Friday, July 25, 2014

weekend browsing

Happy Friday! Is it just me or did this week feel longer than normal? I have been looking forward to Friday since last Friday, and I am so happy to be able to sleep in a little bit tomorrow morning and enjoy doing nothing this weekend. Last weekend we had a busy weekend, so my plans this weekend are a whole lot of lounging around and cleaning the house.

Here are my favorite links this week....

// Just started this book this past week and so far I'm really enjoying it. I do not consider myself a feminist in the least bit, so that's the only thing that has gotten on my nerves with this book. But other than that, it's a good and interesting read.

// I am so in love with this song. Y'all, the Great Gatsby soundtrack is still one of my favorites to-date, but this song is giving it a run for it's money.

// On that note, the Fifty Shades trailer was released yesterday. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan. And that is such a disappointment to me.

// I am already in fall mode. So naturally I'm looking for my next pair of boots. I'm loving these from JCrew. What color do you like better- chocolate or kindling (the light brown)?

// Wouldn't this be the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

guest post: sarah from 702 park project

I am super excited to have Sarah from the blog, 702 Park Project here today guest posting on Simply Lowcountry! I love Sarah's blog and her super awesome renovation of their North Carolina home that was built in 1902. Yes, 1902! This girl has some serious vision, unlike me, and I've truly fallen in love with her style. Make sure to go check out her blog (after you read her guest post) and follow Sarah on Instagram for lots more awesome photos and inspiration.


Hi friends! I'm Sarah from 702 Park Project, where I blog about the restoration process of our 1902 American Foursquare in North Carolina. I'm delighted to be posting on Laura's fabulous blog today!

702parkproject - collections2

I've thought about starting a collection many times, but haven't quite decided on what I'd like to collect. I guess technically I have a collection of magazines, but trust me, it's not on purpose. It's a sickness. I have lots of cake stands, brass, and blue and white ceramics, so maybe a collection will come of one of those one day soon!

Besides (hopefully) being lovely to look at, collections can serve as both a focal point and a conversation starter. Whether you have 3 ceramic owls on a nightstand or 157 vintage books on a shelf, it's a collection and people want to know about it. And lucky for us, starting a collection doesn't have to be expensive. Some of the most unique and interesting collections I've seen have come from nature, yard sales and thrift stores, or even things found on the street.

bottles trays

Keep in mind though that collections can get out of hand quickly, and become a messy eye sore. Case in point...

enamelware watering cans

So it's imperative that you display your collection in an organized and attractive way. Here are a few collections that I think are beautifully displayed.

spoons blue&whitebaskets gingerjarsmags

And always remember, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!


You can see many many more collections here! Thanks again for having me, Laura!

Do you have any collections in your home? If you were to start a new collection, what would it be?

PS - anyone else singing "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" after reading this? No? Just me?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

guest post: natalie from cosmos mariners: destination unknown

Hi friends! Sorry I have been a little behind on posting this week, I have been super busy with work! This is the busy season for real estate, especially in Charleston, so I've had clients in town and been showing lots of property!

Today, I am so excited to have Natalie from Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown guest posting on Simply Lowcountry. Natalie is a fellow Charleston blogger, and her and her husband have the most adorable daughter. Today, Natalie is here sharing a couple of her own DIY home renovation tips. Natalie and Landon, her husband, renovated their own town home themselves- and it looks fantastic!

Be sure to follow Natalie on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!


Hi, everyone! I'm Natalie from Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown. I'm so glad to be guest posting today on Simply Lowcountry--like Laura, I'm lucky to live in Charleston, South Carolina. As a native of the area, I love sharing everything it has to offer with my husband and one-year-old daughter. My blog has lots of snapshots of my life in Charleston, as well as details of my travels, my favorite books, and our home renovations.

When my husband, Landon, and I bought our townhouse back in early 2011, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. It was a foreclosure property, and it had been sitting empty for almost two years. On top of that, the townhouse hadn't been updated at all since it was built in 1987.

From day one, we've lived in a nearly constant construction zone. Most of the time, you're just as likely to find a paint brush and screwdriver in our kitchen as you would plates and forks. Over the last three years, we've put in new flooring throughout the house, gutted the downstairs half bath, painted every wall on both floors, taken down the popcorn ceiling downstairs, refinished the kitchen counters, added two closets, constructed three built-in bookshelves, and add a deck. Just thinking about all of that makes me tired!

We've done all of that without any previous construction experience and working full-time jobs. Everything but the deck was done completely by Landon and I on our nights and weekends.

So, how did we manage to DIY our way into a better, more up-to-date townhouse? It hasn't been easy, but anyone can do something similar just by following some simple rules. Here's how we've managed to stay sane while undertaking a complete house renovation.

