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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 Home Tour: The Bea's Nest

Isle of Palms Bea's Nest: Charleston Weekender Home Tour

Welcome to my new series of Charleston home tours! It’s happening monthly, or perhaps even more frequently if you guys like it (if you do, please save it on your Pinterest or share to Facebook for me). I realized I get so much inspiration from peeking inside beautiful homes of all styles, especially here in Charleston. I just happen to know some really cool gals who have taken such care to making their houses truly wonderful and inspiring places, so I thought it would be fun to share some! Shameless plug alert: you can peek inside my home in the Summer 2019 issue of Charleston Home and Design Magazine (eek!), or check out my home tour on Apartment Therapy.

Ok, without further ado, I thought it would fe fun to get this series started by giving away a 3 night stay in this fabulous beach house (just enter here before Friday June 28th)! This particular home is the Isle of Palms vacation home and rental that belongs to my friend Mary Jo Anderson from Port2Palm. The Anderson family named their island abode The Bea’s Nest because the original home owner is Beatrice Ravenel. Bea is a famous poetress, and her poetry still adorns the bookshelves of the recently renovated 1800’s home. Read on to hear more about this gorgeous space from Mary Jo.

What’s your favorite feature of the house?

I love the indoor/outdoor living space. Our lounge area has 3 garage doors that open up to the pool, so you can go from sitting and reading in the cozy space to jumping in the pool within a few feet! The indoor space is where we watch movies and gather, but most of our visits include plenty of pool and beach time.

Another special thing about the Beas Nest is the energy here. It’s hard to explain, but as soon as my husband Bryce and I walked in for the first time, we knew we could see ourselves spending time with our future grandchildren here. We are both in our 30’s, but we have a huge appreciation for charm and history, so we love that this house is a great blend of old and new. The doors and floors are all original to the home and that’s so special. It’s a gathering place and an environment that easily lends itself to creating wonderful memories with the ones you love. It’s hard to explain but the house just gives off a special feeling- it has it’s own personality and heartbeat.

Tell us about the gorgeous design… did you have help from an interior designer?

When we bought the home in 2016, it had recently been redesigned and was move in ready. There was a lot of white and we loved the feeling of open space that created, but we did need to add our own touches on the house to make it feel like ours. Last year I enlisted the help of a talented Interior Designer, my friend Katie Goodrich (founder of Ivory & Bone Interiors) to finish the space. She added amazing details like our bee door knocker, cozy but stylish seating, and lots of other elements our family loves. She also decorated our current home in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

lowcountry home design; all white interior with plants
Chic white Isle of Palms home

What are some must-haves that make your space functional for your adorable family of 5?

Having an outdoor shower is a Godsend! We spend most of our time together at the beach, so this is huge for keeping sand outside where it belongs. We love getting to enjoy our vacation home without being worried about clean up, and this definitely helps with that! The pool is of course such a great spot the whole family can enjoy together, but I actually have my own favorite part of the house. It’s hard to get much quiet time when you have 3 kids, so the swing on the front porch is my special haven when I need a break. Most of the action and common areas are at the back of the house, and the only thing I can hear from the porch are birds chirping and the occasional golf cart passing.

Charleston giveaway at Isle of Palms vacation rental

Thank you so much to Mary Jo for giving us a look inside this amazing Isle of Palms home! You’ll love watching her Instagram stories; her family adventures will suck you right in. Also thanks to Mary Jo for giving everyone a chance to win a 3 night stay in this pretty place. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway before June 28th; one lucky person will even get a flight voucher! If you don’t want to take your chances, just book your own Bea’s Nest stay here (warning, it fills up fast)!.

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The Instagrammer's Guide to Charleston: 10+ Photo Worthy Spots

Life is Better in Charleston Balloon wall at Cannonborough Collective, image by Kim Graham Photography

Creating an Instagram-friendly city guide is one of my favorite things to do when I return from visiting a new city (like these posts I did about my previous trips to LA & San Francisco).  Let’s be honest, we want to visit places that make us smile and that will help us fill our phone and feed up with all the pretty pictures.  Well, somehow I’ve neglected our own lovely city- until now! Below I’ve linked to each location’s Instagram so you can see for yourself just how photo-worthy these adorable places are.  I divvied up this list by category, and most of these places are downtown unless otherwise noted!

