The Charleston Insider

I love every thing about Charleston and could blog about it for months on end. There is so much to see and photograph. I might describe it as a Southern Paris. You never know exactly what you will see, experience or discover. On this particularly hot summer day, I hope you will come along with me and see what captured my attention.

The architecture in Charleston is awe inspiring. I especially love the carriage houses and the old Charleston brick.

{Basil Thai Restaurant at the corner of John and King Streets}

I know you are expecting me to tell you about the best fried green tomatoes in Charleston or where to go to get the coveted Southern fusion cuisine but, the restaurant I want to visit on every trip to Charleston is Basil Thai Restaurant. I don't even branch out and try new things on the menu. I always order the Pad Thai. I love sitting at the counter that overlooks the kitchen, a birds eye view of the chef and his most recent dish.

The bicycle that tops the sign at Basil Restaurant.

Opening in April, The Macaroon Boutique at 45 John Street is an authentic french patisserie with fresh baked breads, breakfast pastries and of course, french macaroons. I'm in love! We sampled the chocolate and pistachio macaroons and will definitely be back on our next trip for more. The Macaroon Boutique is an extraordinary addition to Charleston's food scene and is owned by chef, Fabrice Rizzo and his wife, Fabienne. For the macaroons, Fabrice uses a 165 year old starter recipe using almost all local ingredients with the exception of the chocolate that is imported from Madagascar and sea salt that is harvested from the west coast of France.

Circa Lighting, on the corner of John and King Streets, offers an impressive collection of lamps, sconces, lanterns and chandeliers. I am inspired by their chic line and contemplating how I can incorporate a few pieces in my home.

{156 King Street}

My favorite shop in all of Charleston is Alexandra. The artfully arranged shop is filled to the rafters with french antiques. Alexandra is an absolute must see for anyone that seeks to be inspired.

{South of Market, 173 King Street}

South of Market is pure fun! It's bright colors and contemporary mix of antiques and quirky home furnishings prompt me to broaden my horizons and step outside my conservative perspective. The store is
overflowing with antiques sourced from France and Belgium, re-purposed objects, upholstery, and a large selection of light fixtures including iron sconces, chandeliers, industrial pendants and custom made basket lights. The South of Market aesthetic is clean, rustic, unique and sophisticated.

{South of Market}

{South of Market}

{South of Market}

{South of Market}

{South of Market}

{Cupcake Charleston, 433 King Street}

Since my first bite of a Charleston Cupcake, I was hooked. Now, every visit to Charleston includes a visit to Cupcake! The cupcakes are made fresh daily from all natural ingredients and topped with their signature icings. The mocha icing is what hooked me and keeps me coming back each time for more. They feature nine flavors each day including varieties like Praline, Cookies and Cream, Lemon Blueberry and White Chocolate Raspberry.

The flavors available the day we visited made selecting just one very difficult!
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Gone Glamping

{image via here}

Every year as my daughter goes off to camp, I take a little time for myself. It's my own version of 'glamping'. This week I am in Charleston with my sister and will be collecting all kinds of valuable insider information for my next post "The Charleston Insider." Stay tuned!

{image via paws up}

Glamping is a relatively new vacation expereince that is gaining in popularity. To read a recent article in the New York Times featuring the trend click here.

{image via here}
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Summer Camp and the Bunk Room

Next week my daughter will be snuggled up in her favorite top bunk at camp. She'll sleep like a rock in a cabin by the lake after a wicked day of rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding and blob-ing! As I was putting the sheets on her top bunk today at camp, I wondered if the recent popularity of "bunk" rooms was an attempt to capture just a little sparkle of that magic that turns our teenagers into giddy, screaming, giggly little girls again.

I might even be tempted to spend a week away at camp if I could hideaway a top one of these....

{Kieth Summerour, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles}

{Rocky Mountain Log Cabins}

{image via Remodelista}

{image via Folder of Ideas: Emily Jenkins Followill}

{Suzanne Kasler via Southern Accents}

{Designer Phillip Sides via Coastal Living Seawatch Idea House}

{image via House of Turquoise}

{image via Traditional Home}

{image via Willow Decor}

{Image via Folder of Ideas; Todhunter Earle}

If you have kids that love camp, this book is a scream! My daughter and I laughed for an hour!
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Stripes: Coloring Outside the Lines

Recently, I have been inspired by stripes used in new and intriguing ways. I have been craving a little modern updating for my own home. Bringing in stripes in some of these new ways might be the answer. My home is very traditional that's why I have selected the images below. Although the pictures offer bold and inspiring modern design aesthetic, they pay homage to tradition. My daughter turns sixteen this September, and we are considering finishing our basement so she and her friends have a welcoming place to gather. I would love to try painting the stairs. Any of the painting techniques would make an impressive DIY project but would need to be coupled with plenty of research, patience and a very accurate level. I'll keep you 'posted' if I give it a try! Enjoy!

{Image via Lonny Magazine by designer Lee Kleinhelter, pieces}

{Melissa Warner}

{2010 Coastal Living Idea House, Seabrook, Washington}

{Alessandra Branca via Southern Accents}

{image via Domino}

(Shelton, Mindel & Associates}

{Mark Cutler via Elle Decor}

{image via Domino}
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