For this renovation of a historical home on Sullivan’s Island’s Officers Row, designer Sarah Heckler effortlessly married contemporary with classic to create a functional space for her family’s new chapter.
Officers Row: This five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home was built in 1894 to house senior officers of the US military and their families prior to the Spanish American War. Today, the historical home on Sullivan’s Island’s I’On Avenue has been thoughtfully renovated to fit the needs of a modern family from Manhattan.
Jim and Sarah Heckler and their two children—Willa, eight, and Felix, five—who moved here in 2016 seeking a slower pace of life, finished the project last year.
Mixed-Century Modern: The meticulous craftsmanship of the house provided the ideal canvas for Sarah to combine modern and antique furnishings. In the living room, orbital chairs from Modus Furniture face a Fernando Santangelo custom sofa. The coffee table, a solid slab of coral and concrete floating on a Lucite base, is a unique focal point.
A large doorway leads to the dining room, where original built-in bookshelves, housing such gems as carved porcelain vases by local potter Maria White, frame a glass dining table atop a pair of brass Mastercraft table bases.
Custom-Made: For the large entryway, Sarah designed this maple wood credenza with blackened brass sliding doors built by local woodworker Scott Meara. Inspired by French architect and designer Jean Prouvé, the piece evokes a mid-century mood but fits in with the hallway’s soaring ceiling. A black-and-white photograph by Johnnie Chatman and a marble glass globe lamp from Soho Home tie together the modern yet classic feel.
Here Comes the Sun: The addition of the bright, spacious sun-room made the house click for the family. Connecting the kitchen with the garden and pool, the relaxed space features low-slung furniture including a simple, colorful credenza designed by Sarah (and built by local woodworker Tom Hickman) and a “Rope Sofa” by Hans Hornemann for Normann Copenhagen. The low profiles enhance the view while being functional and comfy for the family. A breakfast table by Hans Wegner with “Søborg Chairs” by Børge Mogensen, both mid-century Danish designers, continue the contemporary feel and tie in with the open kitchen.
Exposed wood beams and floating wooden shelves are accented by counter stools from Muuto. The black-metal theme continues in the Ralph Lauren chandelier and Original BTC Lighting wall sconces.
Statement Pieces: In the dining room, the clean modern lines of the brass and metal table and vintage Mastercraft metal-frame chairs mesh with historical features, including the original fireplace and quarter-sawn pine floors. The stark white walls help draw the focus to the ornate ceiling and large “Imogene” chandelier from Arteriors Home.
Tin Soldiers: The original patterned “tin” ceilings are a beloved feature of the house, best highlighted by this impressive view up the central staircase. The material was commonly used in the 19th century as an alternative to decorative plaster ceilings, and each room has a different pattern. Made from steel sheet metal, tin ceilings were considered more durable and, crucially, more fireproof. It was also easier and cheaper to install than decorative plaster.
Simply Elegant: The primary bedroom suite on the second floor employs a monochromatic palette. An Ikea bed and contemporary nightstands from USM Modular Furniture sit below a large photograph by Yeondoo Jung that dominates the simple space.
The bathroom was redone as part of the recent renovation, including adding a wall behind the vanity. Previously, it was open to the adjoining room where the bathtub is.
Fit Right in: This view shows the extent of the addition to the rear of the house. Architect Beau Clowney worked to make the contemporary sun-room fit into the overall historical character of the home. The swimming pool was also redone to be more compact and allow space for a lawn.
How Sarah Heckler effortlessly married contemporary and classic styles