Our Historic Kitchen Renovation
Here’s the inside scoop! In the heart of downtown Summerville, SC, stands a not-so-hidden gem—one of only three remaining Charleston single–style homes left in town.
In addition to the desirable location and stunning architecture, Michelle spent months digging up a full history of the house’s lineage that revealed titles back to the 1800s, including the name of the plantation the house sits on and its original owner. A rarity in its own right, the home was given a fitting moniker based on all that researched information and officially named the Coburn Hutchinson House on its 160th birthday!
The Coburn Hutchinson House
Although in need of some TLC and rejuvenation, we at One Coast Design—the new owners of the 2,200 sq. ft. home—joyfully took on this labor of love, starting with the kitchen. W
e began by updating the 11’ x 19’ kitchen while still staying respectful of its historic roots and original features. This home has the most gorgeous heart pine hardwood floors throughout—even in the kitchen and bathrooms! There was no original tile present in any form. The only tile found in the home is what we installed for the backsplash in the kitchen during the renovation.
For the backsplash, we chose a beautiful glazed white subway tile with an irregular edge in a glossy finish for a handcrafted look. When installed with minimal grout lines, this zellige tile collection looks historically accurate to the time period of the house.
The versatility of this style makes it a veritable chameleon, which would make it feel right at home in both classic and contemporary applications. Our kitchen now has a much brighter, lighter, and airy feel. An aesthetic we love bringing to our kitchen projects.
Historic Kitchen Finishes
In an effort to give this renovation the respect it deserved, we took great consideration in the selection of vendors for the finishes in the kitchen, and we were careful not to change the historical vibe or aspects of the original footprint.
In doing this, we encountered a design dilemma in having to work around the existing windows, which had been installed at the same lower height as all the other windows in the home. We were able to maintain a completely unobstructed view for two of the three windows, with the strategic placement of the breakfast area and a built-in window seat; however, the location of the sink required the last window to be partially obstructed.
The kitchen had wood countertops that were most likely installed around the 1950s, also when the kitchen most likely had upper cabinets attached to the wall in lieu of stand-alone cupboards that would have been present at the time the kitchen was originally established.
We decided to keep the countertops, but we lightly sanded them first to remove a thick lacquer application that detracted from their organic charm. This turned out to be a painstakingly detailed process to ensure that we did not remove the natural patina that had built up over the years.
Renovations are often full of unwanted surprises, but in our case, we discovered an interesting fact when it came time to prep the kitchen for painting. As it turns out, the beadboard on the ceiling in the kitchen had originally started its life out on the piazza, evident by the water stains that were present.
Back in the 1920s when plumbing was added to the home, the upper level; porch was enclosed at the same time the kitchen was built, so it appears the contractors of the time borrowed the ceiling from the former piazza to use in the kitchen so as to not waste any materials.
We at One Coast Design pride ourselves in being a forward-thinking interior design firm. We love and enjoy creating spaces that move us into the future while retaining classic elements that will not go out of style.
Ultimately, with this historic house project, our goal is to honor the past today. By blending the design palette of 1859 and today, we are creating a space that spans the generations, pays tribute to how far we have come, and shows how we can move forward.