FINISH MATERIALS

Where Have We Been?

We have been busy, with little time for posting on the site.  The stars aligned for the production of CD's simultaneously on a two new residences (one on a fabulous waterfront  Johns Island property and one by the beach on Seabrook) while designing a couple of downtown renovations that required City of Charleston BAR approval, and a contemporary renovation of a Seabrook residence with incredible views.  A sail on the harbor today to take in some of the Race Week action gave me a chance to sweep out some mental clutter and think about something to post. Sandy Barton and his crews with Sands Construction have completed the addition to and  renovation of a residence on Kiawah Island.  I thought it would be fun to post a couple of images of this project that I took last week, as as one rear elevation image from before we began the design work.

Rear elevation, Kiawah Island renovation and addition overlooking the Kiawah River.

Kiawah Island residence, before renovation/addition.

This renovation was mainly focused on adding a new partial third level above existing living spaces.  The left side of the house (from garage to new master suite, and including the kitchen) was completely renovated or all new.  The right-most side of the residence was left alone, save for repainting the interior and refinishing the exterior to match the new materials. Sandy did a fabulous job taking our design and wrenching this mess of 1980's construction, which had been partially renovated a decade ago, into superior shape.

The deck features a reoriented stair to maximize useable space for gathering, plus new pie decking and custom designed newels and cable rail.

 

Completed Kitchen in Kiawah Island Cottage

View through kitchen to adjacent sitting room at Kiawah Island cottage. We were glad to work with K & K Custom Cabinets and the general contractor, River Creek Construction, along with our wonderful clients, on this classic kitchen recently completed on Kiawah Island.

This kitchen was designed with fully-inset cabinets doors and drawers with a simple shaker-style panel. We sourced beautiful Sea Pearl granite slabs for the countertops, which allowed us to put a toe into the sometime problematic world of green hues in the kitchen without overwhelming the decor.  Sea Pearl is a fabulous material that offers the softness and movement of marble with the ease of maintenance and livability of much harder granite.

Kitchen in recently completed Kiawah Island cottage renovation.

We ran the wide plank oak flooring into the kitchen to lend cohesiveness to this cottage of modest size.  LED under-cabinet lighting complements the 2 and 3 inch LED recessed lighting that provides illumination in optically pleasing color temperature with cutting-edge energy efficiency.

Cabinetry and a window seat were fitted into the entry foyer, which opens into the kitchen. A river-recovered cypress slab bar turns the corner from foyer to the dining area.

The kitchen is located near the main entry and open to the dining and living spaces in the foreground. Photo: Jim Somerset

More photos and description of this renovated cottage may be found via this link.

Completed Cottage Renovation

View into former screened porch integrated into beach cottage on Kiawah. Henselstone Windows and Doors. Soffy automated shade systems. We were glad to receive the finished photos of a newly completed project on Kiawah Island earlier this week.  Photographer Jim Somerset came by the studio to discuss his work on this renovated Ocean Woods cottage.  My before photos are less impressive.

Porch of Kiawah Island cottage, before.

Colin Regan and his crew at River Creek Construction did a fabulous job with this renovation.  We are excited to be working with Colin on another cottage renovation about to go under construction.  Working with another residence on the same street, we are redesigning it in a completely different way, with a feel that will be significantly more contemporary.  It will be interesting to use these similar buildings to test the variety of design outcomes possible.

View through living spaces and into kitchen in renovated Kiawah cottage. Photo: Jim Somerset

Similar LR view, before.

