5 Up & Coming Charleston Designers You Need to Know

Look behind the Lowcountry’s refreshed aesthetic, and you’ll find pioneering creatives bringing new life to the historic South Carolina city.

Blue and White Exterior
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

This story appeared in the Summer 2017 issue; see more summer stories here and subscribe now.

As Charleston emerges anew on the design radar, so, too, has the look of its must-visit destinations—which have crystallized into something entirely fresh and modern. The source of this new vision: A crop of talented makers and designers who are reimagining the local aesthetic.

From restoration hotels like the Dewberry and 86 Cannon to ante-upping shops such as Hampden Clothing to creative riffs on traditional restaurants (think: neocoastal oyster bars and Mexican cantinas), their work shares a desire to create unique and character-rich places. In a 400-plus-year-old city, backstory is, after all, everything.

Gray and Red Portrait
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

Betsy Berry
B Berry Interiors

Betsy Berry didn’t set out to design hotels and restaurants. But when her husband, Robert, a chef, took a job in Charleston in 2012, the David Easton alum fell into the field organically.

Pink and White Dining room
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

A consulting stint designing properties for a large hotel chain led to subsequent commercial projects, which all bear the hallmark of Betsy’s meticulously researched, impeccably turned-out interiors—from boutique hotel 86 Cannon to the recently refreshed fashion hub Hampden Clothing to Pancito & Lefty (pictured above), Robert’s three-years-in-the making tribute to mezcal and the flavors of Mexico.

Blue and White Kitchen 86 canon
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[The cafe in the boutique hotel 86 Canon.]

Blue Living room 86 canon
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[A cozy sitting area in the salon of 86 Canon.]

Blue Portrait
Photography by BEN JACK

Amanda Greeley 

When Amanda Greeley left the New York corporate fashion world to pursue her own sartorial vision, she made the move to Charleston—a place she’d long visited with her family—and inspiration struck. Her newly launched line of loafers, Thelma, is a modern twist on menswear for the ladies in a lush palette. 

White Dining room
Photography by BEN JACK

In her own home, Greeley painted the floors a robin’s-egg blue (pictured above), a shade traditionally used on porch ceilings around Charleston, as well as the front door a vibrant ocean blue. The result is a fresh take on a familiar city fixture.

Black and White Bathroom
Photography by BEN JACK

[The dreamy bathroom of Greeley's home also feature pale blue walls.]

White Vignette on blue floor
Photography by BEN JACK

[A mood board of Thelma inspiration, laid out on the light blue floor.]

Black Portrait
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

Ky Coffman and Will Allport 
One & Other

Whether they’re customizing matchbooks or conceptualizing a brand from scratch (see their recent design of The Darling Oyster Bar), this husband-and-wife studio focuses on a project’s cerebral elements (narrative, atmosphere) as much as on its tactile ones (packaging, signage). It’s a 360 approach that reflects the couple’s prodigious creativity, along with a studied eye (both are trained architects).

Gray Food
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[A fresh plate of oysters at the Darling.]

Blue and White Vignette
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[A selection of branding by One & Other for Le Farfalle (an Italian restaurant in Charleston, The Darling, De Buci Baby (founded by Maya Nairn), and others.]

White Portrait
Photography by PARTNERS PHOTO

Robert Highsmith, Stefanie Brechbuehler, and Ryan Mahoney

To witness this trio’s ability to create transformative spaces—the lighting, millwork, furniture, finishes—head to the Dewberry, a 1964 federal office building–turned-five-star hotel. Throughout the property’s 155 rooms, plus a restaurant, spa, ballroom, and public bar and gathering space, the aesthetic balances modern design with Southern charm.

Pink Shop interior
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[Workstead also designed Henrietta's, a southern-inspired French restaurant in the Dewberry.]

Brown and Wood Food
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

[A breakfast spread at Henrietta's.]

White Portrait
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEEER

Courtney Rowson and Amy Pastre
Stitch Design Co.

Through their trailblazing creative agency, designers Courtney Rowson and Amy Pastre have applied their signature blend of clean layouts and vintage-inspired lettering and graphics to projects ranging from packaging and digital identities to travel books and city maps. Likewise, their influential online shop and letterpress studio, Sideshow Press, produces instantly timeless work—just like Charleston.

Published on June 05, 2017 - 6:00am EDT

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