MDI does New York: How to Design a Charleston Home Using Manhattan Resources

May 24, 2014

Alexis and I took a little trip last week. Because clients of ours based in NYC are renovating their Kiawah Island home, it made more sense for us to work around their busy schedule and head north to discuss all of the design details at a time and place most convenient for them. It was a whirlwind couple of days, and we made a great headstart into the transformation of their southern coastal house.

Discussions began at their Manhattan apartment where we went over everything from pool tiles to roof shingles to cabinet drawings. And then, Alexis and I took to the streets to scour the city for key selections. When designing any room or home, it’s best to start with the bigger, defining pieces and work your way down to other complementary items. For example, a dining room table was a priority during the trip, since that will then determine other factors like light fixtures to hang above it, and so on.

Our first stop was at Waterworks, a plumbing supply house, where we found the stunning Marguex tub pictured above. After selecting the freestanding tub and choosing Carrara marble for the bathroom floors, we worked out the rest of the plumbing selections for the master bath. Then we headed for our next destination: Urban Archaeology. There, we were on a mission to find the perfect pendant light to hang above the large kitchen island. What we found is the Cargo pendant light in polished nickel.

Next up, Third Avenue to find the Design and Decorating Building to do some green selections. Our clients are interested in upholstery of sustainable design, completely free of toxins, and so we sought out items from Ferrell & Mittman. Their Pure Line meets California standards, and we were able to find products with pure insides, cushions made up of more soy than foam. And on that note, we went to Pollack in search of their green fabrics and were able to select some neutral, natural fabrics for the home.

The next morning, we stopped over at a favorite designer, Hickory Chair as their cushioning is naturally 20% soy, plus they’re happy to meet California green standards, too. After making additional upholstery selections, we went to the French furniture company Grange to find the item that would set the standard for the rest of the room: the dining room table. Only after choosing the table did we decide on the dining chairs and lights to hang above it. The lighting fixtures to best complement this classic piece were found at Currey and Co, and we managed another round of fabric hunting at famous Kravet Fabrics, a fifth-generation family business that deals with top designs like the ones we fell in love with by Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils.

Our clients will be in South Carolina soon, and we can’t wait to see what they think about the progress so far, and to do some further planning on other details such as paint colors. We’ll keep you posted on the project, and maybe let you in on their feedback, too!