Combine modern elements in a Lowcountry aesthetic | Charleston Choice

The aesthetic of Charleston’s Countryside is one of the most recognizable and individual factors that contribute to the Southern District’s appeal. From historic preservation to the ever-growing city, Charleston’s charm and elegance have remained consistent during these developments. While traditional techniques still apply, my job was to embrace these traditions while adding the personal elements that make your home feel like home.

Charleston is a blueprint for what coastal life is like. From tranquil waterways, sandy beaches, and quantity communities, there is a place for anyone and everything. Increasing popularity in Modernism, combined with an influx of younger generations from around the world, created a wonderful opportunity to mix and incorporate more modern styles creating a long-lasting influence on Charleston’s following developments.

However, it seems that even if each house has its own style, the southern tier remains constant. It is possible to have two completely different feelings inside the house that work in harmony, even when you incorporate your personal touch. This new design approach offers an opportunity to transform a neighborhood within the same existing buildings into something special, and when these two worlds come together, something very inspiring happens.

Embracing the traditions of an ornate Southern home while combining simplicity and vernacular aspects of modern architecture can mean many different things. Elevating the house begins with the foundation – high ceilings, elegant appliances, simple moldings and decorations. These clean, simple technologies allow more room for creativity and functionality. Going for more modern details like simple lighting with patterned tiles and bright colors can create a more welcoming space in the home, all while embracing the culture we see all around us. Some of these design features are useful in more ways than just aesthetically pleasing. Soaring ceilings not only raise the level of the home, but also help withstand the warm, humid conditions of the South.

Everyone in the Lowcountry knows that a good kitchen makes a home complete, and it’s one of my favorite places to make a more modern statement. Simple paneled cabinets, paired with modern tiles or running your countertop up to a backsplash, are simple tricks for creating a modern, stylish kitchen in a Lowcountry home. Also consider stacking the tiles straight up to create a crisper, cleaner look instead of traditional brick patterns.

Another funky element in the kitchen is adding very simple tabs for your appliances or no appliances. While using these more modern elements, it is also common to incorporate more themed flooring or natural stone to help keep the more traditional elements dominant in the space.

Although design is very important in making a home a home, how you feel in it is crucial. Personalizing your space with design and décor elements that ignite your spirit is very important to feel connected to your home. Our homes are an extension of us, creating a sacred space where we can be our best selves, feel comfortable, step back, and/or be inspired by a design philosophy that I so deeply value. I did it!

Lowcountry has been a safe haven for those looking for it, and we are so lucky to call this wonderful haven a home. At the end of the day, your home is your home, and if you’re feeling a bit more modern but don’t want to disrespect existing Lowcountry architecture, know that there is a place for all of us and ways to achieve both. Charleston’s magic will continue in every ever-evolving scene.

Mary Welch Fox is interior designer and owner of Mary Welch Fox Design, as well as the host of HGTV’s Breaking Bland.

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