COTE DE TEXAS: Another Charleston Charmer

Another Charleston Charmer

 

Since I revisited Patricia Altschul’s house last week, this time I thought we would take a look at the new house that Thomas Ravenel bought during Season 3.  After Altschul, Ravenel is the other star of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” that owns an outstanding house.  Born and raised in Charleston, Ravenel is the “bad boy” of the show.   His name is very well known in Charleston – his family settled there in 1680, and his father was a popular Congressman. In fact, the famous contemporary bridge in town is actually named after Thomas’ father.  Thomas himself was once State Treasurer, that is, until he ran into trouble with cocaine.   Forced to resign, he served 10 months in Federal Prison.  Upon release, he picked up his life and continued working at his very successful real estate business.  In the end, it was “Southern Charm” that made this bachelor a household name, so much so, that he recently ran (and lost) for Senator against Lindsey Graham. 

On the first season of the show, Thomas met another cast mate, the very, very young, fiery redhead Kathryn Dennis, and together they had two children without benefit of marriage.  Today, Thomas has sole custody of his babies, which he was awarded when Kathryn tested positive for drink and drugs.  She has since gone to rehab, tested clean, and is now trying to regain some kind of visitation.  It’s a total mess – but hey, this is reality TV.  The only difference is this is reality TV in beautifully decorated houses.

 

When the show first started four seasons ago, Thomas lived on King Street in an original Charleston house where he had hired the extremely talented Amelia Handegan to decorate it.  Handegan obviously loved the decor she created for Thomas – it’s on the opening page of her web site and in her book.  Thomas also lives on a country plantation where he plays polo.  See my original story HERE.  After the first season, Thomas sold his fabulous Charleston house for some reason and last year moved to a new house, slightly smaller, but more pedigreed.  The new house was shown this winter in “Charleston Home and Design” magazine.

 

Above is Ravenel’s Plantation “Brookland”  – the country house where he plays polo and keeps his ponies.  He claims he is ready to quit polo now that he has sole custody of his two children.

 

Thomas’ former house – located in the “South of Broad” area of Charleston.  Built in 1797, the house’s front door is off to the side, down its driveway. 

 

The living room with its beautiful warm colors and velvet sofa that Amelia Handegan designed.  Years later, this remains an iconic and fabulous photograph.  When Thomas moved from here, he left the curtains behind, along with all the light fixtures.  I love that painting!

 

The two printed chairs across from the sofa.

 

The library with green sofa and more touches of persimmon.

 

The master bedroom with French blue walls.  Handegan brought in the blue to tone down the orange.

 

The large kitchen which was connected to the house at a later date. 

Thomas lived at this house for quite a few years.  He had rented it before he bought it, then sold it, then rebought it, and finally decided to move away.  At the time, maybe he thought it was too big for a bachelor?  When he sold it, he probably didn’t see two babies in his near future.

 

After living out of town on his plantation, Thomas decided to buy this beautiful original Charleston house and renovate it for his new family.   The house was built in 1815 and is only one of three local houses that have been given the National Register of Historic Places – Category 1 rating.  Thomas has spent the past year restoring the house and during that time, he lived in the guest house located behind the main house. 

Here is a side view of the house and guest house along with the site plan:

 

The main house is three stories with a two story addition that includes the bar and kitchen and master bathroom/closet.  When Thomas bought it, the house was not white, but was painted a warm yellow.  There is the main house with the living room, center stair hall and dining room.  The bar connects the main house to the newer built kitchen.  Past the house is the new guest house.  The area between the two houses is beautifully landscaped with a cascading fountain and an outdoor kitchen.  On the left side of the house is the driveway, which leads to the parking area behind the guest house.

 

The aerial view of the main house with its three stories, the attached 2 story kitchen/master bathroom and then the two story guest house out back.

 

BEFORE:  Here is the house as it was – painted a warm yellow.  It looks so much better today, painted white.  Not sure if guests come through the garden gate or the front door on the street?

