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April 2021

R E AL E T ESTA INGS LI ST E INSID

WHY YOU SHOULD GARDEN WITH

YOUR KIDS

At Home with

TYLER HILL

+

HOW TO GET READY FOR A SPRING AND SUMMER OF FUN

Ruta Smith

a Charleston City Paper publication


CHARLESTON COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

RECYCLE P A P E R B O A R D

&

RIGHT!

C A R D B O A R D

PLASTIC BOTTLES & CONTAINERS G L A S S

B O T T L E S

&

A L U M I N U M

J A R S &

C A R T O N S

Volume 1, Number 9

Digs, our monthly home-focused publication, connects the people who make the Lowcountry special with content they’ve been missing. Digs gets up close and personal with stories on local personalities, home design and remodeling, plants and gardening, home repair and real estate. To learn more about advertising opportunities offered through Digs, contact our advertising team at (843) 577-5304 or send an email to: sales@charlestoncitypaper.com. Dig it! PUBLISHER Andy Brack

EDITOR

Sam Spence

STAFF

Ruta Smith

CONTRIBUTOR Toni Reale

Published by City Paper Publishing, LLC

S T E E L P A P E R

April 14, 2021

Members: J. Edward Bell | Andrew C. Brack

Views expressed in Charleston City Paper cover the spectrum and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Charleston City Paper takes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. © 2021. All content is copyrighted and the property of City Paper Publishing, LLC. Material may not be reproduced without permission. Proud member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the South Carolina Press Association.

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T E X T

H E L L O

T O

8 4 3 . 8 0 0 . 4 1 2 1

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Digs 04.14.2021

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13


AT HOME IN THE LOWCOUNTRY

Sponsored by

Hill’s fresh designs are transparent at home and work BY ANDY BRACK

Digs 04.14.2021

Charleston designer Tyler Hill’s advice for anyone looking to reimagine the space in which they live is to be yourself.

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Since the magazine feature, they’ve redesigned most of the home by blending comfortable with contemporary and traditional. Visitors enter a bright foyer painted navy with white trim and a modern lantern chandelier designed by Hill. A front sitting room features large pieces of modern art “You have to feel good in your clothes and on chartreuse walls that are flanked by a in your home,” said the 39-year-old Austin, traditional dark chest and couch. Nearby is Texas, native who arrived in Charleston in the mounted head of an animal, perhaps an 2010 to study design at the Art Institute ibex or some kind of gazelle. In the dining of Charleston. “Learn to edit and be open room is a haunting but cool portrait that to mixing styles. Keep it classy—but not looks, at first glance, like it comes from pretentious. Sophisticated—but relaxed Victorian England. But, a closer look shows and unassuming.” it is a surreal riff on the genre that includes Hill is a partner in Mitchell Hill, a different views of the same figure, allowing full-service design center that offers a viewer to see three eyes and three noses. Hill’s favorite room is in the back of contemporary art, furniture, lighting and the house where a huge window brings in design consultation. Captivating, bright light and a view of a small yard. art explodes off walls to dance with “We call it the kitchen house” because comfortable modern furniture intereven though it now is connected to the spersed with antiques. main house, it once was separate when He describes the store’s design style as “traditional with an edge with a joyful, hip Charleston kitchens were apart from living quarters. vibe. The Charleston market is traditional “I like the light,” Hill said. “I always like but is becoming more contemporary.” the rear of houses better. You don’t hear As Mitchell Hill grew from a gallery the carriages going by.” started with partner Michael Mitchell Perhaps the most innovative room is into a showroom with furniture, lighta reimagined, sleek dark green kitchen, ing and a design studio, Hill has seen the which has a black stone island, custom business broaden. panels and an amazing ceiling where “We’re always trying to mix it up and brushed steel, mesh screens, aged brass and change it around,” he said. “We’re trying mirrors create a dramatic sense of space. to bring in more antiques because it’s so “We wanted everything to feel like the important to have the old and new.” inside of a cabinet — kind of like a cubbyhole,” Hill said. Walking into the pages The look and feel of the materials led of a magazine to something even bigger — a new design It’s not a coincidence to feel like you are line of lighting and furniture that is called entering the pages of a design magazine “Transparent.” when you step into Hill’s and Mitchell’s Hasell Street single house. It was, in fact, A new chapter the setting in 2016 for a redesign project In the works for months, the first collecby several designers for Traditional Home magazine, which no longer is in circulation. tion of Hill’s Transparent line will debut

Tyler Hill in his Hasell Street kitchen where he tested ideas that led to the new design line.


