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architecture interior design

Spotlight on black owned businesses-home edition

As an interior designer, I love that I’m constantly exposed to designers, artists, and craftsmen from all over the world.  While I work with a few African American people in the Charleston area, I admit that I’ve not made a concerted effort to support local minority-owned small businesses. Like so many others, I am horrified at the many unjust acts committed against people of color in our country. In these uncertain times, moving just a fraction of your purchases to a black business can make an enormous impact. Here are a few local companies and artisans that are committed to making our homes and community a better, more beautiful place.

Iconic Granite & Marble

Offering fabrication and installation of granite, marble, quartz and natural stone countertops in homes and businesses. Iconic Marble & Granite, owned by Cory Steed, has over twenty years experience creating custom kitchens, baths, exterior spaces and more.

Iconic Granite & Marble

Hudson Designs

For well over 30 years, Charles L. Hudson, Jr. AIA, NOMA has been designing custom homes and spaces for commercial and religious projects. His firm, Hudson Designs, with its impressive portfolio, is located in the heart of Johns Island.

Hudson Designs Architect
Hudson Designs

Smithco Services LLC

Husband and wife team, Michael and Cassandra Smith, form Smithco Services LLC. A licensed general contractor, master electrician and master plumber they can handle all your construction needs.

Smithco Services LLC
Smithco Services LLC

Lowcountry Greens

If your yard needs a tune up, contact Tony Spense. Providing landscape design, hardscaping, irrigation and maintenance services, Lowcountry Greens, is committed to providing excellant service at reasonable prices.

Lowcountry Greens

Neema Fine Art Gallery

Meisha Johnson, the owner of this Broad Street gallery, exclusively features original art by Southern African American artist. Alicia Goodwin jewelry, pottery by Winton and Rosa Eugene, and paintings by Ted Ellis and James Denmark are among the seventeen artists that can be found at Neema Fine Art Gallery. A Certified MWBE Woman Owned Business the name Neema translates to favor, grace and prosperity in Swahili.

James Denmark-Neema Fine Art Gallery
James Denmark-Neema Fine Art Gallery

Sweetgrass Basket Makers

One of Lowcountry’s most venerated hand craft is the sweetgrass basket.  Passed down for generations since the 1700s, this art was brought to America through the enslaved people from West Africa. Mary Jackson is one of Charleston’s best known sweetgrass basket artisan and in 2008 was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a 2010 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Her work is on permanent display at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Local artists include Corey Alston, Tonya Aiken, Mazie Brown, and Chlorissa German. More resources can be found at Mount Pleasant’s Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion or taking a drive North on Hwy. 17 which is known as the ‘sweetgrass basket makers highway’. The Charleston City Market, which is home to over 50 resident Gullah artisans, is great place to find unique, locally produced products.

Chlorissa German Sweetgrass Baskets
Chlorissa German gullah sweetgrass baskets

Mr. H says: We become stronger when all of us stand together-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture design trends interior design

8 things an interior designer will notice about your home

As a designer, I know first hand that everyone’s taste is different. When I’m hired to professionally assess a space though, I do notice a number of specifics, both good and bad, about your home. How organized you are, how your children and pets behave, and which space your family uses the most are just a few. Don’t worry though-I’m not judging, but making observations that will help me design the best solutions for your lifestyle. Here’s a list of the top things I notice the moment I walk through the front door.

The Flow

Does the furniture placement in a room promote good traffic flow through the space? When there is too much or awkwardly arranged furniture, a room may not be optimally used. Rearranging pieces to create a natural path in and out of the space may be one of the first things we do.

Good room flow
J. Rhodes Interior Design, Inc.

The Lighting

I’ve talked about this before, how a room is lit is critical to it’s function and ambiance. Applying a layered approach with general illumination, task and accent lighting sources is key to a well lit room.

Layered lighting design
Restoration Hardware

The Little Items

Most interior designers dream of an uncluttered space, where one can appreciated the stunning architecture or thoughtfully arranged furniture. Many times, I enter a room and am besieged by all tchotchke that cover every surface. Just because you own it doesn’t mean it needs to be on display.

