Broad Street is one of Charleston, South Carolina’s most iconic streets. It’s comprised of mostly grand, historic homes built in the 1700 and 1800s, many of which beg the question: what does it look like inside?? Today, that curiosity is satiated thanks to designer Jill Howard. This home, originally built in the late 1800s, had seen a few renovations over the years (think very ’90s bathrooms!) and was in need of a few updates, both aesthetically and functionally. Jill was laser focused on bringing a fun, joyful design to the home while honoring its storied past. She tells us more.

What can you tell us about this home’s history?
This charming two-story home was designed in 1872 for John Klinck, the prominent owner of a grocery store at the corner of Broad and Church streets, by architect John Henry Devereux, one of the most prolific architects of the post-Civil War era. The architecture is a mix of Gothic Revival and Italianate styles, featuring a two-story piazza with quatrefoil shaped columns.

Your clients wanted to keep quite a few historic details, correct? What can you tell us about the family and their design goals?
The homeowners are Brad + Jola Newman. Brad is a Director at Sherman Capital Markets. Jola serves on the Board of Trustees for The Cooper School in Charleston. They moved to Charleston from Portland, OR over a decade ago. They have 2 teenage daughters. 

The goal was to create a decidedly modern kitchen and bath that would flow with the historic details throughout the house. The client’s design wish list included a mix of old and new styles, adding modern functionality to the expanded kitchen, and the ensuite bathroom, while staying true to the existing Victorian-era architectural details, like the original stained-glass bathroom window and Gothic style window in the kitchen. 

Functionally, the kitchen needed to work as a gathering place for lots of teens and tweens. Another mandate was that there be a place for everything, hence the addition of an appliance garage.

Style-wise, what was the “jumping off point” for the project?
Brad and Jola had very different aesthetic points of view, so we worked hard to find common ground and areas of give and take. Brad loves the clean lines and monochromatic palettes of modernist design, while Jola was drawn to fun colors and patterns. The result was a design focused on materiality. Clean architectural lines combined with textural plaster walls, mixed metals, quartzite and natural jute. Color was used sparingly and intentionally.

You also prioritized preserving some of the home’s history. We’d love to know more about that!
The house features many elements that pay tribute to the home’s storied past while bringing it into the here-and-now. The newly expanded kitchen incorporates warm, organic tones of plaster, bronze and pine seen throughout the home. In an homage to Klinck, the original owner and local grocer, the butler’s pantry is finished White Oak built-in cabinetry designed to look like old produce crates. 

How long did the entire design and renovation process take?
The project took about a year to complete. We wrapped up just before we all went into lockdown. The clients were thrilled to have a beautiful space to be with their family during this crazy time. Jola has taken her baking skills to the next level during this time….and I’m sure her family enjoys the results of that!