5 Steps to Move Antique Furniture Safely

Safely transporting antique furniture requires careful planning and attention to detail. Since these pieces are often valuable and sentimental, you’ll want to take extra care when moving them to a new home. Here are some practical tips for transporting antique furniture to ensure your valuable pieces arrive at your new home in excellent condition. While proper preparation and handling take some time, in the end they can make a significant difference in preventing damage and preserving the beauty and value of your cherished items.

 

1. ASSESS YOUR FURNITURE

antique beige sofa and wooden chestStart by assessing your antique furniture to determine which pieces are fragile. Also identify any delicate parts that might require extra protection. Then document the current condition of your furniture with photos and detailed notes. This will not only help you remember how each piece looked before the move, but it’s important for insurance purposes should the worst happen and you need to make a claim.

 

2. PREPARE & PACK YOUR ANTIQUES

Woman sitting on the floor cutting pieces of bubble wrap to pack antique furniture

Before packing, be sure to clean your furniture, as dust and grime can cause scratches during transport. Disassemble parts that can be safely removed, such as mirrors or legs, to make your pieces easier to handle. Then wrap and pad each item carefully, using the right packing materials. Bubble wrap, foam, and moving blankets are excellent choices for protecting antique. Custom crates or boxes provide additional security, especially for high-value items. Be sure to pay special attention to corners and edges to prevent chips and dings.

 

3. HIRE PROFESSIONAL MOVERS

White moving van transporting antiquesYou’ll want to hire professional movers who have specific experience in transporting antique furniture. Research and vet moving companies thoroughly, looking for those with positive reviews as well as specialized services for antiques. You can further protect yourself with moving insurance. Understand the different types of moving insurance and confirm that the moving company offers adequate coverage for your valuable items. Finally, don’t be afraid to communicate any specific needs to make sure the movers understand how to handle your furniture properly.

 

4. SAFELY LOAD & TRANSPORT

Professional movers putting boxes in a moving van.Loading and unloading antique furniture requires special care. Make sure each piece is handled gently and securely placed into the moving truck. The transportation environment also needs to be ideal for antiques, avoiding exposure to damaging temperatures and moisture. Properly secure all items to prevent shifting during transit and reduce the risk of scratches, dents, and other forms of damage.

 

5. UNPACK & REASSEMBLE

Unpacked moving boxes in a new home with white windows

Once in your new home, take the time to unpack your furniture carefully. Reassemble any pieces that were taken apart. Refer to your documentation and photos to confirm everything has arrived in its original condition. If you followed these careful planning, packing, and transport tips, you can be confident you did all you can to safely move your antique furniture. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your family heirlooms in their (and your) new residence!

 

Do you have any additional tips or experiences you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comments. And be sure to subscribe to the DHM Blog for more moving tips and home care advice.

 

 

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Colorful Landscape Staples that Keep Charleston Beautiful

Spring has sprung in Charleston, as evinced by all the beautiful blooms sprouting in area gardens and parks. When planning your own landscape design, be sure to include plants that are well-adapted to the area. They not only blend well aesthetically with other local flora, but more importantly, thrive in the environment.

The South Carolina Lowcountry is conducive to many plant types, from massive Live Oak trees adorned with Spanish moss that add a canopy of shade, to Southern Pines, to a number of spectacular ornamentals and unique grasses. Here are a few excellent choices for plants that not only do well in the Charleston-area climate, but also add beauty to your home.

 

CAMELLIA

These moderately tall shrubs boast colorful flowers that bloom in the winter. One of the most appealing attributes of the camellia family is that they are evergreen. In the Lowcountry climate, the leaf portion of stays green year-round.

While there are more than 3000 individual varieties across the US South, the Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica) is most popular around Charleston. It was brought to the New World late in the 18th century by French botanist Andre Michaux and earned the name the “Rose of Winter.”

The camellia proves hardy in hot Lowcountry summers, and supplies a vibrant show of color through the winter months. You’ll see versions in hot pink, to pale pink, to white, and combinations of those colors. Many of the shades are the perfect landscape compliment to the primary colors of azaleas. Camellias also come in varieties that produce double flowers.

If you would like to see thousands of camellias in bloom, be sure to attend one of Middleton Place’s camellia walks. These free guided tours take place in early February each year, when the flowers are at their most spectacular. You’ll even visit the 1786 Reine des Fleurs, one of the first camellias planted in America.

Did you know that tea leaves come from a camellia? The Camellia sinensis also grows well in the Lowcountry. You can even tour America’s only tea producer, the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island. Here, you’ll see fields of the plants growing – and if you come at the right time, even being harvested. While there, be sure to sample some American Classic Tea.

