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The $15.75 Electric Bill – The homeowners of this 2,752 sq. ft. Boomerville III model had an electric bill of $15.75 for July 2015! You can also benefit with energy-efficient custom homes.

These days, everyone is looking for ways to make their lives (and the homes in which they live in) more energy efficient—both because it’s good for the environment, and easier on their wallets. It can be difficult, though, to find ways to implement “green” systems in an already existing homes, and seems impossibly daunting when contemplating building one from scratch. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Steve and Tina Bostic of Insulsteel of South Carolina, LLC (formerly Amerisips Homes) have created a building system that allows for the creation of incredibly energy-efficient homes in a simple and cost-effective manner. Insulsteel specializes in Free Energy Living® buildings.

This means that they are energy independent and generate their own energy while reducing the amount they take in. Paramount in this process is their EcoShell™ technology and systems, which can save up to an astounding 100% on electric bills. The secret is the insulation method—Insulsteel panels are thick, air-tight, contain no VOCs or formaldehyde and can protect from up to 200mph winds. An added bonus? They are noise reducing. The implementation of this technology creates an envelope around the house that cuts down tremendously on the amount of energy that is used.

Another feature of the eco-friendly EcoShell system they install: each home they build is complete with a solar power system and a highly-efficient heating and air system. In fact, the indoor air quality of their homes is EPA certified and offers next-level protection from mold, moisture, pests, and other air pollutants. Not only are their homes better for the environment and your budget, they’re also better for your health. The homes will maintain a consistent humidity and temperature all year long, something incredible in our Low country climate.

All of these features sound too good to be true? Think again—this company can build homes with all of the technology mentioned above for a range of budgets or amount of square footage. Simply email them with a custom home design you have dreamed up or select one of their model designs, and they’ll get back to you with the pricing structure. And if you’re not quite ready to build, but want to stay informed, sign up for their monthly newsletter—that way you can be up-to-date on all of the incredibly efficient home building technologies they offer.

Insulsteel is a proud sponsor of the Charleston Fall Home Show that will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by and see some of the amazing products that Insulsteel has to offer at their exhibit during the home show.

For more information, call (843) 352-2370 or stop by the design center at 619 Marina Drive

cleaning-rooftop-autumn-leavesFor some people getting on the roof with a leaf blower is a big rush of adrenaline, but we think it’s safe to say that most people would prefer to clean their gutters another way, or not have to clean them at all. Whether it’s hurricane season or there isn’t a single cloud in the sky, it’s important to keep your gutters clean. If not, clogged gutters can cause destruction to your home and your wallet.

First, clogged gutters provide nesting areas for termites, birds, mosquitos, and other insects that have inconvenient consequences for you to deal with. Second, clogged gutters will induce water damage on your home. When gutters are clogged, the water overflows from the roof and will accumulate around the foundation of your home, weakening the stability of the foundation and leading to cracks in its walls. Moreover, this increases the chances of water leaking into the basement.
Furthermore, excessive water buildup in clogged gutters can overflow and drown new landscaping, eroding the landscape and/or killing newly planted flowers, shrubs or trees. The wood from these trees or even the wood on your home could be exposed to rot and moisture damage, which would be followed by wood destroying insects that thrive in moisture. All of these potential home damages can be extremely costly, but easily avoided.
Cleaning gutters can be done personally if you have a tall ladder handy, but if not you can always hire a handyman, or find that someone who gets that adrenaline rush by being on a roof with a leaf blower. We always promote safety and well-being, and so that is why we propose a third cost-effective and easy solution: gutter guards. Gutter guards are a maintenance-free, clog-free, quick fix to your gutter problems. Gutter guards will direct water into the gutter while allowing leaves and other debris to pass over the gutter and avoid clogging them, and with the leaves, all your worries about home damages. Ultimate Gutter Guard offers premium rain gutters and gutter guards that can be securely installed onto your fascia board in a variety of colors.
To learn more about Ultimate Gutter Guard, check them out at our annual Charleston Fall Home Show from August 26-28 at the Gaillard Center at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by the Ultimate Gutter Guard exhibit to see how they can help save you time and money!
Created by Jade Taylor

