FABRIC ARTISTRY

BY ANNE SHULER TOOLE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Few things are more refreshing than spring in Charleston. Today, as you throw open the windows and finish your annual spring cleaning, why not freshen up your abode with updated fabrics and fabric accents? Jean Peters can help you do it.

Peters and her team take on projects large and small, from re-covering cushions to fashioning draperies, pillows, slipcovers, upholstery and bedding for an entire home. When she was a seamstress, Peters discovered she loved all aspects of the industry. Now she works with homeowners and interior designers, using her keen eye and fabrication skills to bring Lowcountry homes to life.

“I have always been passionate about this type of work. I work with my clients to help them create a vision. Then I use my hands and skills to see the project all the way through to installation,” Peters says.

Though some clients who live in centuries-old homes downtown request heavy draperies and fabrics to reflect olden times, most of her clientele dream of a look that embodies Charleston’s ocean-side locale. Light and airy fabrics in natural and neutral colors have a way of making any space feel like a soothing beach retreat.

“What we’re seeing a lot of right now—for example, in draperies—are solid, neutral colors with an edge trim in a fun fabric for a pop of color,” Peters continues.

In the spring and summer months, the team at Jean’s Custom Workroom is busy with many indoor/outdoor projects. Peters works with each of her clients to make sure that they get the right fabrics along with top-quality workmanship. And she sends them home with instructions on how to maintain their new purchases in Charleston’s hot, humid weather.

“Outdoor living areas in the Lowcountry—porches, outdoor kitchens, entertaining areas, gazebos—see a lot of sun and moisture. No fabric can hold up forever in a climate like this, but proper care can help it last longer,” she says.

To extend the life of indoor/ outdoor fabrics, Peters suggests storing them in a shaded, dry place when not in use and cleaning them often, since pollen and dirt stain things easily.

Whether you plan to refresh your home indoors or outdoors, Peters recommends calling Jean’s Custom Workroom early in the process. Her free consultations include measuring and picking out yardage and fabric. And she handles each project from start to finish, including installation.

“There are a lot of workrooms out there that only work with designers, but we are glad to work with either designers or homeowners, because we handle projects of all sizes,” Peters says. “It’s best to involve us as soon as you start to plan a new house or a major renovation. We typically allow about 8 to 10 weeks of lead time for major projects. Even if you’re still drawing the plans, we can help guide you along the way. That way you have a good idea of your budget.”

In addition to fine design and craftsmanship on each project, Peters and her small team at Jean’s Custom Workroom help their clients choose from designer fabrics, like Thibaut, Romo, Maxwell, Carleton House Fabrics, GreenhouseFabrics, Beacon Hill, Sunbrella and Schumacher. She also sells curated selections of elegant hardware.

“At the end of the day, the best part of what I do is helping my happy clients. I love to create, I love to bring their visions to life and I love the journey to get there,” Peters says. “When those things come together, my client is happy—and so am I.”

Anne Shuler Toole is a freelance writer in Mount Pleasant and owner of Be Present Marketing.