Keeping yourself and your space looking fresh in the egg-frying heat of August in the South is a feat, but Margaret Wright nails it. The chic photographer has a great eye for beautiful things and a smart take on making her home work for her — one of those people that always seems to have the inside scoop a little before the rest of us. She owns a mid-century ranch house in Charleston, South Carolina, where summer temps can top 100 and the coastal humidity is no joke. But inside Margaret's airy abode, it's all breezy minimalism and breezy temps. We talked to Margaret about how she keeps her cool—literally and figuratively.
I was set on finding a bungalow or cottage-style home, but we fell in love with the giant picture window and functional layout of our ranch house. A lot of my decor choices have come from wanting to pay homage to the age of the house and the style it was meant for. I aim to balance mid-century details with other styles I love, like contemporary and feminine elements.
Summers in Charleston are extremely hot! They're usually in the 90s and sometimes reach over 100 degrees—plus there's some pretty heavy humidity being on the coast. As a freelance photographer, I spend at least 50 percent of my time at home planning, editing, and communicating with clients. When I'm not at home, I'm off shooting around town or meeting clients or fellow creatives at cafes. We got a Nest thermostat right away when we moved into our home. I like that I can set it to energy-saving levels when I leave, then adjust it to something more comfortable when I'm on the way home.
I think the Nest thermostat is a beautiful piece of technology. I love the copper color of ours, as well as the large display. I also like the way it twists to adjust the temperature. We got a back plate to cover what was left behind by our older thermostat, which adds more copper accent to the room.
My favorite thing about it, though, is that I can adjust the temperature from my phone, which I'm most grateful for when I settle into bed and then realize I forgot to turn the temperature down (this happens almost every night). And the eco setting reminds me to consider our energy use. In fact, after it learned our routine, it started turning down automatically at night and going into the energy-saving mode when it could tell no one was home.
We actually have a few Nest and Google products, and I love that they all work together seamlessly and that the app is so user friendly. We have a few Google Homes throughout our house and it's so easy to adjust the temperature by simply asking Google. Plus, I'm always cold and my husband is always hot. Being able to adjust the thermostat from your phone gives you a stealthy edge when it comes to battling over the temperature...or so I hear.
—edited from a conversation with Margaret Wright
Make your home smarter and cooler: A Nest thermostat can pay for itself in two years or less, and has been shown to save an average of 10–12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling — up to $145 a year! One of its coolest features is that it learns your routine and preferences and starts making comfort and energy adjustments on its own. And you may be eligible for an efficiency rebate from your energy provider, too.
This post is sponsored by Nest and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio.
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