Uncluttered table

The Windows

How your windows are treated tells me a lot about how you use a room. Windows that are tightly covered tells me you value your privacy while untreated windows say bring in the sunshine. It’s a topic we will need to address when designing the space.

Window treatment design
Hunter Douglas

The Woodwork

High quality door casing, crown molding, and cabinetry make up the bones of a space. Well proportioned trim creates a layer of interest and the opportunity to accent with color or incorporate lighting.

Pretty ceiling details

The Smell

Pets, cooking odor and strong scented candles can often overwhelm the casual visitor. Most of us have become inured to our homes odors, but an outsider can pick up the scent right away and it can be most unwelcome. Open the windows, use the kitchen and bath exhaust fans religiously or run the HVAC fan clear out stale spaces.

Cooking smells

The Pillows

Two, sad lumpy throw pillows on the sofa does not constitute a welcoming vibe. Adding throws and fresh plump pillows will go a long way to making a space cozy.

Pillows and throws
Surya

The Bathroom

The condition of your bathroom tells me a lot about your lifestyle and the possible solutions I can offer. Unorganized, cluttered countertops and towels on the floor are mostly a symptom of the bath’s design or lack there of.

Uncluttered bathroom

Mr. H says: Good houses take work-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture interior design

Four ways to “Rightsize” your home

The one size fits all assumption that you should downsize as you grow older may not necessarily work with your lifestyle. Adult children may need to move back in to pay off debt, an aging parent may come to live or you may need a space for home healthcare provider, especially if you plan to “age in place”. While many do choose to downsize, another sensible approach is to rightsize your existing home.

Rightsizing is the idea of making better use of your home’s spaces to better fit your changing needs and lifestyle. Here are four rightsize steps that can help you make the right decision.

Analyze your space. The first step in identifying rightsize solutions is to assess your home and identify your priorities. Ask yourself such questions as these:
• Are you using all of the rooms in your house? Or do you use some rooms just on special occasions or for storage only?
• Do you use any rooms just as a walk-through to other parts of the house?
• Do routine activities seem inconvenient in your home’s current layout?
• How often do you have overnight guests?

Think about what your needs are and not what the room was designated as when you moved in. If you seldom use a formal living, consider turning it into a home office, an exercise room or even a meditation space.

Explore options. Research ways to rightsize your home so that it works better for you. Check out design magazines, other homes or design website to spark ideas. That stagnant formal dining room can become the craft room you’ve always dreamed of or an artist’s studio.

Consider future uses. After retirement, is your family depending on you to babysit grandchildren? If so, consider turning that unused dining room a child’s playroom. Think about accommodations for a future live in nurse or even a roommate for companionship and sharing expenses. Consider creating a private sitting area and bath for a non family member that may be living with you down the road.

A functional design. Your home’s rightsize solutions should ultimately accommodate it’s occupants needs. You may need to move into a smaller, one level home if mobility is an issue. However a smaller house may not suit your lifestyle if you anticipate extended family or care providers living with you. A rightsized home is about the quality, not the quantity, of space to meet everyone’s needs.

Mr. H says: Aging is mostly the failure to repair-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture interior design

Eight reasons to love contemporary design

There is no doubt that the contemporary movement has affected every aspects of our daily lives.  Our architecture, fashion, technology and even our cars benefit was the principles of contemporary design.

Here are eight reasons to love this design aesthetic:

Contemporary spaces are comfortable, tailored, and organized.

Jim Somerset

Less is more.  With the trend to live at a slower pace and with fewer possessions-contemporary design seamlessly works for this lifestyle.

Jim Somerset

Contemporary homes contain fewer walls creating an open living space that most people desire.

Holger Obenaus

A variety of  color palettes can be incorporated into contemporary spaces.

Jim Somerset

Contemporary design embraces nature and the outdoors.

With restraint, contemporary and traditional design can co-mingle.

Phillip Jeffries

Contemporary bathrooms feel like a favorite spa.

