Inside The Redesign Of A Historic Charleston Home

Workstead Redesigns A Historic Charleston Home
The Workstead House Kitchen, featuring the new Signal Globe

Workstead, the Brooklyn brand known for its contemporary lighting, has spread its wings in the South.

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, the couple behind the New York design studio, debuted The Workstead House in South Carolina this winter. The historic Charleston row home, on which renovations began in May 2016, showcases new launches from Workstead’s product line and hosts a variety of events that celebrate Southern design.

While Brechbuehler and Highsmith’s work is characterized by a minimalist modernity, this townhome provided inspiration for a departure from their typical aesthetic and an opportunity for a real tribute to Southern modernism.

The soup-to-nuts transformation of the 5,600-square-foot structure and accompanying 2,000-square-foot carriage house called for new plumbing and wiring, which allowed the couple to reimagine the space to support not only their signature lighting fixtures, but also materials and furnishings from partner brands such as La Canche, Lawson Fenning, Farrow & Ball, Sonos, and Holland & Sherry.


The home features eight bedrooms, 7.5 baths, gas fireplaces, a powder room renamed “The Necessary,” a skylight, a cypress clad closet, a garden, and a hidden “Withdrawing Room” off the master’s chambers.

The couple designed custom lighting for the entire space, with the latest addition being the Signal Globe. The largest piece is Workstead’s Signal Collection, the globe features a large sphere made of hand-blown glass that’s suspended by delicate armature and a delicate pull chain. The fixture also has a reflective canopy available in nickel, bronze and hewn brass.

Originally built in 1853, the brownstone on Bee’s Row is home to an anthology of stories. For starters, William C. Bee took the house over in the Civil War, using it and its neighboring residences to smuggle goods through the Union blockade. Other former inhabitants include the first practicing Jew to build a synagogue in the United States and the man who supposedly inspired the character of Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind.

If the Signal Globe is any indication of what’s to come, we’re sure the studio will be a successful spot for product launches and events befitting of this contemporary show house model.

Check out the home in the images below. For more interior inspiration with southern flair, check out this rustic Texas home.

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