THE LOWDOWN ON TYLER HILL Age: 39 Birthplace: Austin, Texas. Education: SMU; Schreiner University; Art Institute of Charleston (in design). Current profession: Designer. Pets: Magda (English bulldog); George (French bulldog). Favorite cocktail: Margarita, no salt, served in a martini glass. Something people would be surprised to learn about you: I would like to direct a film someday. Favorite thing besides your family and business: Exploring the world.

Hill is about to debut his Transparent line of fixtures and furniture.

Provided

in the next few months, first to designers in Charleston and then in New York, Atlanta, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Hill’s native Texas. He said he got a taste for integrated lighting design back in 2016 — about the time that he created his home’s kitchen — when he had to design 50 lighting fixtures in about six months for a project. “I thought I was going to go crazy. It was mostly Art Deco — with metal, glass and gold leaf.” But, he turned out to love the process. The debut Transparent collection will incorporate the black and bronze metals, glass and alabaster, often in grids. It will include chandeliers, pendant lighting, mirrors, sconces and some furniture. While a trend these days is to use LED lighting,

Hill says he prefers the warmth of traditional lighting in some of the designs. “It’s adding something different to the marketplace with fresh concepts with different ways of presenting lighting in ways that you can hide the bulbs,” he said. Getting the collection manufactured has been challenging throughout the pandemic because the fixtures are being custom-produced in Italy. “I thought it was going to be a part-time job, but it’s turned out to be full-time,” Hill said. “It is definitely what I was born to do.” He envisions a second collection to be an extension of the first, while the third Transparent line likely will be an homage to designs from the 1930s and ‘40s.

The months ahead Hill is looking forward to promoting the collection with visits to designer showrooms around the country. Travel, he says, is the means through which he gets inspired — whether it’s returning to his family’s home in Austin or the open spaces of the nearby family ranch in Dripping Springs, or with trips across the country. “I’m the kind of person who believes you have one life to live, and I think you have to explore it,” Hill said. “I’m very mobile.” And, he’s looking forward to more from the new collection. “I can’t shut my mind off,” he said. “I get inspired by something, and it takes over my brain. I think it is that way for a lot of creatives — and constantly trying to top what you just did.”

Five things you can’t live without: Friends and family, dogs, inspiration, music, gyms. Dream vacation: If it is somewhere I have not been — Japan. Hobbies: Writing stories for the screen, photography, painting. Favorite musicians: Coldplay, Sting, Chris Isaak, Louis Armstrong, Annie Lennox, Adele … so many. Favorite dessert: Cinnamon roll with pecans and brown sugar. Why you love Charleston: I love how you can experience its past and present simultaneously through its architecture, the mild winters, the restaurants and of course, downtown walks. Describe your best day in 50 words or less: It would be on vacation, let’s say, the Amalfi Coast. After waking, I have coffee outside enjoying the view then a large healthy breakfast before taking a sailboat out to Capri. After dining up top, I return to the boat to sunbathe and read. Once back at my hotel, I do a light workout, have a massage and then have dinner outdoors under bougainvillea before getting to bed with the doors open, falling asleep to the waves hitting the shore. Pet peeve: People who aren’t themselves and live for themselves. Advice for someone new to Charleston: Soak it all up, be a sponge … there is LOTS here to appreciate.

charlestoncitypaper.com

Photos by Ruta Smith

Five things always in your refrigerator: Eggs, blueberries, chicken, Smartwater, rose.