Holger Obenaus

Natural materials such as stone, wood and leather are the utilized in contemporary design.

Jean van der Meulen

Mr. H says: Design is not just what it looks like but how it works-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture interior design

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel

Staying at the splendid Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, in Winston-Salem, at the recent ASID Carolinas Chapter Fall Conference was a designer’s dream.  The former headquarters of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company has been transformed into a boutique hotel and luxury apartments. Completed in 1929, the original Art Deco structure was designed by Shreve & Lamb who went on to design the Empire State Building in New York City.  the-kimpton-cardinal-hotel-winston-salem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team for the adaptation of the Reynolds Building into a hotel and apartments, included Gensler, Theresa Fatino Design, crème, and Ohm Lighting.

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel Lobby

rj-reynolds-office-historic-image

An architectural inspiration for the Empire State Building, the building’s original gold-leaf ceilings and lavish brass and marble work have been preserved.   In 2014, the building was approved for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father’s Day card to the staff at the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem to pay homage to its role as predecessor to the Empire State Building.

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel elevator lobby

A mix of textiles and colors in the “Living Room” of the Kimpton Cardinal hotel creates a lively spot to enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

kimpton-cardinal-hotel-living-room

kimpton-cardinal-hotel-living-roomAn adult slide in the basement recreation area adds to the sense of whimsy found through out the property.
adult-slide-at-the-kimpton-cardinal-hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed

kimpton-cardinal-hotel-guest-room

Best of all the Kimpton Caridnal Hotel accommodates furry guests as well.the-kimpton-cardinal-hotel-dog-welcome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. H says: Buildings, too, are children of the earth and sun-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture interior design

Home chapels and sanctuaries

While royalty and the wealthy have enjoyed for centuries private places of worship, like the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle below, it is increasingly common to find these sanctuaries in all types of homes and settings.

Private chapel at Windsor Castle
TMJ Interiors

Whether a single room within a home or a freestanding structure, these sacred places can take on a variety of forms.  This Johns Island property features a simple a frame design, with cypress paneled walls and heart pine flooring.

Johns Island Chapel

Johns Island private chapel

An intimate white washed chapel is a feature at The Villa dei Fiore in Thousand Oaks, California.

DAMLS / Sotheby’s International Realty

A petite stone chapel on the grounds of an estate in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Moorestown, New Jersey stone private chapel
Berkshire Hathaway-Diana Regan

A Mediterranean style chapel in Windermere, Florida.

KW-David Zeckser

Private holy sanctuaries are not limited to Christian faiths as seen in this Fort Lauderdale, Florida mansion’s private synagogue.

Fort Lauderdale private synagogue
Lifestyle Production

A simple home shrine serves as a meditation and prayer center.
A personal mosque features abundant natural light and a variety of wood types.

Imania Design

Mr. H says: Prayer is the world’s best wireless connection-Enjoy!
Categories
architecture charleston design history

The Inn at Middleton Place-Charleston, SC

I was fortunate to play tourist in my own town this week at the beautiful 18th century Middleton Place plantation.  Listed as a National Historic Landmark, it is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens.

Middleton Place terrace garden Middleton Place

We took advantage of the weekly Spring wine stroll along with dinner at the restaurant and an overnight stay at the Inn.

While the gardens are the main attraction, The Inn at Middleton Place, is an extraordinary destination in its own right.  Secluded among tall pines and live oaks along the banks of the Ashley River, the 55 rooms are just a short walk away from the plantation grounds.The Inn at Middleton Place Lodge

Built in 1987, the Inn was designed by W.G. Clark and Charles Menefee of Charleston, SC.  Lead architect W.G. Clark eschewed the typical Southern vernacular of white columns and wide porches with rocking chairs.  Instead, the team channeled the architectural ruins that are found throughout the Low Country, emerging out of abandoned fields and ancient forests.  Once completed, The Inn at Middleton Place was recognized for its outstanding concept and design by the American Institute for Architecture (AIA) with its Honor Award, the profession’s highest accolade for individual buildings by American architects.

