Design

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.

PRESENT PERFECT

It comes as no surprise that the most carefully preserved sea island in the world has bragging rights to a variety of magnificent views. When a Maryland couple discovered a rare homesite where all of Kiawah’s natural charms converged, the two knew they had pinpointed the geographic equivalent of perfection.

A PERFECT PAIRING

Enter the house that Structures Building Company built for Kathy and Steve Rucker, with its low-slung design and Caribbean vibe, and you immediately sense its invitation to decompress. That welcoming feeling comes to you the moment you catch sight of the garden pool and courtyard just an open door away.

GO NATIVE

When it comes to competitive gardening, there’s nothing sweeter than horticultural one-upmanship. (Admit it. You’d rather get poison ivy than see your neighbor’s lawn look better than yours.) So whether you’re renovating or repairing an existing landscape, or simply want to add a mesmerizingly beautiful, as well as historically appropriate, specimen to your already perfect Lowcountry garden, here’s what you need: American azaleas.

CUSTOM COASTAL

President and CEO of Source Consulting Chris Findlay has thought about it. He likely has thought about it more than anyone else in the room. The “it” in question could be anything, but generally it’s style and design, and the logistics of how to get the best building products to his clients.

KING OF CASUAL

Aaron Beasley’s eyes brighten when he talks about Palm Casual, the outdoor furniture store in Mount Pleasant. It’s obvious that the partner-owner is passionate about it.

THE SMART SHOWER

If you bought a car made in 1937, it wouldn’t include power steering, intermittent wipers or a single cup holder. It traveled at slower speeds, went fewer miles on a gallon of gas and spewed far more pollutants.

MISSION IMPECCABLE

“I wish I had a ‘before’ picture of that sofa,” says David Gilkeson, owner of The French Thistle, as we settle into his intimate James Island upholstery shop.

ALL IN GOOD TASTE

“If you’d have told me I’d be a cult leader when I was a kid, I would’ve actually been OK with that,” Stephanie Rhodes deadpans. Rhodes is the owner of The Coleman Collection furniture consignment store in Mount Pleasant, and the cult in question is her dedicated clientele, an enormous group of style and design omnivores who can’t wait to see what will show up in the store next.

HIGH POINT HIGHLIGHTS

“When I visit High Point, I love to see new trends and exciting new pieces,” says designer Gigi Chapman of deGuise Interiors. “The showrooms give me fresh new ways to make my clients’ homes great.” One of Chapman’s favorite manufacturers at the market is Modern History, whose name reflects its mission to construct classically styled furnishings with a modern edge.

SATISFYING SYMMETRY

From his brick-walled office in Charleston, architect and builder Buz Morris looks down on historic Broad Street and remembers his many months of driving to Effingham, South Carolina.

COMMAND CENTRAL

The Jetsons have officially arrived on Planet Earth. You can now operate everything in your house—TV, audio, lights, intercom, doorbell, fridge, washerdryer, oven and more—from a single mobile device.

Conversation Pieces

“Life is too short to take things so seriously, including ourselves,” says Elizabeth Faith. “Sometimes, the little details are the ones that invite surprise and personality into the mix.” For example, what could be more fun than adding an unexpected, whimsical conversation starter to your party as you mix up a batch of cocktails for your guests … in a penguin? Modeled after mid-century Italian barware and sourced from Europe, the silver-plated brass penguin shaker is the perfect example of how to add a delightful, tongue-in-cheek element of humor to your décor.

A WORLD OF INSPIRATION

If you were to describe interior designer Nicole Norris’ aesthetic, words like this might come to mind: classic, eclectic, modern. “I’m a Southerner at heart,…