Snip20160713_5Come Party with Us at the Kitchens, Baths + All That Jazz Home Show Party! Friday, August 26th starting at 7 pm, come meet and talk with all the show’s vendors in a relaxed space. Beer, wine and catered food set to the sounds of jazz music while also taking the chance to win our $17,000 Dream Backyard Makeover. Walking around with a refreshing drink and snack to get to know all the vendors, what a great way to meet all the professionals you’ll need to complete your next project. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door if any remain available. To purchase your tickets early, go to in order to secure your place at the Charleston Home + Design shindig. Don’t stop on Friday, there are still two days to peek into the Lowcountry’s showroom. Don’t miss out!



Crown Mill Oak

Carpet Baggers, and not the ones from the Civil War, have been a part of the Charleston, SC and Lowcountry community since 1992. This Charleston carpet and flooring business offers more than 91 options of flooring installation with a sales staff that has 200 years of combined floor covering experience. And they don’t just stop at floor coverings, Carpet Baggers offers design seminars, product training, installation techniques, and showcases the latest innovations in their complete All-inclusive flooring showroom.

One of the latest products they offer is revolutionary in luxury vinyl flooring. While hardwood floors are incredibly sought after, their beauty is often not a match for the heat and humidity of the Lowcountry, which warps the wood. This is where COREtec Plus comes in – the new engineered luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring. It’s made up of four layers that makes it a great alternative to laminated flooring or glue down LVT, AND it’s 100% waterproof.
COREtec Plus is made up of four layers, the bottom most layer being an attached cork underlayment which provides sound insulation, absorbs subfloor imperfections and naturally resists mold & mildew. The layer above is the COREtec Core Structure which is the waterproof core that will not warp, expand or contract under normal conditions. The Core Structure is eco-friendly and made from recycled wood, bamboo dust, lime wood and virgin PVC. The luxury vinyl top layer looks like beautiful hard wood, comes in a variety of styles, all which offer the same durability and resilience from chips and dents. A 0.5mm wear layer is placed on top of the vinyl top later to protect from excessive wear, provide an easy clean and stain resistance – even from the messiest kids and the most active pets.
COREtec Plus easily installs over existing hard surface floors, eliminates ripples and waves caused by uneven floors AND is Greenguard Certified. Do you need anymore convincing that this is the best alternative flooring out there? If you don’t believe me, come to the Charleston Fall Home Show at the Gaillard Center on August 26-18 and check out Carpet Baggers and their amazing selection for yourself.
Created by Jade Taylor

RealDealWeb4Nothing makes a room feel fresh like a countertop remodel. It’s a way to almost instantly update your home; an alteration that adds value while creating visual interest. If you’re looking to begin a countertop renovation, the experts at Real Deal Countertops can help simplify the process. They provide an amazing variety of stone to chose from, including granite, marble, limestone, quartz, and caesarstone.

Countertops are the home décor item in which it seems trends pop up the most often—if you’ve ever watched a show on HGTV (or been shopping for a new home), then surely you’ve noticed how make-or-break countertops are in determining whether a space feels modern and sophisticated or dingy and outdated. Not sure what’s trending right now? The countertop color that feels the most of-the-moment in kitchens is white. It creates a clean, simplistic atmosphere that looks perfect paired with stainless steal appliances and any style of cabinetry. Two particularly beautiful options offered by Real Deal Countertops that fit this bill are the marble Alba Chiara and the limestone Gascogne Beige.

While the streamlined appearance of white countertops looks fresh in a kitchen, in the bathroom, you can up the wow-factor by implementing color. Blue is an enduringly serene choice for this room. Real Deal Countertops carries a deep blue, nearly indigo granite called Lapis Lazuli that is incredibly eye-catching. Bolder still is their caesarstone Grey Agate, which, despite its name, is a combination of bright blue, brown, and cream.


