Category: Shopping

Tomlinson Sofa

Six pieces of furniture you should invest in

Whether you’re moving into your first home or tenth home, it’s important for some of your furniture purchases to stand the test of time. Resisting the temptation to fill your rooms with every piece you may need at a low price is tough though and it may end up costing you more money in the long run. While a less expensive option will often make a fine choice for a few years, there are six critical items that really are worth the investment.

Sofa-It’s possible to find a well made sofa in many price points as many frames are crafted in the same way. It’s often the fabric selection that bumps the cost up. A sofa built to last will feature a solid hardwood frame with the legs and arms built into the frame versus attached separately. The seat and back cushion construction will effect both the comfort and the price. My first choice is spring down seat cushions with foam blend down backs which offer comfort and support. High-resilient foam wrapped in a down and feather is a good option too.

Tomlinson Sofa
Tomlinson Furniture

Dining Table-A quality dining table is a must have regardless of your of your lifestyle. Purchase a table that’s durable and will withstand the daily use from your family. A solid wood table with clean lines will last for decades and can be refinished down the road. A table with one or two leaves is also worth the extra money as it allows for flexible seating of additional guests.

Saloom Dining Table
Saloom Furniture

Dining Chairs-While your table top will take a lot of abuse, the chairs you choose will be the dining space work horse. From being pulled in and out, sat on and even stood on, it’s a must that your chairs be of solid wood construction that can hold the weight of your family. Make clean up of spills and other accidents easy with a performance fabric that will keep your seating looking great for years.

Bernhardt Furniture

Upholstered bed-A queen size (or king if you have the space) upholstered bed in a neutral fabric can start out in a master bedroom and migrate to a guest room if you upgrade. Select a classic design, with a solid wood frame that can work with a variety of design styles. I prefer a complete bed with upholstered side and foot boards eliminating the need for a dust skirt. Bonus tip: Invest in a high quality mattress. We spend a lot of time in bed and it’s important that your mattress lasts for a good seven to eight years.

Kravet Furniture Bed
Kravet Furniture

Chest of Drawers-A solid wood chest of drawers can be used in a myriad of places. A simple, classic design can be repurposed to hold clothes in the bedroom, linens in the dining room or be used as a TV center in the family room. Look for dovetail joints on the drawers, with sanded and finished edges. Wood on wood glides and a center rail support will help keep your drawers from sagging.

Swaim Furniture Burton Chest
Swaim Furniture

Accent Piece-Your home is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. Investing in a piece you truly love like a painted desk, an antique mirror, or anything else that strikes the can’t live without emotion is worth the money.

Rattan writing desk

Mr. H says: Your home should be a collection of what you love-Enjoy!


Bookmark these home decor finds

Where we choose to spend money is an actionable step that we can all take to relieve the socioeconomic challenges that African American companies face in our country. While I talked about some Charleston home related businesses to support these companies are small, black owned shops that provide goods via the web. We all love to shop online so next time your’e searching for home decor keep these noteworthy boutiques in mind.

Rochelle Porter Design Atlanta-based artist Rochelle Porter creates bold, vibrant patterns for printed products, including apparel, home decor, electronic device cases, packaging, stationery and much more. Her brand combines her passion for patterns with her commitment to social responsibility.

Rochelle Porter Design
Rochelle Porter Design

Southern Elegance Candle Co. Self proclaimed southern belle, D’Shawn Russell crafts her scents to conjure up a slower, more simpler time. With names like Back Roads, Front Porch, and Summer Bliss these divinely packaged small batch candles are created in Raeford, NC.

Southern Elegance Candle Co.
Southern Elegance Candle Co.

AphroChic Interior designers Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason, curated their online shop with striking pillows, poufs, rugs and lighting. This husband and wife team is dedicated to exploring the intersection of modern design and global culture across diverse populations.


Reflektion Design This home accessories brand is geared to culturally inspired people who love to express their authentic self through design. Sourcing products with a discerning eye for pattern, designer Anitra Terrell offers products that help you create a home that feels collected not decorated.

Reflektion Design
Reflektion Design

Tackussanu Senegal Jasz Dio and Cheikh Biaye bring handmade basket decor by Senegal artisan women to the United States market. Their neutral and colorful wares come in wide variety of sizes and styles so finding one to complement your decor is easy.

Tackussanu Senegal
Tackussanu Senegal

Bolé Road Textiles Born in Ethiopa, Hana Getachew, brings a diverse collection of products to the home decor market. This Brooklyn based designer’s love of color is evident in this expansive home decor shop that helps customers create spaces they love, while supporting economic development in Ethiopia.

