SUNNY SPOT: Michael Mitchell—an interior designer and owner of King Street art and decor mecca Mitchell Hill—in his sun-drenched drawing room with seven-year-old Frenchie, George. Michael purchased the home in 2014, wrapped renovations three years later, and has been outfitting it ever since. “Every house I’ve ever owned, I’ve completed in six months to a year, and each has been perfect,” he says. “But this one—she asked for a lot more. When you’re putting together a house like this, it’s almost like you’re making a pot of chili from scratch and you don’t have a recipe. You just keep throwing things in there until it tastes good—until it feels right.”
Interior designer Michael Mitchell with his Frenchie pal, George
A WARM WELCOME: The grand three-story Charleston single house, which was built in the wake of the city’s 1838 fire, has been impeccably preserved. A pair of Philip Simmons gates and ornate Greek revival moldings welcome visitors to the brick home, which, true to single house fashion, boasts a pair of breezy piazzas.
To add square footage and usher in natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows were added to the rear of the property. “This is my next place to start collecting for,” Michael says of the garden.
GALLERY SPACE: A collection of artwork amassed over two-plus decades hangs in the stairwell. “There’s a piece of art floating around here that I paid $550 for when I was like 24, and that was more than my rent at the time,” he says, noting that, through Mitchell Hill, he has represented many of the artists whose works are on display. “There’s no one hanging on these walls that I don’t know—unless they’re dead.” The walls, painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Pitch Black,” and the Stark “Fowler Stria” carpet runner provide a neutral counter to the art.
WORLDLY TREASURES: In the drawing room, velvet and metallic touches infuse the space with glamour, and contemporary art mingles seamlessly with finds from around the world, including a handmade jug from Peru, an ornamental box from Egypt, and a 1950s coffee table. Above the Baker sofa hangs a large-scale abstract by Jeannie Weissglass. “She’s from Brooklyn, but, of course, being a Southerner I see a magnolia in there,” says Michael.
SHINE ON: Polished nickel, lacquer, and hand-glued mica make the powder room glisten. Michael acquired the piece by Linwood—which bears the word “change”—during the pandemic.
George underscores the scale of the abstract by Dixie Pervis in the stairwell.
HEART OF THE HOME: The paneled kitchen (painted Benjamin Moore’s “Tavern Gray”) is laid out in zones. The far wall (adorned by a pastoral piece by Elizabeth Foster and a pair of Kate Spade lamps) is for prep, the island holds Michael’s baking tools, and the opposite wall (not pictured) is where he cooks.
Tyler Hill designed the industrial-glam ceiling, which consists of mirrored and aged brass triangles set within a metal frame.
Glass, metallics, and mirrors make the bar nook glow.
In the dining room, hand-painted Gracie wall panels, French Deco chairs, and a Murano glass chandelier complement original moldings and niches.
PAST & PRESENT: More than a century and a half after the home was built, its wide-plank heart pine floors and ornate millwork continue to impress.
“I call this the garden room,” says Michael of the den, which holds a Hable sofa, CR Laine leather chairs, and an array of international antique fair finds.
Though bay windows were added to embrace the lush views, structural elements of the 19th-century kitchen house remain, including exposed beams and a wood-burning fireplace.
INSPIRED DESIGN: “There are three things in every room of this house: something from China, something black, and original art,” notes the designer. That certainly holds true in the second floor’s cozy library. “When I was a kid, my mother went to China, and when she returned, shipments of her finds arrived constantly,” he explains. As for black? “It grounds any space through whatever form it takes—paint or wallpaper, an armoire, a pair of chairs, a painted chest, or a collection of vases. No matter what, the color black offers strength and sophistication to any room.”
CALMING RETREAT: Across the hall from the library sits Michael’s primary suite. “I really have this whole floor as my personal space—it just flows,” he says. A velvet Thomas O’Brien bed grounds the suite in luxury.
In the paneled bath and dressing room, stained-wood vanities, brass sconces, a soaking tub, and tile inlay dial it up a notch. Perhaps the most sumptuous touch? A hidden beverage station where he prepares his nightly cup of tea and morning coffee.
MORE THAN THINGS: A checkered seagrass rug and custom drapes in a verdant design embrace this guest suite, which overlooks the garden. “These chairs came from an Italian antiques fair,” says Michael. “And I bought that lamp when I was at a woodworker’s shop in Arkansas—I thought it was sweet.”
Adorning the original brick fireplace are various works of art, including a mixed-media piece by Linwood. “When I look around at the paintings and sculptures, they take my mind back to that person,” he says. “Anything that’s handmade—that someone puts their soul into—becomes more than just an object.”
A guest bedroom on the third floor outfitted in pink
Tour the grand three-story residence, which was built in the wake of the city’s 1838 fire, has been impeccably preserved