15


DIGGING THE HOLIDAY

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How to get ready for a spring and summer of fun FROM STAFF REPORTS

Spring means it’s time to start sprucing up your home and garden with a little TLC, inside and out. It also might be the right time to get rid of old home and garden goods and get something new to make your life a little easier. Investing in quality products, properly maintaining and storing them can impact how long they’ll stay in good working condition. As you tackle spring cleaning this year, take stock of your common home and garden equipment to determine what may need updating.

Digs 04.14.2021

LAWN MOWER. If your mower needs a repair that exceeds its value, it’s time for a new one. But, there may be other signs that an upgrade is warranted. Rough operation, frequent breakdowns or other indications of faulty performance deserve a second look. Before you buy new, remember to check your warranty to determine whether repairs might be covered. And, make sure to research prices

16

Rough operation and frequent breakdowns might be a sign it’s time for a new lawn mower.

online before you show up at a home and garden store for a big purchase. VACUUM. Many homeowners discard their used vacuum when it stops picking up dirt and debris as efficiently as it did originally. Before you move on, however, be sure to check that performance issues aren’t the result of clogged hoses or a filter that needs cleaning or replacing. A belt may also be worn or need adjusting. Other signs it may be time to replace the vacuum include damaged or frayed cords or motor issues, such as overheating or making strange noises. GRILL. A grill may last anywhere from five to 15 years, depending on the quality of the materials and how it is maintained. It is, however, common to have to replace parts, such as burners that evenly distribute heat, along the way. Signs you may need a new grill include a firebox (the main enclosure) with cracks, rust or holes and burners that distribute heat unevenly. Damaged grates can affect even grilling if they’re warped. If they’re flaky or rusted, they can contaminate food. If you’re not able to replace the grates, or any other essential part, including hoses and connectors for a gas grill, you’ll be better off replacing the unit. There are several home projects that are bigger in scale than just replacing a mower, vacuum or grill. Some ideas: AUTOMATE CLEANING OF YOUR WHOLE HOUSE. There are lots of good tools out there, such as all-in-one vacuums and mop robots, that efficiently clean your

Give your grill a once-over to make sure that damaged or rusty parts don’t end up contaminating food. home and can automate hands-free cleaning. The right tool will save you time so your weekend can be a real weekend. ENHANCE THE SPACE UNDER A RAISED DECK. With more Lowcountry homes being elevated, you might be able to get some extra space for added storage or to enjoy the outdoors. Consider adding electricity or gas lines to accommodate grills, ceiling fans, other appliances, lights and entertainment. CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY. A spring cleaning of your pantry allows you to discard expired items and rethink the space. For example, you can reorganize and simplify the area with ventilated and adjustable shelving. Regardless of any project you decide to take on this spring, you might want to keep these tips in mind:

Photos by Gettyimages.com

MAKE FUNCTION A PRIORITY. While aesthetic changes may boost value and please the eye, be sure to consider upgrades that make living easier, like organization units that give you more space or upgrades that create additional living space. KEEP A REALISTIC BUDGET. Make a list of the projects you’d like to complete and estimate how much each will cost. Use the list to determine what you can afford to complete now. DO YOUR RESEARCH. If you’ll be making a significant purchase such as a new vacuum or grill, be sure to explore your options, read reviews and shop around for the best prices for greater confidence in what you choose. You can find more home and garden tips at eLivingtoday.com. Family Features contributed to this story.


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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

17


DIGGING LOCAL

Gardening with kids is an educational and fun thrill BY TONI REALE, ROADSIDE BLOOMS

Digs 04.14.2021

Gardening provides the perfect opportunity to engage children of all ages with an activity with significant physical and mental impacts. Kids are naturally drawn to digging in the dirt. So getting them involved in gardening is an easy task that will most likely be met with much enthusiasm. With spring here and summer around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get your hands dirty. Gardening can look like many things, from one pot on your apartment patio or windowsill to numerous raised beds in your backyard. Reale The goal of gardening with children should be centered around the process, not the outcome or yield, so there should be no shame in how families define their garden. Beginner flower or vegetable gardeners should start with something manageable for their time, space and budget.