Bole Road Textiles
Bole Road Textiles

Effortless Composition: This one-stop shop for eclectic home decor is carefully curated by owner Brittiny Terry. Sourcing from Istanbul to Los Angeles, she partners with skilled artisans to bring fresh designs to life. 

Effortless Composition
Effortless Composition

More fabulous finds can be found on this extensive list compiled by Shoppe Black. Happy Shopping!

Mr. H says: A big business starts small-Enjoy!

How to choose a dining room rug

Before you go on the hunt for the perfect dining room rug there are some important factors to keep in mind.  Ideally, your new rug purchase should be both stylish and functional while grounding the table and making the room visually pleasing.  Before you start shopping check out our best tips for selecting the right rug for your space.

Size Matters

Measure your dining room table then add four feet to the width and length.  Having at least 24” inches on each side allows for a chair to be pulled out and not catch on the rug edge.  If your room is very large and the other pieces around the perimeter fall well within the rug range, consider sizing up for a generous feel.  A bigger rug in any room is going to visually make the space appear much larger.

Shape Counts

Bring order to your dining room by echoing the shape of your rug to the shape of the table.  If your table is round, choose a round rug remembering the 24” around rule.

Round dining room rug

Consider Pile Height

Because spills are inevitable, and the ease of chair movement is critical, low pile and flat weave rugs are the best choice.

Material Concerns

Wool and cotton are the easiest fibers to clean and luckily there are countless rugs offered woven in those fibers.  Synthetic blends tend to be more difficult to clean, though look for a new generation of indoor-outdoor and stain-resistant rugs that are available that can withstand scrubbing.

Natural Grass

Natural rugs such sisal, jute and sea grass are not usually a good choice for the dining room.  The nubby textures trap crumbs making it impossible to clean up ground in food.  If this is your desired aesthetic though, choose a smooth textured rug that will be easier to clean.

Pottery Barn


Unless your dining room is a show place or used on very rare occasions, it’s best to avoid white or light-colored rugs.  Pale hues are going to show dirt and spills sooner than deeper shades though patterns help to camouflage some accidents. 

Design Around

Use the new rug as a starting point to develop the design of your dining room.  Select wall colors, chair fabrics and window treatments from hues found in the rug. 

Mr. H says: The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table-Enjoy!

Displaying Collections With Style

There is a fine line between collecting and hoarding.  Most of us have a collection of some kind whether it is pottery bowls, milk glass or salt and pepper shakers.  The easiest rule to follow when displaying your prized possessions is to keep them altogether rather than spreading them throughout your home.

Create a focal point with your collection.

photo by Jonny Caspari

Don’t let grandma’s china languish in storage-hang it on display.

photo by Chance Anderson

Group like items together for a bigger impact rather than disperse individually.

Small items such as sea shells, antique buttons, and matchbooks display better in a container.  Choose one that complements the items you are exhibiting.

Photo Clever Visuals

Mr. H says: Every collection is made up of journey stories-Enjoy!

Friday Five: Shop Local

With the American Express Small Business Saturday to the Lowcountry Local First Buy Local Month , shopping in your community for the holidays is at the height of hip.  Here is a sampling of some local Charleston haunts to procure all the gifts on your list.

1. Open House-28 Windermere Boulevard

Featuring stationery, invitations, gifts, furniture, lighting, fine china, crystal and holiday décorOpen House Charleston SC

Open House also carries the fabulous locally made Rewined candles.  Handcrafted from a repurposed wine bottle filled with wine scented waxes.Rewind Candles

2. Charleston Cooks!-194 East Bay Street

Charleston Cooks! kitchen retail shop has your food and wine lovers covered.  You’ll find cookware, cookbooks, baking and bar essentials at this cooking emporium

Charleston Cooks

3. Charleston Flower Market-1952 Maybank Highway

Known for their gorgeous bouquets and arrangements, the Charleston flower market carries lovely gifts too

Charleston Flower Market

3. Croghan’s Jewel Box-308 King Street

For over a 100 years, Croghan’s Jewel Box has been Charleston’s go to place for gifts.  You’ll find not only breath-taking jewelry but a treasure trove of unique objects for the home and table

Croghans Jewel Box

5. Alpha Dog Omega Cat-40 Archdale Street

Since 1996, Alpha Dog Omega Cat has been indulging pets and their owners with the finest collection of luxury pet items, gifts and animal themed accessories

Alpha Dog Omega Cat Charleston

Mr. H says:  Money can buy happiness, you just need to know where to shop-Enjoy!