 

AZALEA

The azalea has provided the most popular spring color display in South Carolina for centuries. Each spring, thousands of avid fans across the south flock to Summerville’s Flowertown Festival to see the blossoms at their peak.

While some cultivators across Charleston are indigenous, others were imported from the Orient. The azalea finds an ideal home in the shade under native Live Oak trees. The pH soil levels in the Lowcountry are also next to perfect for growing massive clusters of azaleas.

The shallow root systems of nearly all azalea varieties are excellent for providing quick moisture from minimal rainfall. In isolated landscape planters, some irrigation can be helpful during long dry spells. They rarely need pruning, except in situations where shaping or containment are desired.

 

CREPE MYRTLE

The crepe myrtle is a flowering shrub that can also grow to heights classified as a tree. Like the camellia and azalea, Lagerstroemia indica has a number of cultivators, many brought to the US from parts of Asia.

The name is indicative of the crepe paper-like bark that covers the tree’s trunk. As a crepe myrtle grows more mature, the light and dark spots on the trunk become an important part of its visual appeal. The pink, purple, or white flowers are equally as breathtaking.

Frequently, crepe myrtles are cut back in the late fall and allowed to winter over with virtually no top portion. During the next spring, shoots of limbs multiply. As the smaller crepe myrtles grows into trees, they provide a color spectacle that can last the better part of the Lowcountry summer.

 

DOGWOOD

Another species of flowering landscape foliage prevalent in the Lowcountry is the dogwood tree. Many native species grow wild in surrounding wooded areas. The two most common colors of its flowers are pink and white. Old dogwood trees often have an under layer of azaleas augmenting their spring display. The dogwood’s flowering is a signal of spring.

While not quite as visible as the bark of the crepe myrtle, the dogwood also has a unique texture to its trunk. As the trees mature, definitive bark grain begins to help foretell the years the tree has been alive.

Many historic homes in and around Charleston are as known for their fantastic gardens as they are for the actual house. Next time you are strolling through downtown Charleston, be sure to notice these popular landscape trees. Together with annual and perennial flowers, they keep Charleston blooming in vibrant color.

 

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Spoleto Festival Insider Tips & Tricks

The annual Spoleto Festival USA runs from May 22-June 9 this year. Charleston residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to enjoy world-class theatrical and musical performances. Want to know how to enjoy the festival like a local? Whether this will be your first Spoleto or you are a regular, here are some insider tips and tricks to make the most out of your visit to the festival.

 

SPOLETO ON A BUDGET

  • Piccolo Spoleto 2024 PosterTickets are less expensive for weekday performances than for those on the weekends.
  • Some city garages offer free parking during the performances.
  • Select events offer senior, military, student, and group discounts.
  • Piccolo Spoleto is a complementary festival with regional rather than international artists. Many Piccolo events are free, such as the opening weekend concert at the Customs House, the Marion Square outdoor art exhibition, and the Festival Finale at Hampton Park. Others have only a minimal charge.
  • Select performances have tickets starting at $25. Be sure to check these out.

DINING CONSIDERATIONS

  • Restaurants and bars tend to be full before and after performances. Take this into consideration when scheduling your meals out and plan accordingly.
  • Allow more time than you think you need if dining before a show.
  • If you’re not attending a performance, choose to dine during those hours. Reservations are much easier to get at those times.

DOWNTOWN PARKING

  • Parking is always difficult. Be prepared to drive around to find a spot and then walk a good distance to the venue. The earlier you arrive, the better chance to find a good parking spot.
  • On-street parking meters are free after 6:00pm and on Sundays.
  • Neighborhood parking is usually limited to an hour or two. If you park in a residential area, you will be ticketed if you stay longer.
  • Some garages offer flat rates for the evening.
  • If possible, leave the car at home and walk or Uber.

SPOLETO VENUES

Spoleto 2024 poster

  • Indoor venues tend to be very cold, despite the usual Charleston heat and humidity outside. Be sure to bring a wrap or a jacket with you.
  • You can purchase last-minute tickets at the venue an hour before the show. They are not discounted, but are often available, especially for shows at larger venues such as the College of Charleston Cistern and the Gaillard Center.
  • Go to the festival office at the Gaillard Center to get information and brochures on Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto. They will provide all the information on times, dates, length of productions, maps, etc.

And if you enjoy your trip to Charleston so much you’d like to move here permanently or invest in a vacation home, Disher, Hamrick & Myers can help you find the perfect place! Call us at 843.577.4115 to start your Charleston home search.

