3 Design Ideas From My Day Trip to Charleston

One of the things I love about working in a creative field is that one always has an excuse to get out and see things in the interest of inspiration.  A shopping trip or a vacation day can provide  a treasure trove of ideas that can become the seeds of the next project or post. At least that's my justification for taking a Tuesday off and spending the day with my daughter in Charleston! 

We had a great time together and filled every minute from the time we left in the morning until we returned last night well after dark.  After spending this morning catching up on email, phone calls and dealing with a tile issue and some book keeping tasks, I am now able to sit down and think about which impressions from yesterday have the potential to become inspiration for something I do.  Three things stand out in my mind from things that I saw that I'd like to share with you and they are not the obvious things you might expect to come out of a trip to Charleston.  Visiting the Holy City with a 20 something opens your eyes to some new things.  Even though Charleston has the largest historic district in the country, it is a vibrant city full of young people who bring a fresh point of view to live alongside the beautifully preserved history.

1. Words and Letters in Design

I was struck yesterday by the power of letters and words in design.   The counter serve, fresh salad restaurant, Verde, uses the word green in all different languages and fonts as a design element. 

This neon sign in a coffee shop window made us smile. (Place and wow added by Charlotte before sending it to her friends)

An obvious way to incorporate this idea into interior design is through artwork. Framed signs are one way to use words as art in a home.  Joanna Gaines uses a lot of signs in her interiors and these are a few that are available at her store online.

 

2. Black and White with a Hint of Nostalgia

Charlotte introduced me to the Lush store which sells handmade cosmetics and beauty products handmade using vegan or vegetarian ingredients. Headquartered in Poole England, these stores are sprouting wherever there are a lot of young people with disposable income!  The products weren't my cup of tea (who wants a "bath bomb"?)  but I was interested in the strong graphics, black and white labels and signs that were kept from being too forceful by the fact that they looked like they were done in chalk on slate.  The simple warm golden tone wood shelves were reminiscent of an old country grocery store. 

I might use the chalkboard idea as a jumping off point. Chalkboard paint along with white chalk can be used in kitchens and home offices and of course, kids' rooms to create whimsy and also help organize things:

Decor8.com

Decor8.com

thisoldhouse.com

thisoldhouse.com

I once used chalkboard paint on a refrigerator and even had a chalkboard tray made on the door so chalk would always be handy for list making or to write a quick note where family members would be sure to see it.

saved from welke.ni

saved from welke.ni

3. Iron

 Beautiful gates, railings, fences and lanterns can be seen all over the historic district in Charleston.  They exhibit such artistry and craftsmanship. The ornate gates are delicate in their lacy design while strong as iron at the same time.  

These gates remind me of a fabric by Schumacher called Manor Gate which would be fun to use in a project.

schumacher

schumacher

I think I remember seeing a carpet with a sort of wrought iron pattern. Now where was that?  Oh yes, I remember.  Here it is.  Iron Work by Stark:

Starkcarpet.com

Starkcarpet.com

We had dinner in Mount Pleasant at the Post House and loved it.  Then a quick trip through I'on to see the homes lit up at night followed by a visit to Whole Foods for vegan cookies.  It is dangerous to drive back to Pawleys Island with a bag full of vegan cookies.  They didn't all make it back to our kitchen...

Happy Wednesday!