 

BEFORE:  From the real estate photos, here you can see the front gate that leads to the garden. 

 

 

BEFORE:   The front walk leads back to the guest house.  At the left is the large double porch, a classic Charleston design.  Between the main house walkway and the guest house is an arched privacy wall – in case the guest house is rented out – this wall divides the two houses.

 

Today:  Now painted cream and white.  It’s a shame the electrical wires have not been placed underground by the city.

 

The side of the house where the driveway runs along to the back of the guest house.

 

The double story porch.  This door at the right leads to the bar and kitchen.

 

 

Nighttime view of the beautiful double porch lit up.

 

During the day.  Notice the distinctive transom above the front door – that is original.

 

Thomas and his daughter on the front porch. 

 

Past the privacy wall/fountain  – at the right is the kitchen, above it is the master bathroom.

 

 

Leaving through the bar door to go to the guest house.

 

  Walking past the privacy fence/fountain, the kitchen is at the right.

 

 

Between the house and the guest house is the outdoor kitchen and pavilion.

 

The guest house with the long cascading fountain and its 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.

 

The guest house with its contemporary styling.  OK.  On the show, Thomas announced that his two kids live in the guest house, implying he lived in the main house and the nanny stayed out here with his two kids.  He mentioned the expensive rugs in the main house – and not wanting his children to mess up his antique rugs.  You can imagine how people watching this went crazy, me included.  But later on Twitter, Thomas clarified that he actually does sleep in the guest house with his children – and, that the nanny doesn’t work nights.   He explained that the main house is not suited for children but the guest house is set up better for them (something that everyone he consulted with, agreed on.)  He also said he might be looking for a new house in a better neighborhood for children.  Oy.   It’s a shame that the kitchen/breakfast room in his main house is not a bit bigger, as it was in his old house.  In Thomas’ former house, the kitchen was large enough to fit in a small sitting area, which would make it perfect for children.  It’s just a waste that when the kitchen was designed, they did not make it a little larger. 

umm.  So glad it’s not my grandchildren that I’m worrying about!!!   Why do I even care?!?!   lol!!

 

 

THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE:

When Thomas bought the house, it had been foreclosed on and in 2011, was the Charleston ASID Symphony Showhouse.  The house, built in 1815, had been totally renovated in 2003, when the kitchen and guest house were built.  Here is a very early photo of the house showing it before these additions. Also, this is before the garden entrance was built, so everyone had to enter through the main front door!   The house is known as the William Steel House.     Originally the exterior was brick, but after 30 years, stucco was applied over the brick.

 

A 1940s view.  The house looks so different without the garden entrance!

In 1815, William G. Steele, a successful lumber merchant, had bought this large lot to build his house on.  The plot had originally been purchased in 1712 and was held by the owner’s family for over a century until it was finally sold to Steele for $1500.   Originally the house was 4,000 sq. ft. and it took 4 years to build.  On the property were three other buildings:  a bath house, a cook house, and a carriage house.  Today, the guest house is located on the footprints of the original carriage and bath house.   The electrical wires are still so visible on such an historic street, which is such a shame!  Charleston should bury their lines, the streets would look so much better!

 

In 1968, the house is now very run down.  The garden is also overgrown.

 

 

1968.  Notice the air/conditioning unit in the 3rd floor window! 

Later, during the Civil War era, Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham, the naval hero of the Koszta Affair, owned the house.  His friend, General Robert E. Lee, often visited here.   The Steele house was later sold a few times, once for just $5 and another time for $10, if you can believe that!!  At one point, it was a boarding house.  When the house was restored in 2003, over 2,000 sq. ft. was added onto it.   Inside, there is now a new kitchen and breakfast room with the master bathroom and closet built over it.  The renovation took five years and involved much hard work:  over 30 layers of paint were removed from the fir moldings.  Today, the house is now 6,222 sq. ft. with 5 bedrooms and 5.2 baths.  Thomas bought it in 2015 for a little under 2 million.