Made in the USA

When strolling through Walmart you’ll be hard pressed find products made entirely in the United States.  However, America is still a manufacturing country and these are some companies that proudly craft home furnishings in the USA.


Harden Furniture in McConnellsville, New YorkHarden Furniture

Swaim-High Point, North Carolina

Swaim Furniture High Point NC

Wesley Allen Iron Beds-Los Angeles, California

Wesley Allen Wellington Bed


While many US mills have sadly closed, there still American made fabrics to be had out there.  These great designs our sold by Robert Allen Fabric:

Robert Allen Fabrics Robert Allen Fabrics

Robert Allen Fabrics Robert Allen Fabrics


Hubbardton Forge-Castleton, Vermont

Hubbarton Forge

China and Crystal

Pickard-Antioch, Illinois

Pickard China Charlotte Moss

Pickard Crystal

Mr. H says: Buy American and Enjoy!

Erin Go Bragh

We’ll hear “Erin Go Bragh” many times tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day but what exactly does it mean.  The most common translation is “Ireland Forever” meaning allegiance to Ireland.  In honor of the day that we American’s dye our rivers green, parade down Broad Street, and drink green beer, here are some fabulous Irish products made on the Emerald Island.

Enjoy that Guinness in this lovely Galway Irish Crystal mug.  Galway Crystal is one of the world’s best known brands of crystal with pieces in both the White House and the Vatican.

Galway Beer Tankard

Your soda bread will taste so much better when served on this lovely Belleek plate.  Made by hand, no two pieces are alike.

Belleek shamrock bread plate

Cuddle up with a Aran wool blanket.  Spun from sheep’s wool of the Aran Islands, this blanket has a traditional diamond cable motif.

Aran Wool Blanket

Mr. H says: A good friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have-Enjoy!

Fabulous Five: Valentine’s Day Shopping Ideas

Only three more days to Valentine’s day and here are five fabulous places to shop for your sweetie this year.

Sweet Gourmet-South Windermere Shopping Center

Feed the chocolate need in this newly opened gourmet food shop.  Besides Godiva, they carry teas, pasta, oils, spices, and jams from around the world.

Charleston Sweet Gourmet

Chantilly Lingerie-280 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant

Sexy and sassy lingerie can be found at Letha Polk’s store along with jewelry, accessories and more modest apparel.Chantilly Lingerie

The Smoking Lamp-401-B King Street. Charleston

Enjoy an espresso or a glass of wine while you look for that perfect cigar in their walk in humidor.
The Smoking Lamp

Urban Nirvana-Several locations around town.

To really pamper your valentine, this spa’s Urban Decadence package includes a one hour aroma massage, seaweed detox, and classic facial.  Devine!

The Wine Shop-3 Lockwood Drive. Charleston

Toast your love with a bottle of champagne from Debbie Marlowe.   Her dazzling wine expertise is sure to guide you to the perfect sipper.

Mr. H says: A life without love is like a year without summer-Enjoy!

Fabulous Five: Charleston home decor stores

Our Facebook question today inquired about your favorite place for home decor shopping.  Here are Five Fabulous finds right here in Charleston.

Read Brothers: 593 King Street, Charleston

Read Brothers Charleston SC

Since 1912, the Read Family has been supplying Charleston locals with fabrics, accessories, and hard to find notions.  The quirky interior, packed with items, is a step back in time and is a really fun shopping experience.

A World Apart: 2008 Wappoo Drive, James Island

Just a few steps down from my design studio you’ll find this store, with the white umbrellas heralding the entrance, chock full of architectural pieces, furniture and Balinese accessories.

Morris Sokal: 510 King Street, Charleston

Morris Sokal Charleston SC

Another Charleston icon, dating back to 1921, Morris Sokal has 37,000 square feet of showroom space filled with furniture and accessories.  Their motto “Well worth the trip downtown!” Well said!

Nadeau: 640 Coleman Blvd, Mt. Pleasant

Nadeau Furniture Mt. Pleasant SC

Offering unique, hand crafted furniture and accessories at affordable prices.  I just love their painted pieces.

The Sea Island Habitat for Humanity ReStore: 3304 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island

Habitat for Humanity Restore

Talk about recycling-all the items in this store are donated and I’m always amazed at the finds!  Located near Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, Habitat Restore is the lucky recipient of much of what is disposed of from the residents.  Lucky us!

Mr. H says: Our objects say the most about who we are-choose carefully-Enjoy!