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-Sights-

-The Pineapple Fountain/Rainbow Row/Tradd Street-

I’m lumping these together because the Pineapple Fountain and Rainbow Row are within about a 5-7 minute walk of each other.  It always surprises how many people haven’t heard of the pineapple fountain when I chat with out of town visitors!  This is located in a gorgeous area right on the water that you’ll adore.  Next, head down East Bay to Rainbow Row. After you get some photos there, turn right onto Tradd Street. It’s my favorite street to walk end to end, and the adorable pink door you’ve seen all over Insta is located at 126 Tradd.  Along the way to the pink door, you’ll pass a darling little pink leaning house and a jillion amazing window boxes.

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-Parks & Plants-

If you ever watch my Instagram stories, you’ve probably noticed I frequent Hampton Park & Allan Park. Colonial Lake is another picturesque outdoor spot, and you can find more of our downtown parks here.

charleston weekender hampton park

Plant stores are also a plenty if you prefer to get your greenery shots indoors.  A small selection of Meeting Green Nursery’s offerings is sold at our shop, but head to their Meeting Street nursery & greenhouse for an amazing outdoor plant selection. Check out Haegur Plant Shop if you like your plant shop to come with minimalist vibes & pops of black and white.


-Restaurants/Cafes-

Parcel 32

Formerly Fish restaurant, this place is tile heaven! It welcomes you with a cute courtyard where this plant wall resides, and there’s also a joggling board just begging for a Boomerang.  The courtyard tile will help you capture that “shoefie” of your dreams (as photographed by Libby Williams).

Parcel 32 in Charleston SC
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Basic Kitchen

Transport yourself to a cool California-esque haven. They’ve recently added a cute rainbow mural, and who doesn’t love a good neon sign?!

Basic Kitchen in Charleston SC

 Huriyali

Here the decor is a nod to the food- tons of color & a plethora of plants!  You’ll find plenty of cool murals for those coffee photos you covet. 

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                           The Harbinger Cafe

Transport your feed to a little French cafe for a minute.  This is the perfect mix of rustic charm and modern details, and even the bathroom wallpaper will make you smile!

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Miller’s All Day

The “prescriptions” sign above the bar just makes me smile! Plus I love their mint & kelly green branding, which you’ll find doses of throughout the restaurant. There’s even a real photo booth for when you want to give your iPhone a rest.

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The Daily

Both of the locations of this hip cafe are pretty cute, but by far my favorite is the one inside The Gibbes Museum of Art. The art is a little funky, & the color palette is poppin’ with hints of mustard yellow and plenty of shades of aqua/teal.

The Daily at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston sC

images via Yelp

From The Daily at The Gibbes, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump to the pink backdrop mothership- The Mills House Hotel.  You might get lucky and have a beautiful horse photo bomb you while you strike a pose!

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The Park Cafe

Here you’ll find plants a plenty and have no trouble creating some killer overhead food photos!

images via @ParkCafeChs on Instagram


-Shops-

Skinny Dip

This is an adorable store that has a cute Rainbow Row mural & boxwood flower wall upstairs. Plus there’s an outdoor patio oasis which even has a swing, so you can Boomerang your heart out! Grab a frosé & your Instagram will be strong, my friend!

skinny dip charleston shop

The Community

The owners of this delightful Cigar Factory store have gone to great lengths to transform this formerly stark space.  There’s a wall mural from local artist Hatchcove Designs, and a newly added rainbow wall in the kid’s reading nook. It’s no surprise it’s adorable in here; one of the owners also plans Bachelorette weekends and “Bubbly Bars” through her company Kay and Co Weekends, so she knows a thing or two about creating photo ops.

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Candy Shop Vintage

Just a block from my store, you’ll find this precious place for jewelry.  The windows are always decorated with something fun, and you’ll love their zebra cowhide rug for snapping yet another shoefie. 

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                          Lindroth Designs

I fell in love with this Palm Beach based store thanks to my blogger pals Palm Beach Lately, and now their second store is right here on Upper King. They spared no expense when it came to transforming this space; you’ll find custom ceiling draping and plenty of vintage chairs just begging for a photo op! 

