A Lowcountry masterpiece


The detailed craftsmanship is evident in every room in this house. Soak in the view outside, the sightlines from inside out, the casual and updated coastal style with some modern edgy elements, and the openness from room to room.

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Builder Todd Hawk, owner and president of H2 Builders in Bluffton, envisioned every detail of the home he built for himself and his family at Tidewater Manor on Hilton Head Island before architect Grady Thomas’ first sketch was drawn and before the first nail was hammered.

That’s what he does — envisions. It’s what he did for himself, a professional builder with a penchant for dreaming big and realizing that dream with absolute precision, and what he has done for hundreds of clients who are calling the home in his builder’s mind’s eye their home.

home masterpice05“Yeah that’s my thing,” said Hawk, who founded his company in 1996. “I like to be very creative. Creativity and making it work is a challenging thing.”

Ten years ago, he bought a large undeveloped patch of land he called Tidewater Landing and envisioned a small collection of upscale homes that could be transformed into a neighborhood, including his own that he built. He sold that one and built his new spacious 8,665-square-foot home on two acres over 14 months, beginning in 2013. Overall, his gated Tidewater development showcases five deep-water lots.

“We took aspects of our last house and refined them in this house,” the native Tennessean said. That includes the backyard pool, grand outdoor living space with a top-of-line working kitchen, and the large boat dock that leans against the marsh and stretches to Broad Creek for fishing and recreational enjoyment. There’s find a 35-foot offshore fishing boat on a lift and a 22-foot Scout in the water for short jaunts to nearby restaurants.

The home itself is big, but not overly imposing. Its five bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms and three fireplaces integrate gracefully in an open floor plan befit for their social lifestyle. Hawk and his wife, Tracy, who lent her interior design touches with the J Banks Design Group, like to entertain.

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“It’s a big home, but it’s a very inviting and very warm home,” Hawk said.

“It’s a transitional blend of a little bit Lowcountry with a European flair to it,” Hawk said. “It’s a very open floor plan that brings the space into the family room, dining room, great room … we wanted plenty of glass on the back so wherever you are in the main living part of the house, you can see the water.”

As much as the home is private and personal, Hawk also views his residence as a showpiece for the inquiring upscale buyer looking for new ideas.

“We like to be ahead of the marketplace in regards to design, fit and finish of the home,” Hawk said. “We try to lead the market.”

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He does note a California influence in some decisions large and small he made along the way, but says that the singular imprint his home makes in the Lowcountry architectural vernacular stands out on its own.   

“Our goal in building the house was to be unique and bring in different things into the marketplace,” said Hawk, who shows the home to interested clients. “There are plenty of ideas here that people can incorporate into their own homes.”

It’s unlikely that anyone would love everything about his home, he acknowledges, but says that almost all visitors find something in the details and craftsmanship and use of materials that is appealing.

home masterpice09Just through the front door is a grand foyer resplendent with French limestone, artisan’s millwork and wainscoting, with a direct sightline showing reclaimed beams leading into the great room and nature’s splendor beyond.

“You stand in the foyer, and we have a zero edge on the pool, and it looks like it’s going right into the marsh,” Hawk said.

No wonder he and his family spend so much time outdoors on the vast patio with a fantastic view of the marsh, creek and natural landscape. They entertain, grill and watch their teenage son and his friends enjoy the great outdoors on the property or on the water.

It’s a good life outside, but inside the home is, well, ever more splendid.

Window coverings were done by Budget Blinds.

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“It was a fun and challenging project,” said Bob Engler of Budget Blinds. “The wood plantation shutters required a custom paint color the match the unique trim. The windows in the bedroom were large to let in a lot of natural light and admire the view. The challenge was to find something that was easy to use yet disappeared when they wanted the windows open. We installed motorized roller shades that can be raised or lowered with the touch of a button. The shades are hardwired and can be controlled with either the shade remote or through home audio system.”

Here are a few other touches that Hawk incorporated into his home:

  • home masterpice0101The family room has a wood-burning fireplace for family comfort in the colder months.
  • The entertainment room upstairs seats seven for big-screen showings.
  • The great room, with its trusses and backlit LED lights, ascends 30 feet.
  • The custom built-in cabinets with custom iron barn doors in the great room frame a gas-burning fireplace.
  • A glass-enclosed wine room juts off the kitchen.
  • The informal dining room has views of two fireplaces.
  • In the kitchen, a patina distressed metal hood hovers above the stove and a marble backsplash covers the entire wall. Custom cabinetry from H2 Builders’ Cabinet Design Gallery and Calcutta gold marble with lettering process from Distinctive Marble & Granite covers the island and countertops. Reclaimed barn wood with a greenish wash adorns the ceiling.
  • Overnight guests upstairs have their own kitchenette and comfortable sitting area with doors that open up to a covered porch with water views.
  • Hand-honed beams with a custom mantel secure the great room.
  • Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances (dishwashers, double oven, steam oven, etc.) were furnished by Billy Woods Appliances.
  • Reclaimed antique oak flooring spreads across the master bedroom, studio and most of the upstairs.
  • Oversized three-panel Marvin glass doors in the great room open and can pocket back into the wall.
  • The Hilton Head Homebuilders Association awarded the home Best Overall, Best Bath and Best Exterior awards in its category.

The Hawks are right at home in their updated coastal casual surroundings, just the way they envisioned it.


Builder: H2 Builders
Interior Design: J Banks Design Group, Tracy Hawk  
Architect: Grady L. Woods
Appliances: Billy Woods Appliances
Lighting Fixtures: Hagemeyer, The Light Post
Landscaping: Palmetto Coastal
Pool: Year Round Pool
Security System: Custom Security
Wiring: Audio Video Experts
Building Supplies: Grayco
Exterior Stucco: Low Country Stucco and Stone
Masonry: Savannah Hardscapes
Trimwork: DDH Interior & Exterior Trim
Fireplaces and Gas: Casual Living
Trusses, Doors, Ceiling Paneling: Triton International Woods
Stairs:  Staircrafters, Inc
Elevator: Advanced Lift Solutions
Tile, Limestone, Granite: Distinctive Granite & Marble
Carpet: Floor Fashions, Inc.
Plumbing Fixtures: Cregger Company
Low Country Shelving & Glass
Blinds: Budget Blinds
Cabinetry: H2 Builders Cabinet/Design Gallery
Roofing: AmeriPro Roofing
Electric: Trudeau Electric, Inc.
Plumbing: Paul Good Plumbing
Painting & Drywall: Tim Reed Painting
Spray Foam Insulation: Energy One