A year and a half ago, Mary Stuart Heath started planning to downsize from 4,500 square feet of living space to about 2,500.
So she pulled out Southern Living clippings, collected through the years with the help of a friend who is an architect, and let those images guide her in designing the new MidTown Square home she now shares with her husband, Wayne.
She never thought her home would end up in one of those Southern Living articles, though.
This week, a crew from the magazine will focus on the Heath home as it prepares a story about the development for the August edition, according to its website.
MidTown Square, in Beaufort's Northwest Quadrant neighborhood, was named the best community/development of 2013 by the magazine.
"This is cool for everybody," builder Allen Patterson said. "Do I think everyone is going to want to come to Beaufort and want me to build? No, but they'll hear of Beaufort and want to come here."
MidTown Square began in May 2011 on a block and a half of mostly vacant property. When the Heaths saw it in November 2011, it was flat and all dirt.
"We say now we are urban pioneers because you had to see the vision and trust in it," Heath said.
Of the 16 homes and six live-and-work spaces, all but four sold quickly. Patterson said he hopes a renovation planned for the Schein Store, known locally as the Coastal Contractors building, will spur sales of the remaining units.
The lots and homes are compact -- between 1,200 and 2,200 square feet -- but the homes are upscale, with added touches like granite counter tops, Patterson said.
Southern Living solicited applications for best new home, best exterior makeover, best kitchen, best outdoor space and best community/development, according to its website.
"We're celebrating what we love most about the South: our neighborhoods," reads the magazine's description for the best community/development category. "We are looking to honor one -- either newly developed or recently revitalized -- with great architecture, a high quality of life, and engaged and active community residents."
Nate Schoen, with Allen Patterson Residential, LLC, submitted the MidTown application.
"One of the things that I knew made us a shoo-in was Beaufort is such a great place to live, and you've got that mix of historic and urban," he said.
Southern Living is expected to do most of the photography and interviews with residents Friday. Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.