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                   Cannonborough Collective

I bet you had a feeling I was going to shamelessly self promote our shop!  I had to of course save the best for last ;)  Check out some of my favorite fun little corners of our shop, which is in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood. We are located on the corner of Cannon & Spring Street, just a block from King Street.

above images via Kim Graham Photography


                -More Shoefies-

Oh you know, it’s like a selfie for your adorable shoes! I realized this kind of deserved it’s own category in case you’re searching for that Instagrammable moment with your feet. Because why not. Up and down King Street you’ll find many entryways with their original tile in tact- for example, the name original owner of our store is embedded in the entry to our shop (Theodorou) .  Here are the locales of some other fun spots, some of which have paid homage to the entryway  with their own updated tile:

”Oh Hey” tile- Marine Layer

”Hello Charleston” tile- Dress Up

”Fashion” tile- Haven boutique  

Cute white tile- Jordan Lash

Blue fish scale tile- Chubby Fish

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That list truly only scratches the surface, and I didn’t even really help you venture to all the adorable spots surrounding the peninsula. Just drop a comment if you find more photo worthy places so everyone else can see your suggestions, too, and please save this to your Pinterest if you found this helpful!

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Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent For Your Next Trip

charleston weekender charleston blog

There are tons of misconceptions out there when it comes to travel agents and how they work. I have worked with travel agents for several vacations, and hands down think it’s the best way to go when you travel! This Saturday you’ll have the chance to connect with several local travel agents and learn about the latest cruises and resorts at the Cruise and Travel Show. This will be the perfect opportunity to begin a lasting relationship with someone you trust with your one vacation of the year. Keep scrolling to read some of my favorite reasons to work with a travel agent, get a coupon code for free tickets to the show, and to find out which celebrities you can expect to meet on Saturday!

This post is in partnership with Dream Vacations, but all opinions are my own.

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

Why I Prefer Working With Travel Agents:

1. Save Money/Get Perks (yes, it’s FREE to work with a travel agent!)

A lot of people shy away from calling on a travel agent because common sense would make you think this is an added luxury you can’t afford. It’s actually quite the opposite! In fact, the times I have worked with a travel agent, it has saved us money. A travel agent is typically getting paid by the hotels or activities they book for you, not by you! You then get the best possible rate on really nice accommodations and I’ve often gotten other perks; when we went to Istanbul last fall we scored a $100 dining credit and cheaper prices than I found myself online. Whether you want to go to a resort, on a cruise, or just create an a la carte vacation, this is going to get you the best bang for your buck.

reasons to work with a travel agent

2. Save Time & Stress

I definitely suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to finalizing a travel destination and booking a hotel. There are a plethora of options these days, and I get so overwhelmed so fast! I love scouring Instagram and Pinterest to find the places I want to visit in said city, but when it comes to lining up our accommodations, I like to leave it to the pros. Give them a budget, and let them do all the work. It IS actually work to plan a trip after all; sometimes hours and hours of research on websites that aren’t always up to date.

3. It’s Good To Have a Trustworthy Advocate

Prior to leaving for your trip, it’s nice to be able to ask someone with first hand experience about most of the locations you want to go to. If they haven’t been themselves, likely one of their colleagues or other clients has information that will help you make an informed decision about things like the best time of year to travel to your destination.

If something goes wrong when you’re miles away from home, that’s going to put a major damper on your plans! A travel agent has access to a network of other options if need be, and it’s their job to help you when you’re in a pinch.

Sounds pretty magical to plan a vacation with so much ease, am I right!? Now, sit back and start dreaming of your summer vacation with a little help from the Cruise and Travel show…

dream mini letter balloons

The Details of the Cruise & Travel Show:

There will be plenty of guests of honor for you to meet this weekend at the Charleston Marriott. Bravo celebs Shep Rose & Captain Lee will be in attendance from 10-12, The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving vacation inspired cocktails for you to sample from 1-3, and Wyatt Durrette will be performing from 2-4!

Charleston cocktail glass

You can also try an assortment of tasty vacation inspired food from a few different cruise lines, get loads of info on the latest and greatest destinations, and they’ll even offer some fun times for your kids (like a balloon artist & some familiar local characters). Take the whole family and get everyone excited for your next trip!


Use my discount code, LCL, to
score free tickets here!

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Weekender Wednesday: Dream Vacations

dream vacations cruise & travel show

This month on Lowcountry Live, I teamed up with Dream Vacations to tell you about the Cruise & Travel show coming to Charleston on June 1.  The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving tropical cocktails, you can taste some travel inspired cuisine, and Wyatt Durette will be performing from 2-4! 

Watch the segment to learn more about the event and to get a code for free tickets: http://abcnews4.com/lowcountry-live/weekender-wednesday-charleston-weekender-dream-vacations

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