Renovation of a centuries-old property brings new life and keeps Southern charm
Built a decade before the first shots of the Civil War rang out over Charleston Harbor, the Carriage House on Bee’s Row in Charleston is a mirror of the city itself—a bastion of Southern grandeur updated with stylish modern trends.
Today, Charleston offers walks through historic districts—over cobblestones, past porches of stately pre-war mansions marked by towering palms, and a breeze of blooming jasmine.
It also offers a cutting-edge food scene that makes it one of the top destinations in the United States.
Workstead, a design firm based in Brooklyn and Charleston, made sure to preserve the Southern charm of this property, as father-son duo Jim and Chris Sloggatt turned its 2,000 square feet into a sublimely modern two-story townhome.
Inside, the original concept is very much alive, with walls of exposed brick and vestiges of the original plaster. The first floor is convivial, with the kitchen and dining room complete with two gas fireplaces that pay homage to its previous use as a detached kitchen and laundry.
The original elements are complemented by modern touches such as the custom cypress and cane cabinets and window seat, the sleek kitchen with contemporary design touches and exposed ductwork.
Indigenous materials are also used to keep the Charlestonian character, such as the cypress planks that clad the three bedrooms and anteroom of the upper floor. Original exposed beams are refreshed with white paint, and the original balcony still looks over the brick courtyard below.
The Carriage House is nestled in a maze of courtyards behind the mid-19th-century townhomes of Bee’s Row, named after William C. Bee, who used the surrounding buildings to store and sell goods smuggled through the Union blockade during the civil war. Another notable owner in Bee’s Row was George A. Trenholm, who is said to be the inspiration for Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.
Today, the property’s illustrious history lives on, with thoughtful contemporary design retouches that will galvanize the next generation of Charleston residents to make history.