Charleston Symphony Designer House Before and After

This Spring, I was asked to design a room for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League Designer Showcase Home.  This beautiful home in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, is located at 50 Hasell Street and has a stunning facade, the traditional piazzas on the side of the house and a little garden out back that will seriously take your breath away. I had such a great time watching it go from an old and deserted structure into a beautiful historic home that will host many memories to come!

Upon arriving at the home for the first time, I was taken into my room, an upstairs bathroom, and was greeted by a very old and tired space, full or broken tile, worn down grout, rusted plumbing and in serious need of some TLC. Because we only had a few weeks to complete our rooms, I knew there was no time to waste and I immediately got to work! 



I first decided on my design concept for the room.  Because it was a small room, and the home would later be used for a wedding venue, I wanted to create a space that would not only make a large impact, but have a historic and feminine touch. 

The exterior of the home was to be painted a beautiful historic color with a blend and pink and peach. The color reminded me of the stunning Charleston sunsets and was all the inspiration I needed to design the bathroom. My wallpaper was the first thing I selected, which was a beautiful Anna French paper full of lush flowers, birds and a peach background.

This little bathroom created a host of challenges but none that I couldn’t handle.  The first and most important challenge was of course the flooring and tile. Because it was an old home, and the tile was set directly on the wall, removing said tile would have also taken off most of the plaster resulting in us having to ultimately take this baby down to the studs, which we didn’t have time for. However, a miracle arrive, (literally) when I found the group at Miracle Method of Charleston, a company that restores old tile and tubs making them look better than new! They were so amazing to work with and with our tight schedule. Because the tile was almond at the time, I decided to go with a bright white for the floors and walls in order to brighten up the space. It took about two days for Miracle Method to complete the tile, and it turned out amazing! 

The sink chest was also one of my favorite things about the room and something anyone can do.  I selected a very simple white sink chest sourced from our friends at Lowes of Mount Pleasant. The chest came in a very plain white (still very pretty) with stainless hardware. I replaced the hardware with crystal knobs, and had my faux finisher, Crystal Eadie Miller or NewLook finishes come in and create a beautiful finish on the chest. A Kohler Bancroft faucet  in a stunning Vibrant polished nickel finished out the sink. It turned out great! 

As soon as I walked into my bathroom for the first time, I knew it needed a statement piece to really create that "wow" effect.  What instantly came to mind is what I have to say is my favorite light fixture of all time, the "Fiona" by Ro Sham Beaux.  When this chandelier was installed, it was like a piece of jewelry that was desperately missing from a ball gown!  

The shower curtain was also a bit of a challenge because there was nothing to support the L-Shaped Valance and Curtain. My drapery maker and I put our heads together and came up with the perfect solution which involved the making of a corner bracket, which held the structure together.  It was sturdy and a great way to get the look of the curtain floating instead of suspending from the ceiling with ugly rods or ropes. 

I completed the bathroom with a hand made Oriental rug from my friends at Pacific Rugs in Atlanta.  It softened the space immediately and really tied everything together! 

It truly was an honor being a part of such a wonderful event and organization.  I could NOT have done anything at all though without all of the vendors (sourced below) who helped to make it happen.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Also thank you so much Patrick Brickman for taking these beautiful photos! 


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Thank you to the following people who helped to make it happen! 

Miracle Method of Charleston

1st Class Painting and Restoration

John Kolodka Painting and Wallpapering

New Look Finishes

Ro Sham Beaux 

Kathy Shields of KS Designs 

Pacific Rugs - Atlanta

Lowe's of Mt. Pleasant

Patrick Brickman Photography 



I was recently given the honor to design a bathroom for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Designer Showcase Home. I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures as you will not believe the transformation! As soon as I walked into this bathroom, I knew that a fabulous wallpaper would be a must to transform this space. The question was what design to choose as there are so many amazing options! Would I go for a bold geometric? Or stay on the softer side with a lovely feminine print? The answer was easy as the home was a beautiful historic house in the heart of downtown Charleston and will be used as a wedding venue in the future. I opted for a beautiful peach Anna French wallpaper full of scrolling and birds.  

                                                       Anna French "Bird in a Bush" Wallpaper in Peach 

                                                       Anna French "Bird in a Bush" Wallpaper in Peach 

The bird has been used in decor for many years and dates back to the early 17th Century when the Chinese started printing ornate designs placing birds and flowers into panels of rice papers.  This design became popular in Europe where the design was imitated and classified as chinoiserie.  

During the Victorian Era, new machines able to print up to 400 rolls of wallpaper a day afforded a mass production of wallpaper and fabric patterns.  Charles Voysey, one of the most well known pattern designers, created hundreds of pastel patterns incorporating birds in many of those patterns.  These wallpapers and fabrics became a staple in many Victorian homes.  

                                                                                    Charles Voysey wallpaper circa 1899

                                                                                   Charles Voysey wallpaper circa 1899

As time moved forward, the bird stayed strong in the home, evolving into the once famous owl design in the 1970's (think Macramé owls) and then coming back in the well known chintz wallpapers and fabrics in the 1990's.  Today, you will see birds in contemporary patterns as well as classic designs.  Here are some of my favorites.   

Schumacher Fabrics - Chinois Palais by Mary McDonald 

Schumacher Fabrics - Chinois Palais by Mary McDonald 

"Bird on a Wire" Handmade Custom Rug by  New River Artisans 

"Bird on a Wire" Handmade Custom Rug by New River Artisans 

Scalamandre Maison Arcadia Jar from  Layla Grayce 

Scalamandre Maison Arcadia Jar from Layla Grayce 

Voler Box with gilded bird by Aidan Gray Home

Voler Box with gilded bird by Aidan Gray Home

Audubon Framed Print "American Flamingo" from  One Kings Lane

Audubon Framed Print "American Flamingo" from One Kings Lane

Ibis Ancient Gold Table  Lamp by Cyan Design 

Ibis Ancient Gold Table Lamp by Cyan Design 



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