crosby Creations Home Designs to learn about one of her most recent projects in Ravenel that involved a very large topiary obstacle. Jodi’s passion is home design and she cares deeply about her clients as well as our beautiful Lowcountry surroundings. She strives to setup proper expectations and to deliver a superior design, not only to her clients, but also to the builders, engineers, and sub contractors that depend on her to provide correct and adequate information. Learn how Jodi designs a solution that benefits a local homeowner while preserving a beautiful piece of Lowcountry history.

img_44111.Tell me a little about the Jacobs Point project in terms what inspired you?

The clients wanted a Coastal/Casual design and I believe we were able to provide it for them. My inspiration in designing the home derived from the 39″ live oak in the center of the lot and the beautiful marsh views beyond.

2. Why did you find it so important to save the 39″ live oak that is placed in the center of the lot instead of cutting it down to make room for the home?

The clients had obtained a variance to remove the tree because they didn’t believe a house would even fit on the lot. And of course if you’re looking at stock plans on the internet, it is unlikely you would find anything to fit this very unique site. Once I laid my eyes on that beautiful and significant tree I knew I had to do everything I could to save it. It is the most beautiful tree in the entire neighborhood and it would have been a shame to cut it down.

3. What were some of the extra steps you had to go through to make sure the project would work?

I approached the Town of Hollywood’s Board of Zoning and Appeals (BZA) to obtain two more variances for the rear and side setbacks. I also requested to withdraw the previous variance to remove the live oak. My husband and I actually went to the site one morning and got very creative in measuring a main leader of the tree to ensure the roof of the house would materialize below it.

4. What is the most significant obstacle you had to overcome during the project?

Ensuring I gave my clients exactly what they wanted out of their home without sacrificing the integrity and health of the live oak. We brought in an arborist early on to pre-treat the live oak and prepare it for the shock of construction and the future weight of a house sitting within it’s critical root zone. It didn’t make sense to save the tree, only for it to die in the end because we didn’t care for it properly.

5. What advice would you give someone trying to design a home while saving portions of their landscape that is important to them?

The most important piece of the puzzle is to have a current survey; including topography, tree’s, and the significant landscaping they may want to preserve. The survey is the starting point to any project we do. Not only do we use it, but so will the landscape architect when he/she is designing the landscaping and drainage plan.

For more information, call Crosby Creations Home Designs at (843) 514-7354 or visit crosby-creations.com. Also, check out Crosby Creations Home Design’s 90 5 star ratings and reviews on on Houzz! http://www.houzz.com/pro/jolynn1977/__public