 

1940s:   The front door with its original stone surround and dark paint.  Today, the door is painted white.

 

2011:  After the long, five year restoration, the house was chosen for the Charleston ASID Symphony Showhouse – and, it was decorated by local designers.  The garden was set up for al fresco lunch with tables and umbrellas.

 

 

2011:  For the ASID Showhouse, along the long garden walk between the main house and the guest house, tables were set up for lunch.

 

2011:  ASID Symphony Showhouse.  And here, a whimsical crab sculpture was added atop the fountain.

 

2011:  ASID Symphony Showhouse.  Both the upper and lower Piazzas were decorated for the showhouse.

 

The Main House:

1940s:   The entry hall.   Notice the light fixture.  The front transom remains in situ today.

 

TODAY:  A nighttime view of the foyer.  There is a stone pattern on the walls and the railing is stained dark.

 

The plan is a typical Charleston center stairhall with the living room on the left and the dining room on the right.  Thomas has a small collection of silhouettes similar to Patricia Altschul.

 

1940s:   The three story stair hall.  All the rooms were wallpapered.ss

 

TODAY:  The view of the three story stairhall looks much the same today, minus the wallpaper.

 

1940s.  The Living Room.  Each room has this same machine in front of the fireplace and I assume it is some sort of room heater.  I wonder why they didn’t use the fireplace to keep the house warm?  It’s just so ugly!!   The base molding was stained dark. 

 

 

BEFORE:  The fireplace bricks were once light and the marble surround was gray and white.  This was all changed by Thomas.   It also looks like the wood floors are darker today.

R. Welford of Philadelphia carved the fireplaces;  it took him a year to complete each one. 

 

In 2011, the ASID Symphony Showhouse was staged in the house and the living room was decorated like this.   I like the plates on the walls.

 

When Thomas first moved in – he spent a while getting the house decorated, using his furniture from the Amelia Handegan house.  This photo was taken before there were curtains.  After moving in, Thomas hired a new interior designer, Carolyn S. Griffith, who unfortunately has no web site (!)  Griffith helped him get settled and ordered things that were needed to complete the décor.  Additionally, walls needed to be painted and wallpapered and new pieces of furniture needed to be ordered to fill in missing spaces.

 

 

A view of the restored fireplace.  The carved mantel is one of the reason the house has a Category 1 Historic House rating.

 

Another early view.

 

An early view - shows the opposite side of the room with the cane sofa and two arm chairs.  You can see the rug under the antique rug is actually a sisal, which is hard to see in other photos.

 

Today:  From “Charleston Home and Design” magazine – this view shows the newly finished decor with the new curtains and the restored fireplace.  Love the art work over the sofa.  At the very left is the cane sofa with the arm chair flanking it.  This room looks very beautiful here, all finished – just as pretty as the Amelia Handegan room in the other house.

 

1940s.  The Dining Room.   This room has seen some changes.  Today, the closet on the left no longer has a door – it’s a row of its now exposed shelving.  And of course, there’s the ever present heater!!

 

BEFORE:  The owners prior to Thomas decorated the room like this.   Thomas changed the fireplace again in here, this marble and the light bricks are now gone, as is the light fixture.

 

2011:  The ASID Showhouse decor.  A bad photo.  But, the room was dressed up a bit with the mirror, curtains, and chandelier.

 

EARLY RAVENEL DECOR:   Set up for a dinner party, the décor is not yet complete here.   The fireplace is now more elegant with the dark painted interior brick and darker marble surround.  The dining room is how you get to the back rooms.   To reach the kitchen you have to go from the stairhall through the dining room.  This is a typical floorplan of an original single Charleston house.   Here you can see the closet with its door removed, exposing its row of shelving.    I don’t know why the designer hasn’t yet styled the shelves, but I’m sure that is coming.  Actually, I think they should have just covered up the shelves with sheetrock in the renovation – the shelves seem so short and the entire wall is just not symmetric.

