Design

A BOXLOAD OF TRENDS

Melissa Koger Watson is thinking. She’s thinking finishes for that cabinetry box, finishes with exotic sounding names: driftwood, pearl, ceruse, moonstone, French blue crackle.

A Touch of the Sea

Home accents inspired by the coastline

GLASS HOUSES

Visitors to Charleston frequently assume that every plant on Earth thrives in our landscapes. The truth is that outdoor gardening—even here in paradise—is determined by longitude, latitude and altitude. In other words, geography controls all things botanical and not green thumbs. That is, of course, unless you own a greenhouse.

DREAM COME TRUE

How do you measure the success of a project? If it’s building a home, opinions may vary. Some give high marks for staying within a budget, others for delivering a project on time. For this Virginia couple, it was all about the journey. They started with a vision, did their due diligence, and then sat back to savor the experience.

FORWARD THINKING

Design a super-modern home and drop it in a super-traditional neighborhood? Check. Architect Damien Busillo of DLB Custom Home Design has been there, done that.

A GUARDIAN ANGEL FOR YOUR HOME

Your vacation home is on Sullivan’s or Isle of Palms or Daniel Island but you live in Charlotte or Cleveland or Columbia. How do you know that your vacant house is safe, secure and in good repair? And if it isn’t, who’s handling the problem?

INSPIRED BY THE SEA

“The ocean,” was the reply that came quickly from the couple when I asked about the inspiration for the design of their home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Not so unusual, given the fact that Kiawah’s lauded beaches inspire sunseekers from all over the world to come and play.

OUT OF THE COCOON

In a breeze-blown spa treatment of salt and sun, the beach house stood totally open, stripped down to the pilings, the roof and the studs.

A NEW LIFE

When designer Quincy Forester saw the 1940s Craftsman-style house in Wagener Terrace, she saw a beautiful home with untapped possibilities hidden within a layout that was dark and choppy.

ADD PIZZAZZ TO YOUR HOME

Charleston has a plethora of antique and historic items on display every day. Oh, the stories some of those old buildings and pieces could tell if they could talk. But in a city with a chronicle dating back nearly 350 years, it’s possible your kitchen countertops have histories that eclipse even that.

Ethnically Inspired

“I like to go bold and try new things, and I love a good tub chair,” says Jenn Jackman, owner of Jenn Jackman Designs, LLC. “This Metal Loop chair features many patterns—curves, geometric shapes and straight lines—that any two people could interpret differently.”

TOP CHEF

Speed-bake is yesterday’s news. Everyone has speed-bake now. If tomorrow you were to buy a new oven for your newly redone kitchen, it would come with speed-bake, I can promise you that. What other features your new oven might have ... well, that’s a little harder to say.

WORLD AWARE

The mother-daughter duo behind Lola + Bess, downtown Charleston’s art, antiques and design destination, have a simple, hospitable goal for their customers: They want you to live surrounded by things that you love.

CREATE THE PERFECT SPACE

When it comes to furnishing your home, the possibilities are endless. From home goods and furniture stores to décor boutiques and catalogs, homeowners can spend a significant amount of time perusing different models and styles to find the kitchenware, sofa, coffee table or accent pieces that not only reflect their taste, but also fit their budget. And that’s just the beginning.

FROM THE GROUND UP

Brick helped form the bones of Charleston from its very earliest days. Back when only a small section at the tip of the peninsula was populated, a wall of brick and earth kept the fledgling city safe from marauders and pirates.

THE ART OF METALWORK

Tucked away at the end of Meeting Street Road in North Charleston is an unassuming little building whose front door is answered by the affable David Dieter and his ebullient Boykin Spaniel, Molly. Charming as they both may be, there’s no way of knowing what treasures reside in this humble place of business.

THE SOLAR ADVANTAGE

The sun’s rays are free, and the systems needed to convert them to electricity are getting smarter, less expensive and more sophisticated all the time. So it’s not surprising that forward thinkers have taken the plunge: Warren Buffett, for example, has invested $15 billion in solar power and has expressed his desire to double that investment.

NATURE’S EDGE

Believe it or not, not everyone spends all their free time scouring Pinterest boards or home décor magazines for ideas on how to decorate their backyards and porches. Fortunately, for those of us who aren’t sure whether wicker or wood would better suit a space, there’s Backyard Retreats in Mount Pleasant, where owner Sharon Campbell and the rest of her design-savvy team are more than ready to assist.

MORE OF A GOOD THING

Have you ever wished you had a good friend who was an interior designer or architect? Someone who could show you what to do with that weird little landing at the top of your stairs—or help you furnish your octagonal dining room? When Melissa Hempstead and Liz Baker opened Coralberry Cottage in 2011, they wanted to create a place where people could find unique coastal cottage and English country furniture and accessories, but they also wanted to create a place where customers could get help solving design challenges.

SEA ISLAND REFUGE

Traveling south on coastal Highway 17 from Charleston, the bustle of the city falls away abruptly and the road widens as it rolls through pine forests and the occasional rural town. After a turn onto Route 174—a narrow two-lane strip shaded by a canopy of ancient oaks—the pace slows even more as Edisto Island draws near.