Design

AN ANCIENT WOOD

If you have a vision, or even a rough idea, for a piece of furniture—something unique and tailored to your personal taste—chances are Southern Pine Artistry can create it for you. Be aware, however, that the company will likely exceed your expectations and elevate a merely functional piece of furniture into one of the highest caliber.

OUTDOOR SANCTUARIES

Outdoor space, with a ceiling composed of blue sky dotted with white clouds, is to Judy Singleton, co-owner of Tropic Aire Patio & Wicker Gallery, the canvas on which the most special room in a home is created.

THE BIG PICTURE

The owners of Signature Kitchens and Baths, Jim and Linda McLain, exude the calm confidence and graciousness of people who know what they’re doing. Spend an hour with them and you’ll see why others think so too.

A CONTEMPORARY VISION

When native New Englanders Bill and Ruth Ennis decided to build their marsh-view home on Daniel Island, they had a clear vision of what they wanted. This home, their second on Daniel Island, was to be a simple, elegant retreat for both them and their guests.

LIQUID LUXURY

Charleston homeowners want more than just another pretty pool. They want beautiful design elements such as custom rockwork, lush landscaping, distinctive shapes, infinity edges and dramatic water features. They also want a backyard oasis that’s easy to maintain and affordable to own.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

The house-paparazzi still take pictures in the cul-de-sac, a year after Bill and Jeanne Dunleavy moved in. No one’s seen a house quite like it.

THE PERFECT BLEND

Interior designer Margaret Donaldson’s home in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant is everything an Old Village home should be. The front porch faces the harbor so your can see ships on their way out to sea and watch the gaslights on the peninsula flickering to life in the twilight. In this setting, it’s easy to lose a sense of time.

INNOVATION BY DESIGN

The home is decidedly different from its neighbors on the block. Unfussy and sleek in white stucco with strong geometric lines, its honest simplicity provides a refreshing pause.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

Style. Ever-evolving, nuanced, brash, beautiful. It’s the veneer, the polish that makes us shine. It is ubiquitous and demands our attention, but is often, for many of us, elusive.

Make a Statement

“These days, I see people wanting special, signature pieces in their home, something with a modern feel,” says Bobbi Joe Engelby, owner of Domain Interiors & Design, a full-service interior design firm specializing in American and Southern-made furniture.

THE BEST SELECTION

Merv Epstein admits that the birth of his first grandchild motivated him to walk away from a five-year real estate career in New York and return to his native South Carolina. Ten years later, his seven grandchildren aren’t all that Epstein has to be proud of.

OLD MEETS NEW

Owning a historic home is a source of pride and brings with it many rewards as well as a few challenges, but being surrounded by antique construction doesn’t mean you have to give up on having a modern, high-tech home.

FANTASTIC FINDS

Charleston Antiques is a charming wonderland for designers, decorators, dealers and day-trippers. In 3,600 square feet, the shop manages to carry classics such as Chippendale furniture, 1800s French chairs (with Scalamandre fabric) and Italianate desks. More unusual finds include a pair of arms from an 18th-century religious icon, a Han dynasty tomb figure and a 19th-century Victorian Christmas fence.

FROM POP TO BOOM

Six years ago, interior designer Michael Mitchell followed his instinct and opened what he thought would be a temporary pop-up on Upper King Street in Charleston. Soon after he met his future husband, lighting and furniture designer Tyler Hill, that project grew into what has become a permanent, bustling enterprise, representing 70 vendors and housing a full-service design firm.

A Chair and Nothing More

Zinn Rug Gallery sits quietly on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. Inside, piles of colorful wool and silk rugs are waiting, stacked and arranged by size. Every one is handwoven or hand-knotted; each is one-of-a-kind and was created in an exotic place such as Turkey, Iran, The Caucasus, India, Pakistan, Nepal or Central Asia.

Exterior Expressions

Oftentimes, it is the smallest details that elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary. With fine cuisine, it might come from a pinch of saffron; on the facade of a historic home, it might be the custom-chiseled detail on the cedar shutters or, smaller still, the shutters’ historically authentic hand-forged tiebacks.

A Good Listener

Melissa Koger Watson believes she doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to home interiors. And that’s exactly what makes her such a sought-after kitchen and bath designer.

Quick Fix to Grand Design

As I’m speaking with Phil Bennett, the cheerful owner of Real Estate Repairs, he explains to me what has made his business so successful: He has spent the greater part of 30 years getting to know his staff and customers and has established the kind of rapport with them that lasts a lifetime.

Fun and Fabulous

Home always follows fashion. When Whitney Moore left the fashion world in 2001, that truth, along with encouragement from a friend, inspired her to open a lighting store in the Charleston area. The concept for her store was simple: To bring a different variety of lighting products to the local marketplace.

Timeless Timber

It’s cold the day I stop by the 750-square-foot showroom and retail space at Encore Architectural Salvage Co. “We don’t have any climate control,” says 30-year-old owner Bryant Dyess, smiling gamely. I keep my coat on, as does assistant Stephen Veres, and Dyess’ dog Nico.