Cane Island House

Our latest project on the boards is a new house on Cane Island, right down the road from our office. The clients requested a light filled spaces and clean lines. They like lowcountry style, but want a more contemporary take on the tradition. The inspiration photos they shared with us featured symmetrical elevations. Because the lot is fairly tight, we couldn't achieve perfect symmetry. We chose to bring this element in with "local symmetry" instead.

These are the drawings for the Cane Island House. The site plan is where we start, then we create floor plans and elevations, along with a large pile of balled-up tracing paper in the recycling bin.


master bathroom

Master Bath renovation

Before & After

Here is a master bath renovation that we completed a couple of years ago in the Shrimp Pond house. The Shrimp Pond house is at Spring Island, South Carolina. We designed the house in the 90's, then new owners hired us for the Shrimp Pond Studio addition and for a remodel of the master bath.

See the side-by-side comparisons in this master bath renovation:

Shower:

The addition of the round window in the shower and the new tile make it so much brighter and prettier.

Vanity:

master bath floating vanity

The floating vanity gives the space a contemporary feel. It's a cleaner aesthetic, and easier to clean too!

Tub:

free standing tub

The tub area is updated by swapping the drop in tub for a free standing tub, new tile and loosing that dated brick accent wall.


Bathroom Trends 2019

Accessibility

The American Institute of Architects’ most recent home design research focused on bathroom trends. The findings report that 62% of new and remodeled projects have larger showers that are designed for easy accessibility. This includes a shower seat, a curbless entrance and grab bars. As a result, manufacturers are responding to the increase in the demand for grab bars with great looking options. Standalone showers without a separate bathtub continue to increase in popularity. Homeowners are only installing bathtubs as a personal choice and not in response to future resale.

 

Luxury curbless shower with mosaic tile
Here is a large curbless shower in a recent project with a seamless transition from bathroom to shower.

Technology in the bathroom??

When shopping for plumbing fixtures it appears that smart toilets are the wave of the future. But the research shows that the demand is not there. Only 13% of respondents reported an increase in requests for these easy cleaning, one-piece toilets with heated seats, Bluetooth technology and foot-warmers. I am certain that the high price tag is reason enough for the low demand. The list price of Kohler’s top of the line smart toilet is eight thousand dollars (Kohler Numi)!

Design Styles

The web based company Houzz.com also conducts consumer research and reports that contemporary design is the most popular style for bathrooms followed by transitional design. Over 60 % of homeowners match the finishes of the faucets, hardware, bath accessories and light fixtures. Brushed or satin nickel are the most popular, followed by polished chrome. Oil-rubbed bronze is losing popularity and might soon join avocado appliances in the graveyard of dated finishes. Since 2016 the specification of oil-rubbed bronze finishes has dropped by 40%.

In master bathrooms, double under-mount sinks continue reign supreme. Houzz reports that vessel sinks popularity grew 50% since 2016. This is not consistent with our clients who find vessel sinks difficult to use and clean around.

Master bathroom with undermount sinks and custom walnut cabinetry
Undermount sinks for bathrooms and kitchens remain very popular for a sleek look and easy cleaning.

Tile Trends

Tile shapes and patterns are making strong appearances with hexagons, large-format shapes, mosaics (like the gorgeous mosaic in the photo of the first shower), herringbones, and chevron patterns. Full accent walls of decorative tiles that spill down on the shower floor are replacing horizontal strips of deco tiles.

Decorative tiled wall makes a luxurious statement in this master bath
The curved, tiled wall makes a statement and separates the walk-in shower from the tub

Finally, LED back-lit mirrors are all the rage in contemporary bathrooms.  They provide the perfect light for applying makeup or shaving. The mirrors are anti-fog and easily cleaned.

Bathrooms can be a great place to make a design statement, and while I've titled this post bathroom trends, these design elements have staying power.

You may enjoy our previous post on the hottest trends in kitchen design too!


Sketch to site- Spring Island

It's always really exciting to watch our designs come to life. Here are a few elevation watercolors from way back at the schematic design phase of this Spring Island house, paired with photos during construction. See the house from sketch to site!

Exterior

 

front entry Spring Island Architecture

A unique and gracious entry, well executed by Esposito Construction.

Spring Island front entry

FoyerCustom stair, lowcountry SPring ISland Architecture

custom stair lowcountry architecureWe used "Subway Stone" from Lowountry Pavers for the foyer floor and in various hardscape applications. We love the unique shape of the pavers!
kitchen concept, lowcountry Spring Island architecture
Custom Kitchen, Spring Island South Carolina

 


On the boards with House in Colleton River Club

Here are preliminary design sketches of a new house in Colleton River Club in Bluffton, South Carolina. The owners requested zen-like spaces with lots of natural light and good airflow.We begin every project with an analysis of the site and a site plan. It is critical to correctly place the house to take advantage of prevailing breezes, sun angles and the views. The sun path diagram allows us to consider the sun angles at different times of the year.

Site Plan colleton river houseElevation colleton river

 

interior elevation

 

Interior View

 


On the Boards: St. Helena Island Renovation

The latest renovation on the boards is a 1950's ranch on an absolutely gorgeous lot on St Helena Island. The clients love the deep water dock & the extensive view over the Port Royal Sound, but the choppy plan of the house is not very functional. The entry is not well defined, the kitchen is tiny, the rooms are dark and choppy.

