INSPIRED BY THE LAND

BY WENDY SWAT SNYDER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

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CHDFeatureVer3Image2Bold prints and a plum-dominated color palette enliven a casual breakfast area off the kitchen. The light fixture is fashioned from an old French shutter and two antique ship’s lanterns.
CHDFeatureVer3Image3In the family room, an amethyst lamp brings in a natural element and reinforces the plum color theme. A handcrafted oriental patchwork rug lends warmth and interest to the room.

CHD Interiors knows how to breathe beauty into a home, whether it’s a new construction, renovation or specialty project. They call their style—which freely integrates antiques with contemporary looks—Lowcountry Chic.

A 26th Annual Arts Award finalist, the company has been drawing inspiration from the coastal landscape since 1977. The Lowcountry, after all, has an earthy style all its own. Much like its cuisine, it is one deeply rooted in the land. Those of us fortunate enough to live on the South Carolina coast experience it in a landscape that reinterprets itself daily—from brilliant sunrises to multi-hued sunsets, from spring green marshes to the soft grays of a rainy day. Lowcountry lifestyle is a reflection of time and tide—and a source of inspiration for the staff of CHD Interiors.

Lance Griffith and his daughters, Megan Sandefur and Lori Griffith, lead a team of designers whose breadth of experience and expertise is wide and deep. With showrooms in Murrells Inlet and Charleston, CHD Interiors offers customers an eclectic array of upscale home furnishings and the specialized services of a custom home design firm. Among the services the design team provides are space planning and schematic design, color consultation, furniture and fabric selection, accessorizing and decorating.

Griffith, who has over 38 years of buying and design experience, has developed strong relationships with sources both here in the United States and abroad. From these contacts, he handpicks his selection of exceptional home products and antiques.

CHDFeatureVer3Image4The sisal-patterned medallion on the dining room’s armchairs inspired the renovation’s color palette. Formal side chairs, upholstered in a muted paisley–foral pattern, are paired with a rustic dining table, which was bench made in England from antique wood.

“We make a trip to England and Europe twice a year, and shop intensively for two weeks for antiques and oneof-a-kind pieces to incorporate into our design work,” he observes. “We work hard to fill a couple of containers to ship back to the States.”

In addition to antique and contemporary furnishings, CHD Interiors offers fabrics, lighting, wall coverings, flooring and unique accessories for the home and office.

Pawleys Island resident Betsy Bailey had frequented CHD Interiors and developed a personal relationship with the Griffiths in the time leading up to a renovation of her 5,000-square-foot home.

“I was inspired by their store,” she recalls. “It was the right feeling for several of the rooms in the house, an eclectic mix of antiques and other pieces with an updated, trendy flair.”

Ready for a redo of five rooms in their residence of eight years, the Baileys planned to make over the master bedroom, a daughter’s bedroom, guest room, dining room and breakfast nook.

Bailey observes that the design team spent time in her home, reviewing how she had decorated in the past. “They had a good feeling for where I was ready to go,” she says. “They knew I wanted a mix of antiques and contemporary style—which is what drew me to them in the first place. They had a great sense of what I envisioned—bringing an old and new look together.”

A dining room set she acquired through CHD Interiors became the project’s focal point, launching the ambitious renovation project. “We designed all the rooms around the color palette picked up from a medallion on the dining arm chairs.”

Griffith notes that this approach is “classic CHD”—finding an inspirational element within the client’s home and parlaying it into a theme for the design plan.

Bailey reports that she met with the team several times during the planning stages. “I would arrive for a meeting and they’d arranged boards with samples of color palettes and fabrics—the entire wall would be wallpapered with their ideas,” she says with a laugh.

CHDFeatureVer3Image5Although the kitchen was not part of the project, it played an integral role in the renovation. Its position in the middle of an open floor plan meant that breakfast, living, and dining rooms had to blend seamlessly with the kitchen’s rustic antique heart pine cabinets.
CHDFeatureVer3Image6Clerestory windows flood the master bedroom with light. Draperies on the lower windows are etched with a playful pattern of leafy stems in plum and turquoise.
CHDFeatureVer3Image7Throw pillows provide bright pops of color on a neutral coverlet. The room’s formal furniture contrasts with the lighthearted approach of the fabrics. A framed sprig of coral above the bed slips an element of nature into the theme.

Once plans were tweaked and finalized according to Bailey’s preferences, the project rolled forward smoothly.

“From start to finish,” notes Bailey, “everything was installed in about two months. We’re talking about picking out fabric and ordering new pieces for five rooms. Lance and Megan worked with me. They spent a lot of time and energy searching out pieces we couldn’t find anywhere else.”

Not long after the completion of their Pawleys Island renovation, the Bailey family called again on the designers at CHD Interiors for a few smaller projects—they’d found a cottage on a beach they loved that needed a touch of Lowcountry Chic.

Wendy Swat Snyder is a freelance writer and public relations consultant based in Charleston. Email her at wendyswatsnyder@gmail.com.