Charleston, South Carolina
This job was done in conjunction with Charleston
architect, David Shaw.
The more than 150 year old structure is in the heart of the historic district and though it was almost totally gutted to refit for the use as law offices, it retains the respect and flavor of Charleston's architectural heritage. That being said, the design direction was developed with a consciousness for a "current" feeling.
The use of an Italian terra cotta tile for the flooring on the main leval was both practical and driven by design. It provided a fresh look and was installed on grade. The walls were drywall everywhere except for the office of the firm's principle and the law library, both on the second floor. The walls of these two spaces were completely retro fitted with solid mahogany paneling designed by architect, David Shaw with some input by the interior designer. The intention was to keep the look rich but simple.
The first floor was comprised of: a reception area, large main hall, two offices for support staff and records, a partners office and a small conference area. The new main stairway rises from the first floor hall and lands in the reception area common to the principle's office and the law library/conference room . This area also contains the space for the legal assistant/secretary.
The period lighting fixtures and chandeliers were purchased in Atlanta as well as many of the pieces of furniture. Other decorative accessories as well as a pair of Georgian consoles in the main office were from dealers in the Charleston area.
The carpeting on the second level was a geometric, woven pattern in charcoal grey wool and nylon, from Jack Lenor Larson. It provided another nod to the here and now. In the second floor reception area I used a period hand blocked paper in the wainscot from Zuber. The yellow walls here, and pale blue ceilings were fresh and gave some relief from the heavier colors elsewhere. It also created a relatively comfortable place to wait prior to fairly serious business.
By mixing periods, materials and design philosophies the intent was to create a space which explored the complexity of the client and had the feel of evolution, both his and that of the structure. As I said, I also wanted it to feel current as well as being appreciative of its historic location.