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Charleston Weekending: My Beach Essentials

folly beach chair company | orange umbrellas on folly beach

The kids may be heading back to school, but there is plenty of beach season left around Charleston! We occasionally even get surprised with some beach-worthy weather toward the end of the year, and I plan to enjoy all the sunshine I can. Recently on our local TV show Lowcountry Live, I shared about some of my favorite beach staples. Watch the segment here, and keep scrolling to see some of the local companies I highlighted!

Folly Beach Chair Company

Your beach days will never be the same in the best way; no more schlepping chairs to and from the parking lot, having your umbrella weasel it’s way out of the hole you attempted to dig, or spending the day laying on a towel with no shade. Folly Beach Chair Company will be your new best beach bud that will allow you to just show up and relax. Just click here to book; advance notice is preferable, but you can book same day before noon if you want to sit by the Folly Beach Pier. Then, just show up and let Mike & his friendly staff take care of the rest while you sunbathe the day away!

Germain Dermatology Skin Care

It’s no day at the beach when you’re nursing a sunburn! Dr. Marguerite Germain, who is the dermatologist my husband and I have been seeing for years, keeps expanding her line of skincare to ensure you stay protected from the sun. Shop her tinted and un-tinted sunscreen offerings here, and have a look at the TV segment to learn more about all of their sun care products (like UPF 50+ wraps, hats, & more).

Turkish Towels & More

Have you been in our shop, Cannonborough Collective, this season? We have several new colorful styles of Turkish towels, and that’s the one product that tends to go everywhere with me! We also have lots of cute totes & jelly bags to make it easy to carry your beach day necessities, so stop by the next time you’re downtown Charleston. Mention that you read this post for 20% off a Turkish towel anytime in 2019.

turkish towel from Cannonborough Collective in charleston SC

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to make every day feel like the weekend!

Let’s stay in touch! Save this post to Pinterest or come find me on Instagram.

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Weekender Home Tour: Hampton House

Hampton House on Grove Street | Charleston Home Tour

This is a home I always stop to notice when I pass it on one of my runs along Grove Street, aptly named “Hampton House” since it’s a short walk from Hampton Park. It caught my attention because it’s a bit of a neighborhood rebel; it’s striking architectural presence sticks out like a hip urban sore thumb. It is almost museum-esque & looks nothing like most of the other homes on this street (or on the peninsula, for that matter), and I mean that in the best way. However, occasionally you’ll be reminded that this is indeed a Lowcountry home by something inside- a giant oak tree peeking in from the bathroom window or a vase of hydrangea here and there.

After seeing photos of the interior I am even more fascinated by the Hampton House, which is a founding sponsor of the Redux Contemporary Art Center's "Home is Art" community outreach program. Students from the local James Simons School were awarded scholarships to attend design sessions at Redux that exposed budding architects to the works of Frank Gehry, I.M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano, and more. I now appreciate this home even more, so let’s have a look inside, shall we?

A few quick facts about the home:

Year built: 2017
Location: Near Hampton Park on Grove Street
Who lives here? A design couple from New York and Los Angeles

Hampton House Charleston Home Tour

What is your Favorite feature of your house?

The architecture and design input from the local creative community.

What would you change about it, if anything?

Not a thing!

Charleston Weekender Hampton House Home Tour

Tell us about the design- did you have help from a designer or how did that all happen?

The architect (Kevan Hoertdoefer) was given a blank canvas to create anything he wanted. The addition of design installations by local artists enhances Kevan's overall design concepts.

What are some must haves that help make your space functional while also being such a design lovers dream?

Light, space, openness, livability and art.