While Real Deal Countertops can take care of the fabrication and installation of your choice of countertops, there is still some ongoing maintenance that you are responsible for in order to keep them in tip top shape! It helps to know that there are two different categories of natural stone, and they require slightly different cleaning processes. Siliceous stones (granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone) are more durable and can be cleaned with a mildly acidic solution. Calcareous stones, however, (marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx) are sensitive to acidic cleaning products—stay away from solutions like vinegar and lemon juice to avoid damage. Make sure to use coasters under drinks and placemats under dishes on either type of stone, and don’t place any hot items directly on their surface. If a spill does happen, try to blot it up immediately and thoroughly rinse and dry the countertop following cleaning. If you follow these pointers, your countertops are sure to last.

Real Deal Countertops are a proud sponsor of the Charleston Fall Home Show that will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by and view the latest trends and colors of stone offered by Real Deal Countertops at their exhibit during the home show.



Created by Katherine Bryan

EnergyOne3Choosing the right kind of insulation can save you money and frustration down the road. As much as 40% of a building’s energy is wasted due to air infiltration. Insulation solves this problem, in addition to decreasing moisture, improving air quality, helping with heating and cooling, all of which can exponentially decrease energy bills. A fantastic option, especially for Lowcountry weather, is spray polyurethane foam, or spray foam insulation. This plastic-based insulation doubles as an air sealant, filling every nook and cranny that lets air escape, and it is estimated to save homeowners up to 20% on their energy bills.

Spray foam is made by mixing two liquids, causing a chemical reaction. The two liquids both have specific properties that, when combined, create the perfect recipe for the insulation. The liquids are kept in separate drums during the application, are sprayed onto the surface, and react to make a hardened foam. While it is being applied, as many precautions as possible are taken to minimize the chemical’s exposure to the rest of the building.

If you’ve been in Charleston for any length of time, you know about the notorious humidity here in the Lowcountry. Simply step outside, and you can feel the thick, sweat-rendering moisture surrounding everything. But the warm and wet air is the perfect environment for another of the Lowcountry’s plagues – mold. Because they are based in the Southeast, Energy One America is familiar with how easy it is to have your home or commercial building become a giant-sized petri dish. Their spray foam seals off any openings in walls and attics, limitting places for mold to creep in. This makes for healthier air and saves money in the long run.

Another benefit to using spray foam is the fact that it can be applied in countless places in both residential and commercial buildings. Spray foam can be installed in attics, under floorboards, in walls, and in ceilings, to name a few. It can even be added to existing walls without the hassle of removing drywall. Thus, owners of older homes can refresh their sealants with ease.

Spray foam is a money-saving option for those looking to install or even reinstall their insulation. It can drastically help with energy bills and prevent mold exposure, making it a perfect option for residents of the Lowcountry.

Energy One America is a proud sponsor of the Charleston Fall Home Show that will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by and learn more about how spray foam insulation can benefit you athe Energy One America exhibit.

For more information, visit or call (888) 907-3090.





Created by Rayleigh Deaton

SmithsHVACWeb2It’s no secret that Lowcountry summers are scorching. While you expect to work up a bit of perspiration when enjoying the outdoors (or just walking to and from your car), as you enter your home, it should feel like a cool haven—a respite from the sweltering heat just outside the door. It seems hard, however, to keep your home cool while simultaneously keeping your energy bills low. Is there not some kind of happy medium where you can save money without suffering a heat stroke? As it turns out, there is. There are numerous ways to cut back on energy costs without sacrificing comfort. Here are some simple tips for cooling your home more efficiently:

  • Set the thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer months. There’s a common misconception that the lower you set the temperature, the more quickly your home will cool down. The opposite is actually true.
  • Consider your family’s schedule when setting a temperature on your air conditioning unit—if there is a stretch of say, four hours, when everyone will be out of the house, it makes sense to adjust the temperature during that time period.
  • Close your shades and draperies during the day to reduce the amount of solar heat that enters the house.
  • Make sure none of the air vents or grates are blocked by furniture.
  • Check that all of the windows and doors are properly weather-sealed and air-tight.


