November 2020

A Matter of Trust: Light, open and airy, this Hampton Hall home exemplifies Lowcountry coastal chic. But the story it tells goes far beyond bricks and beams.

Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: M.KAT Photography

Imagine yourself moving down here for the first time. Let’s even imagine that you’re moving down here all the way from Ohio (and statistically, you probably did). Now imagine trying to coordinate the building of a home—not just any home, but your dream home—over the phone. Through Facetime. Through text messages. Now try to imagine doing all that in the middle of a global pandemic.

Connie and Jerry Beltempo don’t have to imagine it. They lived it. Fortunately, they had a team on the ground
down here that specializes in personal one-on-one service. Lisa and Kevin Lapinski of Built Right Homes stay
grounded in a philosophy of treating each job with the utmost attention, making them the perfect partners for an impossible situation like this.

“The original flooring we selected was unavailable, and that’s about the time COVID hit, so we couldn’t look for flooring,” Connie said. “We had to rely on them to do the shopping for us down here. So, it was a lot of Facetime
and pictures and texting back and forth. Being away in Ohio made it more difficult, but they were very helpful.”

Beautiful brick fireplace encased by shiplap and built-in shelving.

That flooring represents just a handful of the amazing stories that came out of this build. Being ever mindful of the Beltempo’s budget, Built Right had been able to score a huge deal on the original flooring, only to find out that the company producing it had gone out of business. “We spent two hoursin the flooring store with the original selection trying to find something as close as possible to an identical floor,” Lisa said. “Even at the walkthrough, Jerry was a little unsure of it, but after it went down everybody absolutely loved it. Everyone who walks in comments on the white Oak floors.”

And that was just one of countless decisions hashed out, debated and ultimately approved across more than 700 miles. The first came in choosing the lot, with the Lapinskis scouting out around 10 different lots before finding that perfect water view the Beltempos desired. Once that perfect water view was found, putting it to good use became crucial.

The perfect pop of color featured with the oversized island and gold accents adds a coastal touch to this Southern home.

“Figuring out where to put their house to maximize their view was key,” Lisa said. “Their guest room has it, their main living room has it, the master has it…. One of the first things Jerry said was, ‘When I walk into my house, I want to go wow.’ I think we definitely established that.”

Naturally, that view takes center stage on the massive back porch, ingeniously designed with an open gable feature and vaulted ceilings to not only expand the space, but to accentuate the rear elevation and make the entire house seem bigger.

“I think we both like that Southern, coastal-looking home,” Connie said. “We wanted something with a water view and something that was light, open, airy and bright.”

With the lot selected, it was time to begin making decisions starting with the overall theme. “I watched a lot of HGTV,” Connie said with a laugh.

Decorative light fixture adds warmth to the dining room which will be filled with many special memories to come.

“Connie told me, ‘I want to build a Southern home,’” Lisa said. “I told her I’m from Atlanta, and you’ve come to the right place….What we do is more timeless. We worked with them to come up with a design that met their style and let us get a little Southern Lowcountry in there where she could decorate around it in 5-10 years to easily update it.”

All the hallmarks of a Southern home are there, mixed and matched in inventive ways. Accent walls of shiplap frame the foyer’s majestic water view, and matching accents are found in surprising places from the great room’s built-in shelving to the master bath where it surrounds the soaker tub. An open floor plan provides not only sightlines but breezy access to all points of the main living spaces. And metallic accents run the gamut from wrought iron to brushed nickel, creating a different mood in each space, while contributing to a more cohesive beauty.

Wake up to a beautiful water view and lots of natural light.

But even those metals could throw a monkey wrench into a build being conducted remotely. “The pendants in the kitchen are a soft brushed gold,” Lisa said. “When I first put them up, I snapped a picture and the whole day went sideways. They thought they were too gold! When they finally came in, they loved them.”

From that and a thousand other shared images, a solid structure of trust was built side-by-side with the home.
“They ended up putting a lot of trust in us and we appreciate that,” Kevin said. And from that trust grew a friendship.

“I think we developed a relationship beyond just builder and client,” Connie said.

“I can’t wait to take Jerry out golfing,” Kevin added.

Large walk in shower with 36” wide tile in a stacked pattern compliments shiplap walls surrounding soaker tub and elegant chandelier

The best relationships are the ones built on humor. That flooring that caused such a stir near the beginning of the build? Connie was out reading the paper on her gorgeous new sun deck one morning recently when she spotted a very familiar living room staring back at her from a May River Flooring advertisement. She handed the ad to Jerry who snapped a picture and sent it to his new friends at Built Right with the message, “When do I get my royalty checks?”

The backyard of this home not only features a fantastic waterfront view, but also a gorgeous outdoor living space and yard. The rear of the home features a hardscapes firepit with seating area and an open gable screen porch for an eye catching view.

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