Charleston area craftsmen, architects design signature features for Tributary homes east of Cooper

A cast-off slab of wood has been salvaged to use as a fireplace mantel. FrontDoor Communities is teaming up with local artisans as it designs homes in a new section of Rivertowne (Provided).


The Post and Courier

Whenever people rap on doorknockers in a new Mount Pleasant village to let homeowners know they’re outside, a local artisan can claim credit.

The door accessories are among a number of locally crafted fixtures affixed to houses in the new Tributary neighborhood near Rivertowne.

“We love working with local people to help create the charm that is a large part of the Lowcountry lifestyle,” says Mark Lipsmeyer, vice president of developer and builder FrontDoor Communities.

“And we also truly want to encourage growth and prosperity in this community,” he says. “How better than to work with local purveyors of quality products?”

FrontDoor says the handcrafted baubles are the type usually reserved solely for custom homes. According to the developer:

• Richard Guthrie of the American College of the Building Arts is creating hand-sewn doorknockers for each home in the neighborhood.

• Reclaimed Design Works is taking cast-off wood beams and turning them into fireplace mantels.

• Island Bed Swings is designing porch swings.

• Sullivan’s Island artist Susanne Harris is crafting blown glass cabinet pulls.

• Summerville Shutter Co. is building special window shutters.

Much of the local work will be on display 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 9 when the community’s designer model home opens to the public. FrontDoor is trumpeting original works from local artists as well as featuring “foodie” favorite King of Pops.

Also being showcased are house plans from local designers. The builder has been working with Lowcountry architects Eric Brown and Eric Moser on home designs to fit the community’s lifestyle, culture and climate. The “relaxed” 2,000- to 3,100-square foot floor plans show off expansive porches and are designed to take advantage of views, breezes and access to green spaces, FrontDoor says.

The developer is committed to sustainability, from its highly visible landscaping efforts to the use of lumber supplied by a local, family-owned company.

Tributary is marketing 17 home sites in its first development phase. Six of the lots have sold. Pathways and public greenways are among the community’s “new urbanist”-style amenities.

The neighborhood is within RiverTowne Country Club, which features an 18-hole championship golf course and access to beaches and downtown Charleston off S.C Highway 41, according to FrontDoor.

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Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or