 

Another early Ravenel view.  Today, there are curtains in the room.  At this point, you can see that there is a solid door here that leads out to the front porch, but later, Ravenel installed French doors instead.  The crystal chandelier is new to the room.  It’s not quite as beautiful as the one Thomas had in his old house, but it is nice, although it’s a bit too small for the space.

 

And for a party – you can see his very large,  beautiful painting here.  I LOVE that painting!!!  Through the door is the entry hall.  Over the fireplace is an antique convex mirror.

 

The infamous dinner party from last season.  Here you can see the newly installed French doors that lead to the porch.  This was a good change – it lets in so much more light.

 

TODAY:  From “Charleston Home & Design” magazine.  The dining room is now complete with the curtains hanging and shutters installed.   The floors throughout the house are original - heart pine.

                                                                                                               

The way to the bar through the dining room leads to the back stairs and the kitchen.

 

Before:  The bar and the back stairs.  Before, the walls were yellow.  This leads to the newly added master bath/closet.  These back stairs were originally used by the household help.

 

TODAY:  Ravenel had antique mirror installed behind shelves to hold his collection of bar glasses.  Grasscloth was put on the walls.

 

The route to the kitchen and, on the right, through the door, the guest house.  Thomas put down an antique rug and added a beautiful Oriental chest along the wall.  He added new light fixtures here and in the kitchen hall.

 

A bit blurry view of the oriental chest and his rug.  Thomas has a large collection of these smaller runners that he has placed all over the house, they adds such a pretty touch! 

Inspiration!  Use antique runners throughout a house.

 

TODAY:  From the magazine.  These stairs lead up to the master suite.

 

There’s no photo of the original stairs, but I would love to see them! 

 

BEFORE:  The kitchen and breakfast room with its dark blue walls and orange ceiling. Vive le Tuscany décor!!

 

BEFORE:   Notice the bird tile – this was removed by Thomas.  And these are the light fixtures and sconces that were also removed and replaced.

 

TODAY:  Small photo from the magazine.    Here, you can see the new sconces and light fixtures and white walls and ceiling were all easy changes that updated the kitchen.  And of course, Thomas added an oriental rug to tone down the dramatic marble floor.  I do think I would have painted the cabinets one color, perhaps a dark gray or white and I would put down new floors. The marble is just too much for such an elegant house.

 

Whitney comes to visit Thomas.  The Ravenel Coat of Arms hangs on the backsplash.

 

BEFORE:  The breakfast room with its small, tiny table from the previous owner.   The windows in the breakfast area are beautiful and overlook the side garden and fountain.

 

2011:  The ASID Showhouse.  The breakfast room decorated for the showhouse.

The breakfast room/kitchen is not that large, certainly not as large as the kitchen/family room in Thomas’ last house.  But here, you can see there is room for a banquette – Thomas’ kids probably would have enough room to play in this area instead of having to stay out in the guest house.  I’m going to quit worrying about his children now.  I promise.

 

UPSTAIRS:

1940s.  There are two main bedrooms on the second floor.  This room is quite spectacular.  Its woodwork is so incredible and it is the reason why this house was awarded the Category 1.   Look at that door and its architrave.  Just beautiful.

 

A view of the beautiful carved mantel.  Where is the large heater?  Notice the old luggage.    Today, Thomas uses this room as a library.

 

BEFORE:   The library was used as a bedroom by the previous owner.  You can see the fireplace with the light bricks.  The dark painted bricks make such a huge difference. 

Inspiration:  Be sure to paint the inside of fireplaces dark!

 

2011:  The ASID Symphony Showhouse – the room was set up as a sitting room with a contemporary light fixture.  Notice the door.  Just beautiful with the sunlight shining through the windows.

