Meet Our Team

We’re a diverse group of architects and interior designers, each with unique talents and points of view that we bring to every project. We do share some things in common: a love for life by the water, for our families, and for the collaborative creative process that goes on every day in our own little design house by the ocean. For all the joy we bring to what we do, we take our work and the hopes and dreams of our clients very seriously. It’s a thrill and a privilege to get to know our clients and then go about making them a home that celebrates all the things and people that are important to them.

And for us, we feel very fortunate, because creating your dream house really is our dream job.

Steve Herlong Architect

Steve Herlong

AIA Architect, Design Principal    

Who knew that a young boy’s bicycle adventure in the woods could have a life-long impact?  But the first sight of a beautifully designed home nestled in the woods, thoughtfully cantilevered over a creek made such an impression on Steve that from that moment, he never wavered in his desire to create homes that simply belonged like that one did. A Bachelor of Arts in Design from Clemson University provided the ticket, but a life of experiences provided the inspiration.

A sailor at heart, Steve and his wife Susan sailed their boat from Charleston, South Carolina to Europe and quickly realized that the trip was much less about sailing than about experiencing other cultures and ways of life. “What I saw was that as we traveled from country to country, the architecture slowly evolved. Towns on more challenging terrain had more compelling architecture.  Even today I see such a difference in coastal island architecture versus coastal city styles.  Over the many years of work and travel, what became of particular interest to me was the evolution of architecture through history and how modern innovations were incorporated into it in timeless ways to create a blend of contemporary lifestyle with durable finishes and materials.  I think this is what I have tried to use as a guiding principal in my design.”

In 1986, Steve took the sum of these life experiences and molded them into the first of his custom residential architecture firms where his experience talking with people and learning about the way they want to live gave him a knowledge base he was certain could benefit more than just the special few.  His eventual partnership with Jim Henshaw would help grow the business into a collection of architecture and design firms that reach out to a broad range of clientele. The underlying current at the core of these firms is that inherently good design should always be the standard; luxury comes in the value of the service they provide their clients. “It’s wonderful when our clients get excited about their new home, but nothing feels better than having them come back to tell us they’re still in love with it years down the road.”

  • Bachelor of Arts in Design, Clemson University
  • American Institute of Architects
  • AIA Custom Residential Architects Network
  • Chairman of the Design Review Board of Sullivan’s Island
  • Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), Charleston Chapter Founding Steering Committee Member
  • Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), Past President
Jim Henshaw Architect

Jim Henshaw

AIA Architect, Managing Principal

Originally from Columbia, SC, Jim spent his childhood cultivating his interests in art, music and nature. After receiving a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech he made his way back to the Carolinas where he worked with influential firms Overcash-Demmitt Architects and Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architects while also lending his vocal and guitar skills to the Saluda River Band.  He eventually connected with Steve Herlong, and together the two have created and maintain a successful suite of architecture and design firms focused on bringing thoughtful design to residential architecture at every level from luxury custom homes to ready-to-build home plans.

Jim’s approach to architecture is a reflection of his lifelong affinity for the combination of order and creativity found in art, music and nature; each of which require discipline and focus as well as the ability to let the mind expand and create.

As the Managing Principal of a collection of firms Jim has been driven to keep his discipline and focus as throughout his career he has regularly enhanced his work experience with pursuits towards an MBA, additional engineering courses and most recently by obtaining his real estate license.  To foster his creative mind, he continues to play an assortment of stringed and brass instruments and now mentors his son, Sam, in his musical education.  Jim and his family live on Dewees Island, a private barrier island wildlife refuge accessible only by boat, where his daily commute keeps him immersed in the creative natural world he loves.

  • Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Tech
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA), Member
  • National Council of Architectural Review Boards Certification
  • Registered Architect in South Carolina and North Carolina
  • Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), Charleston Chapter Founding Steering Committee Member
  • Charleston Chapter AIA, Board Member
  • Dewees Island Architectural Review Board, Member
  • Dewees Island Utility Corporation, Board Member
  • South Carolina Real Estate Commission, Licensed Agent (pending)
James Selvitelli Architect

James Selvitelli

Principal

Don’t let the stuffed shark in his office—long story—or his office nickname “Beast” skew your first impression of James. You won’t be around him long before you experience his penchant for finding the positive in every situation, his quietly hilarious demeanor, or his thoughtful way of listening and then almost as if out of thin air creating the perfect solution that makes his clients, his coworkers, and even consultants and contractors downright happy.

  • Bachelor of Architecture, Cornell University
  • National Council of Architectural Review Boards Certification
  • United States Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional
  • AIA Custom Residential Architects Network
Layne Nelson Regional Director

Layne Nelson

Regional Director, Caribbean Operations

Layne Nelson has been in architecture and design at Herlong Architects for more than fifteen years, specializing in interior architecture. Since 2007, Layne has also been involved in our St. Kitts work. She divides her time between Charleston and St. Kitts, acting as the bridge between these two locations. Layne’s number one priority is representing our clients and their interests, which she accomplishes through excellent communication skills, architectural talent, and extremely high attention to detail. She leaves no item to chance, no question unanswered. She immediately connects with clients from around the world and is able to translate their goals into island homes that they may never want to leave. Layne takes her work and her relationships with clients very seriously and always goes beyond what’s expected to deliver the most outstanding result possible.

  • Bachelor of Arts, College of Charleston
Leah Thompson Office Manager

Leah Thompson

Office Manager 

Meet our statistical guru: part mathematical whiz, part comedienne, Leah get's down to business when it comes to accounting, while lightening the mood with her infectious smile and quick wit. When she’s not chasing after her four-going-on-sixteen year old daughter, Leah is busy at work, crunching numbers and keeping us all in line behind the scenes. Don’t let her calm demeanor fool you though; we hear she's a wild child at heart, and let's be honest, we love someone who knows how to work hard while having a good time along the way.