Charleston Weekender Home Tour | Hampton House

Share some of the sources you used to decorate- i.e. stores, websites, artists you love . Architect / Kevan Hoertdoerpher . Floating stairs art / Tess Thomas. Metal designs / Eric Doran. Woodwork designs / Spiro Skartsiounis. Inspirations: Poet: Charles Bukowski's "All the way". Artist: Richard Diebenkorn's "116 Ocean Park". Music: Air's "La Femme d'Argent". Design: Frank Gehry and John Lautner

hampton house dining room | Charleston Home tour

Isn’t this home a stunner!? The inside is indeed a masterpiece, but the outside spaces are their own well thought out pieces of art.

A spcial thank you to Chauncey Clark, the home’s listing agent, for helping me get a peek inside this fabulous work of art! You can learn more about Hampton House and see the listing here. However, if you wind up buying this peninsular palace, I would really love to be invited over for dinner & an in-person tour!

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Charleston Weekending: 72 Hours in the Holy City

When visitors wander off the Crepe Myrtle clad Cannon Street and into our shop, most of them seem to be visiting Charleston for about 3 nights. Therefore, I often have to try to narrow down all of my most favorite restaurants and sights to try to recommend how said visitors should get the best possible feel for all that Charleston has to offer in just 72 hours or less. I always have quite a time narrowing it down on the spot, so I created this possible weekend itinerary in hopes this helps you have the very best weekend in Charleston! In this neck of the woods, I try to help you make every day feel like the weekend, so I also encourage you locals to come back to this list and give some of these things a try any day of the week!

Before we dive in to this magical itinerary that Instagram feed dreams are made of, let’s cover a couple of bases such as where to stay, how to get around, & what to pack If you’re reading this once you’re already in town, keep scrolling (but save this rec for your next visit). Also go ahead and save this post to Pinterest so you can revisit it, because I’m working on a full hotel round-up so you can have lots of options in many parts of town. I’ll add a link to that in this post, & I’ll also link to my Folly Beach recommendations as soon as that is finished!


-Where to Stay-

I was recently hosted by Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant, and it was what staycation dreams are made of! If you are coming during the months of June-August, I very highly recommend staying somewhere with a pool. Hotel Indigo by far has the best pool situation in town; it’s plenty big, is surrounded by lush palm trees, and offers a great mix of places to lounge and play. There really isn’t enough space for a hotel pool of this size if you’re on the peninsula, but luckily this one is still super close to downtown Charleston (about a 5 minute Uber ride). Our rooms were really nice since the hotel was recently renovated, and their adjoining suites were perfect for our group so I think it could work well if you’re coming for a bachelorette.

One of our favorite parts of this hotel was the fact that we were at the base of the Ravenel bridge, so we started our day off by walking to the top! What a gorgeous way to take in the Holy City; spotting steeple tops, boats whizzing underneath you, and seeing marshland all around you. You history buffs will also appreciate the mural of Eliza Pinckney that greets you when you’re waiting for an elevator (Eliza is the woman responsible for bringing Indigo to South Carolina!). I also found out the hotel was dog friendly (very difficult to find in Charleston), so next time I’ll have to bring Maddie!

-Packing Like a Boss-

When you come to Charleston, the main thing you want to remember is an umbrella! We are prone to showers throughout the year, so you might also be glad if you have a rain jacket just in case. As far as attire, most restaurants are ok with casual dress; you can go fancy, but a comfy dress or jeans with flip flops are just fine for most places. It can get VERY muggy anytime from May-September, so dress accordingly to stay cool while you walk around. However, you might want some layers or a light jacket for sitting in the cranked up AC. Charleston is a very walkable city, so don’t forget your comfy shoes!

I also wanted to share the source for the outfits we’re wearing throughout this post, because it’s one product I always pack when I go somewhere sunny. The company is a local brand called ZAGS, and all of their products are UPF 50+! I can’t tell you how many sunburned tourists I have seen wander into my store, so you’ll love having one of their colorful party ponchos or shawls on hand in case you need a break from our sweltering rays. The light weight moisture wicking and cooling fabric make the dresses perfect for touring town, and they can also double as a coverup.

