Headboard nailheads

Designer Showhouse at the Stewart Parker House

View of Georgetown Harbor

The 221-year old Stewart Parker House in Georgetown was transformed by twelve designers into an exciting showcase of interior design. We chose to decorate an upstairs bedroom, which has four large windows with a beautiful view of the harbor. We arrived to white walls, some peeling paint, and heavy shutters on the windows.

We designed our room around the theme “Summer in the South, with a Hint of Chinoiserie”.
Georgetown, SC Show House 2012
We imagined a summer home for a modern, globe-trotting family, with updated colors and some of the treasures they brought home. Our inspiration for color came from the vibrant Tree of Life fabric from Duralee we planned to use on the headboard.

Tree of Life Fabric
Tree if Life Fabric with vibrant raspberry, lime, and orange

We chose a lively coral for the walls, and a cooling taupe for the ceiling.

Renovation, show house
At Work on the Renovation

To open up the room to the sunlight and Southern breezes, we removed the historic shutters from the windows, and used European Handkerchief Linen to make light-filtering shades.  Light and simple, they’re bordered in a taupe linen print. 

London Shade Border Detail

The linen is sophisticated and traditional, but the modern shade design lets in lots of light.

London Shades and Regency Headboard

The same linen print fabric was used to slipcover our Modern Wing Chair to provide seating.

Modern Slipcovered Wing Chair

Our biggest project in the room was the custom headboard.  Since the room is small and has a corner fireplace, the bed would only fit on one of the window walls.  We wanted to make a big impact with the headboard but didn’t want to block the windows.  After experimenting with different patterns, we created a custom pattern, tall and curvy shape with Regency lines that tucks between two windows.

Custom Regency Headboard Pattern

Our gorgeous Tree of Life fabric on the headboard is set off with large antique brass nailheads.  A pair of candlestick lamps were handpainted in a green glaze by Layla.

Showhouse Tree of Life Headboard

Headboard nailheads

We really wanted the bedding to be unique and sophisticated.  Kerry Ann found a beautiful striped velvet from Portugal that has the vibrant colors of the headboard fabric, and we made shams and a bed throw with fringe.  The coverlet and shams are a silky cotton mattelasse’ in a pale oyster color.  Throw pillows in lime green leopard and raspberry taffeta finish the bed. 

SHow House color scheme

Original oil paintings add bright color to the walls, and an oyster-shell encrusted mirror adds a Lowcountry touch above the fireplace. 

Handpainted green lamp

Lowcountry Details

An exotic collection of throw pillows includes deep raspberry cut velvet and vintage chinoiserie fabric in bright orange.



To make the fireplace a focal point, we asked local artist Keels Culbertson-Swinnie to paint a custom fireplace screen. For the design, we decided to borrow the pattern of one of our favorite fabrics, a romantic Indian-inspired pattern with vines and animals – while we had intended to upholster the screen in the fabric, the colors were not quite right. Keels made a slight alteration to the colors to make the pattern match the room perfectly. 

Fireplace Screen

We completed the room with an antique chandelier, and vintage personal items such as a 1920’s cloche hat, jewelry, antique books and chandelier, and an antique lap desk, all part of our well-traveled theme.


Antique Chandelier

Special thanks goes to Duralee Fabrics for their generous support, Connie at New to You Consignment for providing art, our talented workroom staff, and Keels for her fantastic fireplace screen.


The Stewart Parker Designer Showhouse was open to visitors for two weeks; ticket sales benefited Healthy Learners, providing needed medical care and support to children in Georgetown County, as well as the Smith Free Clinic and Friends of the Kaminski House Museum.

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