A Gorgeous Charleston Home’s Got Great Paint Details, an Entryway Mural, and a DIY Ping Pong Dining Table

published Mar 2, 2021

A Gorgeous Charleston Home’s Got Great Paint Details, an Entryway Mural, and a DIY Ping Pong Dining Table

published Mar 2, 2021
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Name: Margaret Wright, Ben Wright, and our Goldendoodle, Hyran
Location: Park Circle — North Charleston, South Carolina
Size: 1800 square feet
Type of Home: Single-family home
Years lived in: 4 years, owned

We bought our home in 2017 while shopping for our first house. We knew we wanted to be in the Park Circle neighborhood and in an older home. The neighborhood is a really cool mix of homes built in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and in some sections, new construction. It’s a progressive, artistic, gritty neighborhood with a great downtown area with lots of bars and restaurants and isn’t too far from the heart of Charleston. I was looking for a ’40s-era cottage-style home and Ben wanted something that would be move-in ready and wouldn’t need any major overhauls. I didn’t even want to tour the house that ended up becoming ours because it was a brick ranch with some pretty unattractive details, like the brown and red exterior and the bonus room with the drop ceiling. But it was also the most square footage that would require the least amount of work for the price, and I loved the big picture window in the living room, so I agreed to look at it. As soon as we toured it, we knew this was the house we wanted. The home was built in 1956 but had been well-maintained and somewhat updated, with white painted cabinets and a large addition. It had just enough charm and potential for me and was just updated enough for Ben.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: It’s a little tough to categorize, but if I had to sum it up in a few words I would say my style is modern, European, and collected.

Inspiration: I think growing up in Charleston was a huge influence on my design aesthetic. Our historic cobblestone streets and hundreds-of-years-old homes have a very European feel and I’ve always been drawn to that. The craftsmanship in every detail is so powerful. My ’50s ranch is a far cry from that world, but I appreciate its built-ins, trim, and even the retro telephone nook in the hallway. I’ve tried to create a look here that is inspired by the house itself, that speaks to the era and bones of the home but still brings in some of those luxe details that I’ve always had an affinity for. As an interior photographer, I’m in beautifully designed homes all the time, so of course I’m also constantly inspired by the interior designers I work with.

Favorite Element: The big picture window in the front is still my favorite thing about my house. And the cypress trees that line our yard.

Biggest Challenge: There have been so many challenges to overcome over the years of slowly updating our house. Our first project was expanding the primary bathroom and we did all the work ourselves with the help of family. When we bought the house, it was a one and a half bath home, with the primary bath (attached to our bedroom) being the half. It was tiny and retro green. We took out a closet (if you live in an older home you know how valuable a resource closets can be) and added a shower to the space. It took months to do this project without professional help and a tiny budget and it felt like it would never end when we were in the middle of it. We managed to pull it off eventually for about $4,000 all in. It’s still tiny, but having that shower is invaluable.

Proudest DIY: My house is full of DIYs, but one of my favorites has to be the outdoor dining table/ping-pong table that I built for Ben’s birthday last summer. I’ve been obsessed with ping-pong/dining table duos since photographing the RS Barcelona table at a home five years ago. This was way out of our budget and our dining room would never accommodate a regulation ping pong table even if we could afford it, so I started looking for something we could use outside on our deck and eventually realized if I wanted something outdoor-friendly, beautifully designed, and in-budget, I would have to do it myself. I dreamed it up, drew it in Photoshop, and brought it to life with my favorite handyman, my dad.

I found a retractable net on Amazon and a great set of chairs we can use for dinner parties (the 9×5’ regulation table can seat up to 10!) or stack and stash when we want to play. It’s made of concrete HardieBacker board and deck lumber so it can withstand our harsh and humid climate, and the best part is, it’s been a great outdoor activity during this pandemic.

At the beginning of 2020 when we were all in lockdown and I was out of work for a few months, I was able to really dive into house projects and DIYs. Since the pandemic began, I was able to: Build my fluted dowel coffee table; paint my fireplace tiles; build the ping-pong table; color block the hallway; install the hallway light fixture; build and upholster my guest room headboard; and remove the screens and paint our old wood windows black.

Biggest Indulgence: Painting the exterior was probably my biggest splurge (I think it was around $5,000) that didn’t necessarily add tangible value to the home the way added square footage or bathrooms would. But I will never regret it. Our house was red brick with a brown stone façade around the front door. Not a great combination. Painting it white and black really brought it to the 21st century, made it stylish and modern, and gave it some much needed curb appeal. I’m grateful every time I pull into my driveway.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? When we purchased the home there was a huge bonus room addition that didn’t have any functional value. It was a long, open space with a drop ceiling and the laundry room in the middle, sticking out like an island. I worked up a layout that would turn it into an additional bedroom and bathroom we could use for family and friends as a guest suite or occasionally rent out to recoup some of the cost of the renovation. When you live in Charleston, you get a lot of out- of-town company, and we love hosting! It’s fun to be able to give our guests their own private suite, complete with a mini kitchen, living area, and spacious bath. And if we decide to grow our family, we can swap our primary bedroom with the remodeled suite for more space and distance from the other bedrooms, which are clustered together on the opposite side of the house and all share walls.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite thing in my house has got to the espresso machine and diner mug collection. My husband was a barista when we met and coffee has always been high value around here. The mug collection started because we used to fight over the one we had, it was the perfect weight, size, and shape. Then we found another, and another, and whenever we travel and visit different cafes we always look to see if they sell diner mugs. Now we have a collection of mugs from coffee shops in New York City to San Francisco. Also anything vintage in my home is precious to me. I always try to buy secondhand before new, and those pieces and their stories really put the heart and soul into our home. I found our dining table secondhand on Facebook Marketplace for $75 and it probably gets the most questions and interest of anything in my house!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Take your time. I’ve lived in my home five years this year and while it’s starting to really come together now, there’s still a lot more I want to do. But I’m so glad I haven’t rushed the process. It’s hard not to be envious when it feels like everyone else has it all together as soon as they move into their homes, but your home will be so much more meaningful, timeless, and purposeful if you renovate and furnish it slowly. If you allow yourself to live in the space for a while before making changes you may realize the changes you initially wanted to make look a lot different now that you’ve experienced daily life in the house for a little while. You can’t always anticipate your needs. And when it comes to furnishings, it’s always better to collect, to mix old and new, and not to fall prey to everything that’s trendy now. Trends come and go, but pieces that tell a story will last a lot longer because they’ll mean something to you. Plus, it’s more sustainable to shop slow and buy vintage. And your space won’t look like anyone else’s. It was important for me that my house was distinctly me.





  • Carlo Sofa —  West Elm
  • Milian Square Recycled Pillow  —  House of Nomad
  • Ivory Jute Harlequin Trellis Area Rug — Rugs USA
  • Cane Chairs — Celadon
  • Marble tables — DIY
  • Floor lamp — Vintage
  • Mantis swivel wall sconce — CB2
  • Rust velvet bench — Vintage



  • Rolling counter table — CB2
  • Kai Sconces — Mitzi
  • Ceiling Light — Mitzi
  • FDW Trash Can — Amazon
  • Shelves — Custom made


  • Andes bed — CB2
  • Wardrobe — Vintage
  • Fluted Console — Vintage
  • Pink Chair — Vintage
  • Euro Pillows — House of Nomad
  • Turkish Rug — Zuma Imports
  • Moroccan Pompom Blanket — The NOPO
  • Bedside Piper Lamps — Mitzi






Thanks Margaret !