It’s amazing what you can discover when you look at how things work together.
Take for instance, our charming hometown of Cape Charles (Prettiest Beach Town in Virginia, according to Coastal Living). It has a unique artsy vibe, a relaxed waterfront lifestyle, and historic charm.
Within that, there’s us, Bay Creek—with Palmer and Nicklaus golf, scenic streets, and richly landscaped neighborhoods. Then even deeper, tucked right alongside our two miles of private beach, there’s the beautiful Bayside Village.
People often say about Bayside Village that it has a classic coastal ‘on-vacation’ feel to it. It’s not just the beach or the Beach Club and Fitness Center that make it feel that way. In large part, it’s the style and personalities of the homes built there.
Every home is part of the ‘bigger picture’ and though each is unique, the variety makes Bayside Village feel organic and authentic. You could say, ‘it all works together.’ And that’s by design.
When families choose to build a home in Bayside Village, there’s a lot to consider. The symbiotic relationship between builder, architect and community can transform the complexities of building a home into an enjoyable experience.
We had the pleasure of speaking with one of professionals who has helped create those ‘enjoyable experiences’ many times over, architect Bill Harris of Allison Ramsey Architects, in Beaufort, South Carolina. He is one of the driving forces behind the mood and atmosphere of Bayside Village. He spoke with us about Bay Creek’s well-oiled design and building process, the importance of well-curated variety, and the most important part of being an architect…
Bay Creek: You have designed many of the homes that have helped give Bayside Village its distinct flavor. Where does that aesthetic come from?
Bill Harris: We’re so familiar with the look of Cape Charles, we know what belongs and what doesn’t. It’s rooted in the traditional coastal architectural style. We want a neighborhood to have variety—with other designers and different builders to add to the feel of Bayside Village—so there are special, different details. There’s a special feel at Bayside Village. It’s more of a new urban or walkable type of neighborhood. Garages are often detached. There are porches along the streets so neighbors can get to know each other.
BC: We know that’s why a lot of our residents in Bayside Village love that area—the neighborly feel. When a family decides to build in Bayside Village, when do you come into the process?
Bill: When they choose to build in Bayside Village, they’ll first meet with a builder and walk their lot. Then we will often begin with some design recommendations, or existing plans as a starting point. It can also be a completely custom design. A lot of times clients can walk through existing homes and say, ‘I like this part of this home and this part of this home.’
The team, which consists of the sales executive, builder and lot owner, and I talk through what the client wants. I’ll provide input on ideas that will work well or what ideas they have that may not be quite what they’re really looking for.
BC: So the integrated home design and building process begins. How would you describe the way the designer/builder teams work together?
Bill: There’s a great relationship between our firm and the Bay Creek Preferred Builders. I have had relationships with some of these builders since 2004 and it has worked out great. The Builders along with the Bay Creek Team are a huge part of the success
BC: Indeed. The Preferred Builders at Bay Creek have a great deal of experience in what makes a good design, too. How about after a home is complete? What does that look like?
Bill: After a home is built, I’ll often meet with the Builders to walk the neighborhood, look at homes we’ve completed and talk about the results, the methods and how to keep improving the process for our clients.
BC: You have direct communication with clients. That’s part of the ease of building a home here, too, accessibility.
Bill: It is. When I visit Bay Creek every few months, I enjoy sitting down with people who are thinking of building at Bayside Village, talk them through the process and find out what they’re looking for.
BC: You’re an architect. Is there anything that’s a must-have in all of your Bayside Village homes?
Bill: We do a lot with views at Bayside Village. It’s all about the windows and capturing the gorgeous views.
BC: You’ve designed the home. It’s complete. What do you hope to have achieved most when a family moves in and starts really living there?
Bill: It’s funny. When you first start out as an architect, you think a lot about the plans and the drawings. Later in your career, you feel really accomplished when the homes are built and the permanence of it. But now, it’s when I hear about people living in the houses and I see them in the neighborhood, it’s all about, ‘do they love the house?’
As a designer, I really just want people to be able to live the way they want to live in their new home.
BC: And to be able to take full advantage of that waterside lifestyle that Bayside Village is all about, too, right?
Bill: Yes. I visited with a family who was on vacation in Bayside Village. They spent a lot of family time together and they loved the house. I’m sure they went home and said ‘why don’t we live like we do on vacation when we’re at home?’ And there’s no reason you can’t.
Special thanks to the talented Bill Harris of Allison Ramsey Architects for sharing his Bayside Village insight with us.
At Bay Creek, part of the luxury of our Bayfront lifestyle is the ease in which our residents can enjoy it. If you’d like to know more about building your dream home in Bay Creek, contact us and let us share more about this exciting—and enjoyable—process with you.