Do you have any additional insider tips for Spoleto? If so, please add them in the comments.

 

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Six Spring Blooms in Charleston Gardens

Spring is a colorful time in Charleston, SC. From the lawns of historic plantations to decorative flowers in parks, the city rebounds from winter with a burst of pigments and hues. From Hampton Park to Middleton Place, there are so many places to catch a glimpse of the vibrant spring blossoms. Take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and soak in the sights of these 6 blooms, which you will see everywhere in Charleston gardens this spring.

 

AZALEAS

azaleaWant to catch a glimpse of azaleas in full bloom? You’ll have plenty of opportunities to view these shade-tolerant blooms in Charleston, where they blossom for several weeks. Azalea Park in nearby Summerville is filled with hot pink azaleas, as well as other flowering plants like lavender, wisteria and white dogwoods. The annual Flowertown Festival, held in April, brings thousands of guests to view its flora and enjoy food, craft booths and family fun activities.

 

DAFFODILS

daffodil

Daffodils take hold in spring in Charleston gardens. You can find them as early as February in most parts of the city. These perennials bloom until the end of April and continue to come back every season. Typically planted in the fall, daffodils are resistant to deer and other pests and hold up well to the hustle and bustle of the city.  They display blooms that are white, yellow, orange, pink or tricolor. They are often seen as a harbinger of spring.

 

CAMELLIAS

camellia

Charleston is home to hundreds of types of camellias, including the “Reine des Fleurs” or “Queen of Flowers.”  This specimen is the only surviving one of the first four camellias planted and cultivated in America – in 1786! You can see it today at Middleton Place, which hosts camellia walks throughout the spring. On this tour, you’ll learn about the different forms these flowers take and see other ancient camellias as well as more modern cultivars.

 

SOUTHERN MAGNOLIAS

southern magnolia

The city is famous for its magnolias, which are native to South Carolina. These trees come into bloom in May, producing gorgeous foliage in spring and early summer. Their saucer-like white flowers emit a wonderful scent that is used in many locally-produced perfumes, candles, soaps and home fragrances. This iconic tree lends its name to the famous Magnolia Plantation, where romantic gardens allow it and other plants to grow informally, as nature intended.

 

NOISETTE ROSES

Noisette rose

Take the time to pause and smell the roses in Charleston. Here, they bloom in late April and continue until the first frost, which is usually not until November. Charleston is the birthplace of one of the most famous garden roses, the Noisette rose. In fact, it’s the only class of rose to originate in the US. No surprise, they’re a favorite in Charleston gardens. You can also find them growing in public attractions like Boone Hall and Hampton Park.

 

HYDRANGEAS

hydrangea

If you’re a hydrangea lover, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to view them throughout Charleston in early summer. That’s when thousands of these large blossoms, which make beautiful cuttings, are in bloom. Hydrangeas present in many colors, including a rarity for the flower kingdom: blue. Interestingly, their hue depends on the pH of the surrounding soil, creating shades from white to pink to purple to blue. The floral clusters also dry very well, so you can enjoy their beauty into fall.

 

No matter where you roam in Charleston – from parks to plantations – there are plenty of places to catch a glimpse of these beautiful spring colors. Make sure you bring the camera and enjoy the colorful palate this spring!

 

Author David Wheeler is a landscape design writer and nature enthusiast. He is an avid traveler and loves to spend his time hiking and strolling through magnificent gardens, learning about rare and native flowers across the world.

 

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Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing your home is a change not just in living arrangements, but also in lifestyle and mindset. Whether retiring to Charleston or simply seeking a more manageable living space, downsizing offers the opportunity to simplify your surroundings and prioritize what truly matters. In this article, we’ll explore the process of downsizing your home and offer practical tips to help you navigate this transition with confidence and ease.

 

KEEP, SELL, OR DONATE?

Moving boxes on a table in front of a white wall with green plants around, illustrating packing for downsizing a home.To effectively downsize, you first need to declutter before you move. Begin by systematically sorting through each room, deciding what to keep, sell, donate, or discard. Items in good condition that you no longer need can be sold through online platforms or yard sales. Consider donating gently used belongings to local charities or shelters. Items that are damaged or unusable should be responsibly disposed of through recycling or waste management facilities. Prioritize keeping essentials and sentimental items that will fit comfortably in your new Charleston home.

If all this seems overwhelming, consider hiring a company such as Move Managers or Smooth Transitions. They will help you determine what to keep as well as safely pack your things and even set them up in your new place. Remember, downsizing is a process that takes time and effort, but with the right approach, you can simplify your move and transition smoothly into your new home.

