Lifestyle

A PLACE IN THE SUN

Sean Leighton knows how good it feels to finally find the perfect home. Back when he was serving in the United States Coast Guard, he visited many places up and down the East Coast. But one stood out in particular—that perfect blend of sunshine, good food and warm hospitality known as Charleston, South Carolina.

Unforgettable Valentines

No offense to chocolatiers but, if you’re a foam-at-the-mouth gardener like me, you prefer the botanical side of Valentine’s Day instead of the confectionary one. I’d much rather receive a Delft-inspired ceramic container overflowing with potted pale blue, yellow and white flowers—mophead hydrangea and creamy yellow ranunculus surrounded with white sweet alyssum—than an elegant presentation of high-end chocolates.

LIFE ON A LADDER

I sat and leaned back on the brick chimney. The East Texas sun was beating down on me as I looked down from the second story roof of the home. How did I get here? A year ago I couldn’t stand on a step stool to change a light bulb. Thinking back, I remembered what I told myself. You can do what you have to do. Just do it.

GO WILD!

It’s that time of year again, time for the Charleston-based Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE). This three-day event, which celebrates wildlife and nature through fine art, conservation education, sporting demonstrations and food and drink, will be held February 13 – 15, 2015.

ALL ABOUT CHARLESTON

Sometimes a newcomer—defined as someone who’s recently moved to a city and has had several years to explore it with an unbiased eye—offers the best insights on a destination. For Charleston, that person is Robin Howard, author of Moving to Charleston, the Un-tourist Guide.

THE LOWCOUNTRY ON TWO WHEELS

I always enjoy summer, but last summer my pleasure index inched up several notches when I bought my first carbon bicycle—a featherweight machine that allowed me to fly like the wind.

BANISH BATHROOM BLUES

Look at the pedestal sink or vanity in your guest bathroom. Have you ever wished it were just a little more stylish? Now consider the lights above your wall-mounted mirror. Haven’t you seen them in every builder supply store in town? Tell me you’re not bored!

VINCENT MUSI—CELEBRATING NATURE’S BEAUTY

Award-winning photographer for National Geographic and other international magazines, Vincent Musi has a sharp wit, a preference for sly humor, a keen eye and a never-ending desire to showcase natural beauty in all its forms. A resident of Sullivan’s Island, Musi is highly sought after both as an artist and speaker. His most recent project, portraits of South Carolina’s ACE Basin, appeared in the November 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine and in a concurrent exhibit, Lowcountry Legacy, at the Charleston Library Society.

Sip and Shop

Charleston’s fashion scene just got savvier thanks to Sarah Cobb and her new boutique, MOSA. Cobb says her goal is to offer clients sophisticated, on-trend styles and fresh takes on classic looks. In fact, many of her lines are unique to the Charleston area and stand out from what is typically seen around town.

Timeless Treasures

Glenn and Vicki Wolfe were high school sweethearts from Augusta, Georgia, in the 1970s. After graduation, they hit the open road, traveling in a VW Bug headed west toward New Mexico.

Sartorial Success

Opening its flagship store on historic lower King Street just over two years ago was a defining moment for Ike Behar. The luxury men’s clothing line took root in the mind of a teenage boy who worked along side his father, a highly respected tailor in Havana in the late 1940s. Of course, there have been many defining moments in Behar’s half-century career as a tailor, designer and innovator in the world of men’s fine clothing.

Body Language

It was my very first visit to Bits of Lace, an intimate apparel boutique specializing in exclusive foreign and domestic lingerie lines, which proudly opened a second location in Mount Pleasant in April. (The original store is in downtown Charleston.) Unbeknownst to me, this wouldn’t be a regular shopping trip or fact-finding mission. I was about to have a fundamental belief about my body—and how I shopped for it—forever altered.

Tradition Meets Style

When third-generation master goldsmith Paulo Geiss opened his jewelry store in historic Charleston three decades ago, he was carrying on a family tradition that began in Brazil in 1919. As it turned out, the charming jewelry store, located in the historic South of Broad district just steps off the beaten path, was the perfect place for continuing Geiss’ family legacy of providing the finest jewelry available coupled with unequaled customer service.

Three’s the Charm

First things first: It’s Trés Carmen, with the first word pronounced “trace,” as in the Spanish word for three, not “tray” as in the French word très, meaning “very.” This is an allusion to the three stylish Carmens in the family—owner Michelle Tarleton and Tarleton’s mother and daughter.

DR. EDWARD O’BRYAN—ON A MISSION TO HEAL AND EMPOWER

Charleston-based physician, Dr. Edward O’Bryan is co-founder of the Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI), a venture that encourages and supports sustainable medical practices in developing countries (palmettomedical.org). His efforts have raised the bar for accessible medicine in places where it’s most needed.

Paper Swoon

You probably remember the last time you received a beautiful, hand-penned note or an over-sized, heavy-in-your-hand, engraved invitation. It most likely stood out amongst the usual sprawl of mail, its hand-lettering and thick, textural paper singing out for you to open it first. A fine piece of stationery is a sensory experience, one that allows us to pause and appreciate a tradition rare in today’s hurried digital world.

THREE DECADES OF DISTINCTION

When Jason Nichols took the helm of the Charleston Concert Association (CCA) in 1984, his headquarters was a small rental house on Stoll’s Alley with an upturned door for a desk. It was also his home, mainly distinguished by an eccentric ticketing device.

THE ART OF SIMPLE

For Atlanta-based interior designer Nancy Braithwaite, known for her sophisticated, spare aesthetic, the act of creating a simple space involves more than willy-nilly de-cluttering. It has to do with purposeful editing. And editing, she maintains, has everything to do with learning to see.

SURF’S UP!

Lowcountry surfers rejoice! Charleston is finally getting the film festival that members of our thriving surfing community say is long overdue.

LANGUAGE MEETS ART

Not long ago, we attended an opening at the relatively new Sanavandi Gallery, located at 66 Spring St., in Charleston. It was a special event, titled Sowing Word, at which artist and gallery owner Sussan Sanavandi exhibited her paintings and hosted readings of Persian poetry.