The quaint neighborhood of I’On was developed about two decades ago. In 1995, Vince and Thomas Graham purchased the development and four years later, the I’On Company was named Charleston Developer of the Year. Over 200 acres make up the village-like and upscale neighborhood.
It has garnered national attention over the years. In the early 2000s, The Post and Courier reported it being featured in Life magazine and on Bob Vila’s television show. It was also featured in Coastal Living, Southern Living and Traditional Home magazines.
In 2000, single family homes in I'On began at $250,000. Today, the median price of a home in I’On is over $800,000. Homes embrace “vertical living” in that they are situated close to one another. The concept is one that is reflective of simpler times – when homeowners sat on their front porches and connected. It is one of the area’s most beautiful and sought after neighborhoods.
In 2001, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) named it the “Best Smart-Growth Community in the Nation.” Based upon traditional neighborhood design the pedestrian-friendly streets and green spaces are within a grid and the 760 plus homes have a distinct Lowcountry architecture.
One such home is at 51 Sanibel Street.
Exterior spaces and carriage house
“The owners custom built this home in 2007,” said Annie Henderson of Dunes Properties. “It is a very low-maintenance, turn-key property. It’s one of the best properties in I’On for several reasons but the ample parking at this home is an added benefit.”
The three-level home has a two-car garage and off-street parking for three other vehicles, a rarity among many homes in I’On. The elegant, Charleston-style home has a creamy white exterior and sea foam green shutters and doors -- all recently painted. Bluestone is inset in the bricked walkway up to the front porch and appears in the backyard sitting area as well. Herringbone brick decorates the lower level porch, while the second-level porch has smooth, wood floors. Each porch has blue ceilings and double fans that are reflective of the easy-going, sit-a-spell appeal of the I’On neighborhood and Lowcountry ambiance.
Smaller-sized lots are the norm in I’On and this one is lushly landscaped and provides a beautiful patio area for entertaining.
“There is a 10-foot easement outside which makes a nice outdoor living space,” said Henderson.
Referring to the bluestone-paved area off the kitchen, this space, ideal for entertaining, adjoins a walkway that winds around to the back of the home. The separate carriage house is in the back of the home and sits above the two-car garage. An elevator from the garage can take one up to the beautifully appointed space.
“The owners built the home with a full carriage house before I’On allowed kitchens in those structures,” Henderson said. “There is a kitchenette in the carriage house now, but one can easily add a full kitchen with a stove and it’s plumbed for a sink.”
The roomy space can be used for guests, as an in-law suite or rented to a tenant. It has rich, wood floors, a large living and kitchen/dining space and a separate bathroom and bedroom. It feels like a smaller home instead of a studio dwelling. Beautifully decorated with lots of natural light, its design mimics the larger home – traditional with modern and European influences.
Between the main home and carriage house is a water feature/fountain within a bricked circular area. A set of stairs leads up to the carriage home and a generous porch gives it a nice place for morning coffee or intimate entertaining.
Walk inside the main home and you’re struck by the natural light that bathes the open area. Timeless and classic design makes it seem as if this home is brand new. Shiplap wainscoting decorates the living area. A fireplace makes this family-gathering and entertaining area even more welcoming. The wood-burning fireplace has a gas starter.
“You can put gas logs in there if you want or leave as is and light it with the flip of a switch,” Henderson said.
A broad curved doorway is open to the kitchen and dining spaces. Antique heart pine runs throughout. The kitchen has custom white cabinetry with beveled glass in the uppers. A large marble island (with wine fridge) gives the home chef plenty of space. The kitchen presents as brand new -- that’s from the owners having the vision to use classic and timeless design features. Thoughtful features such as high shelving near the ceiling add visual interest while appliances are seamless within the cabinetry. Double gas stoves under a custom hood complete the “heart of the home.”
Stairs lead from the living area up to the second and third floors. On the second floor, is the master bedroom suite with ample closets and a bath with claw-foot tub and large separate shower. The front of the second floor has a second bedroom that has its own en suite bath and access to the porch.
The third floor comprises two other bedrooms and a large sitting area in between, making it ideal for guests coming in for the holidays or other family gatherings.
A very unique aspect of the bedrooms is the wood, pine floors that have been stained dark. The result is a stunning design element – dark floors against neutral walls allows plenty of options for decorating – from traditional to modern.
“I’On is a mixture – there are primary residents, second home owners, retirees and young families who live here,” Henderson noted. “Convenience to downtown and the beaches plus homes being low maintenance, the sense of community and activities here, make it a great place to live.”
As of November 27, 2019, the 3,402 square-foot, five bedroom, four and a-half bath home at 51 Sanibel Street listed for $1.15 million.