Lew Oliver is fired up. He carries on this conversation while sharpening a fistful of colored pencils. The grinding works like hype music for him. The designer for Reynolds' new Richland Pointe community uses pencils and his imagination to push his own envelope, which by the way is already across the drawing table.

"We don't do cookie cutter designs," Lew says, his friendly voice rising with enthusiasm. It's a big reason why he joined the Richland Pointe conceptual team: as an outlet for his vision of a healthy, neighborly way of life.

"We're creating a small world on this beautiful peninsula," he says, putting down his pencils.

It's time to find out what's in this imaginative world.

Those courtyards... why do they look familiar?

I implement ideas from traveling. The side courtyards at Richland Pointe are similar to what you see in Savannah. They're L-shaped, which makes them elegant and inviting, but also immensely private. They're also low maintenance, so people can enjoy their time outside.

What else did you borrow from your travels?

I've always liked the ornamental walls in Charleston, so you'll see those in Richland Pointe. There are also Greek influences, like columns and fountains. The front porches are reminders of Nantucket, where people sit and enjoy the open neighborhood.

You've designed communities all over the country. Why did you want to be involved with Richland Pointe?

I heard the words "walkable community." That made me sit up. Then I saw the property on this peninsula, along this impeccable lake. I'm familiar enough with Reynolds to know that everything here is done right, with purpose, and that they don't compromise nature. That's important to me.

We're creating a small world on this beautiful peninsula. Lew Oliver

You can actually picture daily life, can't you?

That keeps my pencils moving: the vision of daily life. I can imagine waking up and tending a small herb garden. Or going over to a big park to throw a Frisbee with the dog. Or letting the children play and never fearing for their safety. Wherever you go, you're near a walking trail, the spa, the wellness center, and the restaurant. Everything ties together in an active, outdoor community.

You seem to have a lot of "outdoor" thoughts.

I don't know if I've ever heard a person say, "I can't wait to spend more time inside." So the homes, for example, have big windows and glass doors to make it an extension of the courtyard. People can kind of spill outside without even thinking about it.

Give us two details that aren't obvious in the big picture.

One: The front doors are real hardwood that connects with the environment and will be even more beautiful 50,100 years from now. Two: The primary baths look and feel like a spa.

Do communities really have personality?

Not all of them, but this one does. A place with personality has texture, soul, and variety. At Richland Pointe you can live as well as you would in a mansion, but in a much smaller footprint. It's like going to a restaurant with a creative chef. You expect a plate of food that you can't get anywhere else.

No cookie cutters, as you say.

No way. Every day should be interesting. You should go to bed saying, "That was a great day." And you know tomorrow will be great, too."


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