 

EARLY RAVENEL DECOR:  The library.  Here is an early view of the room when Thomas first moved in - the furniture came from the old house’s library.  Notice the wood work of the crown molding.  It is just stunning.  After this photo was taken, more furniture was bought and this console and lamps were moved into the bedroom.  The walls are painted a warm, mossy green, that works with the moss green sofa and chairs.

 

An early view – of the beautiful mantel.  This coffee table was originally in the living room in the old house, but it is now in the library.

 

TODAY:  And here is the library, now finished.   It looks fabulous!  I LOVE this room!!  Two new antique bookcases hold his collection of old books and matching demilunes were placed underneath.  A new leather sofa was added to fill out the room.  New curtains and privacy shutters. This arrangement is much more symmetric than how it was originally set up by Ravenel when he first moved in.  Love the matching candelabras in the windows.  The long antique bench was moved out and the two stools from the living room were moved in and used in front of the sofa.   I wish there were better quality photographs for you!!  Beautiful!!!

Inspiration:  Hanging shelves for small,  antique books.  LOVE!!!

 

TODAY:  A close up of the magnificent fireplace.

 

1940s.  The Master Bedroom.  This room looks quite different today.  The fireplace was closed up here and the door to the right of the fireplace is now a window.

 

EARLY DECOR BY THOMAS RAVENEL:  The master suite with its French blue walls.

 

Through the door is the center stairhall.

 

The early decor view of the opposite side of the bedroom with the fireplace.  Here, Thomas set up the room like this for a while, with this fabulous leather chair and vanity mirror!  The two long pieces of art came from the last house’s bedroom.   Notice – the window to the right of the fireplace that is here now, instead of the door as it was before.

 

Here is the sitting area redone with the console and lamps that were previously in the library.  I’m guessing there are now curtains and shutters on the windows in the blue bedroom, but unfortunately, there are no photos of it in the magazine!

 

TODAY:  The master bedroom connects with the master bathroom through this hall, painted dark gray, and lined with family photographs.  This space is right above the bar, and the bathroom is the new space built right above the kitchen.  Thomas’s antique runner is laid over the marble floors, which tones it down – yet again.  The marble finishes in the renovation are a bit flashy probably for Thomas’ tastes.  I’m sure he kept them down to avoid the huge expense of changing them. 

 

TODAY:  The master bathroom.  Unstaged for the Bravo photoshoot.  They should try to stage their pictures, at least, just a little bit!

 

The tub.  Thomas put an antique screen in front of the window to shield the view.  I love this antique chair.  The mix of the antiques in the bathroom with all the marble looks good.  What do you do when you buy a house that has lots of marble you don’t love? 

Inspiration:  Use antique furniture and rugs to tone it down.

 

In between the library and the master bedroom is the stairhall which leads to the front balcony.

 

A view from the third floor landing down to the second floor landing and the front porch.

 

2011:   The ASID Symphony Showhouse.  On the third floor, in the Smoking Room, there is a spiral staircase leading to the rooftop.

 

TODAY:  How do you quiet all that down?  Paint it black and white and the room is suddenly simply sophisticated. Love it.

 

TODAY:   The simple fireplace in the Smoking Room.

 

TODAY:  And across from the black bedroom is one of the children’s room with the wainscot painted fresh white.

 

On the third floor landing, there is a large wooden built-in with a window seat!

 

The view down the three flights.

I love Thomas Ravenel’s taste and style (talking aesthetics only.)  He had the good sense to hire Amelia Handegan years ago – and everything she bought for him, he still has and it all still looks great, even in another house.  I like that he chooses to properly set a table and I love that his art work.  I love the way the uses monogram towels and napkins and he even has some that say “T-Rav” – his nickname. 

I also love that he lives in the oldest houses and makes them look better than they ever did (going by the pictures today!)

How would you like to live like Thomas for a few days or maybe a week?

You can!   I found this fabulous house, owned by an interior designer on Air BnB.  It’s located in the heart of the downtown district in Charleston, so it’s walking distance to all the bars, restaurants, and shops.

