Refreshed Refined Spaces

February 2023
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Scott Smallin

Six homes and condos on the Grand Strand show off new customized, renovated designs

Kevin Connelly
2224 South Waccamaw Drive, Garden City Beach

This beach home sits pretty on a wisp of land that’s blissfully surrounded by the ocean to the east and the inlet to the west. The address and backdrop couldn’t be more perfect, but the interior and exterior of the home is something worth writing about, too.

It’s all the handiwork of Lance Griffith, owner of and interior designer at CHD Interiors. Before selling it to current owner Kevin Connelly, Griffith was the owner for the last 18 years. And, although he’d chipped away at updating design elements here and there over the years, he had never done an extensive overhaul like this one.

“The house was tired,” says Griffith. “We took out fireplaces, we moved walls, we gutted kitchens, gutted bathrooms. We took every wall out of the house and did all-new sheetrock, all-new wood, wood siding, wiring, windows, appliances, and added bathrooms.

I mean, it was just a major overhaul to get the house ready for the next 20 years and more.” The five-bedroom, five-bath second home can sleep about 18 for large families or groups staying on vacation in its classy-coastal surroundings. “I was trying to do something that has general appeal, but also create the same color palette inside as there is outside – the deep blue-greens, the more murky blues of the ocean, the sea grass colors,” says Griffith. “The same colors just translated inside… and we added some sophisticated coastal art.”

The goal of the major reno was also to provide an updated, convenient getaway for guests, so they installed two dishwashers and two refrigerators in the kitchen at the center of the home, and a dining area that seats up to a dozen people and opens into the den or sunroom that can accommodate even more people.

Griffith’s favorite refreshed room is the downstairs den wrapped in the original pecky cypress wall paneling and overlooking the ocean jetties. “There are two dens: one downstairs and one upstairs, so you have two gathering areas,” he says. “One for the kids and teenagers, and then one for the adults downstairs, giving you multi-functional areas.

David Haught
1056 Sea Mountain Hwy, Unit 301, North Myrtle Beach

This used to be a sad condo that sat stagnant on the vacation rental listings, until owner David Haught sought out the design skills of Sherry Gustafson at Saltwater Grande.

“It was with another management company prior to us and not doing well,” she says. “The furniture was terrible, the layout of the unit was awful, so the owner contacted us because he actually knew another condo owner that we had done a full redesign on and it was very successful.”

Redesign of the three-bedroom, two-bath condo that sits a couple blocks off the Cherry Grove beachfront commenced in May 2022, with the finished reveal in June – right before the influx of summertime vacationers lining up to experience it.

“When we design our units, we try to keep in mind what guests want, so not necessarily what the owner wants, but for a vacation rental, we try to keep in mind what the guests are looking for when they book a unit,” says Gustafson. “Typically, a unit has to have something that makes it stand out and that’s where that feature wall comes in.”

She’s referring to the condo’s textured deep turquoise feature wall in the dining room, bringing a level of class to coastal design. Teal and blue accents follow in waves throughout the living area and bedrooms, with pops of coral colors in rugs, throw pillows, and paint. Old carpet and tile was also replaced with sleek, durable LVP flooring, outdated bedroom furniture was either repainted or repurposed, and all living room furnishings are brand new.

“Really, the inspiration for this project was mostly revenue-driven based on a better, more cohesive design in the unit,” says Gustafson.

Glenn & Jennifer Hall
4004 Gray Heron Drive, North Myrtle Beach

The inspiration for this slice of paradise along the waterway in Barefoot Resort? Palm Beach.

“It all started because my husband and I have a condo in Jupiter, Florida, near Palm Beach and that’s our happy place,” says homeowner Jennifer Hall.

But, between staying busy traveling to watch their daughter’s college volleyball games and keeping up with their 10-year-old’s activities, they only get to visit their happy place a few times a year, so the couple decided to bring Palm Beach to North Myrtle Beach and into the heart of their home.

The Halls began working with designer Anitta Martin of J&K Home Furnishings, who came highly recommended, last March to discuss their vision.

“She came by and saw how, at the time, everything was very brown leather couches and really dark, and I said, ‘All I want is the Palm Beach vibe,’ which he [Glenn] thought was really, really fun,” says Hall. “I met her the next week at J&K and she had nailed everything that I had visually wanted. She then looked at my husband and asked what her budget was, and he says, ‘There’s no budget.’ She’s like, ‘This is the best!’”

“[Jennifer] was ready for a change, after 10 years of heavy draperies and dark furnishings,” says Martin. “Her personality is fun, fashionable, and colorful!”

The home interior received a complete makeover, with new furniture, new appliances in the kitchen (they’re still waiting for oyster shell granite to come in from Charleston), new fixtures, and new bedding. Fun, floral custom-made draperies blend with light, bright walls, a palette of marine blues, tropical wallpaper, a shell chandelier, and a sublime seascape mural in the main bedroom hand-painted by local artist Ruth Cox, who also freshened up four columns in the house with paint.