The Inn at Middleton Place

The rooms interiors, while spare, boast floor to ceiling windows, cypress paneling and wood burning fireplacesThe Inn at Middleton Place interior

The large bathrooms feature marble floors, innovative cypress storage and a two person tiled roman soaking tub.

The Inn at Middleton Place bath

Mr. H says: History never looks like history when you are living through it-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture design history travel

Marvelous Marseille

There was much to enjoy on a recent visit to the ancient port town of Marseille, France.  Considered France’s largest city on the Mediterranean coast as well as the largest French commercial port, this bustling city cultivates a relaxed feeling along its waterfront.

Marseille France

Wedged between the Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges and the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is the second largest French city after Paris.

View of Marseille France

Notre-Dame de la Garde, which translates as “Our Lady of the Guard” has stood watch over the city since 1864.

Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

The Byzantine-Roman style Cathedral of Saint Mary Major was built between 1852 to 1896 on the site used for the cathedrals of Marseille since the fifth century.

Marseille Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

Marseille Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

The arcaded galleries of the La Vieille Carité once functioned as a workhouse for the city’s poor.  Located in the old Panier quarter of Marseille, this Baroque style complex was designed by the architect Pierre Puget and was completed in 1749.

Marseille France La Vieille Charité

With its distinct ovoid dome, The central Puget chapel was erected between 1679 and 1704.

La Vieille Charité

A charming alleyway lead to an impromptu art gallery

Marseille art alley

Le chien loitering outside the patisserie

Le chien Marseille France

Cold beer can be found tucked into to surprising places too!

Marseille alleyway

Mr. H says: French is the language that turns dirt into romance-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture charleston interior design

Reclaimed DesignWorks Charleston, SC

Reclaimed DesignWorks, recently held a holiday drop in their Charleston, SC showroom on East Bay Street.  This national company purveys “reclaimed” building materials found in old buildings across the United States and Canada.

Reclaimed DesignWorks saw display

Old-growth, antique wood is more dense and structurally stable than newly-harvested wood. Reclaimed DesignWorks recovers their wood from dismantled barns, farm houses and factories that have outgrown their usefulness.  These buildings are usually beyond repair and may have been abandoned.  Flooring, granary boards, roof rafters, floor joists and structural beams are some of the parts of a structure that their flooring is produced from.

Reclaimed DesignWorks Charleston showroom

In the Reclaimed DesignWorks Charleston showroom, reclaimed flooring and other antique building products are displayed in a finished state.

Reclaimed DesignWorks showroom

With additional showrooms in Denver, CO,  Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, and Nashville, TN, Reclaimed DesignWorks boasts an impressive client list including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Polo Ralph Lauren and Embassy Suites.  Locally their beautiful products can be in enjoyed at Prohibition, Crust Wood Fired Pizza and The Collective Coffee Company.

Wood Samples Reclaimed DesignWorks

Mr. H says: Something old can be timeless-Enjoy!

Categories
architecture design history travel

Santa Fe Travel

At a recent interior design conference in Santa Fe, I was able to carve out some time to enjoy the unique offerings of this enchanting, high desert city.  Home of the New Mexico state capital, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States as well as the oldest city in the state having been founded in 1610.

Santa Fe New Mexico

Architectural styles range from Adobe, Pueblo Revival and Territorial.

Adobe architecture-Inn and Spa at Loretto

Santa Fe Pueblo architecture

Pueblo revival Santa Fe

Territorial architecture Santa Fe

Territorial architecture Santa Fe

Santa Fe, meaning “holy faith” in Spanish, has a history with Catholic missionaries that founded numerous churches in the city.

Built between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was designed in the Romanesque Revival style.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi Santa Fe

At the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail stands the Loretto Chapel.  Completed in 1880, this Gothic Revival structure is now a museum and wedding chapel.

Loretto Chapel Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a well-known artist enclave where numerous galleries and art installations can be found around the town.

Santa Fe art galleries

DSC00526

Glass sculptures Santa Fe

Mr. H says: Travel is fatal to narrow mindedness-Enjoy!