Winter construction

Ground Breaking on Fripp Island

It’s always exciting to see ground breaking on a new house- we have several just at the beginning of construction. The first is on a low and swampy site on Fripp Island. The house is built up to get out of the flood plain. It looks out over a salt- water lagoon.

Coffin Point

Not too far from Fripp Island is Coffin Point, St. Helena and the location of another F+F house in the beginning stages of construction. This one is on a wooded lot. At a little over 2,000 square feet, it isn’t a big house, but it will live very comfortably. Also- a mysterious brick hole- what could that be?

Brays Island

This Brays Island house is nearing completion. Remember when it was just on the boards?

Hilton Head Island

This house in Long Cove Club is really looking great. The preliminary design for this house can be found here. It is a pretty big house, but we are still push sustainability. This roof is going to be covered with PV, the HVAC is geothermal, and the envelope is tight as can be.

Islands of Beaufort

This Camellia Close to Custom house is nearing completion – The contractors are racing to finish before it is on the Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Architect Tour on March 18th.

Guest Rooms

As we get ready to welcome family and friends this holiday season, here are some tips from our clients on how to make your guest feel at home.

This Long Cove Club  guest room checks all the boxes; comfy seating, full length mirror, drawer space, extra blankets and a great view. The arched window and high ceiling adds drama.

This Fripp Island guest house has plenty of privacy with its private porch overlooking the golf course and ocean. The guest house has a small kitchenette for morning coffee and a desk for sneaking in a connection to the office. Be sure to leave the wifi password on a card that is easy to find.

A great mattress with fine linens make this St. Simon Island guest room a mini retreat. Remember that your guest will need a space to put their stuff, so empty drawers and cleared nightstands are greatly appreciated.

En suite bathrooms are really popular as shown in this Palmetto Bluff bedroom. A full length mirror helps your guest make sure that they are ready for visiting the town.

Bunk rooms are perfect for grandkids. Each bunk has it’s own reading light and small shelf for a book in this St. Simon Island house.

There have been many spend the night parties in this girls guest room on Fripp Island.

High windows capture views of the majestic live oak outside of this guest room on St. Simons Island.

A Ben Ham photograph is reflected in an antique mirror in this Daufuskie Island guest room.


It’s the time of year where we all want to gather together and snuggle up around a fireplace. Here in the lowcountry, some of our favorite fireplaces are located outdoors, either on a screened porch or free standing in the garden. Fireplaces add a great focal point to a space whether it is indoors or out. Here are a few that we have designed over the past thirty years.

Brick Fireplace with Claire Crowe firescreen and Holly Hunt Swan lamp

Fireplace with bookmatched stone

Craftman fireplace

Arts & Crafts inspired fireplace

Concrete fireplace

Four sided brick fireplace

Outdoor brick fireplace with oyster roaster

dogs love dogtrots

Brick fireplace with Phoebe the dog

Dog in front of a fireplace

Sculptural fireplace with Stella the dog

Historic fireplace

Sleeping porch fireplace

Contemporary fireplace with Venetian plaster finish

Exterior fireplace inspired by a historic rice mill chimney

Screened porch fireplace that opens to the great room

Another rice mill inspired chimney

Double fireplaces

Outdoor fireplace on an addition to a historic house

Screened porch fireplace

Construction Update November 2022

Islands of Beaufort Dogtrot

Take a close look at the return air grill. It was custom designed by Benjie and made by Michael Sanders of Sanders Woodworking. The design is based on the footprint of the house.

Brays Island Cabin

The Brays Island Cabin is nearing completion. We are loving the tile selected by Lydia Lewis of Kelly Caron Design.

Long Cove Club house

This Long Cove Club house in Hilton Head Island is in the middle of framing. The raised first floor creates great views of the pond and golf course. There is a half story for the second floor.

A kiln in Okinawa that angles up the hill that it is build on

Biophilic Design in Japan

Biophilia translate to “love of life” and signifies humans’ innate biological and emotional need to connect to nature. Biophilic elements have been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive performance and support positive emotions and moods. In contemporary architecture it is considered a fairly new concept.

Michael and Jane recently visited Okinawa, Japan and found ancient and contemporary examples of biophilic design. The atrium shown above is the Hotel Moon Beach which was completed in 1975, in 2002 it was awarded the Japan Institute of Architects’ 25 year award.

The Architect Yukifusa Kokuba said of his project “The Moon Beach concept is an architectural realization of the shade of the banyan tree I once saw. The semi-outdoor space softens the strong Okinawan sunlight and creates an airy space.”

Fukushuen Garden located in the Kume neighborhood of Naha which was once the center of Chinese culture during the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). The Chinese Garden uses natural materials throughout. The sculpture on the left are eroded natural stones from the edge of the sea and carefully located in the garden.

The paving is made of individual stones in a concentric pattern.

The new folk dwelling in Nakijin won the JIA Sustainable Architecture Award in 2019. The architect was ISSHO Architects.

This small contemporary house is based on the traditional Okinawa typhoon-proof houses. The structure and natural ventilation are well thought out.

A kiln in Okinawa that angles up the hill that it is build on

The Yomitan HIll Kiln was completed in 1980 and won the JIA 25 Year Award in 2011. The architect was Asao Sugama.

The architectural expression of the Yomitan Hill Kiln can be said to be determined by the waste materials. The kiln is made of prewar roof tiles and used telegraph poles which are then combined with field stones.

The form of the building harmonizes with the landscape as it climbs up the hill.

Great Outdoor Spaces

October in the Lowcountry is pretty magical. The aggressive summertime heat has given way to pleasant temperatures. Fall in South Carolina is one of our favorite times to enjoy the natural beauty of our area.

The approach of focusing on a connection nature in our built environments is called biophilic design. Studies show that incorporating biophilic design improves human health (physically and mentally), lowers stress, and increases productivity. A connection to natural rhythms is an integral part of our work. Our process begins with a detailed site analysis to consider the natural movement of the place; the direction of prevailing breezes, the sun angles throughout the year, the dynamic views. We design to incorporate these elements into the project. We bring outside in, but we also design for living outside. Patio, screen porch, outdoor kitchen & dining, firepit, outdoor shower- a few of our favorite places!

Glascow Island Regenerative Design

The Glascow Island Regenerative Design is located off of Edisto Island on the South Carolina coast between Beaufort and Charleston. The client wants to make the project an example of regenerative design which reduces negative impacts on the environment but also produces positive impacts. We are super exciting to be pursuing the Living Building Challenge.

Living Buildings are:

  • Regenerative building that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature and community
  • Self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site
  • Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them

St. Simon's House Featured in Savannah Magazine

The Thomas Black House on St. Simon's Island was featured in Savannah Magazine. Read about it here. See more about the project here.

OTB Frogmore

Our latest project on the boards is for a young, active family moving to Frogmore, SC. The piazza, screen porch and courtyard double the living space. The kids all have a fun loft space above their bedrooms; perfect as a reading/study nook or a hide-and-seek spot.