When you enter Faye and Tim Powell’s new home on Daniel Island, you are swept into an open, airy space that invites you to sit down, relax and the watch the dolphins play. The home, located on a corner lot, has a unique floor plan that embraces the water views and integrates them seamlessly with the home’s casual but elegant décor.
The secret to this synergy? The Powell’s architect was also their interior designer. Architect Liz Baker, and business partner Melissa Hempstead, co-own Coralberry Cottage, a Mount Pleasant-based interior design company specializing in English country and coastal cottage-style furnishings. Coralberry Cottage provided nearly all of the furnishings found in the Powell’s home.
Hempstead met Baker while building her Daniel Island home. Baker was the architect on that project and “the operation was seamless,” Hempstead says. A few years later, when Hempstead moved to the I’On neighborhood, Baker renovated her new home. “We saw eye to eye on everything, and when we went to furnish the home, we couldn’t find the style and quality of furniture we wanted,” Hempstead says. “We contacted some New England companies who we knew made quality furniture and asked if they had a Charleston representative. Before we knew it, we had a handful of good vendors and Coralberry Cottage was born.”
Whether she designs the home or not, Baker approaches the furniture layout from an architectural standpoint. “I use the homes’ blueprints to make sure the circulation of the room and amount of seating required are in sync and that the furniture dimensions fit properly,” Baker says. In the showroom, Hempstead helps customers choose their fabrics and accessories. “Faye Powell had a very clear idea of what she wanted,” Hempstead says. “Bold pops of lime green and turquoise in a variety of complementary fabrics carry the coastal feel throughout their house.”
In the Powell’s home, the open dining area takes center stage, featuring a custom-made circular table carved from limed basswood. “A wonderful craftsman custom-designs furniture for us,” Baker says. “I give him a drawing and he creates the piece to our specifications.” Above the dining table hangs a stunning circular chandelier of woven oyster shells.
Several other signature furniture pieces are found throughout the house. A coffee table in the great room features a magazine rack on one side and storage drawers on the other. The master bed frame is carved from pine with a weathered wood finish. And the media console in Tim Powell’s retreat was designed from new pine, beautifully detailed and distressed to look genuinely old.
The seating in the home is as comfortable as it is beautiful. “There are many companies out there with great-looking furniture, but when you sit in them, they aren’t so comfortable,” Baker says. “That is not the case with our furniture.” During an extensive design session at the showroom, Faye Powell tested out a sleeper sofa, and Tim Powell took a nap in a leather recliner—the same style now found in his home. “We test drove the furniture in advance,” Faye Powell says.
The accents in the home are elegant and whimsical. “We’ll often use antiques that are fun, or unique pieces made from interesting materials,” Baker says. “The candle on the mantel was created by a Disney Imagineer for the Haunted Mansion back in the 1960s, and a rug in the den was created by a children’s book illustrator who hides her animal characters in the design.” Original paintings from Charleston artist Carolyn Francis grace the walls.
More than just furniture, Coralberry Cottage specializes in unique décor for the whole house. “Take one visit to our showroom and you’ll see, we’re soup to nuts here,” Hempstead says. “From furniture to linens, lighting to accessories, we’ll bring a gracious Lowcountry look to your home.”
Michelle Thompson is a writer in Mount Pleasant. Find out more at michellemariethompson.net.