-Getting Around Town-

I think you’ll be just fine if you Uber/walk/rent bikes. The airport is only about 15 minutes from downtown, and everything you’d want to see is a pretty quick Uber ride. However, I have heard of some people having trouble getting Ubers back from the beach on peak season Saturdays, so you might need to call a cab for that. Or, If you want to rent a car, you’ll have a little more ease with getting to the beach or exploring the beautiful plantations and gardens in the area. Some of those can be about a 30-40 minute drive from downtown, so I imagine your Uber tab would add up quickly! If you’re driving, don’t let the downtown street signs discourage you from street parking, because there is plenty of free parking pretty much everywhere except right on King Street. Many of the signs read like you have to have a residential permit to park there, but you have free parking for the specified amount of time. Just watch for signs about street sweeping days and such.

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-72 Hour Itinerary (Play By Play)-

If you want to sit back and relax and just follow this guide, be my guest! I’ve tried to group things by location to help you avoid running all over town to try to find each spot. Scroll to the “a la carte” section below if you just want a big list of recommendations divided by category.

Thursday

Many Charleston visitors miss out on the cute local areas of town like Cannonborough-Elliotborough and opt to only eat & shop on King or Market Street- but not you! You’re hip. Plus, you might already be staying in this part of town if you rented an AirBnB.

If the shops are still open when you get to town (most are open until 5), you’ll want to make your first stop our shop, Cannonborough Collective! Actually all of the shops on Cannon Street are pretty adorable; you could start at Candy Shop Vintage, head to CC, then J. Stark, Sugar Bakeshop, Mac & Murphy, and end at Indigo & Cotton. If it’s after hours, just put these back on your list for Friday prior to checking out the King Street shops.

Now you might be ready for cocktail hour dinner, so Wild Common is a great choice for both! It’s one street over from the above shops, located on Spring Street. It’s a smaller size restaurant, and you’ll want to snag a reservation on Resy if you’re coming for dinner. You’ll have the choice of ordering a la carte or enjoying a 4-course meal. You can also just head to their bar if you just need some cocktails and casual small bites.

Other restaurants I like in Cannonborough-Elliotborough are listed below in the a la carte itinerary section. If you want a night cap, I’d check out Elliotborough Mini Bar or Warehouse for a more casual vibe. Opt for Bourbon N’ Bubbles or Vintage Lounge on Upper King if you’re in the mood for something swanky. If you want a bar for dancing and such, I really wouldn’t know because I never stay out past 10!

Friday

Start the day with a neighborhood spot that serves breakfast on the weekdays; I love Daps or The Park Cafe. Huriyali or Five Loaves Juice Bar are also a good options if you want something on the lighter side like an acai bowl or smoothie.

I’m personally not a fan of fighting the crowds because your girl is kind of a speed walker, so I prefer to head down the narrow King Street sidewalks to shop on Fridays over weekend days. Here are some of my favorite stores on King, starting near Marion Square and working your way south: Simply J, Goorin Brothers, The Skinny Dip, Shoes on King, Jude Connally, White’s Mercantile, & V2V. If you want to shop the chain stores like Anthropologie & J. Crew, those are in the couple of blocks around Wentworth & King. Keep walking south for some other local favorites of mine like Charleston Shoe Company, Ibu, Vieuxtemps, Julep, & E. Blackhurst.

Keep making your way down King & try Miller’s All Day for a great lunch! You could also head left on Broad Street if you wanted to try the Fast & French or One Broad.

Miller's All Day Charleston SC

Spend the afternoon crossing off your sightseeing list; first you’ll definitely need to visit Rainbow Row! I like to head down Tradd Street from there to peruse the lovely window boxes and colorful front doors. I wrote this post about a good door tour route to see at Christmastime, but they are also some of my favorite doors to see year-round! Next you’ll want to make sure you go to the Pineapple Fountain and perhaps have a stroll along the battery or sit & swing at Waterfront Park. A couple of cute shops in the area are Indigo Home & Maris DeHart (both on Vendue Range).

pink door in Charleston on Tradd Street

When it’s time for dinner, you’ll already be near East Bay if you ended your visit at the pineapple fountain, so I would try one of these spots: SNOB, Minero, or The Establishment. Afterwards, I highly recommend the Gin Joint for cocktails! Most locals swear by Pearlz Oyster bar for oyster shooters, but I love the ones at Darling Oyster Bar a tad better. Or, if you prefer to eat your calories instead of drink them, try: Carmella’s, Kaminskys, or walk up Market Street if you want a free sample of homemade pecan pralines.

