Story by Art Department / May 17, 2016

Dennis and Jan Murray married over forty years ago in 1973. After moving several times between Michigan, California, and Georgia, working in the medical field, and raising two children, the Murrays decided to relocate just once more to a slice of marsh-front land in Hollywood, South Carolina. “In our years of being married,” Dennis recalls, “we have never had a house with a view of someone else’s backyard. That was important here, and the look of the marshland is something that I particularly like.” The stunning view, however, was not the only essential request the Murrays had when they set out to build their new home.

Dennis notes, “As Jan and I approached retirement age, we knew we needed a place where we would be comfortable and a place that our children and friends would want to come visit. Stono Ferry [a growing community in Hollywood] was just that.” Furthermore, mobility considerations had to be made for the aging couple. Dennis and Jan had quite a bit of help designing the perfect house for both their current lifestyle and anticipated
future needs. Their daughter is an architect, and she originally began the floor plan. Because she was licensed out-of-state and unfamiliar with South Carolina’s codes, she passed the project on to Jodi Crosby of Crosby Creations Custom Home Design, whom the Murrays met through their builder, Tommy Priester of Priester’s Custom Contracting.

Working with the Murrays’ daughter and Tommy, Jodi developed the floor plan and elevations to match Dennis and Jan’s
vision for the home, which included provisions for aging comfortably. Jodi reveals, “When I design for a couple that is of retirement age, I always want to make sure that they’re not going to have to retrofit their house if their mobility decreases.” For this home, Jodi incorporated wider hallways and doorways, a first-floor master suite, and an elevator. “We rarely use it now,” Jan says of the elevator, “but at some point, it’s going to be very important.” These features will make growing older a bit simpler and prolong (or in some cases eliminate) the need for assisted living.

Just because this home boasts aging-in-place features, though, does not mean that it is lacking beauty. The house is a flawless mix between contemporary and Lowcountry. Modern art installations blend with rich, natural hardwood floors, and a progressive stair tower meshes with marsh views and sweeping porches. The design matches the look and lifestyle of the homeowners, and that is truly the goal. Jodi concludes, “I come up with ideas, but if the homeowners don’t like them, we revisit those ideas until they do.

I want to help them through the process and create a house that fully fits them.” Pleased with their own well-suited home, the Murrays are looking forward to living the sweet retired life (you know, golf in the afternoon, visits from children, and long strolls through the neighborhood) as residents of Stono Ferry.

For more information, contact Crosby Creations Custom Home Design at (843) 514-7354 or visit
To contact the builder, call Priester’s Custom Contracting at (843) 200-8495 or visit

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