While all of the pointers mentioned above are helpful, the most important thing you can do to have a cool and energy-efficient home is to ensure that your cooling system is properly installed and regularly evaluated. The professionals at Smith’s Heating and Air have been in the Lowcountry HVAC business since 1979, so it goes without saying that they know their stuff. They can help you install a system in new construction, or offer replacement and repair systems in your current home. You can also count on Smith’s for regular maintenance appointments to keep your air conditioning running as efficiently as possible, which lowers the risk of costlier repair projects in the future.

Smith’s Heating and Air is a proud sponsor of the Charleston Fall Home Show that will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by the Smith’s Heating and Air exhibit at the home show and find out how to make your HVAC more efficient or how to replace your old unit and beat the heat!

For more information, call Smith’s Heating and Air at (843) 552-3772 or visit


It’s a common trend in modern kitchen and bathroom design to install crisp white cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes, or some kind of equally neutral color scheme. While there is a certain peaceful appeal to this palette, in some cases it can tend to feel bland, unimaginative, or even sterile. For spaces that ache for a touch more personality in a sea of white, mosaic tile accents can be a stunning option.

Mosaic tiles come in an amazingly wide array of colors and variations. Glass tile has a reflective quality that catches the light beautifully, and metallic glazes can take any color tile up a notch. Melcer Tile Company is a great place to go on the hunt for eye-catching mosaic tile—their full service warehouse is chock full of inspiration. Plus, they offer design consultations for those who need a little help deciding on the best way to transform their existing space.

A way to add a section of high-impact color without sacrificing the calm look of the entire kitchen is to add a mosaic design on the wall space just above the oven. Go abstract, or chose something more on-theme: a crab or a seashell for a beach house. Tiles that coordinate with the existing backsplash tile the piece together with the rest of the room and avoid making the design seem too graphically jarring.

For an even bolder statement, consider installing an entire accent wall. This trick works best on the spaces above the sinks or oven in a kitchen, or on the sink or shower wall in a bathroom. Coordinate and contrast tile colors with the rest of the room, or chose from a wide range of patterns—Melcer Tile’s damask-printed mosaic tile provides a wonderfully exotic vibe in an otherwise basic room, while “River Rock” tile delivers a large dose of texture that can make a space seem more dynamic. The company also offers a full range of installation tools and equipment as well as a delivery service, ensuring that the creation of a mosaic tile accent is a painless and enjoyable process.

Melcer Tile Company is a proud sponsor of the Charleston Fall Home Show that will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations. Stop by and learn more about current trends in tile at the Melcer Tile Company exhibit during the Charleston Fall Home Show.

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Created by Katherine Bryan


unspecifiedThe Charleston Fall Home Show will be held August 26-28, 2016 at the beautifully renovated Gaillard Center in downtown Charleston. The team at Charleston Home + Design magazine is looking forward to returning to this location, where the company has held its home shows from 2004 until January 2012 when the city building closed for renovations.

During the Charleston Fall Home Show there will be Free Interior Design Consultations with professional interior designers in order to get advice on redesigning, renovation and redecorating your home. Interior designers work with and offer insight to homeowners to design their ideal home for functionality as well as aesthetic. They bring an expertise which allows owners to discover current trends and avoid costly mistakes. The free consultations are so that homeowners can discover new ways of seeing their home; whether it is decorating a new home being built or reinventing the one that they have lived in for years. Cynthia Zimmerman from Zimmerman Interiors explains “to envision a space is one thing; to make it a reality takes a professional who can incorporate style, balance, and design concepts for beautiful and functional results. Interior designers help to avoid mistakes homeowners make when trying to implement their vision on their own”. If you are coming to the Home Show make sure to sign up for your consultation! Visit for more information. If you can’t attend the consultations, try Charleston Home + Design’s website