Saturday

Enjoy pool time if you’re staying somewhere like Hotel Indigo, or it could be a good day to head to the beach. Each beach has it’s own special vibe, but I would have to say my favorite is Sullivan’s Island. While there I would check out Obstinate Daughter, Poe’s Tavern, or Home Team BBQ. Insider tip- the frosé pouches at the Co-Op are all the rage right now!

If you didn’t bring a suit, you could also use the day to sightsee around some of our beautiful plantations and gardens! Cypress Gardens and Boone Hall are in their own necks of the woods, but west of the Ashley you’ll find some that would allow for visiting multiple sites in one day; Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Drayton Hall, & Legare Waring House.

Get cleaned up then head out to dinner & drinks downtown: lately I have been on a kick of recommending Camelia’s at Hotel Bennett for drinks and Basic Kitchen or Parcel 32 for dinner.

Sunday

It could be a good day to just brunch and chill. Or, if you like to visit other churches when you’re traveling, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the building (and the short service) at the pink French Huguenot Church. Ok now back to brunch. Some of my favorites lately are: Felix, Parcel 32, Harold’s Cabin, & The Darling Oyster Bar. I also swear Moe’s Crosstown Tavern has the best shrimp and grits in town, it’s just not the place you go if you’re looking for cute-sy ambiance.

If you haven’t sat atop one of our rooftops and enjoyed the steeple-clad views yet, check out The Watch or Citrus Club.

72 Hour Itinerary (A la carte)

If you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, peruse the categories below and choose your own adventure!

Fancy-ish Restaurants

Zero George // SNOB // Hank’s Seafood // Charleston Grill // Parcel 32

Casual-ish Restaurants

Basic Kitchen // Minero // Fleet Landing // The Darling Oyster Bar

Off-Peninsula Restaurants that are worth the drive

Wild Olive // Obstinate Daughter // Vicious Biscuit // Fat Hen

Cannonborough-Elliotborough Restuarants

Xiao Bao Biscuit // Josephine’s // Felix // Babas // Malagon

Favorite Coffee Shops & Cafes

Huriyali // The Harbinger // Five Loaves Cafe & Five Loaves Juice Bar // Vintage Coffee // Second State Coffee // Upstairs at The Skinny Dip (coffee & wine only)

Saturday/Sunday Downtown Breakfast & Brunch

Daps // Felix // Parcel 32 // The Park Cafe (temporarily closed)

My Favorite Shops & Sights

Browse my recent post about the most Instagram Worthy Spots in Charleston & I think you’ll find what you’re looking for!


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Weekender Home Tour: MylkBar Founder Katie Shields

Mount Pleasant, SC home

I got to do a photo shoot in this lovely house back in 2018, and let me tell you- it’s even more stunning in person! The kitchen and master closet are goals, people. The home belongs to the talented local entrepreneur who founded MylkBar, Katie Shields.

Give us some quick facts about the house.

Year built: 2017

Part of town: Mount Pleasant

Who lives here with you: My husband Kirk and our two children, Pace and Collier

What is your favorite feature of your house?

We are one of the few homes in Mount Pleasant that is built on a virgin plat of land. Because of this, we were able to maintain the original survey done in the 1800s and build all the way to the critical line. This allows for a spectacular view of the marsh from many areas of the home, and we’ve created lots of outdoor spaces that allow us to enjoy our surroundings.

