Home Discovery: From the ashes


It all started on an unassuming, humid night.

Thunderstorms had rolled in, and that evening they were severe and close. Nancy Presley, a respected Realtor, mother of two successful sons, and Grandma Mimi to two beautiful grandchildren, was sleeping restfully in her Sea Pines home on Oyster Landing when she was awakened by a loud clap of thunder seemingly shaking her house. She jumped out of bed, investigated the loud noise, and looked for any signs that something was amiss.When she could find nothing wrong and it seemed safe, she retired once again with her Maltese dog, Missy, in tow.It was 10 p.m.


“The next thing I remember was drifting awake by what sounded like crackling sounds and a far away beeping. It was the smoke alarm outside my bedroom door. What I remember from that point,” said Presley, “is pulling open my bedroom door, seeing shooting flames, hearing terrifying cackling sounds, and feeling heat. I reacted without even thinking, grabbed Missy under my arms, and ran for the front door. My home was engulfed in flames.”

The moral of the story? Keep those nine-volts charged and ready. It was the alarm that saved Nancy’s life.

Today, Presley’s brush with death is merely an unhappy memory, gone with the house that was lost that day. In its place rose a magnificent new home, ready to create memories of a somewhat rosier hue.

“Itmay seem amazing that just over a year ago, my home was reduced to rubble, and now, look at where I live,” said Presley. “It is all because our community and many of my long-standing and beloved friends worked with me to bring my new home to fruition. I will forever be thankful.”

Nancy took the opportunity during construction to step away from the traditional feel of her old home and design a place that combined the grace of Lowcountry architecture with the high design and cutting-edge technology of modern interiors.

“My charge for dear friend and architect Neil Gordon wasto design a home to suit my lifestyle that was a combination of warm and inviting ... yet functional with no wasted space,” she said.

The resulting design was everything Presley imagined and more. The open design of the home presents the kitchen, great room, entryway, and dining room as one space, using few actual walls. Instead, architectural visual breaks define the borders.

Attention to detail and creative touches are evidenced throughout. The commissioned artwork that serves as a focal point above the fireplace is also a hidden TV and sound system. But the TV alone does not a home make, and Presley knows this well, which is why her largest bragging point is the bedroom for the grandkids.

“My two grandsons, Blake and Quinn, are my pride and joy,” said Presley, “and I really wanted their bedroom at to be special.” It is. Built-in beds, bookcases, a chalkboard wall, and even a handy book holder for nighttime reading create the perfect place for weekend visits to Mimi’s.

It is hard to believe after experiencing this amazing home that just over one year ago, this was a blank slate. But the beauty of a blank slate is the endless opportunity it presents. For Nancy Presley, it was a opportunity she happily seized, and new memories she’s joyfully creating.