Izzo Residence

A Home That's Built To Be A Legacy

Client:  Dirk and Kerri Izzo

Architect:  Designed by Mark Shattuck at Dream Home Studio

Location:  The Reserve at Lake Keowee


A Home That’s Built to Be a Legacy

For the Izzos, Lake Keowee felt like home.

They’ve lived all over the world, in places like Singapore and Thailand. But when looking for somewhere to spend time with family, they were drawn to Upstate South Carolina. The Izzos lived in Greenville during the 90s. They knew this part of the state well and liked it.

Having a second home in the area seemed natural for their next stage of life.

Above: An elevated approach to an outdoor living space provides a perfect option when the weather is right. 

Living room with fireplace and views

This space is all about comfort – from the plush pillows to the crackling fireplace with custom wood surround.  

Custom kitchen

Custom touches abound in this kitchen, from the range hood to the cabinetry. Everything is beautiful, functional and durable.


Finding an Ideal Property

When the Izzos started looking for lots on Lake Keowee, they only talked to one builder: The Stillwater Group.

While on the phone with Stillwater CEO Brandon Eich, Kerri Izzo was invited to meet him and VP of Purchasing Matthew Bostick on-site at one of the properties.

The Izzos lived in Atlanta, so Kerri and her sons drove up the same day she spoke with Brandon to meet the Stillwater team. They looked at a few places, but one in particular stood out.

It was unique because this home was one Brandon was building for himself. It was under construction, but he’d decided to sell it.

The house sits in the back of a cove. It borders preserved land where no homes will be built, which was appealing to Kerri and her husband, Dirk.

“That was really a selling point for us because it felt like it was very protected,” Kerri explained. “And we had a good bit of privacy.”

Drop zone with seating and coat hooks

Inspired by a visit to a luxury boat dealership, the custom epoxy-coated floor is not only beautiful but a perfect option for this drop-zone right off of the family pool. The nautical theme is carried through with teak benches and shelving and bright shiplap walls. While you’re there, grab a bottle from the professional-grade wine cooler.


From Looking to Lake Living in Just a Few Months

As the Izzos weighed the decision to buy the home, she said one thing that stood out to her was how well-kept the job site was.

“I think that Brandon does an amazing job with his construction in the sense that, you know, he wants all of his subs to feel like they’re really walking into a house. It’s not a construction zone and someone lives there,” she said.

After dropping off her son at college, Kerri and Dirk visited Lake Keowee to look at the home again. They had to envision the final product, but having a construction plan in place made the process easier.

“And for us, probably it was a little bit easy because Brandon had already ordered and picked out all the cabinets and the countertops and the light fixtures,” Kerri said. “And I think for Dirk and I, all the tough decisions were already made.”

What really appealed to the Izzos about the home was how quickly they could move in. Instead of designing and building a house from scratch, they could be on the lake in just a few short months.

“We were in a really unique situation to find a home that really could accommodate sort of all of our wants and needs, which was a blessing because if we had wanted to build, that would have probably put us out, you know, another 18 months,” Kerri said.

So, they decided to purchase the home. Two months after meeting Stillwater, they closed on October 12, 2020.

Soak up the sun in this bright and airy living space. With ample natural light streaming in from floor-to-ceiling windows, this room feels open and inviting. Crisp white walls and minimalist furniture allow the view outside to take center stage. A perfect spot to relax and recharge – just add your favorite book!

Living room with fireplace and views


Adding a Few Personal Touches

The Izzos wanted to make a few changes to the current plan. One was removing a desk from under a bunkbed and adding another bunk.

Kerri said they were thrilled with the design and flow of the house. And the Izzos could see all the records and samples of materials ordered.   

“What they did is, you know, kind of talked us through things, and then they were able to really send us PDFs, records of cabinet samples, light fixtures, hardware, counters, countertops, flooring. Because at that stage in the game, Brandon and his team had already ordered everything for the house,” she said.

The Izzos love many of the unique features found throughout the home.

“Nerijus [Reklaitis of Baltic Carpentry] is the carpenter; he is so talented and we have a custom mantel that you probably wouldn’t see in another house,” Kerri said.


Making This a Permanent Home

Kerri said their Lake Keowee house isn’t just a weekend getaway. It’s a legacy they hope is in the family for years to come.

“For us, this is really a home that is going to make lasting memories. And it’s where we kind of wanted to sort of leave our footprint legacy for our kids.”

The Izzos hope to fish with their grandkids, teach them how to swim, hike, and even play a little pickleball (though there have yet to be plans for a court at the house).

The Izzos recently began living in the home full-time, which was not their original plan. And Stillwater has assisted them in making lifestyle changes, like adding a swimming pool and converting a bedroom into an office.    

“So three years later, I have this amazing, seamless relationship with them,” she said. “Matthew, Brad, and Ashton have all been out here talking us through the best way to make these changes outside and inside and then worked with us to connect with almost all the original subs of the house.”

While the Stillwater team isn’t helping with the construction, they’ve ordered many materials to be consistent throughout the home. Kerri said Matthew has been instrumental during this process.

“Matthew has been a godsend; he really connected us with a lot of the Stillwater subs to help keep things consistent and make it happen with trim and woodwork and carpentry and ordering doors and equipment.”


No Hesitation

Kerri said there is no question of who they would use to build another home.

“Dirk and I would have no hesitations in recommending Brandon and the team at Stillwater. If we were going to build a house. It’s the team that we would want to work with,” she said.

Now that they’ve lived in the home full-time, Kerri loves cooking and entertaining in the kitchen.

The surroundings help them pause and take in the beauty of where they live. While they’ve been all over the world, there’s just something about Lake Keowee.

“We feel really, really confident in saying that this is going to be our family’s legacy home,” she said. “And we see ourselves being here for many, many years and creating so many memories.”

Below: This peaceful setting offers a front row seat to the tranquil lake views. Gather round the fire pit with loved ones as the sun sets over the water. Disconnect from digital distractions and reconnect with the simple joy of being present. There’s magic in places like this.

Outdoor firepit on Lake Keowee


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