Raise High the Roof Beams

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photos by:
August 29, 2011

Creative bartering and a healthy dose of sweat equity allowed a young Charleston couple to transform a derelict 19th-century structure into an inspired living space.

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  In the 141 Spring Street project, resident Josh Nissenboim prepares food in the kitchen. The countertop is Carrera marble, chosen because for its lightness and ability to wear in naturally. He and his wife, Helen, keep cooking staples within easy reach on simple shelving. By sticking with the most basic essentials, the shelves are open and spacious rather than overly stacked.  Photo by: Daniel Shea

    In the 141 Spring Street project, resident Josh Nissenboim prepares food in the kitchen. The countertop is Carrera marble, chosen because for its lightness and ability to wear in naturally. He and his wife, Helen, keep cooking staples within easy reach on simple shelving. By sticking with the most basic essentials, the shelves are open and spacious rather than overly stacked.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Josh Nissenboim prepares food in the kitchen. The countertop is Carrera marble, chosen because for its lightness and ability to wear in naturally.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Josh Nissenboim prepares food in the kitchen. The countertop is Carrera marble, chosen because for its lightness and ability to wear in naturally.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Helen Nissenboim washes produce at the sink, which, along with the faucet, is made by Vigo and sourced from Overstock.com.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Helen Nissenboim washes produce at the sink, which, along with the faucet, is made by Vigo and sourced from Overstock.com.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The pair purchased their vintage farmhouse table from a now-defunct secondhand shop in downtown Charleston.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The pair purchased their vintage farmhouse table from a now-defunct secondhand shop in downtown Charleston.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The trio of pendant lamps hanging above the counter came from Schoolhouse Electric Co. and were reworked by Peyton Avrett to fit the width of the header beam to which they are attached. The bar stools were gifted from a friend.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The trio of pendant lamps hanging above the counter came from Schoolhouse Electric Co. and were reworked by Peyton Avrett to fit the width of the header beam to which they are attached. The bar stools were gifted from a friend.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The ladder, created by Peyton Avrett, is an unorthodox way to the upstairs, and it also serves as a fire escape since the house only has one stairwell.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The ladder, created by Peyton Avrett, is an unorthodox way to the upstairs, and it also serves as a fire escape since the house only has one stairwell.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  An aperture in the floor of the master bedroom leads down to a sitting room via a ladder.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    An aperture in the floor of the master bedroom leads down to a sitting room via a ladder.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The master bedroom. The coverlet is from Urban Outfitters. The painting is by Helen Rice.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The master bedroom. The coverlet is from Urban Outfitters. The painting is by Helen Rice.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  It was important to Rice and Nissenboim to find a house with a large yard. They worked with Remark Landscape Architecture to remove three large hackberry trees to make way for a vegetable garden, while three citrus trees on the western line of the property produce oranges and lemons.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    It was important to Rice and Nissenboim to find a house with a large yard. They worked with Remark Landscape Architecture to remove three large hackberry trees to make way for a vegetable garden, while three citrus trees on the western line of the property produce oranges and lemons.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Helen and Josh in their back yard, next to the concrete pavers they poured themselves.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Helen and Josh in their back yard, next to the concrete pavers they poured themselves.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The couple grows a plethora of fruits and vegetables in their large back yard.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The couple grows a plethora of fruits and vegetables in their large back yard.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Patio furniture from CB2.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Patio furniture from CB2.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The nineteenth-century structure is commonly known as a classic "Charleston single".  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The nineteenth-century structure is commonly known as a classic "Charleston single".

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  One of six fireplaces in the Rice and Nissenboim residence. The pair have plan to rehabilitate all of them to working order eventually.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    One of six fireplaces in the Rice and Nissenboim residence. The pair have plan to rehabilitate all of them to working order eventually.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Rice and Nissenboim found the mirror atop the fireplace along the side of the road.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Rice and Nissenboim found the mirror atop the fireplace along the side of the road.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The couple plans on relining the flues this winter, but in the meantime the mantels serve as much needed horizontal space.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The couple plans on relining the flues this winter, but in the meantime the mantels serve as much needed horizontal space.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  Josh Nissenboim and Helen Rice inside Fuzzco, their design firm, Fuzzco, headquartered just down the street.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    Josh Nissenboim and Helen Rice inside Fuzzco, their design firm, Fuzzco, headquartered just down the street.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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  The 1,200-square-foot building, which at one time or another has been a church, laundromat, ice cream parlor, and hat shop was renovated by Thompson Young Design.  Photo by: Daniel Shea
    The 1,200-square-foot building, which at one time or another has been a church, laundromat, ice cream parlor, and hat shop was renovated by Thompson Young Design.

    Photo by: Daniel Shea

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