“Another ongoing theme is birds. I love birds and I love herons,” says Hall. “So there were these two herons when Anitta was at market a couple of months ago, and she sent me these pictures and they were blue herons and they were freaking amazing, but they were so expensive. And so Anitta got [another artist] to paint them for me for my dining room.”

Ed Verville & Stephanie Welch
4737 Highway 17 Business, Murrells Inlet

Veterinarian power couple Ed Verville and Stephanie Welch had a house plan in mind for their creekfront lot, but it took the help of Susan White and crew, including Stephanie Alston from Classic Home Building, to bring it to life.

“They helped us to develop our own house from that plan,” says Verville, who just retired from the veterinary field, “and they did help us with a little bit of design throughout the process, with lighting, fixtures, appliances, and things along those lines.”

The new homeowners obviously wanted to take advantage of that million-dollar view of the marsh by creating plenty of outlets for natural light, but they also didn’t skimp on elevated architectural and design elements in other areas of the home. For instance, they chose more dramatic, darker charcoal cabinetry in the kitchen to offset that natural light.

“I think it’s really nice for us, as far as not being too light in colors everywhere,” he says.

The great room is another focal point, boasting an impressive coffered ceiling and rustic stacked stone wall and hearth feature.

“With the coffered ceilings, we were going to have to face a lot of expenses to make it happen, but [Classic Home Building] came with the idea of just raising the room above it by one step, so upstairs, we have a step up into what we call kind of our man cave room, where I have my poker table, which turned out really nice,” says Verville.

The waterfront home also has its fair share of exterior backyard amenities, including a private dock, outdoor pool, and second floor porch complete with a custom-made porch swing.

“Stephanie really enjoys sitting up there and reading and just looking out over the water in the afternoons,” he says. “And we really do enjoy the views in the mornings. The sunrise is different every day, so it’s like having a new piece of artwork to look at every morning.”

Pat & Rose Zarcone
443 West Palm Drive, Myrtle Beach

After living in the same home for more than 20 years, Pat and Rose Zarcone were ready for a change, so they leaned on the team at Dawol Homes to help design their custom home.

“Rose fell in love with the resort-style living of Waterway Palms, a beautiful custom-home community on the waterway with the luxurious amenities of a five-star resort,” says Kristina Mauldin of Dawol Homes.

The parents of four also wanted their dream home to have plenty of space, with an open floor plan and a massive kitchen island that overlooks the great room highlighted by the decorative coffered ceilings and clean, shiplap hearth. Connecting the dining room and kitchen is a butler pantry that adds useful space for this large family when entertaining in the home.

The second story, housing three bedrooms and two baths, was designed to accommodate individual living space for the kids. For their daughter: a large princess suite with views of the waterway across the street, 11-foot-high ceilings, and a private bath. Two more bedrooms share a bath and a comfortable loft. And their oldest son practically has his own apartment-esque living space over the garage, with a living room, small kitchen area for a microwave and refrigerator, a bedroom, full bathroom, and closet.

More must-haves for the resort-style home was their courtyard oasis laid out with a small pool, spacious patio, and gourmet outdoor kitchen. And the cozy, climate-controlled breezeway overlooking the pool can be a relaxing respite year-round.

“The Zarcone Family has been in their new home for a year now,” says Mauldin, “making lots of memories in their new home.”

Al & Terri Nardslico
7806 Beach Drive, Myrtle Beach

This stunning Myrtle Beach oceanfront home was originally built in 1992 as the retirement home for General James Hackler, who had an illustrious career that began as a fighter pilot in World War II. Before he died in 2007, he was named South Carolina “Man of the Decade” by the Air Force Association. In memoriam, Hackler Street in The Market Common (the former Air Force Base) was named after the general, as well as the Hackler golf course on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.

Hackler’s humble 6,000-square-foot abode underwent a complete remodel by the CRG Companies team for homeowners Al and Terri Nardslico, a project that included an update of the design and repairing of structural issues, all while maintaining the original footprint and modern style of the home design.

Located in a prestigious section of Myrtle Beach, this home is one of the few that offers panoramic ocean views, and enhancing this original feature was a goal of CRG and the homeowners. A cupola added on the back of the home allows for more natural light and views of the ocean even from the bridge on the second floor interior. A second floor observation deck and lounge area was also added, accessible only by a spiral staircase from the back deck. You get a bird’s eye view of the ocean or the backyard plunge pool/hot tub with fountain and a recycled sea glass fire pit surrounded by concrete oyster shell pavers.

More wow factors in the renovated modern mid-century interior include metal artwork in the entryway roof modeled after a stained glass design, as well as a custom-made front door by Charles Ramberg of Charleston that is flanked by two koi ponds. A solid, walnut staircase makes a statement by wrapping around a live tree in the entryway. The living room fireplace was redone in stacked stone with a firebox by Napoleon. Live plants with a self-watering misting system line the top of the fireplace.

Fashion meets function throughout the home, which was critical to the Nardslicos as a marriage of luxury design and high technology, from the clean line gourmet kitchen to the appliances to the home theater equipped with a drop-down 50-inch CinemaScope screen and the latest Sony 4K projector.