Expansive porches, soft colors, and a visual feast of well-crafted details —all the hallmarks of gracious Southern architecture—are on display at Oldfield, a 90-lot resort development on 24 acres. Dominick Tringali Architects looked to Savannah, Ga., to the south and Charleston, S.C., to the north for design inspiration on these village homes, which range in size from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet and are priced from $450,000 to $600,000.

“The goal was to create diversity to make the community feel like it had been there a long time,” says Stephen McKay, a residential designer at Tringali. A variety of historical precedents are mixed and matched to evoke the small-town feel of old Southern towns. Front and back porches figure prominently, most of them equipped with ceiling fans for relief from the hot climate. On some homes, columned two-story porches bring to mind Charleston's colorful 19th-century architecture. Others recall the low-country vernacular of raised foundations, upper-story dormers, and long verandas tucked under metal roofs. On all the home exteriors, Hardi-plank stands in for classic wood siding, minus the maintenance headaches.

Oldfield's pastoral setting played a part in the designs, too. The homes in this second phase of development are oriented around a 60-foot-wide boulevard park lit with gas lanterns, a lake, sprawling live oaks, and a natural creek that meanders through the community. “Alot of effort was put into preserving the landscape,” McKay says. “A huge creek that runs through the development was left untouched.” Thanks to open floor plans and large entertaining spaces that flow from indoors to out, these second-home residents can truly enjoy the slow Southern charm of their surroundings.

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Resort or second-home community;

Co-Entrant/Architect: Dominick Tringali Architects, Bloom-field Hills, Mich.;

Co-Entrant/Builder/Interior designer: Simonini Builders, Charlotte, N.C.;

Developer: Crescent Resources, Charlotte;

Land planner: Moser Design Group, Beaufort, S.C.;

Interior designer: Shelton Taylor and Associates, Alpharetta, Ga.

BETWEEN THE RAFTERS Dominick Tringali Architects incorporated some of the old vernacular details of traditional Southern architecture but made them builder-friendly and cost-effective. Case in point is the rafter detail on the underside of the porch roofs. In the old days, the exposed underside would have been made with labor-intensive tongue-in-groove or 1x4s. Instead of substituting regular plywood, a sheet of T-1-11 siding is flipped upside down and installed above the exposed rafter tails. Its reveals achieve the original refined look for less.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Charlotte, NC.