  • Bachelor of Science in Statistics, University of Georgia
  • Masters of Business in Accounting, Brenau University
Emily Wyatt

Emily Wyatt

Project Manager

Emily brings impressive skills in 3-D conceptual design and a refreshing new perspective to Herlong Architects. Her ability to transform two-dimensional plans into 3-D models gives our clients an incredible opportunity to experience spaces within their home and gain a better understanding of how their home will look and feel. Plus, with Emily’s confidence and excellent communication skills, our clients know they’re in great hands.

Emily’s passion for architecture and design can be traced back to her childhood. Originally from Hickory, NC, Emily has been around construction all her life. She remembers tagging along with her father visiting job sites as a kid and absolutely loved seeing the progress. Growing up, her parents had a knack for real estate and flipped houses before building their own home in North Carolina. Once her family moved to Mount Pleasant, Emily fell in love with the historic homes and architecture of Charleston. But it was one of her college professors who took the time to share his own expertise in home design that inspired Emily to pursue a career in residential architecture.

Today, homes and construction continue to play a big part in her family dynamics, with her husband, Andrew, also in construction. Together, they live in McClellanville with two dogs – Finley and Shep – and a new baby on the way!

  • Master of Architecture, North Carolina State University
Brooke Gerbracht

Brooke Gerbracht

Project Manager

Brooke always had a love for creating, drawing, painting, and building, but her career in the field began in the Visual Arts program at South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts her junior year. There she became fascinated with architecture as a means of transforming an artistic idea into a tangible, habitable space. After completing her Master’s degree at Clemson University, Brooke entered the field as an Urban Designer with the City of Charleston’s Civic Design Center and later, volunteering as a missionary and working with an architecture firm in Costa Rica, she used her background in architecture to design homes and churches there. These experiences give Brooke a unique perspective as she sees how a project fits within a community.

Now channeling her energy into residential design at Herlong Architects, Brooke strives to create spaces that define the personalities of the people who live within them. Her calm demeanor, as well as her genuine love for creating individual spaces, deepens her connection to clients and makes her a valuable member of our team.

  • Master of Architecture, Clemson University
Heather Allison Interior Designer

Heather Allison

Interior Designer

Meet Heather and take a sigh of relief. Any indecision about style or color, any anxiety about how all the pieces are going to fit together, it all simply melts away on contact. You know at once you’re in exceptional hands. She’s going to put together the interior you’ve always dreamed of—only maybe more cohesive, more inviting, more vibrant than you even envisioned—and along the way make you feel like the whole process has been a stroll down the beach. She’s got insight that makes even the best ideas better, humor that puts everything in its proper place, and super-high standards of design and execution. Think over-achiever with a heart of gold.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, Winthrop University
  • University of South Carolina, College of Arts and Sciences
Cintra McGauley Sedalik

Cintra McGauley Sedalik

Interior Designer

As the granddaughter of a fine artist, it was only natural for Cintra to lean towards a career in design. It was her grandmother who first introduced Cintra to Mario Buatta, an AD100 interior designer who got his start doing interior design for her grandmother. Years later, Mario hired Cintra as his intern.  Between beginning her work with the “maximalist” Mario Buatta, and extending her design experience to include the"minimalist” approach working with world renowned architecture and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates, Cintra honed her ability to tailor her designs to meet a wide spectrum of our clients’ tastes. Her experience with this broad range of styles has provided her with a unique mindset when it comes to design, and a clear understanding that ultimately, the most important design criterion is context:  the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of each project. Her innate ability to design for different styles and temperaments can be attributed to an ingrained sense of aesthetic and spatial harmony combined with a deep respect for design of the past, the present and the future. 

Theresa Bishopp Interior Designer

Theresa Bishopp

Interior Designer

Artist, chef, world traveler, a woman who once camouflaged herself on a photo shoot in a dress she made from leftover bedspread fabric, Theresa possesses creative powers surpassed only by her ability to instantly become your confidante, your therapist, that person you don’t know how you got by without knowing. And all that listening’s not for show. It may quickly seem that she knows you better than you know yourself, as she’s able to capture everything that shines about you into details as subtle as the fringe on a pillow. Renaissance woman meets fairy godmother.

Elizabeth Jakubowski Interior Architect

Elizabeth Jakubowski 

Interior Architect

Elizabeth’s work is most successful when it goes unnoticed—when an electrical outlet appears just where you need it or when you move from a foyer toward the living space as if an unexplained force is inviting you in and pulling you forward. Fortunately for everyone her personal presence is anything but invisible. Her keen abilities may enhance every room she designs, but her cheerful disposition truly lightens every room she inhabits. As one of her coworkers describes her: “a beautiful soul with a steel-trap mind.”

  • Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, Kansas State University
  • Auburn University Interior Architecture Program
Stephanie Herlong, Social Media Coordinator at Herlong Architects

Stephanie Herlong

Social Media Consultant

A Sullivan’s Island native, Stephanie joined our team in the summer of 2019, after graduating with her Master’s degree from Florida State University. She has proved to be a multi-talented member of the team, working to expand our online presence across social media platforms and through digital marketing projects for Herlong Architects and three sister companies, Interiors by Herlong, Sandlapper Design Group and Flatfish Island Designs. She enjoys sharing our business values and design philosophy through social media so that others can better understand what we stand for here at Herlong Architects.

  • Master of Science, Florida State University