Here's the existing plan:

Here's our design solution, in plan view:

 

 

The new plan will allow the owners to enjoy their incredible view from more of the house (including the kitchen, which was not possible before). They will have more outdoor living space, with a screen porch. The main living areas will be much brighter and open to one another. The foyer moves to the middle of the house. The bathrooms and closets are reconfigured to increase functionality.

Here are the elevation drawings:

 

And a Building section of the St. Helena renovation project.

Our clients are excited to move to Beaufort, and we are excited to redesign their house! The renovation will improve the owners ability to enjoy the lowcountry lifestyle and the beautiful view from their house.


Wexford Renovation, North Elevation

On the Boards with a Wexford Renovation

Wexford Renovation

This Wexford house was on the market for two years before our clients purchased it. It has some issues including: The house is very dark inside. The kitchen is small for the size of the house. The pantry is very small. The master bedroom has the smallest closet that I have seen for a master suite. There is a bedroom past the master bedroom that invades the privacy of the master bedroom. One of the garage bays cannot be backed out of without hitting the gazebo. The front has no curb appeal.

Existing Plan

Wexford Renovation existing floor plan

Wexford Renovation Plan

In the new Wexford renovation we updated the front of the house by removing the small front porch and the weird windows on the front of the garage. We moved the garage doors to the front to break up the huge unarticulated mass of the garage. The addition of the small roof over the garage further breaks up the large mass. We opened up the inside to one large great room with new large sliding doors on the view. The kitchen expanded toward the gazebo and we removed the blank walls of the gazebo that face the street. We added a breakfast area on the view. We converted the den into a bedroom and turned the old guest bedroom into the master closet. Not shown is the second floor with additional bedrooms.

Wexford Renovation new floor plan

 

Existing House


Under Construction- December

While other parts of the country put construction projects on hold so they can dig themselves out of the snow, our projects are moving full-steam ahead! See the latest site visit photos in our December construction update.

Benjie went down to St. Simon's Island for his first site visit there this week. We are excited that this project is getting started. And we approve of dog-help on job sites!

Spring Island

The Spring Island house is coming along very nicely. Currently, Esposito Construction is installing interior trim and wood floors. They are going to begin installing cabinets and tile next week.

Port Royal Plantation

There has been good progress at the Port Royal Plantation house. I love the front elevation, its really going to look great with a bright red front door!

 

Long Cove Renovation

Our major renovation in Long Cove has drywall hung and they will begin installing trim soon.

Factory Creek House

All the drywall is hung in the Factory Creek House and the painters are beginning to prime the walls. The views from this house are stellar, the clients are going to love having all those windows!

Factory Creek House 2

This Factory Creek house should be finishing up soon.

Brays Island Renovation

We are counting the days until this renovation is complete. 

 


Exterior Rendering

An exterior rendering is an excellent tool when selecting colors and materials for your home. To decide the window color for our project on St Simon's Island, Benjie prepared three options to show the clients. By using a combination of our Revit model, photographs and stock photos of plants and materials, Benjie can create a realistic image of the house. The live oaks in this rendering are from photographs of the site!


Best practices to mitigate stormwater runoff

 Here is an example of a rain garden that Thomas Angell, of Verdant Enterprises, designed for the Cole Residence.Here is an example of a rain garden that Thomas Angell, of Verdant Enterprises, designed for the Cole Residence.

In David Lauderdale’s interview with Al Segars in last Sunday’s paper, Al said that we need to “go above and beyond. See that your homeowners’ association maintains it storm-water retention ponds so they function as promised.” You can read Lauderdale's article here.

Beaufort County has a storm-water runoff management ordinance for new single family houses in unincorporated areas of the county that are not in an approved community storm-water runoff system and single family houses that are renovated in excess of 50% of the appraised value of the building. The ordinance requires the mitigation of the storm-water within the property limits.

For the rest of us, we should all go above and beyond by reducing the amount of storm-water on our properties that needs to be mitigated. The easiest way to reduce runoff is by reducing the amount of impervious surfaces on the property. This includes: using gravel or pervious pavers for your drive; and limiting the amount of patios and terraces or paving them with pervious pavers.

Collecting Rainwater

The best management practice is to collect and store the rainwater for reuse or slow infiltration. There are two options for collecting rainwater; either a rain barrel or a cistern. Both are connected to your gutters and downspouts. A rainbarrel is used to collect water for use in your garden. Be sure that the rainbarrel has a cover so that it is not a mosquito nursery. A cistern is larger and is the storage tank portion in a complete rainwater harvesting system that filters and stores water for any normal household use. If the water is to be used for potable needs it must go through additional filtration and water purification.

Rain Garden

Another option is a rain garden which is a shallow bowl shaped depression of loose absorbent soils that is planted with deep-rooted native perennials and grasses. The runoff slowly soaks into the ground and reduces the amount of runoff entering our marshes and rivers. The design of the rain garden should be incorporated with the entire garden design. According to Garden Design Magazine rain gardens can help reduce storm-water waste by up to 99 percent.

Mitigation Calculations

The county has a very easy to use on-line worksheet that calculates how much runoff needs to be mitigated. http://stormwaterworksheet.createandsolve.com/  To determine the total excess runoff to be mitigated you will need to know the following information before you begin: the square footage of your roof; the square footage of other impervious areas; the square footage of your lot; your soil type, sandy or clayey; and the area of your lot that is irrigated. You next enter the number and size of storage and reuse systems want to use. The worksheet then computes the natural infiltration capacity of the lot to control runoff. If the first two practices do not control all of the rainwater, the worksheet determines the size of a raingarden to capture all of the runoff.