OMG, I Want This House: Charleston, SC
The Daily Beast presents a look at one of the most insane houses in the world.
Around 1745, when American colonists were still raising their pinkies to King George II, a prominent Charlestonian had visions of building a masterpiece. At the time, his architectural audacity must have been the talk of the town—a three-story Georgian mansion. Fast forward 275 years, and the Capers-Motte house is still a stunner with an impressive pedigree of residents including politicians, descendants of Declaration signers, an artist, and, for a stately $10 mil, you.
Like all good period pieces, this home is all about the symmetry. Proper attire, proper manners, and proper home layout are the hallmarks of the 18th-century upper crust. A central hallway runs through each of the four floors with four bedrooms on one floor and four on another.
A ballroom, you ask? Why of course there is one in residence—where else would you throw a 21st century soirée. May we suggest you make your next party dress code hoop-skirt optional?
The interior design is all Georgian and Federal, which means each room is required to have a statement chandelier and a colorful antique rug. It doesn’t hurt to also get fancy and formal with the window drapery.
There are 15—count them, 15—fireplaces spread throughout the home. While they may have originally been installed to provide a pesky little thing called warmth, thanks to a modern heating system, today, they are all about the ambiance.
Do you know what would make your next Thanksgiving even more momentous? Seafoam green walls. The home was once owned by painter Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, who was a leader in the Charleston Renaissance cultural movement. May your new home’s colorful decor inspire your own artistic awakening.
We know, we know—a pre-war real estate purchase can be scary, especially when the war in question is the Revolutionary. But rest assured that the Capers-Motte House has benefitted from several renovations over the centuries, including one in the relatively recent late ’90s.
This home is all about the woodwork. We’re talking custom molding and wainscoting and mantles and banisters. Close your eyes, smell the wood, and channel our favorite celebrity woodworker, Nick Offerman.
Speaking of the Revolutionary War, according to listing agent Maison Real Estate, this is “one of the largest pre-Revolutionary houses in the city.” Superlative accepted.
When you build a home during the era of hoop skirts, the bedrooms in said abode must be sufficiently large enough to accommodate dressing in comfort. Luckily, the Capers-Motte house has bedrooms made for skirt twirling on a massive scale.
In the immortal words of Lizzo, every evening “I do my hair toss, check my nails” and, of course, ask the mirror “Baby how you feelin’?” Now this is a proper boudoir in which to prep for a night on the town.
In the past 150 years, only three owners have called this Charleston manor home. Not only could you claim the lucky number four, but, you could snag a real-estate gem for a mere $10 mil. As Maison Real Estate says, “Rarely does a house of this historic importance come on the market.”
Showing its historic roots, the kitchen is in an entirely separate building. But committed home cooks should rest assured that an indoor hallway now connects the two wings.
You could have all the money in the world to retain the services of the very best decorators in town, and you still wouldn’t achieve this glorious shabby-chic effect, which only comes with age and architectural wisdom.
A wall of copper kitchen accents—how on antique trend.
The kitchen building is not just for culinary creations. It also doubles as a guest house, with two rooms of its own.
Lancet windows in the kitchen wing allow Charleston’s next top chef to catch glimpses of the garden in between sautéing and flambéing up some culinary masterpieces.
The spacious garden is divided into five “rooms” each with their own flavor. One, for instance, is filled with pomegranates and citrus.
Thanks to some beautifully manicured foliage, we would like to welcome you to the secret garden, southern edition.
Oh hello, my new friend, or as we like to call it: our southern summer survival strategy.
When you live in a house this old, every nook and cranny is a period piece. Take the pool bathrooms—these bad boys are Gothic-Revival.
Just in case any neighboring Southern belles should doubt you, you have a historical plaque to prove your new home’s bona fides.