Every Spring, the Historic Charleston Foundation hosts the Charleston Antiques Show, a four-day event showcasing 17th to mid–century modern English, European, and American period furnishings, decorative arts & fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry, silver and more. The show is a premier destination for collectors and enthusiasts who enjoy seeing and learning about incorporating antiques into modern-day decor. The 2019 Honorary Show Chair, The Right Honourable Nicholas E.A. Ashley-Cooper, The Earl of Shaftesbury, brought a unique perspective from his own preservation work.
To honor that theme, we hosted a panel discussion on March 15 at our own historic building, enlisting some of our favorite experts in the field—Interior Designer Steven Gambrel; Color Expert Eve Ashcraft; Historic Charleston Foundation President Winslow Hastie; and, of course, The Earl of Shaftesbury—for a lively conversation tracing preservation's path from design process to design inspiration, plus an exploration of what it means to live with history. After all, in the design world, there has been a fundamental and nearly universal shift toward an appreciation of history and a sense of place. Whether it’s through a book, a photograph, a resurrected paint pigment, or the practical need to restore an ancestral estate, preservation has become more than just a process; it’s also one of the most integral and exciting sources of inspiration for designers and design lovers alike.
The week culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime long-table dinner in the iconic double parlor of the Aiken-Rhett House. For the first time, the Historic Charleston Foundation opened up the 1820s-era home for a seven-course seated dinner for 40 guests, an event that not only brought the house back to life for an unforgettable night but also celebrated the structure’s rich legacy of entertaining and revelry. The evening was nothing short of magical.
Thank you to all the partners who helped us pull off the week's events, especially: Leigh-Anne Beverley of Bonafide Productions, SYG Designs, Harvest Catering, Monarch Wine, Emilie Dulles, Ink Meets Paper, Technical Event Company, and Ballyhoo + Co.
For a closer look at the events surrounding the weekend, plus a recording of the full panel discussion, head over to our Preservation as Inspiration page.