Home on the Shore

Written By: 
Denise Mullen
Photographs by: 
Scott Smallin

The marriage of a Realtor and a builder resulted in a beautiful coastal abode

PHOTO: The undeniable feature artwork of the house is the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean view.

What happens when a number one real estate agent and an award-winning builder of the year get together to make their own custom baby?

That progeny would be the house at 6500 N. Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach.

Rocking the cradle of “The Avenues,” Realtor Traci Miles and her husband, builder Jeff Skelley, put their newest oceanfront offspring to bed just in time to welcome in ticket holders for the annual Tour of Homes fundraiser for the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in March.

Even though Jeff has been in the home building biz since 1979 and is the active owner of Nations Homes, the gestation period for this 5,500-square-foot house was an unheard-of nine and a half months.

“He put this build on steroids,” Traci says. “Funny thing is, the transition from our house next door to this one was quick, but wonderful ... everything fell into place. It was meant to be.”

The timeline may be a record-breaker, but nothing about this home is a crunch time compromise.

There’s built-in planters throughout the main floor, including one that runs up the stairway. The kitchen is fitted with custom three-inch-thick white quartz countertops, a waterfall island and a banquette nook that mimics a high-end cruise ship.

Hand-hewn beams beeline across ceilings while wide, oil-rubbed planks run along the floors. Tall hickory doors are inset with opaque glass panels and floating cabinetry and vanities are the norm here.

All three en suite guest rooms have walk-out porches and to-die-for views. And not only does the master suite look out to the Atlantic Ocean, the his-and-hers dressing rooms are wardrobe-keen, housing a system of shoe cubbies, cupboards, hangers and drawers.

And this beachside pride-and-joy shot up with an enviable dose of both brains and beauty.

Smart home tech is wired in for flat screens, internet, security cameras and home controls from cellphones. Traci and Jeff also agreed to host the Myrtle Beach Surf Cam from their home, which sends live feeds of ocean conditions to Surf City. Keeping abreast of wave conditions is a favorite pastime for this blended family as Jeff is an avid surfer and Traci’s son is an East Coast surf champion.

Jeff concentrated on the architectural bone structure of the home to “capture all the best views but still keep a sense of privacy.”

And like the curator of an art exhibit, he strategically placed picture windows to bring in the ebb and flow of the ocean, flights of seagulls, the sandy swath of beach, sunrise and sunset.

“We saw a whale the other day,” says Jeff. “I couldn’t believe a whale would come this close to shore. ... It was amazing.”

Since the outside, with its million-dollar view, is so integral to this home’s design, the main floor was kept to an open concept that gives free entertaining access to the outdoor patio, kitchen, hot tub and totally tiled pool.

Room separation is mostly the theme upstairs along with a billiards table, entertainment space, a home gym and Jeff’s drum kit and guitars.

Creamy white and layers of gray (Traci’s favorite color) prevail in the home’s decor with scatterings of animal prints and even a real zebra rug that the couple nicknamed “Casper” because it “looks great in any room.”

Artwork is focal, but more moody by nature.

A cloudy day at the beach on canvas stretches above the master bed, a painting of Traci and Jeff’s honeymoon visit to Monaco by local artist Tommy Davis anchors the formal dining space and a poignant charcoal portrait of Traci’s son by Jeff Edens peeks around one hallway.

Carefully edited and placed accessories echo the design sentiment. Twisted driftwood sits on a coffee table, natural branches can be found in vases and clear glass bubbles fill a classic blue and white bowl on the dining room table.

“I don’t know if you can say this house is a particular style ... we wanted it to be warm with the simple values of modern,” Traci says as she looks around her living room. “Hopefully, this is our forever home because I love coming home! Last Friday night, we had so much fun playing pool with a glass of wine.”

“We both have businesses, we travel, we paddle board, Jeff surfs and together we have six kids. This is just the perfect place for us.”

Jeff certainly concurs, “This house reflects our personalities and our lifestyle. It has an overall feel of warmth, but the style is contemporary.”

“It’s as good as it gets,” Jeff says with a genuine smile of pride for this beautiful beach baby he and Traci have created.