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"I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life"

- Elise de Wolfe - 

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Design Styles We Love

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Southern Hospitality Capturing a sub-tropical, southern hospitality style is easy with a few simple design principles. At the very heart of this style is a welcoming heart...creating a beautiful experience for friends and family.

1. It starts at the curb. The porch or piazza should be welcoming and inviting. We love the outdoors and spend as much time possible viewing our beautiful gardens. The porch is for sipping tea and dining alfresco. It is for sharing stories and soaking up the warmth of our relationships. We love entertaining! The porch is the perfect place to serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, using real china and silverware. The porch should be an extension of the interior; cozy conversation areas, potted plants, a farm table, and rockers to help relax after a day of gardening.  While sitting a spell on the piazza, look up and you will most likely see the ubiquitous haint blue ceiling and ceiling fans, a must on all southern porches.

2. The foyer should be a natural flow from the porch; use similar rugs or flooring as the piazza, echo the foliage and the finishes used on the porch.  If you used wicker or rattan on the porch, use a piece in the foyer for a seamless transition.

3. The furniture is cozy and casual, yet beautiful. Slipcovers are popular, but natural fabrics that wear well are a great option. A touch of velvet is a rich choice that adds depth and elegance to a room.

4. Incorporate a mix of old and new. Always an heirloom or two to respect and honor the people who came before us. If you don't have any, search shops for that perfect antique that is a reflection of you and your space. The South was settled by the British, French, Spanish, and other European countries.  Historical pieces were imported or local craftsmen were commissioned to replicate the trends of the era. 

5. The colors are light and natural to deflect from the hot and humid temperatures that we experience- blues, greys, greens, butter yellows, and creams are cooling and peaceful. If you live near Charleston, use some Charleston Green for tradition.

6. A few shells and shell motifs remind us that we are near the water- marshes or the ocean are not too far away.

7. Blown glass lamps or pendants add lightness and reflection to the space.

8. A tad bit of gold gilt is found in subtropical homes, from traditional French mirrors to framed art...just a tiny bit of bling.

9. Bring the garden indoors with flowers and fresh greens - if your garden isn't in bloom, a branch or natural grasses will look lovely in a vase.

10. Sweetgrass baskets are a staple in many homes along the Southern Coast. Invest in a few to help keep the tradition and skill thriving.




Bastide Provence Style- we have seen a trend in people dreaming of Provence and other beautiful areas of France, partly due to French chateau and bastide Instagrammers, and the travel restrictions making us long for that beautiful country and its quintessential farm and country houses. You can achieve the look no matter where you live. Just follow a few of these ideas and you are on your way to France.

1. It starts with the crunch of pea gravel. Notice how you dont see foundation bushes or lawns immediately in front of the houses.  Instead, you will see nicely potted citrus, rosemary, lavender, and other aromatics dotting the entrance. The pots are clay or ceramic and have a patina of many ages and seasons etched into their surface. Small fountains, or shallow iron planters enjoy the heat of the gravel as they share a space with an agave plant or two. And always a palm with its fronds reaching for the sun.

2. Hiding behind hanging Pelargonium, are blue shutters sundrenched and rustic waving you through the pergolas of grapevines and other sinuous woody vines to a stone clad foyer with soft muted colors and rustic antique pieces. A gorgeous mirror will reflect your smile as you soak in the rustic charm.

3. The rooms are lived in, collected, interesting, and inviting.  The design isnt intentional.

4. The kitchens are unfitted or semi-unfitted. There is dining table or working table placed in the middle. It is a gathering kitchen were a cassoulet is prepared and french bread is sliced and placed in natural wicker or wooden baskets. There will be a hutch showcasing vintage pottery and porcelain. You will see a pot rack with gorgeous copper dangling from it, a French range, exotic zellige tile backslash, elegant lighting, and copper utensils readily available. The ceilings may be beamed and white washed for lightness. An herb rack will be hanging with dried bundles of garden harvests that escaped a bouquet de garni, and soon will be turned into Herbes de Provence.

5. The living room is cloaked in ochre and creams. There are blankets to get cozy with. The pillows may be velvet or toile. A few pieces of interesting art on the wall reflecting the owners personality. Charming case pieces with a heritage finish. The mantel has a few flower vases with simple blossoms from garden, and there may be a small oil painting leaning up against wall...and some snuffed candles. You may see a center chandelier with a modern vibe to balance the antiquity of the space.  A few tropical trees will be placed about to bring in some nature. And, dont forget the gorgeous piles of books on the coffee table with subjects of history, art, architecture, cuisine, gardening, and travel.

6. There are some smaller rooms with patterned floor tile in interesting geometric designs or perhaps tiny mosaic tile, and some rustic antique pieces with layers of paint. 

7. The bedrooms are simple. A Louis upholstered headboard and foot board, whitewashed and pastel. One or two pieces of art on the wall. A rustic bed stand with simple lines so it doesn't compete with the French-style bed, and modern lighting for balance. Some rooms have block printed wallpaper in pretty florals. 

8. As you gaze out the windows thru the ivy gently fluttering in the breeze, you may see a fabric umbrella sheltering a long harvest table with outdoor seating.  Imagine the scintillating conversations surrounding the table. 

9. Each season Camillia Bloomsbury rotates in a few pieces to help you achieve this relaxing farm life in Provence.





Modern Americana- some call it Farmhouse style. Some call it Modern Farmhouse. It is a style that is here to stay as we have learned to appreciate the simplicity of the humble, American farm home.  It is a modernized and romanticize version of farm living in the 20th century.  Here are some of the principles to achieve the farmhouse look and adopt a sustainable, simple lifestyle.