 

The house is an original single with double porches.  It’s recently been totally renovated.

 

The front door on the street leads to the piazza and the house’s front door.

 

 

The living room is filled with antiques.  Beautiful curtains with fabulous gilt curtain rods.  Look at those RODS!

 

Across from the sofa are two slipper chairs and behind that is the dining area.  Stairs with seagrass runner.

 

Close of the sofa and curtains.

 

The coffee table is a French antique.

 

Behind the chairs is the dining area.

 

A crystal chandelier hangs over the skirted table.   Love that mirror and chandelier!

 

An antique cabinet with two blue and white lamps!  LOVE.

 

The powder room is so cute.

 

The kitchen has been totally updated with a sitting area.  Love those Charleston style doors.  Instead of an island, there is an antique table. Love.  

OK.   I seriously want to move here!!!

Seriously.

 

The kitchen.

 

Marble counters.  The appliances are top of the line.

 

A four poster bed with toile and more antiques.

 

The guest room.  DARLING!!!  

For information, go HERE.

 

Speaking of Thomas’ style – I love how he sets the table with blue and white dishes and Jaliska glasses.

Here are some ideas to get the look:

 

Love the look of blue & white on the table.  Spode.  Click on the plates to order.

 

or these.  Real Chinese dishes are less expensive.  I found these on Amazon.  Click on the plate. 

 

Aren’t these gorgeous?  Inspired by antique silverware.  Pottery Barn!!  HERE.

Nothing is nicer than antique linen napkins HERE.

 

Candles – I love oversized votives. HERE.

 

Moody art work – in Thomas Ravenel’s colors!!  HERE.

 

It’s not Charleston, but it’s close by.  A new OKL antique sale from New Orleans!  HERE.

36 comments :

  1. After seeing how far it had gone to seed, it's a good thing someone has brought it back to life.
    The front entrance looks as if it leads to a large, comfortable home. But then the side view just goes on and on--the place is enormous.
    I don't get why people would close off parts of their homes to their kids. OK, this one is on TV, and that probably plays a role. But we raised a kid amid antiques and white upholstery without incident and without making parts of the house off-limits, though the white sofas were banned from food and coloring, but welcome for reading. Reminds me of the formal living rooms that were popular in the '70s as people started to add "family rooms." One friend called his parents' living room the "funeral parlor."
    Anyway, I like that someone so young has such a classic, antique-filled home, without the obligatory modern "whimsical" pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thomas is in his fifties.
      Sheila

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    2. Did you raise girls? If you got a boy to live amongst antiques and you all survived in one piece, I want you to come to my house and give me some pointers on what I'm doing wrong. My boys are little hurricanes.

      Delete
    3. you have a point! Boys and girls are so different. With my girl, we didn't have to move an ashtray, but boys and balls and rough housing!!! omg.

      Delete
  2. Can't get past the wires everywhere, but the house reeks Charleston elegance.

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    Replies
    1. I grew up in Chas and I can't imagine the place without wires and crooked poles. Without the them it would seem so sterilized and too modern to me. The poles leaning this way and that remind me of the hurricanes. I guess it's just what you're used to, though.

      Delete
    2. Paperkite,
      Thank you! I live in a very old little town where someone down the street from me just had the wires put underground across from their house to improve their view. It looks so odd; the old poles and wires add something to the feel of the town being old-fashioned and authentic.
      Sheila

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    3. I find nothing charming about telephone poles and wires hanging every which way. It is just a sign of politicians never wanting to spend the money for long term fixes. Especially in the hurricane areas one would think it would be an investment to underground them. We are one of the last "first world" (sorry, for lack of a better description) countries with this kind of crappy infrastructure. Sorry for the rant, these wires are a pet peeve of mine.

      Delete
    4. Anon 8:29
      We can't afford to do every update that people might like partially due to all the people on entitlement programs that don't belong there. I didn't say everyone, so don't get excited. Just the millions who are perfectly capable and who are gaming the system. And if you think it's not happening you are living in a fantasy world.
      Sheila

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    5. Apparently Charleston is putting them underground - slowly.

