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 fittings 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.