On Daniel Island earlier this week, I stopped by an all-but-completed renovation that we designed for a great family relocating to Daniel Island from North Carolina. This residence was purchased by the owners 10 years ago, and was a good fit as a vacation home for a couple who had yet to begin their family.
Alas, ten years later, the bar in the middle of the entry foyer was no longer an asset. The kitchen construction was of dubious quality, a screened porch adjacent to the living room was hot and rarely used, and there was not a proper laundry or mud room space. The owners have still not let me down about my assessment of the cheap tile cladding the corner fireplace in the living room. Seeing them for the first time in a while the other day, they were both humorously crushing me (simultaneously, as if in stereo) imitating a gesture in which I touched the tile, rubbed by fingers together, and then swiped them across my pants. This unintentional reaction to the material was not lost on these two. My stomach was killing from laughter.
We have been lucky for the opportunity to work with contractor Phillip Smith and his project manager BJ. Phillip is professional, demanding, exacting, and very, very good. Honest and a straight shooter, they don't get much better. We're so glad that he was willing to take on a project that is considerably smaller in scope than he is accustomed to building.
The renovation of this residence was mostly concentrated at the first level interior, and was designed to address all of the chief weaknesses of the original design. The existing screened porch, which was unused because the enclosure on three sides yielded a stagnant, hot environment, was enclosed and integrated into a larger and more light-filled living room. In the process, the fireplace with my favorite tile was eliminated along with the wall against which it was positioned. We vaulted the ceiling above the former porch to add interest and volume to the media end of the living room. Bookshelves, a corner settee, and other cabinetry was added along with a plate rail and wide, v-groove paneling to give the living spaces a sense of casual elegance. Part of the former screened porch was devoted to a new laundry room, which will also accommodate a kennel for the family dog and new spaces dedicated to the cat's accoutrement.
The kitchen was completely renovated and reorganized. The stove was relocated from a multilevel peninsula to a wall with a stainless steel hood above. The sink is not positioned to give a commanding view of the entire space, from living room to breakfast room and the diving room behind. With the cabinetry now reaching the ceiling and a new walk-in pantry, storage opportunities have been enhanced greatly. A walnut bar and Australian Cypress parson's table top add warmth and variety to the mostly white paint scheme. Classic, white subway tile with deeply beveled edges add a timeless feel to the space. Perhaps most significantly, the door connecting the kitchen and dining room was widened to five feet and centered on the kitchen. This integrates the dining room visually and spatially into the balance of the house and projects to get much more use for family meals together.