Kiawah Island cottage. Photo: Jim Somerset

South elevation, before

Living Room, which lost its fireplace in accommodating a new shed dormer to bring natural light into the space. Photo: Jim Somerset

Living Room, before

Kiawah Island Cottage Completed

Completed Ocean Woods Cottage, scross the street from the beach on Eugenia Avenue Entry elevation, before renovation

We're glad to have completed construction on this Kiawah Island Cottage.  While a couple of audio visual punch list items remain and the landscaping is yet to be installed, we're glad to be pushing this across the goal line. This was a complete renovation of a 1979 cottage that needed tremendous help.  While we wished to work over the entire structure, we were compelled to make the design harmonious with the Ocean Woods Cottage Community. The exterior envelope was renovated with new siding applied over new water resistant systems.  High quality Henselstone impact-resistant windows and doors replaced the existing single-pane aluminum units.  A couple of covered porches were transformed into conditioned spaces and a shed dormer addition expanded the volume and floor area in the living room to provide superior furnishing opportunities.

Renovated kitchen in Ocean Woods cottage on Kiawah Island

View toward kitchen and main entry door, before renovation.

The interior of this cottage was completely transformed with the renovation. We haven't yet photographed the interior professionally but will post photos after we do. This quick photo of the kitchen gives a bit of a flavor. We're especially pleased with how the river-recovered cypress slab bar turned out.  Robert Paige and his team at K&K Cabinets did fabulous work in fabricating all of the cabinetry while John Griffiths Hardwood Flooring developed and applied the smoky, casual finish for the wide plank white oak hardwoods.

This porch was enclosed into a sun room in the renovation

Cottage screened porch, before renovation.

It was a pleasure working with Colin Regan of River Creek Construction on this renovation.  He has a skilled and flexible team of craftsmen at his disposal and really helped to maximize the potential of this project. We also can't say enough about our clients, who were a pleasure to work with from inception to completion.

Deck with new Ipe bench living on end and living room dormer to left, which replaced a tired fireplace build-out.

Deck and fireplace build-out before renovation

New entry porch and door.

 

Dreaming about No Rain

Living spaces covered with tarp after majority of roof demotion has been completed. In recent weeks when we have asked our three year old son what, if anything, he could recall dreaming about the previous night, he has been likely to answer, "I dreamed of no rain." We've no idea in what this line of dreaming is rooted, but Sands Construction, Tyler A. Smyth Architect LLC, and the client that we are collaborating with all hope that his dreams come true, if only for the next week or so.  Finished Australian Cypress flooring, known to be temperamental when exposed to moisture, and other interior finishes and insulation would greatly benefit from some dry weather.

View from the entry foyer into the living spaces, where the roof once was.

We have been designing the renovation and addition to this Kiawah Island residence for some time now, and the work is underway.  Sands Construction, serving as contractor, first completed the interior demolition and has now removed the existing roof from the areas that will receive the additional living spaces above.  All of the structural material has been on site and waiting for fair weather, which is upon us.  We're all excited to really kick off the project.

Dreaming of no rain,

Tyler

Retrofitting existing piers found to be hollow with structural grout; piers will be added where necessary to appropriately shore up the foundation.

Sandy Barton discusses concrete work beneath a new garage stair with the concrete finishing crew.

 

Hostetler Custom Cabinetry: Top Shelf Workmanship and Service

One of four custom plywood gate fabricated by Hostetler Custom Cabinetry When we put the design documents for the renovation of the nursery at St. John's Parish church we knew that the cabinetry was going to be proportionally expensive and important in distinguishing the space.  Working against a very tight budget for the project, we elected to keep most elements of the finish simple and production in quality.  The cabinetry would provide the character, warmth and tactile quality for the project.  It would also serve to functionally divide the space and provide the vast storage capacity for all of the toys and books needed to keep a couple of generations of little ones occupied.

View from one play corral to two play areas; cabinetry and custom plywood gates divide and organize the space while allowing visual access over the pine tops

It was critical that we identify a cabinetmaker capable of carrying out the project successfully with the quality and budget that we needed.  Our office reached out to Hostetler Custom Cabinetry, a family owned company on James Island that we'd worked successfully with before.  Their capabilities have few limits, with in-house CNC routing machinery among other equipment, and their ethics are very sound.  In order to reduce the total cost to of the project to its absolute minimum, we pulled the cabinetry out of the basic construction contract and I vouched personally for Hostetler, convincing the church that they would execute their work appropriately.  Branks General Contractors was also willing to work with them on these terms for the good of the project, and we thank them for that.  We felt confident enough in Hostetler, and they came through for us all.

