The complete renovation of an Ocean Woods Cottage on Kiawah Island is underway. We've designed the renovation, which will have a distinctly contemporary feel, in accordance with US Green Building Council's LEED standards, and are hoping for LEED Gold Certification. The layout and feel of the living spaces will be completely different from another Ocean Woods project that we completed last year, owing to different opportunities that the sites presented and the distinct tastes of the clients. It will be an interesting test of the design flexibility possible in these simple and virtually identical units. We are working with the same contractor, River Creek Construction, on this one as we did on the last.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More photos and description of this renovated cottage may be found via this link.
Sometimes, the work that you produce that seems the least transformational is also the most difficult to pull off. When confronted with a renovation of a house of middling construction and that has already undergone another partial renovation, and with a budget realistically limited due to market considerations, the challenges can be substantial. We are pleased with the way that the design and construction of this renovation/addition has come out so far, however, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The project is chiefly a substantial third floor addition, which includes a new master suite and a den over what was the vaulted living spaces. We designed the floor plate of the new addition be be 9'-3" above the existing finished floor to keep the appropriate ceiling volume in the living room, dining room and kitchen without growing the height of the house to be too tall proportionally. Along with the addition of the new space, a stair was needed to access it, leading to some necessary renovations to the former master shower. Our clients also elected to completely renovate the kitchen, add a new stair for interior access to the garage, and replace existing 6'-6" tall sliding doors addressing the principal views with 8' tall units, enhancing the views substantially.
A Surfsong Road addition and renovation is underway on Kiawah Island. Many roads we have traveled to reach this point, but we are happy to see this one moving along. We are working with Jedd and Steve at Bennett Custom Homes on this project. The chief components of the project are a second floor garage addition containing two new bedrooms and a bath and a relocation of the kitchen. We are moving the kitchen from a closed-off space to the side of the home that had no access to the principal views. The new space was the former sun room, placing the kitchen in the nexus between the living room and dining spaces, with great views of the 10th green at Turtle Point. Another new bedroom suite takes the place of the former kitchen, bringing the total capacity of the residence to 6 bedrooms and 5 full and 1 half baths. A screen porch added to the rear will stretch the time during which the outdoors can be comfortably enjoyed without blocking the views from the principal spaces (LR, K, DR, and MBR).
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.
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.
We were glad to accept a Carolopolis Award from the the Preservation Society of Charleston last night for our work at 625 Rutledge Avenue, know as the Seebeck House. It was the first of several projects that we have collaborated on with our friends at Yarrum Properties. We're proud to help bring this Hampton Park Terrace residence back from it dilapidated condition, and it is gratifying to receive recognition from the PSoC for it. The PSoC Membership meeting and awards ceremony was more than pleasant. It is always good to see Carriage Properties partner/event sponsor Olin Chamberlain and knock back a couple of cold, domestic beverages with him.
The renovation of a 1950's Mt. Pleasant ranch house just off of Coleman Boulevard is beginning to take shape. We hope that the re-imagination of this solidly built little house will serve as an attractive example for modern Mt. Pleasant living, sited as it is within a stone's throw of the hulking The Boulevard development.
We investigated the feasibility of a few design schemes for adding necessary space for a growing family to the existing residence. In the end, we chose to retain the bones of the existing structure while adding necessary space to the rear that will complement the existing architecture.
More and more these days, similar residences are being completely razed to make room for significantly larger structures. We can certainly understand the economics of it, as the values of the land beneath the homes in this great neighborhood are skyrocketing. However, we do regret that the character of the neighborhood is changing while the architectural fabric is being hauled to the landfill.
This house, for example, will be 60 years old next week. Solidly framed and simple, it was in need of a complete renovation, as all of the electrical and plumbing systems were original and it was purely devoid of any wall insulation. The original single paned aluminum windows, though handsome, were too inefficient for the owner's to bear retaining them. With exception of these changes, the simple mid-century structure will remain intact. We were able to leverage the low-sloped roof for adequate and comfortable ceiling volume in the main living spaces while making no structural changes to raise the roof. A pair of additions to the rear of the residence are adding a new master suite to one side and a mud room and laundry space to the other. A new roof with deep overhangs will cap the existing front porch and stair, retained in the interest of economy. We're glad to see this under way.
One of the great pleasures of practicing architecture for me is making site visits to check on work that we've designed. When you can do this on a mild December lowcountry morning, in a building with a fantastic view of an lonesome beach, it is especially nice. Even if it makes you want to go fishing.
A small but gratifying project that we're working on is the complete renovation of a two bedroom condominium in the principal building at Windswept Villas on the Kiawah Island beach. A talented builder in Jay Sifly along with a great client who understands the importance of design and quality make a renovation like this pretty nice to work on. When we have completed, we'll have finished what we expect to be the finest and most comfortable residence in the building. And you can't beat the view.