      Delete
  3. What a beautiful post, Joni. As usual, you have done your homework. By and large, he had done a good job of restoration. But I must take issue with painting fire brick fireplace linings. The first time a fire is laid and lit, that paint will melt away and there will be a large area where the flames were that is once again the original exposed brick. And besides, that wonderful herringbone brick is to die for. One normally only sees that in European fireboxes. Why cover it up? Herringbone fire brick is a status symbol and so beautiful. I would love to have it in my fireplace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought they had special paint? no?

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    2. Yes, they do have special paint to paint the the firebox in a fireplace. The interior of my fireplace is painted black and looks exactly the same 26 years later. We have fires every winter.

      Nancy W.

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  4. Another stunning home. This one however, though beautifully styled, seemed cold and lifeless. Maybe because his family lives in the guest house? I don't want to visit this one. Sadly, I want to visit the smaller, unglamorous guest house that people actually live in.

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    Replies
    1. janet,
      I don't believe these homes are available to visit.
      Sheila

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    2. Thank you Sheila, It was meant to be a metaphorical statement.

      Delete
  5. A few weeks ago my Husband and I visited Charleston. We even visited an estate sale at a house on Thomas Street! we walked there after enjoying lunch at the Hominy Grill on Rutledge. Charleston is very walkable, at least it was to me. We explored the alleys, Tradd Street and I even purchased the study guide for the licensed tour guide test! When walking you can pop into the shops and hotel lobbies and Bakeries. The galleries and coffee shops it was just a lot of fun. However Spring time when everything seems to bloom and the House Tours are in session is an excellent time. We have been three times over the past year and a half. We saw Colonial Lake when it was empty for renovations, the scaffolding on the church, a walgreens under construction at King and Calhoun. The beauty of the campus of College of Charleston. my very first visit was in 1983 and King street was soo different back then. Just Google Mrs Whayley's Charleston Garden and you too will do other google searches to read and discover the landscape designer that worked with her to make a beautiful iconic garden. Also on You Tube a Group of college age singers recorded a beautiful tribute with a song- Meet me down in Charelston - I hope you listen and like the video.

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    Replies
    1. So you saw "a walgreens under construction"....how delightful! Are you serious or pulling our leg with your comment?
      Sheila

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    2. My point Shelia, change is constant. A stones thow away from this Huge Wagreens is the Frances Marion Hotel, the campus of the College of Charleston, a great New York style Pizza joint (Hole in the wall paper napkins plastic forks,) a lovely city green space, Charleston is a living city not a cotrolled environment as is Williamsburg. The needs of the people will be met; feel free to get a chill pill prescription filled in the Holy City. I said it is a walkable city Also Walgreens or is it CVS has a huge store on Canal street in Nola near that awesome tower of a hotel with those expensive matresses available for purchase if you ask about the manufacturer. Getting back to the Walgreens , a marvel of Engineering constructing/rehabing a building on a busy corner, the noise, the dust, the construction curtains The economy is booming in large Urban areas --there are jobs to be had. Shelia turn off the TV and get off the internet and see the USA. PS A huge edifice is under construction across from the campus of a large university in a small town in Florida. However, I don't think many residents would wax eloquently about this event either, Shelia do you live nearby?

      Delete
    3. Anon 8:26 AM
      I don't know where you live, but wherever it is, no, I DON'T live nearby...yikes.
      Sheila

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    4. Sheila! what does THAT mean? Be nice!!!