Hope to see you there!




unspecifiedOne of the most exciting features of the Charleston Fall Home Show is without a doubt the Antiques Home Show featuring South Carolina native Miller Gaffney. Miller is a graduate of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, a seasoned art consultant and appraiser (she founded the Miller Gaffney Art Advisory in 2006), former PBS Market Warriors cast member, and current star of Ovation Network’s Art Breakers. She’s had an eye for art and antiques from an early age, ever since she watched with great interest as her grandparent’s furniture was being appraised. She’s also currently working on a book about the essentials of collecting art. We caught up with the art expert and TV Star on all things art and appraisal:

We saw you on Ovation’s original series, Art Breakers…tell us a little about that experience.

Art Breakers provides viewers with a rarely seen behind-the-scenes look of the art world, art collecting and art appreciation. We show you the business side of the art world and how we go about curating and commissioning artworks for our clients. What I love about Art Breakers and doing this show is that we have the opportunity to share what we love about the art world with Ovation viewers. At the heart of it is our love and appreciation for art and artists. The true value of Art Breakers is people’s love of art.

What was your favorite collection that you were able to commission for one of the clients on the show?

We were hired by TV star Mario Lopez to find an artist to create an original work inspired by Mario’s new brand of tequila, Casa Mexico. We hired Las Vegas based photographer Sam Hon who met Mario’s taste and created a custom, innovative photography piece that had multiple layers of meaning and elements in the piece. At first, Hon’s pieces appear as carefully created digital works that have an inexplicable twist. It is only upon closer inspection that the viewer sees that the works are comprised of hundreds of thousands of female figures. Subtle yet distinguishable, these figures actually compose the image in the piece, of the Agave Plant. Photographing 12-15 women at a time, Hon takes these images and carefully tweaks them– changing each body and contorting them into distinct configurations. Using 500,000 bodies, Hon creates layer upon layer, watchful to avoid duplicates of figures. After a painstaking 700-800 hours of laborious layering, Hon finally produces the final image that he mounts to acrylic. Once mounted, Hon uses a calligraphy pen (with either metallic ink, gold flake or paint) to add yet another unexpected element to his work. He creates awe-inspiring work.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on completing my book which is **Is that the title of her book? –> the essentials of art collecting. It is expected to come out in 2017, as well as working on many appraisals and art consulting jobs across the country.

You’ve had many different jobs over the course of your career in the art world-What has been your favorite work experience thus far?

My favorite work experience/job in the art world is working on television with Art Breakers and sharing my passion for art and a behind-the-scenes look of the art world. Art Breakers encourages a wide-ranging audience to start looking at and buying art. The show is educational and entertaining. People learn how to buy art, and how to train their eye.

Art Breakers is for everyone; it reaches people with dispensable income, beginning and established collectors, while not excluding anyone who cannot afford to buy. It does not have to be the million-dollar piece from the hot artist, many clients on Art Breakers have collectibles and items with sentimental value. In one episode, a Las Vegas couple who had a limitless budget wanted pieces with a spiritual connection and they loved a piece that was not expensive that spoke to their heart and not the wallet. People don’t just buy art for the investment or just because they are wealthy. Our clients spend it on art because they love the beauty, creativity and artistry.

If you could have dinner with any artist past or present, who would it be and why?Miller_Mockup2-1

I would love to have dinner with Andy Warhol because he understood the business of art with his “factory”, mass production of works, and media hype.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”- Andy Warhol

Do you have any flea market hunting tips learned from your experience on Market Warriors?

First and foremost, buy what you love; that’s most important. Don’t be afraid to barter. I encourage people to ask for 20 percent off the price. That’s not going to offend the dealer. If they don’t want to budge 20 percent then sometimes you have to walk away. The hard part is knowing when to walk away.

