It's swoon-worthy living. Front porches with swings, fans fluttering overhead. Flickering gas light lanterns, iron gates and secret gardens.
Moving to the Lowcountry is moving to a lifestyle — one where your family armoire sits proudly in a second life at the beach, painted a sunny shade of turquoise or coral or maybe just a pristine white.
A piece of driftwood picked up on a stroll, a massive shell to rest on the mantel, a few big picture books sitting on a small table. It's easy to itemize those objects that make the Lowcountry such a destination. Just surround yourself with what you love as you walk our beaches or nature trails.
The decor of Lowcountry living is based around a heaping helping of the old with the new, with nothing too glossy or gold. Shine comes from the gleam of hardwood floors, old bookshelves, and comfort comes from deep linen chairs softly broken in from years of wear.
Rugs are woven with big geometrics or shaped to fit a room in rugged sisal. They should be large enough to cover the floor, but small enough to take up in the summer. And the South is where white linen slipcovers were born, made not just to protect the formal settee from summer sweat, but to change the look from formal to casual cool with the toss of a pillow.
Beach colors come in from the neutral of sand, surf and sky. Look no further than subtle shades of blue for porch ceilings, caramel for furniture that looks like it is worn by the sun and sea, and the weathered gray of rockers that have been sitting on the porch.
Or try some formal colors that come from our Colonial past, with scrolled wood, pistachio pink walls and an ancient clock ticking time on the sideboard. Add blue and white porcelain - it doesn't have to be old - and you have the look of many a Charleston dining room.
The well-heeled in Charleston are a cosmopolitan bunch, so items from exotic places find their way into niches, displayed on a window sill or just sitting on a bedside table.
For bedrooms, think billowy and white - softness and cool sheets trump a pile of pillows every time. This is the time to find those 500-thread sheets and layer the cotton with natural fibers for maximum comfort in bed.
The bed itself. Well, old Charleston beds are probably mahogany four-posters, but that's falling out of favor with the younger set. So think upholstered headboards made of the same natural colors and fibers you are using in the room. Add pops of color with bright oranges and deep blues. It's the easiest way to change the look of your room without a huge investment.
If you want to know how to decorate with Lowcountry style, the inspirations come as you step outdoors.