For our “Designing Black Women” series we are taking you to Charleston, South Carolina to the home of Melanie Bias. She is the owner of Southern Charm Staging and Redesign. The mission at Southern Charm Staging is to offer effective and reliable property staging services for their clients to increase their property’s perceived value and enhance visibility while maximizing their return on investment.
Hear how this talented Southern Belle from Louisville, Kentucky shares her culture and celebrates the holidays at home.
What does your home mean to you?
My homes mean peace, tranquility, and a sanctuary.
How do your lifestyle and passions manifest in your home?
Early on, it was clear that I had a passion for redesign. My mother reminded me that I used to stage my bedroom once a quarter by repositioning the furniture and saving up babysitting money to buy new linens. I still do those same practices, just not as frequent each year. I believe that repositioning and repurposing furniture in a room can change your spirits. I can give you a fresh perspective that you may not have noticed before.
How would you describe your home design style?
My home design style would be described as casual elegance. I believe every room on each piece of furniture in the house should be functional and half purpose. However, I do not subscribe to the idea that we should lessen our quality of living because we have children or dogs. If we teach them how to take care of nice things and they will do so as they get older in their home as well.
Can you share how you incorporate your culture into your home?
I incorporate my southern roots and my African heritage through my art that I have collected over the years. For example, the African Zulu princess that sits in my dining room is a striking balance to the landscape oil on canvas in the same room. Coming from Louisville, I grew up around dark mahogany furniture. Now living in the low country with all of its coastal elements, I blend the darker pieces with light upholstered pieces to balance them out, As shown in my dining room and family room.
How has living in the Low Country inspired your home design?
It’s hard not to get the coastal vibe when you move to the Lowcountry. As a stager, designer, real estate agent, I see both new and old styles that are able to live harmoniously together. That has Shaped the design and feel of my home. I blend older antique pieces with newer coastal pieces to provide that casual elegance.
What is your favorite room in your home, and why?
I believe the family room is probably one of my most favorite rooms in the house because of the views. We have Florida ceiling windows that cover the length of the wall with plantation shutters. It’s an open floor concept but still has warmth and exudes relaxation.
Do you have any family heirlooms? If so, what and tell us more about them?
I have my grandmother’s wedding China that sits in the hutch in my dining room. We use this China almost every day. Although I don’t put it in the dishwasher, I sip coffee and tea from the cups and make sure that I take it vantage of the China as much as possible. I do not believe and only bringing out China on special occasions or holidays. I know my grandmother would have wanted me to include This family heirloom in my everyday activity. It reminds me of home.
Do you have any beloved collections?
How do you display them? I collect art and display them on my walls and bookshelves.
Do you celebrate any holidays at your house? If so, what and how do you celebrate?
Every holiday is celebrated at my house. However, Thanksgiving and Christmas hold special meaning to my family. My grandmother, who just passed away this year, had a birthday that always fell around Thanksgiving. Her birthday wish was not for presents but for all of the family to come together and decorate her house for Christmas. Now that she is no longer with us And I have a young child, it is more important now than ever to celebrate her memory during the holiday season.
Do you have a favorite local shop or two?
I’m obsessed with Steven shell living. I also really enjoy going to the consignment shops to find fun pieces like eclectic fines or even consign Charleston.2