Do you have any advice about shopping for art in the Lowcountry?

South Carolina is rich in history. Never turn a blind eye to where treasures might pop up, especially in places off the beaten path. The Lowcountry has a plethora of sources. It’s endless what one can find. When making split-second decisions, I ask myself if this is something that I easily walk away from. Great works have an aura about them that one can sense.

We are so excited that you will be coming back to participate in our Charleston Home + Design Antiques Home Show. What was your favorite piece of art that you appraised last year?
I am very excited to return to the Charleston Home + Design Antiques Home Show.
Some favorite highlights from last year were:
-Art Deco diamond and ruby earrings
-Native American pipe tomahawk
-Michael Jordan autographed memorabilia
-Style of Anthony Van Dyck Dutch Portrait Painting
-19th C. Indonesian Silver serving Set
-American Folk art painting

Describe your process when appraising a piece of art.

Appraising a piece of art is a two step process. First the appraisal process begins with the inspection appointment where we examine a piece and inspect the condition, take photographs, and measurements. After the inspection appointment the second step is then we then conduct research on the item and look at comparables similar to the piece that we are appraising for the accurate market value.

What tips do you have for someone that will be traveling with a piece of art?

Understanding the nature of the shipment is the first step that must be taken in order to properly assess what means should be chosen. Traveling with art—always trust a professional art moving company, especially if it is of significant value. Changes in temperature and humidity, as well as movement, all warrant careful attention.

When an artwork is packed, the delicate and vulnerable gilded and painted surfaces should be protected with specialty wrap that will not cling to the surface and it also should be further protected from moisture with additional plastic wrapping.
Unframed works should be wrapped in glassine, then in a tight layer of plastic with neat corners. All of the corners must be taped closed and the seams covered with tape before the work of art is placed between two pieces of cardboard. Two dimensional and three-dimensional works of art may be soft packed as well.
Crates–for long-distance shipping and long-term storage, the optimum choice in protecting works of art is a custom crate. Custom crates are built especially for the piece they will be encasing. A crate should have a custom cushioned interior and a tightly sealed lid with either buckles or screw. Crates may also have skids built onto their bottoms, which help to secure the crate and keep it from moving around during the transport.

What is the next step for someone that is interesting in getting their artwork insured after the appraisal?

The next step for getting their artwork insured is for them to call their local homeowner insurance agent and to add the work to their insurance policy. It is important to discuss your policy with your insurance agent and understand the parameters and any exclusions in the policy for any valuables such as fine and decorative art, silver, and jewelry. Always read the fine print of your insurance policy.

With such a hectic schedule, it must be hard to set aside space to work on side projects. Have you found the time to continue the process of writing your book about art collecting?

Yes, the book will come out in 2017. It covers all the basics, from the various genres of art to how to participate in auctions, shop flea markets and consignments, to maximizing framing, hanging, and conservation of art, along with: why investing in art is the fastest growing investment approach among Millennials, how to start an art collection on a budget, and what makes art a good buy vs. when art is over-hyped, and thus over-priced. My essential guide has real-life stories that take readers into the secret world of the elite—along with jaw-dropping rags-to-riches stories of everyday people who, unbeknownst to them, had valuable and coveted pieces stuffed in the back of closets, inside shoe boxes, or in dusty attics—to the excess of millions of dollars!

You won’t want to miss Miller at our Fall Home Show. Bring your art, antiques, and collectibles to the Antiques Home Show on Saturday August 27th or Sunday August 28th from 1pm to 5m for Miller to evaluate. She’ll conduct an appraisal of any art or antique piece that is unwrapped and ready to present. Make sure your piece is easily transportable, since you will be required to carry it from your car to the antiques area. Appraisals are free with the $7 Home Show admission fee. There is a limited number of appraisals each day, so make sure you get there early in case the availability fills up!

For More Info, call (843) 577-7652 or visit