The Coburn Hutchinson House Historic Kitchen Renovation September 17, 2019

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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, a full history of the house’s lineage revealed titles back to the 1800’s, including the name of the plantation the house sits on and its original owner. A rarity within its own right, it was with that information that the Coburn Hutchinson House was born.

Although in need of a kind touch and some rejuvenation, Michelle Woolley Sauter of One Coast Design – the new owner of the 2,200 sq.ft. home – joyfully took on this labor of love starting with the kitchen. With the help of Garden State Tile, Michelle and her team updated the 11’ x 19’ kitchen while still staying respectful of its historical roots and original features.

Full kitchen image

Tell us a little bit about the project!

When we found we had an opportunity to relocate to Summerville from the Raleigh area, we didn’t hesitate. We already knew how beautiful Summerville was, and after familiarizing ourselves with the different enclaves, our house-hunt for the perfect home for an ‘Artist in Residence’ commenced. The house we chose is actually typed ‘rare’ for the area – sitting at three windows wide instead of the two-window width traditionally found in the peninsula of Charleston. We also loved the fact that it was right downtown and struck us as a proper ‘city house’.

In an effort to give this renovation the respect it deserves, taking great consideration in the selection of vendors for the finishes in the kitchen, we were careful not to change the historical vibe or the original footprint. We at One Coast Design pride ourselves in being a forward-thinking 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 between 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.

Before and After Kitchen
Before & After

What collection did you choose from Garden State Tile and why?

We chose the GSW Maritime Collection in the Clearwater color with a glossy finish. The collection is beautiful glazed ceramic subway tile with an irregular edge that, when installed with minimal grout lines, looks historically correct with the time period of the house. It’s so versatile though and a veritable chameleon, I feel it would be right at home in a classic or contemporary application. Our Kitchen now has a much brighter, lighter and airy feel…our new Garden State Tile backsplash is truly a wonderfully beautiful addition to the overall design!

Backsplash over cooktop

What are some of your favorite design elements in the kitchen?

There are so many elements that we are in love with in this kitchen redesign…how do you pick just one?! Each brings its own charm, but the two elements that made the biggest impact are the lighting and, of course, the wonderful backsplash! The kitchen is relatively small, compared to today’s kitchens in a house this size, so our choices needed to be very thoughtful. Smaller kitchens benefit greatly when choices are classic, light and bright while still holding true to the overall feeling of the space – like the Maritime Collection!

Kitchen side profile

What was the inspiration behind the design?

Summerville’s pretty streets filled with azaleas and the aromas of so many other southern blooms have drawn luminaries like Elizabeth Arden to winter here year after year, and have also influenced and flavored our choices. All of these elements have serendipitously guided us into a more romantic, lyrical, organic, naturalistic design theme that we couldn’t be happier about.  And of course, our design choices are driven by the eras the house has survived…they are classic yet approachable. The house itself really draws you in and everyone that drops by always comments on that feature. By making thoughtful decisions that set the mood and incorporating décor crafted by local artisans and sourced from local businesses, we maintain that cozy, hospitable and welcoming environment.

Kitchen sink backsplash

Tell us about your experience with Garden State Tile!

Everyone at Garden State Tile is so friendly, knowledgeable and easy to work with! In-store, our design consultant listened to our goals for the space, gave material suggestions and gave us the grace to ask a thousand questions along the way!  We landed on the best choice for our historic renovation…equal parts modern and traditional for an updated yet authentic look and feel. We couldn’t love the outcome more!

Thank you, Michelle and One Coast Design, for sharing your historic kitchen renovation with us! For more from One Coast Design, visit their website and follow them on Instagram!