Design Central

BY PATRA TAYLOR

Through the years, Bobbi Jo Engelby has worked in a variety of roles in the interior design industry. She’s been a manufacturer’s rep for renowned commercial furniture makers and wall covering companies and both a residential and commercial interior designer.

Last September, Engelby’s more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the interior design world culminated in the opening of Domain Interiors and Design. This Mount Pleasant-based furniture, accessories and gifts boutique is focused on helping create upscale living spaces that reflect the personalities of Domain’s clients.

“As I began working locally as a designer, I was frustrated because there were only so many options available in Charleston,” states Engelby, a Chicago-area native who moved to the Lowcountry with her family in 2011. “I discovered there wasn’t a design center here where interior designers and architects could take their clients to explore the latest in modern, sophisticated living. So I set out to add a whole new dimension to the local design industry.”

First and foremost, her goal was to add new lines of furniture and accessories that were unlike any already available in the area. “Our 2,600-square-foot retail showroom highlights the premier furniture and accessories lines we carry today, but that is quite literally the tip of the design iceberg,” she explains. “I specifically sought out lines that were completely customizable. A client’s ability to customize almost each and every piece we sell is the foundation upon which I created Domain.”

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From day one, Domain included the area’s only Charleston Forge Gallery. Based in Boone, N.C., Charleston Forge handcrafts high-end metal and wooden furniture using a combination of traditional blacksmithing techniques and new technologies. “I have about 30 pieces of their furniture in my showroom at any given time,” says Engelby. “People are welcome to come experience for themselves the Charleston Forge quality and many options. Of course, the pieces we have here can be purchased off our showroom floor, but the bulk of what we do is special order. We can work with an individual or with another design professional to get clients exactly what they want for a particular space in their home.”

Domain reflects Engelby’s passion for offering American-made products and, whenever possible, Southern-made products. “I received a call one day regarding a local artisan named Jackson Pinney,” she recounts. “I decided to take a look at his work and was truly amazed at his carpentry and ironwork skills. My clients just love the fact that he’s only 19 years old.”

Domain showcases a number of Pinney’s finished pieces throughout the showroom. Engelby can also provide photos of work he’s completed to give prospective clients an even greater sense of this young artisan’s talents. She says every piece Pinney has built to date is unique. “Because of Jackson’s skills, clients and designers have a wonderful opportunity to create amazing pieces of furniture locally,” she says. “They get to be very involved in the process, and they like that.”

“One of my passions is introducing undiscovered local artists,” notes Engelby. “I’d much rather work with local artists and artisans and have unique things here, so people will keep coming in to see what’s new and different.”

Again, looking for the Southern touch, Engelby chose Grits and Grace, a children’s bedding line designed by a Mount Pleasant woman and her sister. “I currently have two different bedding ensembles from Grits and Grace available for sale to our customers,” she says. “Of course, this line can be customized as well.”

Domain also features the Calvin Klein Curator Collection, Calvin Klein’s highend, black label furniture line. Inspired by fabrics, textures and colors from around the world, the line exemplifies the company’s commitment to the highest quality materials, innovative techniques and unique details. “We’re the Lowcountry’s only Calvin Klein Curator Collection showroom,” notes Engelby.

In addition, Domain sells upscale furniture by Palecek, Curations, Modern History and Palu. Respected names in wallcoverings and fabrics include Thibaut, Anna French and Somerset Bay. “I am constantly evaluating which lines most appeal to our clients as well as looking for fresh new lines to add,” says Engelby. “We really try to display our furniture lines in a gallery set-up where people can really see the bones of each piece.”

Domain has also partnered with premiere bedding companies like Legacy Linens, Lili Alessandra and Ann Gish. These lines offer luxury bedding, pillows and window treatments, all with endless possibilities for customization. Lighting, accents and gifts are also among the selection available at Domain, and Engelby has thrown in a few vintage pieces just to keep things interesting.

Engelby created Domain as a source for great home design ideas and products. The company also offers a unique to-the-trade program. “The interior design professionals we’ve worked with so far are excited about our generous designer program,” she says.

In addition, Engelby offers full interior design services for both residential and commercial projects through her firm, Bobbi Jo Engelby Interior Design. With two full-time designers on staff, who have a combined 28 years of experience, the company provides complimentary, in-store design consultations.

Patra Taylor is a Charleston-based writer.