Cutting-edge hotel design has been influencing the way we decorate our homes for decades, but there haven’t been many truly gorgeous hotels that showcase the best of Mid-Century Modern style – until now.
The Dewberry is an elegant demonstration of how to beautifully update and regenerate a former government office building and, in the process, create a new landmark property for the city in which the building is situated. Charleston, South Carolina, plays home to this instantly iconic 5-star hotel, which has 155 rooms as well as a restaurant, two bars, a public living room, a ballroom, a spa and a historic lobby.
The Dewberry’s owner, John Dewberry, spent eight years creating the hotel – a process that included limewashing the exterior of the building (it was originally built from red brick) using a special limewash that was mixed and applied by local artisans.
With the exterior softened and given a more sophisticated feel via this treatment, the developer turned to the building’s interiors. These were designed in a collaborative process by the New York-based design studio, Workstead (who also worked on the highly successful Brooklyn-based Wythe Hotel) and Dewberry’s in-house design team, Studio Dew.
Workstead’s contribution to the design included deciding on all the interior finishes, as well as sourcing and collaboratively creating custom joinery, furniture, and lighting. Their key collaborators in this regard included the Urban Electric Company, Lawson Fenning, Specialty Woodworks, Becca Barnet, Peyton Avrett and numerous other local and regional craftspeople. The materials used throughout include elegant woods – cherry, mahogany, oak and walnut – as well as luxurious travertine and marble.
The building’s public spaces have high ceilings and an abundance of natural light, and the spacious lobby, bar and restaurant spaces are furnished with a covetable collection of custom-made and curated Mid-Century Modern-style furniture. These are finished in lush fabrics – we especially love the Mad Men-worthy leather sofas in the lobby – while brass details add a subtle glimmer to the pared-back palette. Touches of greenery give a feeling of liveliness and energy to the spaces.
The rooms and suites are no less attractive, with clean Mid-Century Modern lines softened by tactile finishes such as velvet and leather – as well as pristine Irish bed linen. The luxurious light fittings include curvaceous bedside lights, elegant table lamps and chic chandeliers.
Overall, the interiors of the Dewberry ‘explore the concept of Southern Modernism – a combination of the tried and true materials of the southern USA, within the sensibility of a modern building,’ according to Workstead. We certainly hope to see similar bold reimaginings of a few South African Modernist buildings in the future, but for the moment, we’ve moved Charleston a lot higher up on the list of cities we’d like to visit soon.
To book your own stay (or get some inspiration for an upcoming renovation project), visit thedewberrycharleston.com.