Playing with striking artwork and witty ideas resurrects a gone-to-seed colonial into a treat for the senses

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The living room sums up the home's aesthetics - an internationally curated respite. Simple modern outlines livened up by contemporary art.

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To maximize the stretch of window overlooking the streets outside, a handsome desk presides for quiet contemplations.

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An ombre statement wall flanks in honor of its occupant's artistic predilections, as visual contrast and canvass to the medley of curated furnishings and artworks.

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Instead of a painting, a framed mirror punctuates this statement wall in which its gray tones reflect the glamourous chandeliers to full effect.

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The open-plan dining space appears somewhat restrained in comparison to the overriding lively  vibes with more modern lines, metallic and a limited team of blue and yellow.

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Bay window seats and a mixture of open and conceal shelving mark the home office.

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A shade of cornflower blue give a glacial cool to this cozy kitchen. Whites used on the wall units and counter top further brightens the space.

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Custom wall units envelopes the tufted bed head perfectly designed to conceal down-lighters and a pair of pendants lights for reading in bed. It only takes one magnificent artwork to adorn the adjacent wall to complete the master bedroom décor.

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A chaise longue at the other side of the master bedroom offers a lounging spot.

Clinging to the quaint colonial site that is Harleston Village in Charleston South Carolina and basking in the reflected glory of Southern charm sits the home of artist Ellen McGrath.

McGrath last adventure began with a decision to leave Denver for a new life in Charleston, and in an effort to create new memories, she decided to build her new home from scratch. She set out to find pieces that were reminiscent of her life as a traveler and incorporate those items into her everyday home decor. Ellen selected design firm Mitchell Hill to lead this project, not only because Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill are gallery owners and travelers themselves, but because their style and experience infused with the atmosphere she envisioned for her home.

"I know that all these cool, collective groups of things are interesting on their own. I trust you to blend all these pieces together but do not fight the space," said McGrath, upon  returning from New York City where they purchased materials to  start the decorating process.

It was from that moment on that the Mitchell Hill team set  out  to make this 1840's Charleston home into an eclectic masterpiece. Under the duo's direction, visual delights are deftly worked into an International respite that is elegant as it is Bohemian. Thankfully a serene backdrop of grays is a perfect neutral canvass which complements the art and furniture in a mélange of vibrant hues.

The art: Australian. The fireplace: American. The cabinet found in the dining room: Chinese. Add a hint of Japanese floral arrangements, an Italian bathtub, topped off with a Mexican chaise lounge (or two) and you have yourself a home - not a museum.

So modern classic furniture, warm timber flooring and vibrant shades from magenta to canary yellow help to cast an artistic flair throughout the space. Which means more strident European accents, punchy art and Asian fripperies can blend in harmoniously. The gone-to-seed grandeur of this colonial home provided just the right opportunity for the design duo to work their magic.

To say McGrath has wanderlust is a complete understatement.   With each brush stroke found in all her paintings, she combines  the  world she's  seen  and who she's shared it with, bringing every art piece to life - each with a story all its own. Having spent extensive amounts of time in Asia and Australia, she took each stay as a mission to learn and discover. The more she indulged in these experiences, such as Japanese  floral  trimming, the more she  found  herself  collecting decorative souvenirs that she could  use in her home.

As someone who is hungry for history and glamour, McGrath's transformed home is the fabulous finished product of an artist's soul.


Mitchell Hill Gallery,