When the housing market presented a window of opportunity, a local Hilton Head couple decided to take the risk.
Story by Michaela Satterfield + Photos by Rob Kaufman
If Bob and Heather Cherichella’s Wexford home were a book, the sunset view through the big kitchen windows would undoubtedly comprise the cover.
Before moving to their current home, the couple was settled in their former dream home, when a potential gem came on the market. The house needed some work, and the original plan was to flip it and sell it. They purchased the home in April 2020 and began renovations right away. Then came the plot twist – the view behind the home convinced the Cherichellas they had to make it their own.
“I’m the sentimental slob of the two of us,” Bob says, “and we had 20 wonderful, wonderful years in that other house, and I really thought I was going to miss it terribly.”
Once the work was complete, the Cherichellas officially moved into their new home in January 2021. Two years later Bob speaks enthusiastically of two things: the ever-changing Broad Creek view that frequently includes “every kind of bird” and the way his wife’s vision turned the house into the perfect home for the two of them.
“It’s lived-in. It’s comfortable. It’s she and I,” Bob says.
Bob and Heather Cherichella are involved in many local charities and organizations, including Volunteers In Medicine, the Boys & Girls Club, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Make a Wish, the Wexford Foundation and Pockets Full of Sunshine.
Go black for impact
A fireplace is a natural focal point and when you surround it with stunning black stone as Bob and Heather did, you can really turn the heat up. There is a range of black stone, from very simple to classic to spectacular.
This popular black marble is known for its intense black and white veins of irregular thickness.
This elegant polished porcelain includes thin white and veins as well as orange or gold that give it depth.
This is much bolder than the sultry waves on the Chericella’s wall, but if you want impact…
Catching the vision
When it came to remodeling, Heather says nothing – except the overall structure of the home and the travertine flooring – was left untouched.
Minor structural changes included replacing partial walls with railing to open the house up, adding a door to a bedroom to allow outside access and adding a window to a dark bathroom. Much of the work, however, was simply bringing out what was already there, including open spaces and plenty of windows on the back of the house.
Remodeling presents unique challenges. The project’s general contractor, Hugh Hobus of RCH Construction, says some of the more difficult aspects of working with existing structures like the Cherichellas’ house are leveling floors and removing columns.
“The challenge in a remodel is trying to make things work within the footprint of the existing home,” Hobus says.
On the other hand, remodeling presents unique opportunities. The kitchen’s wall of windows was already spectacular, but it needed a few changes to reach its full potential. Kitchen and bath designer Arlene Williams says one step in the remodeling process was rearranging the kitchen to direct the primary attention to the windows. This included removing cabinets from the wall and facing the island seating toward the windows.
“We really wanted to capitalize on the view,” Williams says.
Guiding every difficult decision in the process was Heather’s eye for design. As an interior designer, she knew what she was after. In turn both Hobus and Williams agree this made the remodel go more smoothly.
“You have to give Heather a lot of credit,” Hobus says. “She had a very good vision. When people have good visions of what they want, it makes our job a lot easier.”
Tales from the kitchen
There is much one could say about the home’s kitchen. The best way to describe it, however, may be to tell Bob’s story of a time when the couple invited friends over for dinner, and they passed over the perfectly fine dining room to sit informally in the kitchen – so they could bask in the view, of course. Or, it may be better to describe Heather’s recount of their annual Christmas cookie marathon. The kitchen served as the setting for six hours of baking, followed by a messy but joyous decorating spree by children of Wexford employees and others in the community.
“I love the kitchen,” Heather says. “It’s just so pleasant.”
Bob says his wife attended a culinary institute. Naturally, this room was key in the remodel. Williams says, in addition to shifting components of the kitchen around to place the focus on the view, lots of white was used in the space to minimize distraction from it.
When asked about her favorite features in the kitchen, Williams’s response reiterates that the view does most of the talking.
“Oh, besides the view – which I would love to see every night?” Williams says. “The sunsets from there are just beautiful.”
In the fine print
Design ideas for the rest of the home were borrowed from the view as well. Nature inspired many decisions throughout the house, from the earth tones to the stone on the kitchen island meant to mimic water. Other odes to the outdoors include the granite fireplace and the use of simple lines.
“It’s your house meeting nature,” Heather says.
Where nature stepped back, sentimentality served as the guide for décor. Bob says many beloved keepsakes and art pieces were stored upstairs in their former home. In the new home these cherished items are on display.
As of right now, the couple plans to kick back and enjoy their current home with no moves in sight.