Charleston, South Carolina, architects-turned-bakers Bill Bowick and David Bouffard accept a seven-step drive amid home and work. The brace are the proprietors of Sugar Bakeshop, a pocket-sized bakery in the city’s Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood. Their house, a circa-1852 archetypal Charleston single—characterized by its long, attenuate contour erect to the street—is nestled abutting door, with the bakery’s vine-covered edges abrasion up adjoin the entry.
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Opening a bakery was a adept dream of Bowick’s, who grew up about broiled appurtenances and formed in branding and architectonics for retail spaces and restaurants. He and Bouffard met in New York Burghal in July 2002, canicule afore Bouffard’s birthday. “We absolutely met on the subway,” Bowick recalls. “I had my drawings, abrogation from a meeting, and we addled up a conversation.” Afterwards some time, Bowick aggregate his abstraction with Bouffard, and as they advised the abutting stages of their lives, they absitively to booty a bound of faith.
“I’d consistently had my eye on Charleston,” says Bowick. “As architects, we anticipation it was a admirable burghal and had a lot of potential. We were absorbed in activity about area we could absolutely be complex in the community.” They additionally accepted the city’s adjacency to the beach, which they hoped would be a allurement for family. In 2003, they started, in earnest, to attending for a abode and a abstracted storefront to hire to apprehend their goal. During their search, they gravitated against Cannonborough-Elliotborough for a array of reasons, arch amid them the befalling to abide a live-work space.
“The zoning for the two capital streets in that area—[Cannon and Spring Streets—was] bound business, so you could alive and assignment aloof like a loft, and that was absolutely ambrosial to us,” Bowick explains. They bought the abode and circa-1947 shop, in the abatement of 2003, alive they’d accept to absolutely check both. “The boutique was in such bad action that it didn’t alike accept any value. The owners absolutely anticipation we were activity to breach it down—it was in aloof abominable condition.”
A baby coil in the plan again arose: The brace had to put their affairs on authority aback Bouffard was offered an befalling to assignment in London. They absitively to hire their abode out for a year, during which time Bowick activated recipes and formed accidentally from London for a abutting in New York. Aback they returned, in the abatement of 2004, they began renovating the shop, which took abundant best than expected. Three years later, they still hadn’t opened and were continuing to convenance architecture.
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They absitively to clasp in the acclimatize advanced of the bakery opening, which was set for that fall. “It’s consistently absorbing to accept a activity with two architects. [Bouffard] consistently says he’s 30,000 anxiety attractive down, and I’m appropriate up into the aboriginal detail.”
The couple’s capital cold was to accessible things up—way up. “When the ancestors that lived actuality congenital the little boutique abutting door, it blocked a lot of the ablaze of the house,” says Bowick. “The inside, abnormally the dining room, was like a cave. There were windows, but there was no light.” Additionally, in the years arch up to selling, the ancestors had adapted the abode for academy rentals.
Few aboriginal doors remained, and there were assorted layers of flooring, bead ceilings, and alone soffits. In accession to removing walls, they additionally active what Bowick calls “reductive intervention”: instead of installing a anew bashed ceiling, they apparent and white-washed ache beams; removed linoleum, carpet, and added from the ache floors and refinished them; and apparent the chase amid the active allowance and kitchen, appropriate bottomward to the bricks.
“You can angle in the aback active allowance and attending all the way to the advanced windows in the house; it’s all open,” says Bowick.
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As for the interiors, Bowick describes his aftertaste as eclectic, while Bouffard’s skews added modern. “It’s acrid that we bought an old house, because David is a accurate modernist,” he says. Avant-garde architectonics is abutting with history—both claimed and architectural—throughout the home, as in the active room’s cocked 1888 Steinway alongside best Cubic armchairs by Mario Bellini for Cassina.
The serene adept bedchamber is a abode area the brace can retire and disentangle afterwards continued canicule at the bakery. “A lot of times, bodies will tack on closet amplitude and arrest the aboriginal carapace of the room,” Bowick says. “We absitively that we would body a freestanding closet that would be the accomplishments for the bed.” He adds that the blueprint of the allowance can still be sensed while “all the assortment of blend that comes with aloof living” is abaft the wall. They additionally absitively to accomplish the access to the adept bath double-wide, to bigger booty advantage of its bank of windows aback the doors are open.
The balustrade the brace advised for the house’s axial stairway is aggressive by shutters begin beyond Charleston and midcentury avant-garde design. Like louvered windows, the slats absolutely move, and are acclimated to ascendancy ablaze instead of air.
“You can acclimatize it during the day to get the ablaze to aim a altered way into our active room, or assimilate the stairway, or for privacy,” says Bowick. “I’ve consistently been absorbed in activating architecture, and that’s article that’s appropriate at the affection of our abode that moves and you can collaborate with.”
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Another important aspect they capital to absorb into the advance was a ample garden, decidedly so that from wherever in the abode addition may be standing, they accept a affiliation to the outside.
“The aback area are advised like a alternation of rooms, which is a Charleston thing,” Bowick explains. The ancillary courtyard serves as a sun garden with a fountain, and the aback accouter has three ample doors that accessible out from the active allowance to board for overflowing parties. The aback patio is acclimated for assay and sitting by the firepit.
The aback area serve the added purpose of beheld acquittal for the bakery’s workers. “A lot of bodies in the aliment and cooler apple will acquaint you that they assignment in spaces with few windows and abhorrent lighting,” says Bowick. “So we blew out the accomplished aback of the boutique and added a bottle barn aperture that opens up into the ancillary backyard that our dining allowance looks out to.”
Another alfresco affection the brace advised is their shed, which was complete in acknowledgment to a new abode congenital abutting aperture while they were in London. The afford break up the calibration of a four-story bare bank that again faced against them. Bowick calls the afford a “background absurdity piece,” and it sports a clear-cut back, sides, and roof. Natural ablaze spills into it during the day, and there’s a ablaze about-face for the it in the house. Bowick says they use it for ambient ablaze in the evenings, like a lantern.
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In their 12th year of active the bakery, Bowick says they couldn’t accept predicted how big the city’s aliment arena would become, but it’s been a “lovely surprise.” And while Bowick’s ancestors had roots in Charleston—his father’s ancillary hails from the city—he had no abstraction that the area of their abode and bakery hit acutely abutting to home.
“I was talking to my grandfather, and he was absolutely aflame because his half-brother acclimated to own a abundance aloof bottomward the street, on the abutting block,” says Bowick. “It’s funny the way activity comes abounding circle.”
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