Architecture & Design // 10 min Read

The Palmetto Bluff Builders Design Process

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Sep 29, 2023

palmetto bluff builders

Behind the Design with Jason Kimes & Leighann Markalunas

In the heart of the Lowcountry, where the gentle sway of Spanish moss-laden trees meets the tranquil embrace of the coast, lies a unique community: Palmetto Bluff. Their approach to home design captures the essence of this cherished Southern aesthetic. With a blend of architectural finesse and interior design magic, Palmetto Bluff Builders has mastered crafting homes that seamlessly fuse tradition with innovation. 

In this post, we’ll go through all the Palmetto Builders’ Design Process details. Continue reading to learn more! 

Jason Kimes

Jason, the Vice President of Homebuilding at Palmetto Bluff Builders, takes pride in crafting homes that are not just structures but vibrant living spaces. With an unwavering dedication to excellence, he ensures that Palmetto Bluff Builders stands out for the quality of its products.

palmetto bluff builders

The Palmetto Bluff Building Process: Where Vision Meets Reality

The building begins when a suitable lot is identified, and the house design is meticulously crafted in collaboration with architects. Palmetto Bluff Builders strives for a fresh take on traditional designs, redefining the essence of Lowcountry living. They aim to be recognized for delivering outstanding products, not just custom-built homes.

Communication is Key

Jason and his team lay out a schedule to engage with the sales team, who then liaise with clients to ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the building process. Initially, it is just Jason who communicates with the client to make the selections and explain the building process that we have. Additionally, Palmetto Bluff Builders’ CRM software helps keep clients up to date on the process and allows them to see the progress via the schedule and pictures that are posted.

Assembling the Dream Team

Palmetto Bluff Builders has curated a solid team of vendors, ensuring that the quality of materials and artistry remains consistently high. Multiple crews are deployed simultaneously when working on numerous projects, ensuring efficiency without compromising quality. Jason Kimes leads a skilled team at Palmetto Bluff Builders, which includes the talents of JT Hooper, the Project Manager, along with Ed Johnson Zach Hriba, who support him in the field. Their collaboration extends to Stephanie Gentemann, the Director of Palmetto Bluff Design, working closely together to ensure that every home aligns seamlessly with the Design Review Board’s standards.

Palmetto Bluff Builders also collaborates with Clarke Design Group. The architecture firm specializes in traditional architecture, design, and planning, adhering to the classic principles of the Lowcountry vernacular. With experience in design, construction, preservation, photography, management, and marketing, the CDG team brings broad talents and experiences to the custom home design process. Their portfolio includes home and light commercial projects throughout the country, with current commissions in the Carolinas, Florida, and Alabama. Along with Clarke Design Group, Palmetto Bluff Builders also works with firms that have proven to know what true Lowcountry architecture means, such as Markalunas Architecture Group and Pearce Scott Architects.

Palmetto Bluff Builders’ Typical Timeline

Homes are typically constructed from start to finish in an average of 14 months. 

Step-by-Step Excellence

The step-by-step approach to building a Palmetto Bluff Builders home is a testament to their commitment to quality. 

Plan, Survey, and Stake Out

The planning stage ensures that the home aligns with neighborhood criteria and environmental preservation, clearing only mandatory trees.


The foundation is laid precisely, setting the stage for the rest of the construction process.

Continuous Inspections

Regular inspections are carried out at various stages of construction to guarantee structural integrity and adherence to safety standards and code compliance.

Exterior and Interior

Palmetto Bluff Builders work on both the exterior and interior simultaneously, ensuring efficiency and a quicker turnaround time. This process includes electrical, plumbing, and HVAC installations.

Interior Finishings

The interior is meticulously crafted, with insulation, sheetrock, painting, interior trim, tiling, cabinets, and flooring all carefully executed.