Completed nursery at St. John's Parish Church, just before soft opening on Sunday.

In order to reduce the budget for the cabinetry, we agreed that the specifications for the some of the items would have to be altered to reduce the time and cost to Hostetler.  In the end, Hostetler restored the specifications to the original and beyond, producing fully inset cabinetry construction throughout, with dovetail drawer boxes in the couple of places where we had drawers.  The finishes are impeccable, including the five warm colors carefully selected for the cabinetry, a sixth color for the custom plywood gates (an shade of eggplant) and the clear finished for the pine play tops. They sourced the 2' thick pine material for the edges from Will Albrecht and his company, Southern Lumber and Millwork, and milled it in a wide radius to provide a safer contact point for the heads of new, unsteady walkers.

Custom plywood gates divide the play corrals, adding a fun, whimsical feel to the nursery.

Hostetler also took on the challenge of fabricating the custom plywood gates that allow flexibility in organizing the various play corrals in the nursery space. Fabricated using the CNC routing equipment of two layers of high quality plywood, we specified that the flat planes of the door be painted while the edges be finished clear to expose the material. This is a difficult finish to pull off, but the Hostetler team did a fabulous job with them.  We thank them for their good work, and Branks General Contractors for their patience and cooperation.

You might know these colors from such places as the GSW building in Berlin; one of my favorite uses of color ever in a work of architecture.

Sign Concept for St. John's Parish Nursery

Hanging sign concept for St. John's Parish Church Nursery. Now that the St. John's Parish church nursery is all but complete, we put together a sign concept this morning to help visitors locate the facility. Chris Hostetler, of Hostetler Custom Cabinetry, volunteered to make a sign using their CNC routing table.  Hostetler already did a fabulous job with the cabinetry inside, which forms the storage capability, play top areas, and spatial divisions within the space.  The sign concept, which would be rendered in colors to coordinate with the vibrant interior, would be an appealing element to welcome the congregation and visitors to this completely renovated space.  Two would be made, one to hang on each side of the new entry porch structure.  We may go a different direction with the signage, but I enjoyed a bit of graphic design this morning.

Completed nursery at St. John's Parish Church, just before soft opening on Sunday.

Nursery interior with custom cabinetry and plywood gates that we designed, all fabricated by Hostetler Custom Cabinetry.

 

St. John's Nursery closing in

New portico with integrated benches marks the preferred entry into St. John's Church nursery.

Branks General Contractors and Hostetler Custom Cabinetry are closing in on the completion of the renovation to the nursery at St. John's Church on Johns Isand.  There are a number of items to complete, including the staining of the new entry portico and installing the remaining room division cabinetry tops.  Both Branks and Hostetler are doing a great job in delivering a worthwhile product to this historic congregation.

Corral divider cabinetry, in progress; a variety of saturated warm colors were selected for the cabinetry components, which also varies in height and width.

Our response to the programmatic requirement of have an open space subdivided into distinct, controllable spaces was to design a series of low cabinetry forming corrals for this purpose.  The cabinetry organizes the spaces while also organizing the toys and games provided for the children. We carefully selected five saturated colors, all in the warm family, to enliven the space.  Custom tops in southern yellow pine with chunky, rounded edges grounds the space in its rural, Lowcountry setting and protects the young inhabitants as they enjoy the fellowship in their early and unsteady steps.

Hostetler Custom Cabinetry fabricated the cabinetry and pine tops for the St. John's Church nursery.

Southern yellow pine structure (to be stained) and cypress ceilings were used for the new entry portico at the St. John's Church nursery.