A well designed home can be more than just a collection of beautifully furnished rooms (though that’s important, of course). It can, and should, be a framework for a life well lived—or a blueprint that can get you there. This is what I was thinking when I was contacted by Terri Henning, a Charleston businesswoman. Terri had just suffered an unthinkable loss: her husband Ed had died in a motorcycle accident. Before that happened, the couple had been thinking of making a lifestyle change and purchased an option on the top floor of the People’s Building, an eight-story structure that was the tallest building in the historic city when it was constructed in 1911. With Ed gone, Henning was ready to sell her mansion and move into the condo.
She called me to schedule an interview. We ended up talking on the phone for over an hour. During that conversation I realized how significant her new home would become in her healing. More than a showpiece apartment, Terri needed an environment that would help her to feel both comforted and confident—a home where she could begin again, regroup, and achieve her dreams. Later, we met for an official face-to-face design meeting, but she admitted that she had already made up her mind to hire me during that first conversation.