A few months ago, I made a trip to Charleston, South Carolina to spend time with my cousin and visit one of my favorite cities. The one place at the top of my list to check out was The Commons. As co-owner Erin Connelly shared, The Commons "expresses a modern point of view on home goods, grounded in our American roots."
Erin and her business partner, Kerry Speake, seek out American artists that care deeply about their craft - curating high quality, well designed products that can stay in the family for generations. Erin, "We love the concept of handmade, earthy textures mixed with slick and contemporary design."
This table lamp is a gem, made by Michael Moran of Moran Woodworked. Erin,"The conical bases are charred using an ancient Japanese technique that was developed to preserve wood against rotting and insects. The Moran's have mastered this technique and integrated it into their pieces, not only as a functional finish but to get a specific richness in color and texture." Erin (a clothing designer by trade) added, "I love how these lamps tie back to what is happening in the fashion world today, mimicking the color blocking and ombre trends."
Last year, I blogged about The Great American Flask by Jacob Bromwell and I loved discovering his equally cool solid copper shot glasses inside their shop. Plus, the macrame...sigh. These two lovely pieces were made by Janelle Pietrzak of All Roads Design. Erin, "She has crafted these beautiful compositions out of vintage jute, cotton and silk, adding hand painted touches in gold leaf."
Erin is based in Charleston as Kerry helps curate the shop via her home base in Seattle. Erin (above) has done a beautiful job displaying all their found wares as there is so much to look at and appreciate - yet each piece gets its own territory to live and breathe in. And space is at a premium here, as The Commons is acutally situated inside another must-see gem of Charleston, The Heirloom Bookshop.
Carlye Jane Dougherty is the mastermind behind this incredible collection of rare and vintage cookbooks that exude a wealth of food knowledge and history- and in their own special secondhand way, are fantastic conversation pieces. Erin, "Her clients range from home enthusiasts to world-renowned professional chefs." Which is why The Commons and Heirloom Bookshop complement each other so beautifully. As Erin shared, "Our customers understand the value of a cutting board carved from one piece of wood and the elegance of the most functional salt and pepper grinders. Our product mix is indicative of the lifestyle of our clientele."
I'm a lover of books of all kinds, particularly vintage ones that speak to another time and place. My favorite of the bunch the day I visited was Corned Beef and Caviar. I was quickly drawn to the added info, "For the Live-Aloner" and "Author of Live Alone and Like It." That's just too good.
The space for these two shop owners to mingle in is small, but Erin and Carlye utilize every square inch much like a master chef would. It's tidy, fluid, organized, enticing and full of really good surprises...
If you visit Charleston soon, I sure do hope that you make your way to The Commons and The Heirloom Bookshop, located down a sweet little alley way in downtown Charleston. Come curious and carefree for once inside, you'll be staying a while. Trust me...
Photos: Sweet Peach; First pic: Olivia Rae James Content: Sweet Peach