House Plan: Nipper’s Escape by Flatfish Island Designs!

Nipper's Escape by Flat Fish Island Designs [image]
Nipper’s Escape by Flatfish Island Designs
Fred found this house plan and I have to say, I LOVE IT! Nipper’s Escape is such an efficiently designed plan! It has it all and only 1,100 square feet! An open plan with an optional upstairs, great living space on the porches, a master suite tucked away in a secluded spot and STORAGE! I know I’ve been showcasing small cottages, I will move up to the moderate sized 2,000-2,500 square feet roughly… in the coming future. I just know when we look for a home to build one day AFTER we retire… it’s going to be small. Neither of us want a large home with more room to spread out and collect “stuff”. We’re pretty good at getting rid of excess just because we don’t have a lot of extra space to store. So a pantry, and a few closets… fabulous!

HP NippersEscape plan

So many great features. Especially if this house were built here in Charleston, SC.  Just look at these wonderful porches! We could easily be outside on our porches the majority of the year (all but summer with the mosquitoes and heat/humidity). A little powder room right inside the front door, can’t beat that for convenience! I LOVE the kitchen, lots of counter space, and open to the living/dining room… and A PANTRY! Oh, how I would love a pantry! Fabulous design, done right here near Charleston! Check out their website… full of amazing house plans!

Here’s a blip about Nipper’s Escape from the Flatfish Island Design website:

For a couple or a small family, the Nipper’s Escape house plan has a cozy, casual, outdoors feel perfect for a weekend retreat.
The Nipper’s Escape home plan features classic cottage styling, including distinctive gables with shed dormers. A private master suite on the living level features three exposures and a private patio offering spectacular views

This house plan features wrap around porches that offer a relaxed setting and lovely views. The deep-set design of the covered porches provides excellent shade for the entire ground floor living area, making the Nipper’s Escape home plan an efficient, eco-friendly green design.
Nipper’s Escape is a simple house plan that allows for easy expansion or modification. For example, you can add three beds and two baths to the second floor to create a loft space if you wish.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

All images via

Charleston Photo: Sullivans Island Beach… Heed the Warnings!

Sullivan's Island, SC

A few months ago when my parents were visiting we headed to Sullivans Island, SC. A beautiful beach, and a fabulous place to walk! We usually only go to the beach during the off season, when its quiet… but it’s beautiful all year!

If you go be aware of all the signs warning of rip currents… there are rescue attempts all the time for people not heeding those warnings, which puts other lives (friends who jump in to help, rescue workers, etc.) in jeopardy…

Know this before you swim (from the United States Lifesaving Association):

How to Avoid and Survive Rip Currents 

Learn how to swim!

Rip Currents
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Field Research Facility at Duck, NC.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1 . Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

Good advice!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Poe’s Tavern – Sullivan’s Island, SC!

Poe's Tavern!

Sullivan’s Island, SC. One of the most beautiful places on earth. It has that “back in time” feeling. I would like to retire and live there (wouldn’t everyone)… beautiful homes, cool businesses, and of course, the ocean! Tucked in the small area of “town” is this wonderful restaurant that’s been around for about ten years now… it’s called POE’S TAVERN. Everything on the menu has an Edgar Allen Poe name to it, it’s so creative. The t-shirts are cool too, so if you make it there, check them out! Fabulous burgers and pretty much everything else! It’s fun to eat outside or in. It’s a happening place!

I know what you’re thinking… WHERE’S THE MENU?? Right HERE my friends… check it out!

Read a bit about Poe’s from their website:

Named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe, we’re best known for great burgers and drinks.

