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Rock Star Designers

Five Rock Star Designers:

Your lifestyle, perfectly tailored

Kelly Caron Designs, ASID is a boutique interior design studio based in Bluffton, in the heart of the Lowcountry’s thriving historic and design district. They create tailored environments, constructed with precision, luxury design elements and meticulous attention to detail. Their design team brings years of experience to each project and allows for clients to visualize every aspect of the design — from start to finish. They are accomplished in discovering and defining their clients’ vision. Their passion is bringing southern soul and inspiration from our unique Lowcountry surroundings to each client. They are blessed to have a design team that can tackle any project design style and deliver turn-key projects. They specialize in residential, commercial, and hospitality projects. Their design studio holds incredible brands of furnishings, fabrics and vendors for any project need.

Ask the experts…

What is your favorite design color for 2020? Blue has been a favorite for a long time. I can use blue in literally any project from residential to commercial to hospitality and it can be a soothing spa color or bright and energetic.

What famous designs or designers have inspried you? I actually have gravitated to fashion and materials my whole life, even when I was very little. I somehow naturally understood the fashion brands and designers and their aesthetics from a very young age. Fashion, textiles/materials, and then interiors was my progression of event to lead me to love so many designers styles. I feel like design is truly everywhere, so I am constantly inspired.

Can you turn work off or do you have to design everywhere you go? I can turn work off, but usually only if I do not take my cell phone out with me. I wish there was a text away message.

Do you welcome client involvement or do you prefer clients to be hands-off? I love clients being involved. I do also love when clients can be patient to understand how the design process works and how the concept becomes reality. We all have “Amazon effect” or “HGTV mind,” where everything is instant. Patience can also equal quality in interior design.

Meet the team

Kelly Caron Designs has trained professional interior designers on staff. They also have a professional on staff accounting representative and office project manager to keep all ends of projects buttoned up. They hold their standards and values high and in accordance with ASID, American Society of Interior Designers.

Leave no details to chance

Group 3 Designs offers full integration of interior design with interior architecture. Whether a project is a new home from the ground up or a renovation of any scale, this plays a vital role in any project. Exceptional interiors begin with a good organized plan. Cabinetry, furniture and lighting planning are areas where Group 3 Designs excels in giving a project great bones from the start. From there, the interior design at Group 3 leaves no detail to chance. Group 3 works as a team with clients for the very best of services and client satisfaction. Project interiors are complimented with furnishings and accessories from their retail shop Pyramids, giving all the finishing touches to rooms of distinction.

Ask the experts…

What is your favorite design color for 2020? Neutrals are the backbone to our designs on which any color can compliment. Neutrals can be light or dark; warm or cool, striking or subtle. But “neutrals” doesn’t mean boring. Textures, materials and color depth make our interiors come alive.

Can you turn work off or do you have to design everywhere you go? Always learning from the world around us, both from good design and bad!

Do you welcome client involvement or do you prefer clients to be hands-off? Our best projects are those where we work closely with clients who appreciate good design and input between client and design team is fluid.

Meet the team

Group 3 Designs
Owner Mike Ruegamer is both an architect and interior designer. Founding Group 3 in 1986, Ruegamer has designed countless Lowcountry homes in numerous varied styles. He is involved in Group 3 projects from the concept through completion. Taylor Robinson is an interior designer that understands the nuances of architectural interiors and brings Group 3 interiors to life with carefully selected furnishings and accessories.

Traditional and contemporary, with a pinch from the past

Ann Higgins has been busy styling and curating her Beaufort shop, Scout Southern Market, since 2014. Moving here from California, she embraced the best of our Lowcountry lifestyle by presenting one of the most unique shops in the South. Recognition abounds with invitations to participate, style and a well deserved award, Southern Living’s “Best Shops in the South 2019.” Patrons of SSM wanted to bring more of Higgins’ aesthetics home with them beyond the fabulous offerings in her Bay Street store. Ann Higgins Interiors was born out of her love of styling, expertise in merchandising, and affection for her clients.

Ask the experts…

What’s your favorite design color for 2020? Jaipur Pink by Sherwin Williams. The choice is fueled by my love of a happy colors like pink, plus it illuminates everyone’s skin. It looks gorgeous with Navy blue (my basic black of the Lowcountry) — and it’s named after one of my favorite destinations in the world — Jaipur, India!

What project are you most proud of? A historic home in The Point, Beaufort. Pay Master’s Cottage, built in 1875. I specifically enjoyed working on the living room. I created a space revolved around the client’s limited edition photograph of Keith Richards. The room is an eclectic but tasteful combination of traditional and contemporary, worthy of an English gentleman, rockstar or one in the same.

What designers inspire you? Martyn Lawrence Bullard for his creative design range and attention to detail. Mary MacDonald for her tasteful glamorous style and use of color.

