Berkley White: Hunter, Builder, and Family Man! His love for the outdoors and bird hunting is truly a family affair.
Berkley White has created a true hunting retreat, masterfully disguised as a detached garage! About 20 feet from the main house that he and his wife, Kim built 3 years ago, this amazing space functions not only like a quaint hunting “cabin” with a full bar, roasting grill, and sleeping facilities, but as a place where the Whites can take their passion for hunting to a level that is truly impressive.
A builder with big ideas, Berkley dreamed of a place where he could take care of their beloved dogs, and to perfect the sport of hunting that he and his family love so dearly. Raising two sons, Will, 17 and Wade 13, respectively, Kim designed the floor plan for their main house and the “hunting retreat” with care and precision. “I didn’t realize we were building his and hers homes when this all started,” Kim affectionately kids.
That is not a far-off description of this amazing space. A well-designed kennel for their four very special hunting dogs, Hunny, Lady, Bob, and Shot, was a key consideration in the planning. “For us, our dogs led the way to our design; they are so much a part of life and it is important for us to have them very well taken care of”. Berkley explained.
The kennel provides both indoor and outdoor areas with plenty of space to run, and is flanked with a nice dog shower since the dogs live in the house and they love to run and get dirty. Curling up next to the fireplace on cool winter nights after a long day in the field is where you are likely to find them.
You might call Berkley a wingman. His passion for hunting is clearly with birds, even though he and his sons also like to hunt deer. The hunting retreat features an inviting “trophy room” and includes a gun safe, office space, cozy sitting room, and welcoming bar and grill. Having a gun safe is high on Berkley’s list of priorities when it comes to hunting and gun safety is a big thing at their home.
His gorgeous mounts capture successful hunts including Mule Deer from Montana, Hungarian Partridge from Montana, Teal Duck from Arkansas, Pintail from Georgetown Ruffed Grouse from Wisconsin, Wood Duck from the Waccamaw River, and of course a couple of great turkeys from South Carolina. The retreat perfectly depicts his love for hunting, and his inspiration for the design elements comes from his Southern roots and also some of his very exciting travels to faraway places such as Argentina and Scotland.
The warm rustic touches are achieved with beautiful reclaimed warehouse flooring for the ceilings, classic shiplap walls, and of course, a fireplace! The classic sophisticated look is purposefully taken down a notch with the retreat’s charming tree trunk bar stools and nicely weathered leather chairs, making it a cozy and comfortable place to enjoy and entertain. Preserving memories is an important aspect of designing hunting retreats, and these walls are filled with an amazing collection that chronicles great hunts and amazing travels and includes Berkley’s duck stamp collection as well.
One of Berkley’s favorite elements is the asado grill. I learned that this word means “roast” in Spanish. It is an amazing grill that roasts food on an open flame. Berkley got his inspiration for this grill from one of his favorite trips to Argentina, where he shot quail, fly-fished, and bow hunted for Red stag. In Argentina, asado is a traditional way of preparing food and a favorite event. An asado usually consists of beef and sausages, which are cooked on a grill, or an open fire. We pretty much call it barbecuing here in the South, but this is not your ordinary barbecue by any means! This grill is built into the brick wall and fired up by logs below.
As if this perfectly wonderful space is not enough, there is also a second level with a workout room and a full bedroom and bath. What a perfect idea for those mornings where the 3 am alarm goes off so you can get to your duck hunt and not disturb others who would rather sleep in.
Another amazing memory Berkley shared with me was their trip to Scotland where he and Kim, along with several other couples, experienced high-volume wing shooting, which he described as some of the most challenging shooting he has ever done. With driven shooting, you are technically not hunting since the birds are driven toward you by beaters walking through the hills pushing the birds to fly at the shooters. Berkley described this shoot as extremely fast, with the Red Grouse flying in at 60 miles an hour aided with tailwinds from the steep hilltops. This is truly a hunt that goes back to bygone days, and you might just feel like you are a part of Downton Abbey! While they were there, they enjoyed all that the beautiful countryside had to offer and especially loved their stay at Naworth Castle dating back to the 1500’s!
I have had the pleasure of shooting clays with Berkley, and I can attest to the fact that he is a very skilled shooter. But you would never know that, as he is also a very humble person. His skills in shooting are much like his skills with home building—he strives for perfection! If you are looking to build a house, or just a hunting room, and need help, Berkley White is definitely a builder with big ideas! His knowledge of hunting along with his experience as a builder makes the perfect combination for anyone looking to create a space perfect for their hunting needs.
Oh, by the way . . . there is also actually a two-car garage behind those garage doors as well!
Berkley and his mother, Susan White, own and operate Classic Homes, and their reputation is one of craftsmanship and quality, which are unmistakable when touring this incredible property. www.classichomebuilding.com
AS WRITTEN FOR WACCAMAW OUTDOOR MAGAZINE – DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE