Historic Renovations Near Charleston, SC

three photos of coburn hutchinson house completed renovation. First image is of the white kitchen with Charlie, Michelle's dog. The middle image is of the exterior of the charleston single house, the third image is of the blue bathroom.

Our Ambitious Historic Renovation Near Charleston

Welcome to our home! We’re so excited to share our very own historic renovation project with you. My husband and I are restoring an 1859 Historical House in Historic Downtown Summerville, where we also live! As an interior designer and artist, I adhere to an aesthetic philosophy of traditional meets modern. My contemporary sensibility and informed sense of history are bringing this house to life. 

How We Landed on Our Historic Home in Summerville

My husband, Brian, and I fell in love with Summerville, South Carolina, because it serves as the perfect midpoint between the places we grew up. It combines both the coastal landscapes and a fascinating sense of history that we adore. What’s more, the area’s architecture aligns with my interior design passions and identity as a New Traditionalist. From the first time my husband and I visited Charleston, we were in love. We visited often, as it was one of our favorite getaways. 

On one such visit, we decided to take a short hop to check out this bedroom community of the Holy City called Summerville. We couldn’t believe how charming the town was (and still is)! With street upon street of trees with Spanish moss dripping from the limbs, antebellum cottages with climbing vines, gorgeous rooflines, and streets perfumed with the blossoms of gardenias and jasmine, it’s safe to say that Summerville’s Southern charm cast a spell on us.

About the House

One Coast Design Historic Renovation Summerville, South Carolina

Isn’t She a Historic Beaut?

The house we chose is considered “rare” in the area. It is one of only three Charleston single houses in Summerville, SC! Ours is three windows wide instead of the two window width traditionally found on the peninsula. We also loved the fact that it is located directly downtown and struck us as a proper city house.

We knew right away that we needed to compile a full history of the House’s lineage. We put together an abstract showing the chain of titles back to the early 1800s to include the plantation’s name on which the House once sat. Then, it was time for us to name the House. Based on our thorough research, we decided on ‘The Coburn Hutchinson House,’ because it encompassed the names of the first families who lived here.

Then, it was time to commence our chapter of the book!

Design Choices Inspired by the Historic Town of Summerville, SC

Coburn Hutchinson House Exterior Before Renovation Compressed - Interior Design Charleston
Coburn Hutchinson House Exterior After Renovation Compressed - Interior Design Charleston

Summerville is aptly named, “Flower Town in the Pines.” It earned its name through the influx of wealthy Charlestonians who flocked to Summerville to “take the cure,” and clear their lungs in the 19th century. Yellow Fever was a serious problem in the port city during the mid-1800s. Experts claimed that the turpentine scent in the air, from the pines, helped to clear one’s lungs. The town quickly became a destination for those healing from pulmonary issues.

Coburn Hutchinson House kitchen before Michelle renovated the house. Outdated fixtures. Old decorations. text reads "before"
Coburn Hutchinson House after michelle renovated. text reads "after". Bright white kitchen with lovely organic details. Lots of greenery. Rubbed brass features on the lighting.

While this tidbit of medical history is fascinating, it is the pretty streets filled with dazzling azaleas and other aromatic Southern blooms that not only drew luminaries like Elizabeth Arden to winter here year after year but also influenced and flavored our choices. All of these elements have serendipitously guided us into a more romantic, lyrical, organic, and natural design theme. We couldn’t be happier about it! And of course, our design choices are driven by the eras the House has survived. We wanted these features to be classic yet approachable.

before arch design - Interior Design Charleston
after arch design 1 - Interior Design Charleston
Coburn Hutchinson House bathroom before the renovation. Paint roller on the bathtub. Gray walls. Empty space. Text reads "before"
After photo of Coburn Hutchinson House's bathroom. Text reads "after". Blue walls, beautiful white details. Brass finishes. Bright, natural light. Text reads "after"

The House itself draws you in, and everyone that drops by always comments on that aspect. By making thoughtful restoration decisions that showcase unique craftsmanship details, we maintain that cozy, hospitable, and welcoming environment.

Designer Tip: Loving our blue and white bathroom? Read our Blue and White Trend Alert blog for more inspo!

Coburn Hutchinson House Gentlemens Study Before Renovation Compressed - Interior Design Charleston
Coburn Hutchinson House Gentlemens Study After Renovation Compressed - Interior Design Charleston

We have spent considerable time shoring up the foundation and bones of the structure before any of the ‘pretty stuff’ started coming in. Ultimately, our goal is to honor the past in the present with this Historic House project. By blending the design palette between 1859 and today, we create a space that spans generations, pays tribute to how far we have come, and shows how much further we can move forward.

Coburn Hutchinson House Bedroom Before Renovation Compressed - Interior Design Charleston
Coburn Hutchinson House Master Bedroom after Michelle renovated the space. Beautiful white bedding. Light neutral touches throughout the room. Beautiful natural light. Text reads "after" Bottle of champagne and glasses on the bed.

Advice for Those of You Renovating a Historic Home

What advice would you give to someone renovating an old/historic home? How do you find a balance, and tie together the past with the present?

I enjoy making thoughtful choices. I find that researching and gathering all the information that I can is the key to historic homes. Find knowledgeable people in the immediate area to educate you. It’s a good idea to commission a design consultant who can help you move forward on the correct path, as many mistakes regarding color and hard surfaces can be costly to remediate. Take strides not to pigeonhole yourself into a vision of new vs. old. Honor your vision, but always remember to listen to the House. It wants to enlist your help in telling its story.

Designer Tip: Read our blog about designing your dream kitchen in a historic home.

We would love to help you on your design journey. Contact us to schedule a design consultation!

Michelle & Charlie

View the Finished Work!