Kiawah Island, the most prestigious and luxurious of the sea islands, is known for its multi-million dollar mansions owned as second, third, or fourth homes which often stand empty for much of the year. However, these headline grabbing homes are not the whole story, and there is still a vibrant market for high-end residences of more modest proportions. Each of these homes reflect their own unique take on a true lowcountry lifestyle. Renovation of such a property was recently completed by our construction team and here is an inside peek.
How "out of town" does a client have to be to truly deserve the moniker? Perhaps China will suffice - and this is exactly where our client was based. They bought a small cottage on Kiawah Island, one suffering from an overdose of transient 1980s decorative tastes and in desperate need of a Charleston renovation. Our direction was "fun, beach, chic." You can really go to town on quality finishes for a smaller home achieving that "wow" factor without breaking the bank. And that's exactly what we set out to do for this home.
Design Brief: This project was brought to us by a local architect, with an out-of-country client. The idea was to renovate a cottage built in the 1980s, on the front side of prestigious Kiawah Island and convert it to a “Bohemian Surf Shack." We were to give the home an airy, open feel with all the amenities of the modern day. Our goal was to minimize maintenance by careful selection of fixtures and surface materials, and when completed, the property should rent well to off-set expenses.
Implementation: We converted the 3 bed, 2 bath closed floor plan home into a 4 bed, 4 bath layout that included an outdoor shower on the deck outside the master bed/bath. The most difficult aspect of the project was to achieve the wish list of the client in such limited space. We vaulted the ceiling in the living area to add volume and added faux exposed rafters to achieve the beachy "surf shack” feeling. The main area was opened up to the kitchen, increasing communal space where we installed high-end finishes such as SubZero appliances, top of the line cabinets, and marble counter tops.
Visually, sheetrock is a stale medium. It was replaced throughout the home with ship lap wood walls and ceilings. We installed high-efficiency tank-less water heaters. LED can lights were added and arranged throughout the home with special dimmers for mood. Space was maximized in key areas including one of the ship lap walls in the living room to accommodate a 60” TV. Drawers in the island were outfitted with interior outlets to charge devices so as to preserve precious counter top space.
The Kiawah Island beach cottage conversion was a success for the client as well as the property manager. The updated house was rented throughout the summer, awaiting the clients' eventual relocation.
Architect: Anderson Studios
Builder: Luxury Simplified Construction
Note: Our Construction team brings a high level of expertise and management to projects around the Charleston peninsula and the surrounding barrier islands. Have a look at another renovation project by our talented Luxury Simplified Construction team in Charleston's historic South of Broad neighborhood!
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