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


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

Project Designer

Layne Nelson has been in architecture and design at Herlong Architects since 1998.  As a Project Designer, specializing in interior architecture, Layne works with clients during the Conceptual Design to ensure that the interior spaces flow seamlessly and are functional for each client’s individual lifestyle. She continues to assist clients through the Interior Phases of work, during which her goal is to create impactful interior focal points that compliment and blend the overall architecture with the interior design.  As a liaison between the architecture and interior design, Layne coordinates and designs the interior details that will eventually bring the client's intended vision to fruition. 

Her expertise lies in her ability to convey design ideas clearly to her clients, whether through hand sketches, detailed drawings, or a set of photos, her clients know what to expect before approving a design. From coast to coast, Layne has strengthened the Herlong team with her ability to successfully bring a dream home to life, no matter the design aesthetic, climate, and materials available. Most notably, she worked in our Caribbean office for an extended period of time, working with clients from all over the world where her excellent communication skills and depth of knowledge put her clients at ease every step of the way, knowing that they are in good hands throughout the process of bringing their dream home to life.

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
Trey Archer - Herlong Architects

Trey Archer

Project Manager

Trey brings a wealth of modern design sensibility to his work at Herlong Architects, and always strives to find the balance between creating visually dynamic spaces and smart functionality. Whether generating conceptual sketches and 3D models, or working out ideas for interior details, his cross-discipline approach has enabled him to engage with projects and clients at every phase. He navigates these ideas with a relaxed yet focused demeanor, helping communicate and distill concepts simply and thoughtfully.

Originally from Florida, Trey’s experiences and work have taken him from coast to coast. His first step in that journey began during an undergraduate summer semester abroad in Paris, while studying visual arts and working as a sketch artist back home. He became immersed in the visual language of the built environment, and how it shapes and intersects with history, culture, and expression. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida, he pursued and received a Master of Architecture from Florida International University in Miami. A passion for modern design, and a particular interest in residential architecture, accompanied him to the bay area of California, where he worked at the residential design firms Butler Armsden Architects in San Francisco, and Koch Architects in Berkeley. There, he developed his design language over the course of several years, before moving to Charleston

When not at work, he is still actively engaged with the arts community. He can also often be found either exploring the endless history of downtown Charleston, or the natural beauty of the low country coast and beaches with his family.

Emily Wyatt, Project Manager

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 their one year old daughter, Eleanor.

  • Master of Architecture, North Carolina State University
Brooke Gerbracht, Project Manager

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
Herlong Architects - Batton Kennon, Charleston Architecture

Batton Kennon

Project Manager

Batton obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis and subsequently pursued a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia. After graduating, he and his wife, Mandy, moved to Charleston, where the wide open spaces and reflective marshlands provided the perfect setting to continue his career in residential design. A lifelong sailor from Memphis, Tennessee, Batton easily transitioned to life in the Lowcountry. With the natural mind of an architect, Batton noticed that simply enjoying the Charleston Harbor adds appeal and understanding to how the environment shapes the buildings surrounding it. 

With his past experience in residential design, Batton is always intrigued by the charm and scale of coastal beach homes. Designing coastal homes allow his talents to shine through because these projects require a specific attention to detail. Through years of study, Batton has sharpened his expertise in coastal residential architecture because of his ability to work in coordination with the elevation of the land to maximize views of the water and exist in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood. Skillful and attentive, Batton’s career in residential architecture is fueled by the rewarding realization of the potential every building possesses to create distinct landmarks along the uniquely stunning landscape of the Lowcountry. 

  • Bachelor's Degree - University of Memphis
  • Master's Degree in Architecture - University of Virginia