Design

THE ILLUSIONIST

Decorative artist and faux expert Stephanie Poe pulls out a piece of what looks like old wood. She encourages me to touch its knotty surface, its grooved lines promising real splinters. It’s a faux piece she created for local eatery The Obstinate Daughter that looks and, most importantly, feels so real that even the servers who see and touch it each day were surprised to learn it wasn’t wood.

GO WITH THE FLOW

Relaxing by a pool is a wonderful way to while away time during Charleston’s infamously hot summers.

OUT OF AFRICA

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of staying at the luxurious, award-winning Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Saxon is the creation of Douw Steyn, a South African entrepreneur who was a good friend of the late South African president and statesman Nelson Mandela.

SHUTTER SAVVY

When it comes to multitasking, your home’s shutters are champions. Not only do they define the character and personality of your home, they also offer practical benefits, such as protection from heat, light and wind. It’s understandable, then, that most people want plenty of choices when it comes time to purchase shutters.

A CLASSIC TIMEPIECE

Not many clocks are made the way a Chelsea is. More than 364 moving parts—gears, pinions and springs—make up its internal heartbeat, one that has survived through time and history.

HANDYMAN HEROES

Sometimes the little things that go wrong can escalate quickly into big problems. A clogged toilet or a fried electrical outlet, for example, can morph rapidly from a small inconvenience into a large obstacle. That’s when Rapid Repairs’ crew comes racing to the rescue.

Traditional with a Twist

Bohemian yet sophisticated; classic, yet contemporary. The handmade Malibu 30 beaded recycled-glass chandelier (shown in “ice”) captures the essence of functional art with a traditional shape that is given a fresh feel and aesthetic with organic materials.

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.