Metals and metal finishes give star quality to the residence at 4 S. Adgers Wharf. The historic dwelling, created from a cotton warehouse built in 1800, is the site of the 2013 CSOL Symphony Designer Showhouse.

If you go

What: Charleston Symphony Orchestra League’s 36th Designer Showhouse.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 20 and 1-4 p.m. on April 21 (house tours, designer sales and boutique). Cafe Musique, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 4 S. Adgers Wharf

Admission: $20 at the door

More info: 723-0020 or

The wide selection of antiqued, brilliant and subdued metals and metal finishes make up the thread that links the eight appointed spaces on two floors.

While many elements are required to give a space its feel, the metallics, a hot design trend, add light and interest.

Carol Lou Yaeger, chairwoman for this year’s Charleston Symphony Orchestra League showhouse, also chaired the 2009 CSOL showhouse at Maison Du Pre, where designers transformed three structures at one site.

“This one is as different from what we normally do as the Maison Du Pre was,” Yaeger says. “It has low ceilings, no piazzas and it does not have a dependency. It’s a comfortable and elegant Charleston home made from a warehouse and designed for an imaginary artistic couple.”

Visitors to the house accomplish two things.

They contribute to the CSOL’s major annual project to raise funds for Charleston Symphony Orchestra scholarships and other outreach programs.

They also discover ideas for meeting their personal decorating challenges, especially those presented by small spaces.

Adelle Keller, who recently moved from New Jersey to Charleston, says she likes the color schemes used in the showhouse. Visiting it allowed Keller to see how the wall and furnishing colors look when used together, she says.

It’s helpful to her that the designers have provided details about the paint colors. That gives her the option of buying them, confident that she’s purchasing the right ones.

“Getting the paint right is very important,” Keller says.

Grace Parent, who visited the showhouse with Keller, says she enjoyed touring it. “Everything is meticulously done with a great amount of creativity,” she says.

Among the numerous must-see items is the dining room curtain rod with its mercury glass finials, which, like the home and most of its furnishings, is for sale.

Pieces can be purchased for as little as $8 and as much as $9,000, with many priced between $100 and $300.

Another standout is the natural cork veneer wallpaper with gold-leafed palm images that surround the living room fireplace.

Still another is a brass lamp in the lady’s office and retreat that resembles a plant.

Visitors to the house will find an interesting array of sunburst and sunburst-inspired pieces on the wall.

The mirrors, popular during the 1960s and used during other periods in the past, are increasingly seen in well-dressed homes.

Such pieces, which feature several kinds of rays and faces, are found in virtually every room.

The gilded 18th-century Italian sunburst mirror above the living room fireplace, borrowed just for the showhouse, should not be missed. It has a center made of layered wood, rays created with metal rods and molded plaster, and numerous small mirrors echoing the central one.

Another sunburst-inspired piece found in the dining room features a compass face. Two identical sunburst mirrors flank the window of the lady’s office and retreat.

There are many clever ways in which designers use metallics to bring light into their rooms.

One is the brushed silver feet on fabric-covered stools in the dining room. Another is the chandelier in the guest bedroom that would be rustic except for touches of bright silver.

In addition, pillows on the bed in the master bedroom add a bit of shine on their own and just beg to be crushed by someone seeking a bit of comfort.

Artist Carol McGill, who says she often uses heavy black frames for her coastal-themed pieces, chooses to have a gold line on the frames because it helps to highlight her work.

McGill also has paintings in gold and pewter frames in the master bedroom.

“My colors are so powerful, and I think the gold sets them off and makes them resonate,” she says.

For many, the kitchen is the thing and the design for this year’s showhouse does not include one.

Still, the house is well worth seeing.

The 2013 showhouse is an inviting place where elegance and comfort rule and, with the assistance of metallics, light plays.

Designers for this year’s house are Roberta Ketchin, foyer, stairwell and upper hall; Caroline deVlaming Farrior, living room; Sandy Ericksen, dining room; Angie Artigues, master bedroom retreat and bath and artist’s studio; Sandra Gaylord, gentleman’s study; Julianne Vadas, guest bedroom; Maria Schendzelos, lady’s office and retreat; and Kimberly Crane, courtyard and exterior.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705 or