Charleston, South Carolina, prides itself on history and historic preservation. Books are written about the intelligent urban design and charming original architecture of this Southern city’s bustling downtown—which is a full century older than our country. Thus it is definitely not customary (or even a good idea) to build a new home on these streets. But my husband and I were about to do it anyway. No pressure, or anything.
My husband, Ted, and I settled here three years ago and initially hoped to restore a “Charleston single”—a signature style of house one room wide, multiple rooms long, with double covered porches. Charleston porches serve a dual purpose: to take advantage of the passing breeze and to shade the interior rooms from sun on hot and humid Charleston days.
Ted is an aviator for the Marine Corps and a local Carolina boy. I am what the South calls a “damn Yankee”—as in, “Yankees visit, and damn Yankees stay”—a breed more and more common on the progressive and evolving streets of Charleston. Born and raised in New York City, I’m a cofounder of Babiators, a children’s sunglasses company I started with my husband and our college friends. We have two young boys and moved here for the outdoorsy and family-oriented lifestyle Charleston offers while still being an urban, culinary, and creative enclave.Read More