T.G.I.F. Southern Interior Designers Agree – Charleston is the Most Inspiring City of the South!

Put a group of inspired Southern Interior Designers and authors together and you can bet one thing they will agree on is that Charleston, South Carolina is just about the most inspiring city around to truly experience southern design at it’s finest.

I was honored this past week to sit on a panel led by James Lowell “Jim” Strickland, founder and senior partner at Historical Concepts and co-author of Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House,  that will explored all things related to Southern Vernacular Architecture and Southern Interior Design. The panel was held at ADAC, the preeminent design center of the Southeast for residential and contract furnishings.

Our renowned panelist members also included Phoebe Howard, founder of the Mrs.Howard interior design firm and author of The Joy of Decorating: Southern Style with Mrs. HowardCarolyn Hultman, founder of Carolyn Hultman Interior Design and featured in books such as Paula Deen’s Savannah Style and Historical Concepts’ Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House; and special guest panelist Lindsay Bierman, editor-in- chief at Southern Living magazine.

Walking away from this unbelievably thrilling experience, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those who helped make this possible. Keeping an ongoing dialogue about southern design is not only near and dear to my heart, it is my way of life and nothing satisfies me more than being in the company of others who are passionate about keeping this rich history alive in ways that are also livable in todays world.  Thank you to ADAC and to all of my panel members.

Like I mentioned above, we all agreed that Charleston, SC is this most inspiring city in the south.  I have picked out a few of my own personal favorites here, being sure not to leave out the famous Rainbow Row and also not forgetting about the beautiful plantation homes that dot the landscape around the city.

Edmondston-Alston House

Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston South Carolina

The striking Greek Revival interiors, fascinating collections of the family portraits, furniture and silver and maritime views from the piazza make the Edmondston-Alston House an unforgettable part of any Charleston adventure.

Aiken-Rhett House

Aiken-Rhett House Historical Charleston Southern Design

The Aiken-Rhett House stands alone as the most intact mansion and associated outbuildings showcasing urban life in antebellum Charleston. Built in 1820 and greatly expanded by Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s and 1850s, the house has survived with great care and preservation since 1858.

Joseph Manigault House

 “Charleston’s Huguenot House” was built in 1803. The Garden Gate Temple and outstanding collection of American, English and French furnishings of the period capture the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family.

Rainbow Row

Charleston: Historic Architecture Rainbow Row

After the Civil War, this area of Charleston devolved into near slum conditions. In the early 1900s, Dorothy Porcher Legge purchased a section of these houses numbering 99 through 101 East Bay and began to renovate them. She chose to paint these houses pink based on a colonial Caribbean color scheme. Other owners and future owners followed suit, creating the “rainbow” of pastel colors present today. The coloring of the houses helped keep the houses cool inside as well as give the area its name.

Lowndes Grove Plantation

South Carolina Historical Design Lowndes Grove Plantation

 Sitting on 14 stunning acres on the banks of the Ashley River, Lowndes Grove is a National Historic Place, and Charleston’s last great waterfront estate.

The property includes a circa 1786 main house with two piazzas, a grand lawn, and broad terraces made of bluestone, brick and oyster tabby for your luxury wedding, private reception or corporate event. The rich history of the property includes a Revolutionary War invasion, the Charleston World’s Fair and a visit from President Theodore Roosevelt.

Is there another city in the south that inspires you with their design?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Now go have an “It’s So Fabulous Day” 

If you need help making your space more FABULOUS, then please contact me at Kimberly@knottinghillinteriors.com and visit our website www.KnottingHillInteriors.com


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Stylish, sophisticated and dramatic, Kimberly Grigg brings her unique talents to client’s homes across the country and to her retail boutique, Knotting Hill Interiors. An award winning retail boutique and an award winning full service design firm, Knotting Hill offers luxury interior design, renovation and remodeling services, custom design, childrens rooms and nurseries and accessorizing. The retail boutique sells fabric, home furnishings, retail design, lamps, accessories, art, upscale furniture consignment, gifts, fashion and jewelry. Voted “Best on the Beach” in both retail and design, our customers say that this place and this process is truly “enchanted”! Knotting Hill Interiors is based in Myrtle Beach South Carolina and is located at 7751 North Kings Hwy.