Charleston Style and Design

FALL 2015

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D E S I G N B E S P O K E "This," says a fabricator who pops her head out of the work- room, "is where the magic happens." Ah, if only. An incantation, a wand-wave and out would come window shades, draper- ies, slipcovers, cushion covers, headboards, bedspreads, pillows and lampshades—every piece strictly custom. In the workroom of Southern Shades, owned by Annette and Ken Kreck, all of these 254 CSD decorative delights spring, not from magic, but from skill and painstaking attention to the fne points. It's a congenial environment, dominated by bolts and bolts of fne fabrics. Here Annette measures twice, cuts once and hands over the fabric to a crew of four fabricators. Day by day, their team constructs the repu- tation of this steadily growing Lowcountry business. Annette possesses passion, problem-solving ability, and determination to please the cli- ent, says Blair Hays of Cortney Bishop Design, a residential and commercial design frm in downtown Charleston. "It's not often," she notes, "you meet a service provider that, hands-on, does it all." "We pride ourselves," Annette says, "on workmanship, craftsmanship, being totally custom." Southern Shades' work with architects and design- UNCOMMON SKILL BY MARGAR ET LOCKLAI R no job is too diffcult for the fabricators at southern shades ers takes them throughout Charleston's resort islands as well as its upscale, inland neighbor- hoods. The company's work has been commissioned as close by as the Cassique Cottages at Kiawah, and as far away as St. Kitts and Germany. "I have yet to fnd anything they cannot do," says Theresa Bishopp, a designer with Herlong Architects, a Sullivan's Island-based frm that special- izes in residential architecture and design. Bishopp cited, for example, the challenge of making top-down bottom-up window shades. "To do them in a beautiful custom fabric, as Annette can, is wonderful," she says. "And it's a full-service company: They get the hardware, and they do the installation." Annette, who began sewing as a small child, says she pos- sesses "an engineering mind. If I can visually see something, I can build it." Installing the fnished product also takes technical expertise. "You'd be surprised to know the level of construction knowledge you have to have to hang cur- tain rods," she points out, citing one notable project that called for drilling through marble walls to hang multiple lengths of linen—40 yards worth—at the windows of a large, elegant bathroom.

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