1) Before you start any project, research it. Landon and I have harassed our local Lowe's employees until I'm sure they are sick of seeing us walk through the doors. We've also gotten very, very familiar with Googling home improvement projects. This step might seem a little ridiculous, but I'd rather spend an hour researching the possible problems I might face in a project than spend six hours undoing a bad job. There are a ton of great DIY blogs online, and places like Lowe's and Home Depot have great tutorials on their webpages.

Our very first job in the house was to paint the downstairs half bathroom. We figured it would be an afternoon long project at most. Ha! We ended up discovering that there were 25 years worth of wallpaper underneath it. We tried to paint over both the wallpaper layers and the existing paint, but the new paint caused all of the layers to bubble. When we decided to remove it (without consulting anyone other than ourselves), we realized that the sheetrock was coming off with the wallpaper. Ugh. If we'd been more patient and done research in the beginning of the project, we would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble (and sheetrock).

2) Always, always, always overestimate how long a project will take and how much it will cost. There's nothing worse than assuming a project will take a day...and then, you're still in the thick of it two weeks later. Well, there is one thing worse: blowing your budget to pieces. As middle class people without any trust funds, the projects that we undertake come directly our of our savings. So, if we don't do our homework (ahem, see tip #1 above), and we grossly underestimate a budget for a project, we've either got to give up something big (like eating) or wait until the next month to finish the project. We've gotten in the habit of overbudgeting for all of our projects--both in time and in money--so we're not disappointed when the project takes longer to finish than expected or costs a bit more than expected.

3) Know when to call the professionals. As I mentioned before, Landon and I have done 99% of the work in our townhouse. The one thing we decided not to do: the deck. Expanding the existing deck required digging deck support pillars, building a completely new set of stairs, and working around a piece of wood that holds up a corner of the upstairs. We're brave and adventurous and all that, but we were not willing to take the risk of a partial home collapse. We ended up working with a local contractor who did an amazing job--and who gave us a discount because we were willing to do the deck staining. If you're upfront about wanting to help, most contractors will work with you.

4) Visualize your project before you start. Of the two of us, I'm much better than my husband at visualizing the end project. Perhaps it's a gift--or perhaps I've just watched way too much HGTV. Since he can't see what the final product will look like just by us talking about it, I love to pull together a project board before we dive into the demolition and painting and hammering. Pinterest is great for this, as is Polyvore. Doing a project board allows us to see how our paint colors, wood stains, textiles, and furniture will look together. If you want a more comprehensive view of the entire room (and you've got LOTS of patience), use a program like Floorplanner. If you're going to spend lots of time and money working on your house, it helps to know what the final product will look like--it's great motivation to keep going in those moments where you just want to quit!

Friday, July 18, 2014

friday five

Happy Friday! I am so excited to see the weekend finally arrive. We have quite a busy weekend ahead of us. Saturday afternoon I am hosting an open house at one of my listings, and later that evening we have a surprise 30th birthday at Shem Creek for one of Rob's friends. Sunday, we have a huge family get-together and cookout in the afternoon.

Today I had the pleasure of guest posting on two lovely blogs, so be sure to check out those posts on Cosmos Mariners and 702 Park Project!

Here are my favorite links this week...

// This video truly speaks volumes.

// Great tips for females just graduating or having started their careers.

// Love, love, love this quote.

// Obsessing over these boots. Gosh I love the Fall.

// Even though I graduated college several years ago, I need to add some of these to my list to read.

**image via

Thursday, July 17, 2014

featured listing: 807 soaring lane

Happy Thursday! This week went by super slow, although I am happy that when I woke up this morning thinking it was only Wednesday, I had the wonderful surprise of looking at my calendar and realizing it was actually Thursday. Best feeling ever. We have a pretty busy weekend ahead, but more on that tomorrow. Today, I want to share with you a home that I just recently listed on James Island.

This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom town home is a quick 10-minute drive to downtown Charleston and less than 9 miles from Folly Beach- the location is truly one of the best. The neighborhood is recently sold old, and there are currently no other town homes available for sale.

The house is located directly across the street from the great pool area and outdoor pavilion space that can be rented for parties and private functions. This neighborhood is nestled off of Fort Johnson Road, just behind the James Island Youth Soccer Field. 

At nearly 2,000 square-feet the home has a great open floor plan that is perfect for entertaining friends and family. The downstairs features an eat-in kitchen, separate formal dining or formal living area, a large family room and a powder room.

The downstairs also features plantation shutters, remote controlled ceiling fans, a large screened-in porch, and lots of natural light throughout. 

Upstairs, you will find the 2 guest bedrooms with carpet, ceiling fans, wood blinds, and large closets.  The upstairs hall bath features Corian countertops, tile floors and a shower/tub combo.  At the other end of the upstairs hallways you will find the spacious master bedroom, which also features carpet, a large walk-in closet with closet system, plantation shutters and a remote controlled fan. The master bath has dual vanities, Corian counters, and a tile shower.