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Gardening encourages children to slow down and get away from their screens.

from 6 seconds to 4 minutes. But, gardening, no matter how large or small your garden is, encourages children to slow down, be mindful and focus on what they are doing. Otherwise, they might overwater or miss a really cool caterpillar or butterfly. Attention to detail through caretaking and monitoring growth will come naturally. Children love routine and will begin to value consistency and ‘showing up’ for their garden, especially after a few times of neglect and seeing their plants deteriorate. Getting more physical. Being outside or with nature in any capacity has a way of decreasing stress and increasing well-being. Using your hands to dig 5 REASONS TO GARDEN WITH CHILDREN up weeds, wrangle the hose or snip fresh herbs is Connecting to the Earth. There’s nothing like sticking your satisfying and works a child’s fine and gross motor hands into the soil to connect to the Earth and the basis of life skills. Gardening is the type of physical activity in as we know it. Talk to your child about what soil is and why which you don’t realize how hard you’ve worked it’s a valuable resource. Talk about the life cycle of plants or until you’re finished. To a child, it’s a form of play how everything they ate today is ultimately connected to the and less work, but of course it’s how the adult soil. Get as complex as you want to, depending on their age. approaches it. Children often act as mirrors to our Encourage them to ask questions, and if you don’t know, look up own behavior, so be mindful of approaching gardenthe answer together. This shows that you value their curiosity ing as joyful work. Otherwise, you risk turning and that you’re never too old to learn something new. them off of this enriching activity. Engaging in togetherness. Time spent in the garden, Getting real-life math and science lessons. There are endless ways to fold in science and math leschecking on plants and caring for them is time well spent. In this day and age, quality time is hard to come by. Make it a point sons, no matter the age of a child. While the complexity can vary, try counting seeds of any kind, planting to include them in all gardening activities and maintenance. I them and seeing how many sprout. Make a chart can tell you as a mom of two, that while it is much easier and (simple count, pie chart or bar graph) that shows the faster to water the plants myself, it’s the process that is impornumber of seeds planted versus successfully sprouted. tant. Children’s self-esteem deepens as they see how you value Talk about what factors they think influenced the their assistance in the garden. Developing life skills. Knowing how to grow your own food different outcomes. Have them keep a journal that is a life skill, but realistically your child will not have to rely on includes the date, weather, care given, measured your backyard or patio garden for survival. More importantly, growth and a drawing to track progress. Get some there will be many opportunities to practice life skills such as large seeds, such as beans, and soak them, dissect developing the ability to focus, paying attention to detail, and them and talk about the different parts of a seed. Find being consistent. TikTok and YouTube videos seem to have a flower and let them gently open it to see the differrewired our brains to digest information in soundbites lasting ent parts. Life is one big experiment and approaching

Gettyimages.com

TIPS ON GETTING STARTED ON A BUDGET If you are interested in starting a patio container garden, check your neighborhood Facebook page for anyone getting rid of pots. If you find terra cotta ones, have your children paint on them as this can establish ‘ownership’ over their garden. There are many local plant swap pages on Facebook where people give away vegetable seedlings. If you want to ensure that your plants are organic, buy from seed at a garden center or seedling from Rita’s Roots. Don’t skimp on soil. Seek a high-quality, organic gardening soil. Be sure to read the package carefully to determine if the soil is right for container gardening as it will have a slightly different make up compared to raised bed soil. Finally, have real garden tools that are appropriately sized for children. Steer away from cartoon-branded garden tools as they detract from the real experience and connection. Encourage gardening without gloves as microbes are good for all of us. your garden as such will unleash your child’s curiosity, connection to and appreciation for life. Toni Reale is the owner of Roadside Blooms, a unique flower and plant shop in Park Circle in North Charleston. It specializes in weddings, events and everyday deliveries using nearly 100 percent American- and locally grown blooms. Online at www.roadsideblooms. com. 4610 Spruill Ave., Suite 102, North Charleston.


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19

Profile for CharlestonCityPaper

Charleston City Paper: Digs - April, 2021  

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated Charleston City Paper is Charleston’s only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-large...

Charleston City Paper: Digs - April, 2021  

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated Charleston City Paper is Charleston’s only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-large...

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