Much like his work, the life of Edgar Allan Poe was short, tragic and shrouded in mystery. Best known as the author of the popular poem “The Raven”, Poe is credited with creating the detective and horror story genres. After a brief stint at the University of Virginia, Poe enlisted in the army under the pseudonym Edgar Allan Perry and was stationed at Fort Moultrie at the western end of Sullivan’s Island for thirteen months beginning November 18,1827. His time on the island inspired “The Gold Bug”, a story about a mystical beetle that led to buried treasure. He died alone, impoverished and inebriated at the age of 40 amid conflicting accounts of his demise,  yet left an indelible legacy on American literature.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meeting for coffee…


Meet my new friend and fellow blogger, Kate Mura. Kate has an interesting daily photo blog (it’s not easy to post something daily!), VISUAL ST. PAUL, check it out if you get a moment!

What a nice lady! We met at Cafe Medley on Sullivan’s Island. What a cool place! Hint, hint… GREAT coffee! They had some good looking food, bottles of wine, all kinds of delicious treats! I see a future post for sure! Fred and I will have to go back in the name of research 😉

Kate is cool. She is so interesting and full of wise words. I hope that I’ll be like that one day! It was nice to meet you Kate! I look forward to meeting you again next time you’re in Charleston!!

Kate and Barbara

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Time for the teeny weeny bikini?


First I want to ask a favor… at the end of this post is a poll… would you mind offering me your opinion? It’s confidential, I have no idea who responds or what their answer is… appreciate it!!

Well, with the weather here in Charleston last week in the 70-80 degree range I think it’s almost time to hit the beach! Not so much to lay out in my teeny weeny polka dot bikini (HA!), but to take Charlie out walking… Fred and I like to take him usually in the spring and fall, but we missed the fall this year, and it appears spring has sprung, at least for this week! This photo was taken back in April 2011 when my parents visited. We headed out for a walk on the beach at Sullivan’s Island after a delightful lunch at Poe’s Tavern (best hamburgers!).

Hopefully your weather is warming up, wherever you may be!? Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist… Sara Jane Doberstein!

“Hangin In There” by Sara Jane Doberstein

Image: Sandpiper Gallery

Sandpiper Gallery, located on Sullivan’s Island has been a place that I love to take people who come to visit… they always find a cool piece of jewelry there. Sandpiper recently moved down the street, across from the infamous POE’S TAVERN (wonderful hamburgers, fish tacos, cool atmosphere, busy and happening place!). They now reside in a larger space. I look forward to getting out there to visit!

I thought this was an interesting piece by artist Sara Jane Doberstein. A different perspective, I like that. They way she captured the water, the rope and the crab, whoa! Very nice! If you get a chance, pop in the gallery to check out Sara’s work! If you aren’t in the area be sure to give her website a look! Here’s a blip about Sara from her website:

Sara Jane Doberstein was born in 1976 in Hamilton, Ontario, and has spent most of her life in Owen Sound, Ontario on beautiful Georgian Bay. She moved to British Columbia in 1996 to study at the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and has been a full-time artist since 2000. Her interest in the arts began at an early age, when she developed a passion for the American coastline during family trips to the Carolinas. She continues to visit the United States as often as possible, finding inspiration in the beauty of its coastal areas for her vivid paintings of seashells, sandpipers, and crabs.
Sara Jane’s diverse painting styles range from traditional representational to contemporary realism, and her work reflects a fascination with the natural world and its transformations. Whether her subject is a glossy cluster of cherries, the chipped paint of an antique, or the colorful jumble of seashells on a beach, her paintings capture the larger-than-life essence of everyday objects and scenes. Her playful, whimsical approach to her subjects is balanced by a technical mastery of paint, which combines to create detailed, thoughtful, and energetic compositions. 

Sara Jane is a member of the Oil Painters of America, CAC, and Muskoka Arts & Crafts. Her work has been included in many prominent juried exhibitions across North America, and has won a number of awards, including an Award of Excellence at the Oil Painters of America’s 14th Annual National Juried Exhibition. She has been featured in several publications, including Southwest Art’s “21 Under 31”, and “Start Your Collection”.  Sara Jane currently lives and works in Owen Sound and Muskoka, Ontario.

