Gilmer Guest House

“Three birds…one stone.” This unique project, located in Donalds, South Carolina began with the owners request to fulfill three primary goals. First, it was to have separate guest accommodations for family and friends when visiting the rural area. The design to store and display collectible cars was the second goal. Lastly, the owner’s passion of wine became the final feature incorporated into this multi-use structure.

This Guest House – Collector Garage – Wine Cellar was designed and constructed to settle into the picturesque farm setting and be reminiscent of an old house that once stood in the pasture. The front porch invites you to sit in a rocker or swing while enjoying the surrounding views. As you step inside the red oak door, the stair to the right leads guests up to 1,150 s.f. of living space that utilizes varied widths of red oak flooring harvested from the property and installed by the owner. Guest accommodations feature two bedroom suites joined by a nicely appointed living and dining area as well as a fully stocked kitchen to provide a self-sufficient stay.

Disguised behind two toned stained cement siding and accented dark earth tones and cedar shutters, the main level of the house features enough space for storing and displaying six of the owner’s automobiles. The collection is accented by natural light from the windows, painted wainscoting and trim positioned while on three toned speckled epoxy coated floors.

The third and final use is located underground behind a custom built 3″ thick arched door. This climatically controlled 2,500 bottle wine cellar is highlighted with a custom designed and built white oak racking system that was again constructed utilizing trees that were harvested from the property in earlier years. Other features are stained concrete floors, tongue and grooved pine ceilings and parch coated red walls. All are accented by low voltage track lighting along with a hand forged wrought iron and glass chandelier that is positioned above a wormy chestnut tasting table. Three wooden generator wheels salvaged from a local building were installed and act as additional storage and display for wine as well as give a historical tie to the community, always prompting interesting conversations among the owners and their guests. This all-electric Energy Star Certified project allowed the owner to capture all three desires into one environment… Three birds…one stone.

The Gilmer Guest House received the 2011 Pinnacle Award for “Best Achievement in Energy Efficiency” as seen in South Carolina Builder Journal Volume 6-Issue 1-2013.

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