An Interior Designer’s Guide to Shopping Around Charleston, SC
“I love when clients have collections, because it makes the house a home,” says Charleston-based interior designer Tammy Connor. But when that isn’t the case, you’d never know it. Her warm, inviting interiors have the timeless charm of objects casually collected across lifetimes and passed down from generation to the next.
So we asked: where does she source objects to get the look?
“The world is your oyster at this point,” she says, alluding to online shopping. “It’s very different than when I started in this business, gosh, almost 20 years ago. Then, you were pounding the pavement; and now, you just sit and buy whatever you want.”
More often than not, though, her feet lead her around town to local boutiques, where she says the shop owners prize unique showstoppers over generic home goods. “They curate what they feel is good design, and it shows,” Connor says. “You can feel it in each one of these shops. There’s some authenticity to all of them.”
Here are her top picks around town for art, antiques and more.
The owner of this antique store splits her time between France and Charleston, evident in the noticeable authenticity of each of the shop’s unique pieces. Filled with French provincial treasures, from painted furniture to wooden chandeliers, this shop is equal parts elegance and charm. 156 King Street
The Hidden Courtship
I’m not sure what’s better: this super charming shop or the story of the Italian couple who owns it and brings Italian crafts and products to the United States. Tucked away in an alley off of King Street, this hidden gem is overflowing with quality goods from table linens to stationary to beautiful ceramics. 21 Burns Lane
One of the only Charleston galleries specializing in non-representational art, this is one of my favorite places to take clients art shopping. It features a variety of inventive and large-scale pieces by contemporary artists, many of whom are Charleston locals. 54 Broad Street
Preservation Society of Charleston Book and Gift Shop
This non-profit gift shop offers authentic Charleston souvenirs along with a bit of history. It’s a great source for local art and books and gifts—like authentic sweetgrass baskets and locally made bow ties—with a Lowcountry twist. 147 King Street
Fritz Porter is Charleston’s premier design collective: a fabric and furniture showroom meets antique store meets art gallery. Their antique selection is carefully curated, with styles ranging from flea market chic to museum quality classics. 701 East Bay Street
Tucker Payne Antiques
This locally owned King Street antique shop is one of my very favorites. They always have something unexpected, ranging from fine antiques and art to quirky doorstops and decorative accents. 169 King Street
Vieuxtemps is my go-to store when shopping for the person who seems to “have it all.” From champagne sabers to Herend baby rattles, this gift shop is filled with gorgeous curiosities and everyday necessities. As Charleston’s most complete bridal registry store, it also offers the Lowcountry’s largest selection of fine china, crystal and silver. 180 King Street