Ahhh, Sara lives on Georgian Bay in Canada… lucky girl! When I was a kid my parents would take our sailboat cruising Georgian Bay… great memories and a stunningly beautiful location! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Sullivan’s Island Home Tour, Day 4!

I love going on home tours, what can be better? It’s especially nice doing it from the comfort of your air conditioned space wherever you may be, right?  Like I mentioned in previous posts, this is a house that was built/remodeled by GRAY WADE, LLC. owned by Michael and Alison Brewer. They took a small, old, very rough cottage and renovated it, adding on a substantial amount of square feet, AND it’s mighty difficult to tell the old from the new. In the newly designed space part of the original cottage became the entryway and what I call the library/piano room. I asked Michael about the space and he said that the floors and the glass are original. Everything else has been made to look like the old… They found the push button switches at a specialty store, and whoa… those little details MAKE A DIFFERENCE! The light fixtures are custom made and the string and bulb matches the original… This cottage has been lovingly restored to it’s original splendor! Enjoy the pics… .

A magnificent entry!
The library area
Classic elegance...
View from Butler's Pantry
Classic Simplicity...

We will complete this Sullivan’s Island home tour next weekend!   Catch you back here tomorrow!

Sullivan’s Island House Tour, Day 3…

Ok, it’s day three of the Gray Wade project on the beach. It’s a flawless design, perfect for beach living. So comfortably together yet each with its own defined space. I think this home is a very functional design. I love the UNfussyness of it all! Today is the kitchen… several pictures, mainly because I just couldn’t choose. I LOVE. THIS. KITCHEN. I love the windows instead of cabinets, the appliances, the simpleness of it all. I’m not fussy, I don’t care for busy, sometimes it’s harder to be more clean lined than it is to be fussy…  Enjoy the pics and I’ll catch you back here for day 4 of the house tour!

Love the light and greenery through the kitchen window!
Love windows on both sides of counter!
A great place to sit with a cup of coffee!

View from the kitchen… Good times!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

House tour… day 2… Sullivan’s Island, SC

Day two of the Sullivan’s Island house tour… This photo is taken of the dining room… This is one of the homes done by Michael and Alison Brewer of Gray Wade, LLC. They did a tremendous job!

This photo is taken from the dining room looking towards the back of the house. I love how you can see all the way to the back door. That big, wide, gorgeous back door. Lovely. Such nice touches. The openness that is so inviting, with a dedicated sitting area, perfect for getting together with old friends. It’s extraordinary how the sitting space spills into the kitchen area, feeling very separate (i.e. you don’t see dirty dishes, etc.) yet it feels uniquely together, one big comfortable space where you can sit and talk yet still have the ability to communicate with someone in the kitchen… a great house for entertaining, no doubt. Furniture placement is so important in a room and I think this was done nicely! (Click on photo to enlarge).

More house tour pics next weekend…!  I can’t wait! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Sullivan’s Island Home Tour, Day 1!

View from back of house…

Welcome to Sullivan’s Island, SC. How would you like to pull up to this home? (And this is the BACK entrance…)! In the upcoming weekends I’m going to be taking you on a tour of this gorgeous home, so check back often, you won’t want to miss it! The renovating and building of this house is a result of just one of the homes done  by the GRAY WADE company that is owned by Michael and Alison Brewer.   They did a magnificent job of keeping the home looking like it could have in it’s very best days… I didn’t see it when they bought it, but from what I’ve heard it’s the first house they bought that they couldn’t walk all the way through (floors not safe). The part of the house that was added on was done seamlessly. Its nearly impossible to tell where the original house stops and the newly added portion begins. They went to great detail to have it be that way and it shows…the outside is fabulous in itself, but it’s the inside where the magic begins!
The innovative couple who renovated and built this home have since moved to another gorgeous home in a fabulous location. Perhaps that will be a tour we can take together in the future?. Enjoy today’s photos, more tomorrow!

Back door – love how it’s wider than normal!
Front door… gorgeous green!
View of pool area from upstairs bedroom

Catch you back here tomorrow!