      Delete
    5. Joni 9:08 Did you read 8:26 AM?
      After I read that comment addressed to me which seemed so strange; "feel free to get a chill pill filled in the Holy City(?? what the what??), her telling me to turn of t.v. and get off internet (if we got off internet we wouldn't be reading this blog ...) and the weird thing about a huge edifice being constructed in Florida and so on...well, the whole thing was so strange (and non cohesive) that it got too freaky for me when this one asked if I lived nearby.
      Sheila

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    6. Gee I am sorry if my remarks made you feel uncomfortable Miss Shelia. take a chill pill means to relax about the topic at hand.
      Be it walgreens under contruction, telephone poles, entitlement programs, or system gaming. Be the change you want to see in the world.

      Delete
  6. This is why God created kiddy gates, family rooms and parents who could see out of the back of their head.
    If the rugs are so precious roll them and go to Joni sea grass rug company to get something a bit more family friendly!

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  8. Fantastic post Joni! Just yesterday I was channel surfing and saw a few minutes of Southern Charm, and had never really heard of it or watched it before. Unfortunately, I changed channels quickly because I thought it was just a dumb reality show. But maybe I should have continued to watch for the interiors! Love this house...I love all the photos you always find and work into a narrative. I study all of your posts with a cup of tea, and it always recharges me. Thanks so much for the work you put into these posts! VERY appreciated...

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  9. just lovely! thanks for the post!

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  10. Thomas has two houses on one property. He is taking care of his children. I don't think it matters which house they live in if he is with them, which he says he is.
    Sheila

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    1. Thank you!!! so, you watch sheila?

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    2. Joni 9:09 AM
      Yes, I've watched every ridiculous juicy episode since season one.
      I'm just another middle-aged woman with plenty of time on my hands to watch lots of trash t.v.
      Apparently I'm not alone...ha!
      Sheila

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  11. Joni, I devoured every photo and word of this post! It was great - thank you so much for sharing this inspiration!!

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  12. What a beautiful post, Joni. As usual, you have done your homework. By and large, he had done a good job of restoration. But I must take issue with painting fire brick fireplace linings.

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  13. I LOVE Charleston!!! My favorite city in the US. This was a great post. Thank you I love you blog. Such a pleasure to read and always so informative. Thank you!!!

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  14. I CANNOT believe that THOMAS had the wherewithall to hire Amelia Handegan...maybe it was his mom's idea? I love his explanation for having his children live in the guest house with the nannny...sadly I watch the show. I adore Charleston and the houses...my husband thinks it is an excuse to watch "the real housewives" of???? We are probably both right. Great post...aren't all those characters getting more and more dispicable?

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  15. Does anyone here remember the PBS show Frontier House? It was awesome. Maybe Shelia saw it. Three families auditioned , interviewed and were to selected to live as if they were Oklahoma homesteading in the 1850's. A family built their own cabin, The families (2) with children lived in abandoned cabins. we watched their progress of adapting to such a life style for six months all the while setting in supplies for a winter without. My point, at the conclusion to the show all the efforts were critiqued and judged yes or no they will survive a winter. Then we visited the family that lived in a cabin while their MALIBU mansion was being built. Was it surprising they appreciated the "close quarters" yet had the wide open spaces during the day and tasks at hand in the fresh air to accomplish.? Granted the age of the children in the families gave viewers a great perspective of children and their emotional needs. I think the entire series/exercise allowed these individuals to be introspective and gave everyone a new benchmark in their personal character building. I think a Charleston guest house for young children is a Frontier house. They will not get lost or fall down stairs or slip on marble floors or fall out of second story windows.

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  16. Joni! I love this post! I am a huge fan of Southern Charm. I am currently renovating a lovely 1828 home in Georgia for our family (Texas girl, though). I was just studying everything about T-Rav's homes. I am choosing light fixtures and paints right now!! Anyway, imagine my delight when I get to the Air BnB! I have been channeling my inner "Joni" stalking her every publication and learning all about her renovation since I began my project! Amazing that you posted about the same property/designer!

    As always, I love each and every post. I'm off to read your latest now. I've been a bit behind with my mind on all things old house. I haven't commented in a while or chatted about our shared love of Outlander but I hope all is well! Thanks for another great read!

    Jamie

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