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My favorite room is our master bedroom because it is full of natural light with 180 degree views of the marsh.

master bedroom with dorothy draper martinique wallpaper
white bathroom with rattan accents

Tell us about the design; did you have help from a designer or how did that all happen?

I did all of the selections and design on my own. While I am certainly not a professional, I consider myself an enthusiast! Both of my grandmothers had very stylishly designed homes with features like bold wallpaper and fixtures, so this has always been appealing to me. In fact, I wish I had taken more risks and done green tile in the master bath, but we plan to do that on the next home we build! Things were a bit crazy during the time period in which we designed our current home as I was simultaneously managing the build out for my business, Mylkbar Eco Nails & Beauty, and juggling a new baby. I must thrive on chaos because we are about to do it all over again with another new baby, new Mylkbar location in Nashville, and build a house again! Our current home is listed for sale.

What are some must-haves that help make your space more functional for a family of four?

Wide. Open. Spaces. LOL. And plenty of cabinets! We added more custom cabinets to our den area recently because my toddler brings all of her toys into that area. It used to really make me crazy because I am super organized and do not like clutter, but we had to just embrace it and add more cabinets in that room. Having an open concept in the main living area is really nice for kids, too, because they need room for inside play; especially when the weather prevents them from going outside. One thing I would do differently is install built-in baby gates... Have you seen the options for baby gates?! WOOF. They're all so ugly, which is really unfortunate because someone could be making a lot of money if they made attractive baby gates. We are definitely doing custom baby gates in our next home.

cabinets for extra storage in den

Share some of the sources you used to decorate. What local stores/artists and websites do you love for finding those stylish accents?

My favorite place to shop locally is Celadon. Their service is impeccable and the finds are pretty unique as their buyers go on trips to curate distinct furniture and decor with limited quantities being sold. I also love GDC as they have an impeccable selection of fine fabrics. We recently got an antique chair recovered that has been in my family since the 1800s and I used a blush pink linen fabric that I found from GDC. My favorite designers to follow include my good friend Megan McFarland and I also love Justina Blakeney, Banner Day Interiors, and Audrey Crisp Interiors. One of my favorite websites is Designer Wallcoverings; they carry brands like Thibaut, Coordonne Spain, and Beverly Hills Wallpaper.

Lowcountry entryway, white with natural accents

Can people stay in this beautiful home or do you have any rental properties listed on VRBO/Airbnb?

We are actually working on a VRBO that we invested in with my parents off of Coleman Blvd. We plan to live there while we build again, so stay tuned for the VRBO updates. You can also follow my business adventures on our Mylkbar Instagram and website. I designed both the location here and the one in Nashville. For Nashville, we used the same colorway found in our Charleston location, but the vibe is more modern, less beachy. Can't wait for y'all to see what we have in store!

Charleston home surrounded by oak trees and marsh views

Thank you so much to Katie for letting us peek inside her fabulous home. Find more Charleston home tours here, get some ideas for your next visit or play tourist in your own town with my Charleston Guide, and come say hi on my Instagram for lots more inspiration!

all images c/o Tyler Davidson

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Weekender mani round-up

When it comes to trying to make every day feel like the weekend, nothing can perk me up quite like a fresh mani! I just started sharing a new manicure every month (check out July’s here), but I have so many fun ones to catch you up on before I add any new ones to the mix. Enjoy some fun inspiration photos below, or check out #CharlestonWeekenderMani on Instagram for more nail art ideas!

Barbie by The Gel Bottle Inc.

Mani by Lu.Nu.La Nail Lab using The Gel Bottle Inc. in Barbie

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Mani by Lu.Nu.La Nail Lab using Young Nails Mani Q In Aqua Marine 101

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Mani by Mylk Bar using Zoya nail polish

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Mani by Imelda @ Olive & June Beverly Hills in OPI Alpine Snow

Confetti dots Mani by Top Nails in Mount Pleasant

Don’t forget to pin the manis you like so other folks can find this blog, too!