Lance Griffith believes that homes should reflect their owners’ personalities in the most natural, beautiful ways. He and his wife and business partner, Patty Griffith, have built CHD Interiors to provide a turnkey experience to help make customers’ dream homes a reality.
CHD Interiors specializes in creating a sense of place, whether it’s Lowcountry chic or an urban loft. Though the company now has two stores and a reach from the East Coast to the Caribbean, the customer is always the starting place, Griffith says.
Think about the last time you had a home design need, whether it was an accent piece or a whole-house redo. If you shopped retail, chances are you were overwhelmed by the choices. If you approached a designer, perhaps you were worried about sticker shock or remembered a previous project in which you didn’t feel you were heard.
At CHD Interiors, Griffith’s aim is to take the stress and worry out of home design and to bring on the joy with a philosophy that places relationships first. That has been evident from the beginnings of the company he started with his mom, Pollye, 45 years ago and where he continues his role as owner and lead designer.
“What was missing in the market was a true design-centered atmosphere,” says Griffith of the niche he has sought to fill. His store and design company, with locations in Charleston and Murrells Inlet, does just that. With eight to 10 interior designers on staff at any one time, customers have access to both the retail experience and the expertise of interior designers who can custom-order additional merchandise. If a customer needs help with a smaller project, the decorators on the floor are there to assist, and if a small project turns into a big project, the custom design team steps in.
The key to making it all work is getting to know customers beyond the sale or the initial conversation. “A person who really cares about a client is asking more questions, not just writing something down and ordering what they ask for,” Griffith says.
For example, one aspect of every design project is finding that signature piece to pull a room together. With CHD Interiors, clients have the benefit of plentiful merchandise and the advantages of in-staff designers who can custom-order whatever they need at a reasonable price. And for those times when you just need reassurance that everything’s on track, the company offers plenty of support. During the process, customers have the services of a lead designer with a trained backup team.
“It’s a system where a creative person can just be creative and dream the dream. Then people on the back end can make the dream happen,” Griffith says.
CHD Interiors’ investment in design talent and customer service has also helped the company weather the pandemic, Griffith says. In a year when people have spent a lot of time in their homes, they’ve become more focused on the power of quality investments.
“For a while, the marketing of our industry was driven to less expensive and throwaway products for people who wanted a certain look and wanted it fast,” Griffith says. “Now we’re seeing more interest in buying better quality. We’ve seen increases in business as people are spending money on their homes, too, as they can’t go out and travel. I don’t think anyone will think about their homes the same way ever again.”
He acknowledges that pent-up demand has created delays in labor-intensive projects, such as custom upholstery, and that customers are being patient, especially after a year of postponements and cancellations in all aspects of their lives.
“We are seeing that people are interested in having their homes done well and are willing to wait for it,” he says. “That’s true on the sales floor as well. They’re not in a mad rush to do things. If something takes a few weeks extra, they just get it.” *
Freelance writer and editor Connie Dufner is a proud Texan transplant living in Washington, D.C. She is a former editor for Modern Luxury Dallas and The Dallas Morning News who has been covering interiors journalism since 2001.