Cassique: A British Arts & Grafts Garden Cottage

The Cassique Garden Cottages
The Cassique Garden Cottages

Located just 25 miles southwest of Charleston is the barrier island, Kiawah, a world-renown home to five award-winning destination golf courses. Hidden in the midst of this beloved and historic Lowcountry region is a neighborhood of architectural splendor that relates to another time and part of the world. The Cassique Garden Cottages, inspired by the British Arts & Crafts Movement of the 19th Century and the masterworks of architect C.F.A. Voysey, are perfectly nestled together along this southern coastal wetland of rivers and lagoons.

A stunning kitchen in black and white designed  by Rob Hutzler of Kingswood Homes.
A stunning kitchen in black and white designed by Rob Hutzler of Kingswood Homes.

The movement was largely a rebellion against over-elaborate design and based profoundly on simple forms, truth to materials and the use of nature as the source of pattern. These 21st century cottages achieve just that: A pure and seemingly effortless visual connection to the natural Lowcountry landscape and waterways that surround them. This featured cottage displays all the traits of simplistic arts and crafts design. “The notable black trimmed windows and doors by German firm Gayko are standard in all the cottages we build here,” explains Rob Hutzler of Kingswood Custom Homes, “and we carry this theme of black and white throughout the cottage by specifying same colored tile, fixtures and hardware.” The hardwood flooring is finished with a Loba natural oil, which suits the overall focus on natural surfaces. The uniform composition and homogeneous palette creates a lifestyle ambiance that centers on rest, relaxation and enjoyment – celebrating what a second home should be all about.

English textile designer, poet and major contributor to the movement, William Morris, once famously said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” One of Kingswood’s clients in Cassique, Jim Heekin, explained the attraction to Cassique and the design customization opportunity: “This location is the near end of the island, which we really liked. We also loved the opportunity to highly customize off a given blueprint and create bigger floor plans to suit our needs.” From the beginning, the Heekins experienced a truly collaborative effort. There were many times when Kingswood came to them with solutions that Jim admits they would have never thought of even as informed and involved as they were: “Early on, Rob advised us that we had ample dead space to add an optional fifth bedroom and bath suite, which was highly desirable for how we intended to share this cottage with extended family and friends.”

An elegant living space that reflects the

In addition to the cedar-shingled roofs, copper guttering and brick or cobblestone features that reflect the Arts & Crafts aesthetic, homeowners have other exterior features to customize – such as the completely custom exterior hardwood stains, of which no two are alike. The most unique finishing element on the exterior walls is the stucco. “It’s called Tabby Stucco,” shares Kingswood’s design coordinator, Steele Trotter, “Clients can choose between light, medium and heavy. When the stucco is still wet, the installers throw crushed oyster shells against it and we apply this technique to the concrete driveways as well.”

So popular is the desire to stick to the historical vision of this neighborhood that some important resources for period materials have been in high demand among neighbors building in Cassique. One resource in particular is Georgia native Wyatt “Bo” Childs, whose mission it is to breathe life into materials and finds of times past.  He has imported English oak beams and wood products from the 1800’s, and was commissioned to build a dining room table out of this antique wood for the Heekins. For more information on building in Kiawah, please visit or call Kingswood Custom Homes on the island (843) 801-1600.