Can you turn work off or do you have to design everywhere you go? I’m not redesigning spaces I visit but I am constantly inspired by the places I visit. It’s truly my passion so I do find constant inspiration without thinking. Travel is my greatest weakness. There is so much variation of color, art, furnishing and textile to visually experience and I can’t get enough.

Meet the team

Ann Higgins Interiors at Scout Southern Market Ann Higgins’ decorating style mixes traditional and contemporary with a pinch of the past for grounded authenticity. She appreciates a variety of styles and thrives on creativity allowing her to work easily with her client’s visions for their coastal homes. Traveling near and far colors Ann’s world and allows her the platform to bring an eclectic appreciation to her interior projects and store.

Create exceptional spaces

Plantation Interiors has been in business locally since 1972, serving the interior design needs for people regionally, nationally and in the Caribbean. PI has a 25,000 square foot facility with a large furniture showroom, on-site warehouse and design center. The firm’s designers have won multiple Aurora and Best in American Living awards for design excellence. Building long-lasting relationships with clients and designing great places to gather with family and friends, speak to the firm’s commitment to clients and design philosophy. PI provides full service interior design, whether it’s working with builders and architects at the beginning of the project, to room and home renovations, and resort and commercial design.

Ask the experts…

What’s your favorite design color for 2020? Pantone’s color of the year for 2020 is Classic Blue, which inspires many variations of shades and hues that are frequently used in Lowcountry interiors, and brings the environment inside.

What part of the design process do you enjoy the most? (Dean Huntley) Meeting and getting to know my clients is one of my favorite parts of the design process. Their input, initial and continuing, is critical. Being part of a team working to bring the client’s dreams to reality is more important to me than being a “design dictator.”

What famous designers inspired you? (Cris Taylor) Sarah Richardson, Kathryn Ireland and Nate Berkus are some of today’s designers who are an inspiration. 

Do you find design inspiration in your daily life? Yes, a thoughtful designer finds inspiration in everything and looks for inspiration in everything – art, music, travel, culture and fashion; in lights, spaces and colors. Inspiration is everywhere.

Do you welcome client involvement or do you prefer clients to be hands-off? PI’s designers all welcome client involvement; they are integral to success. Helping people identify their vision for a space, bring out their preferences, give it a voice through the selections and materials in a cohesive design, reflects who the client is, what is important and how they live.

Meet the team

Plantation Interiors has a professional staff that includes award-winning interior designers with extensive design backgrounds who bring their expertise into creating comfortable, welcoming living spaces with casual elegance, as pictured here in designs by Cris Taylor and Dean Huntley, using warm neutrals with color accents. With experienced management, support staff, interior designers and a full-time installation staff, PI’s team provides full service interior design services.

Discover distinctive and chic decor

Court Atkins Group has been in business locally since 2014, when Court Atkins Architects rebranded after launching a full-service interior design studio. Quickly becoming a highly sought-after powerhouse renown for distinctive and chic decor here in the Lowcountry and regionally, the design team is anchored by Interior Design Director Deb Van Plew and Interior Designer Adrienne Warner. Together they bring their collective expertise to residential, commercial and hospitality design projects. Their innovative vision and highly personal approach to design have been recognized locally as well as internationally. They’ve won numerous Home Builder Association LightHouse Awards have been featured in publications here and abroad. Interior Designer Gregory Vaughan recently joined the team, contributing 30 years of experience with helping clients achieve their dream decor.

Ask the experts…

What’s your favorite design color for 2020? (Madison) Benjamin Moore’s Goldtone
is our favorite design color for 2020 to jazz up the new decade.

What project are you most proud of? (Deb) Many projects give me a sense of pride and accomplishment. Some literally take years to complete and others receive accolades. A few projects that have a special place in the heart. I have the honor and privilege of witnessing life’s joyful moments unfold in spaces I’ve helped create.

What famous designs or designer inspired you? (Adrienne) Kelly Wearstler has inspired me for years. I purchased her first book Modern Glamour during my freshman year in college and have loved her modern aesthetic ever since. The way she mixes something
old with something new is unexpected and her use of color and texture is fearless!

Can you turn off work or do you have to design everywhere you go? (Cali) I can’t turn-off my designer eye, finding beauty and unique details everywhere. Some of my favorite color schemes are inspired by the landscapes or cityscapes seen on road trips.

Do you welcome client involvement or do you prefer clients to be hands-off? (Gregory) A tricky question because I want the clients involved throughout the process. It’s their home! Client input determines the right path. But once I understand their tastes and lifestyle I need to fly solo to develop a design scheme for the client’s consideration.

Meet the team

Court Atkins Group
Deb Van Plew, Interior Design Director
Adrienne Warner, Interior Designer
Gregory Vaughan, Interior Designer
Cali Hitt, Design Assistant
Madison Wall, Design Assistant