1. White! Exterior and interior. It is fresh, clean and minimalistic.

2. Large gathering spaces to accommodate large families or groups of friends.

2. Bead board, ship lap, rediscovered fireplaces and chimneys. You can find finishes that mimic this look, or if you are blessed with an old home, hopefully the features were preserved.

2. Pine plank flooring was most prevalent with its golden glow and softness. Every dropped pan and pot left a little history. It was not uncommon for the wood to have been harvested from the property, so many types of trees were used to create the plank floors.

3. Baskets! They were used for gathering foods from the garden, carrying laundry, and storing woods, vegetables, yarn, and berries.

4. The harvest table is the quickest way to achieve a farmhouse kitchen. The more utilitarian and chunky, the better.  Shelves with clear jars packed with ingredients such as sugars and flours for baking delicious cookies and cakes. The ubiquitous farm sink, typically porcelain or sometimes soapstone, facing out to the orchard and meadow.  Aprons, stoneware, redware, pewter, and handmade pottery are nice farm house touches in the kitchen. Cutting boards are plentiful in a farmhouse. They are used for homemade bread, cutting fruits and vegetables, and preparing roasts and soups.  Open shelving with vintage cooking tools set against a back splash of white subway tile completes the look.

5. Americana is about staying home and creating goodness. Popular vintage pieces include the jelly cupboard used to store the preserved foods-- pickles, jams, jellies, peaches, tomatoes, and the pie safe which was either in the kitchen or on the porch. To keep the pies safe from flies, pies were baked then cooled in the pie safe. Such nice and homey details.

6. No farmhouse is complete without the mudroom- piles of boots and hooks layered in sweaters and coats. The place where the family drops off their shoes, jackets and backpacks. We have the Trinette Storage Sofa to keep things tidy and provide a place to lace up your boots. 

7. Chicken wire, zinc, galvanized steel are all elements that give a home an Americana aesthetic. Keep it real, authentic, and to a minimum.

8. There are so many lighting options to help create a farmhouse, it just depends on how authentic or trendy you want to go. Wooden chandelier lighting and seeded glass pendants are great options for the keeping room. Use lighting to put your signature on the style.

9. On the outside, you will a find kitchen garden near the house, and grasses and perennials growing everywhere.  There will be berry bushes, a chicken coop, and fruit trees to provide fruit and eggs for the family. Space permitting, a beautiful meadow would be the perfect backdrop for the farmhouse, and to create a wildlife habitat.



UK Cottage Style- a chocolate box house that looks like it was plucked out of a fairytale comes to mind. An old stone structure with tall wispy plants, imposing mullein, fanciful foxgloves, and towering delphiniums set the stage. A wood arbor and a creaky gate support the profusion of pink roses and stray honeysuckle that frame the walkway to the cottage.  The home has a name. Maybe Primrose Cottage or Meadowbank. Sometimes the style is portrayed as a confection decked out is an abundance of chintz, but this really isnt the case at all. The interiors for the most part are restrained and thoughtful. Here are some things that you might find in a UK cottage:

1. The living room has beamed ceilings and a warming fireplace with a bellow close by. The space isnt decorated. It is comfortable and lived in. Maybe a few candlesticks and some English pottery. The hearth is flanked by wing back chairs covered in throws, most likely to accommodate pets since they are a big part of the family.  The mullioned, deep set windows either have lace curtains or cute shorties. Sometimes roman shades are used to maximize the light. The window sill will have potted plants and maybe a piece of chinoiserie porcelain. The coffee table will be generous and stacked with lots of books and periodicals.  And, there will be shelves overflowing with even more books. A few pieces of framed original art will be placed on the walls. An oriental rug, sisal, or wool rug will anchor the space.

2. The kitchen has an Aga stove. The heart of the home. A place to warm up and heat a kettle for tea. An Aga is always turned on and ready for the day's work. The vintage kitchen table is at the center of the space. Tea pots and platters may be used for decoration. The shaker style cupboards will be white or light toned and the worktops may be beach wood. This is a functioning room and will be understated and comfortable.

3. There will be a reception room for guests. Nice urns maybe intended for outdoors are used inside during the winter to bring some nature indoors. A tapestry might hang on the wall. Cosy seating with a tea table. Sconces will be flickering on the walls. 

4. There will always a guest room ready and waiting. The bedrooms will have a wallpapered feature wall with coordinating curtains, or all over wallpaper with contrasting curtains. A comfy chair or chaise for late night reading is a must. Muted florals and light colors will dominate the cottage style, especially in the bedrooms.

5. Wainscoting, either half or full wall, is definitely a UK Cottage look. Tufted furniture, brown wood, heirloom case pieces, and wheels on the furniture. They give the furniture a dainty look and easy to move about.

6. The garden is where it is at! The home interiors are restrained and exteriors are show places. A greenhouse or conservatory is commonplace. Gardening is a way of life and they always look so amazing and lush. You will see bell jars protecting new starts, trellises guiding peas, nasturtiums spilling over raised beds. Cottage gardens have clipped bushes, fruit cages, an ornamental pond, soft fruits and plum trees, damson, and apple trees, and a pergola. All this might be enclosed in a walled garden to protect the garden from deer and bunnies. You will see many garden "rooms" displaying interesting and new varieties of plants.

7. An outdoor dining space will have lots of and pots and planters made from zinc and clay and may be filled with roses and specimen plants.

8. Finally, a sense of humor is paramount. Add one whimsical or quirky element to surprise and delight.

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