Exterior Completion

The exterior comes to life with roofing, water/sewer connections, and custom landscape and hardscape designs. Jackson & Small, a renowned landscape architecture firm with a combined experience of over 60 years, has played a pivotal role in transforming the outdoor spaces of numerous projects, including Palmetto Bluff Builders homes. Mike, with his impressive 30-year career, has skillfully designed high-end residential and large commercial projects spanning from Charleston to Savannah.

Buyer Customization

Palmetto Bluff Builders allows buyers to add and upgrade features, provided they do not affect the home’s structure. This flexibility ensures that homeowners can infuse their personal touch into their living spaces.

The beauty of Palmetto Bluff Builders’ work goes beyond the mere construction of houses. Their custom landscape plans include native plants, flowers, foliage, and trees, creating a cohesive and inviting environment for homeowners. Each neighborhood may share design elements, but every home remains unique. 

Leighann Markalunas

Leighann Markanlunas, an architect with over two decades of experience, plays a pivotal role in the Palmetto Bluff Builders team. Additionally, her husband, Tom, is a registered architect who has also designed multiple homes in Palmetto Bluff. Her expertise revolves around the interior design aspect of their projects, focusing on ensuring that each home embodies the quintessential Lowcountry design aesthetic.

palmetto bluff builders

The Design Process

The design process is a meticulously crafted symphony of elements that extend far beyond paint and fixtures. This process, which also encompasses architectural considerations, is the backbone of their innovative approach.

The Palmetto Bluff Builders design process can be applied to various home elements, from cabinets and paint to trims and furniture. A vital aspect of this process is the artful selection of colors and materials that marry seamlessly, creating a harmonious yet distinct look for each home. For instance, the combination of white exteriors and black window shutters brings a fresh, modern twist to traditional Lowcountry design while incorporating familiar elements such as shades of gray and green. Adding a dash of individuality, stained cabinets, steel door accents, or unique tiles further elevates the design.

What sets Palmetto Bluff Builders apart is their ability to balance the rich heritage of Lowcountry aesthetics with a commitment to pushing the boundaries of design. While the design process remains consistent, its elements are tailored to each project, ensuring homeowners can infuse their unique personality into their space. The ultimate goal for both designers and builders is to create homes that resonate deeply with their owners, reflecting their individual tastes and lifestyles.

Exploring the Elements of the Design Process

The Palmetto Builders Design Process is a carefully orchestrated composition of various design elements, such as:

Painted Elements: From walls to ceilings, the choice of paint colors sets the tone for the entire home.

Ceiling Beams: These architectural details add character and depth to the interior spaces.

Elevated Panel Details: Intricate paneling enhances the visual appeal of walls and doors.

All of the Lighting: Thoughtfully selected light fixtures illuminate and accentuate the design.

Woven and Metallic Features: These elements introduce texture and elegance into the design.

What distinguishes Palmetto Bluff Builders’ approach is their commitment to avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. While carefully curated, these elements are skillfully integrated to create homes that feel unique and reflect the homeowners’ personalities. 

The Grove Update

As an indicator of their continued success, Palmetto Bluff Builders proudly reports that two homes have already been sold in The Grove, with two more currently under construction. It is truly a testament to the appeal of their homes and buyers’ trust in their vision and execution.

Related: The Custom vs. Semi-Custom Home Building Process with an Inside Look at The Grove

Build Your Dream Life at the Bluff 

Palmetto Builders consistently demonstrate their commitment to creating homes that encapsulate the spirit of the Lowcountry while still pushing the boundaries of design. Leighann, Jason, and their teams work tirelessly to ensure that each home is a unique expression of the people who live in it.

Whether carefully selecting paint colors, the artful placement of architectural details, or the seamless integration of woven and metallic elements, Palmetto Bluff Builders crafts homes that are not just structures but living, breathing works of art. And as they continue to evolve and innovate, the future of Lowcountry living has never looked brighter. 

Are you ready to make your dream home in the Lowcountry? Palmetto Bluff is the perfect place to do so. Click the button below to view our available homes and homesites.

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