 

MEASURE YOUR NEW HOME

Woman with short brown hair at a desk. Computer screen shows has a floor plan to help downsizing a home.Now that you have determined what items will be coming with you, you need to consider the dimensions of your new Charleston home. Start by measuring each room, noting any architectural features such as alcoves or bay windows. Then create a floor plan to visualize how your furniture will fit in each space.

You can use online tools and apps to map out your rooms and experiment with different furniture arrangements. RoomSketcher, Floorplanner, and Planner 5D offer user-friendly interfaces and a wide range of furniture options for creating both 2D and 3D floor plans. Homestyler provides a simple platform with drag-and-drop functionality and a vast library of furniture and decor items. MagicPlan offers a mobile app that allows you to create floor plans using photos and includes room measurement tools. Visualizing the layout of your new home will also help you decide which belongings to keep and which to let go of, based on how they will fit into your new space.

 

USE MULTIPURPOSE, SPACE-SAVING FURNITURE

Wall-mounted desk and shelves in front of a beige curtain in a bedroom Once you know your new home’s layout, it’s time to evaluate your current furniture to determine what will fit and what won’t. Large items like king beds, china cabinets, and sectional sofas may not be suitable in your smaller space. Instead, opt for multipurpose pieces and storage solutions that will better meet the needs of your new lifestyle.

Look for furniture that serves multiple purposes, such as a bed with built-in storage or a dining table that doubles as a workspace. Consider space-saving ideas such as:

  • Murphy beds (wall beds)
  • ottomans with hidden storage
  • wall-mounted shelves
  • convertible dining tables
  • nesting tables

By selecting furniture that is both practical and space-saving, you can create a comfortable and functional living environment in your smaller home.

 

In conclusion, downsizing your home is about more than just minimizing space. It’s about maximizing the potential for a simpler, more fulfilling lifestyle. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the transition with confidence. Embrace the opportunities in downsizing and enjoy the advantages of a more streamlined and intentional way of living in Charleston.

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DHM Sponsors the 2024 CSOL Designer Showhouse

Disher, Hamrick & Myers is proud to announce we are the presenting sponsor for the 2024 Charleston Symphony Orchestra League (CSOL) Designer Showhouse, as the beloved annual event returns for the first time in 4 years. This exciting partnership between CSOL and DHM highlights our shared commitment to the arts and the vibrant cultural scene in Charleston. We hope locals and visitors alike will take this unique opportunity to explore a stunningly-designed historic home while supporting a worthy cause.

watercolor painting of 6 Montagu Street by Mary Whyte for the CSOL Designer Showhouse

Watercolor of 6 Montagu Street by Mary Whyte, 2024 CSOL Designer Showhouse Collaborative Artist

The Designer Showhouse showcases the talents of local designers and raises vital funds to support the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League’s mission. The CSOL plays a pivotal role in promoting and supporting the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and its educational programs, ensuring that music remains an integral part of our community.

This year’s Designer Showhouse takes place at the John Rudolph Switzer House at 6 Montagu Street in historic downtown Charleston. The 1803 double house is one of several in the Harleston Village neighborhood to be lovingly restored by the current owner. Previously divided into apartments, it’s been returned to its original intent as a single-family home. The renovation included restoring the historic part of the house while adding a 3-story contemporary wing to the back. The grounds and gardens were also newly landscaped.

The event kicked off February 4th with a “Blue Jeans and Blueprints Bare Boards” party that gave attendees a chance to see the home before it began its transformation and meet with designers, architects, builder, and landscapers. From March 13 to April 13, visitors can tour the home and experience the creativity and talent of 14 local interior designers. There is also be a popup shop for those looking to take some inspiration home. In addition to the opening night celebration on March 12, special events include an evening of champagne and songs, a St. Patrick’s Day garden party, a Gullah brunch, afternoon tea, and supper club. For more information and tickets, click here.

Disher, Hamrick & Myers has long been a champion of the arts and community initiatives. “We are honored to support the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League,” said Herbert Butler, REALTOR® at DHM. “Their work in promoting music education and appreciation in our community aligns with our own values of community engagement and support.” Broker-Associate Douglas Berlinsky adds, “It’s especially exciting this year to feature a historic home that is being converted from multi-family apartments back to its original purpose as a single-family residence. DHM is proud to support such initiatives within historic downtown Charleston.”

Enjoy an exclusive sneak peek into the beautifully-decorated home:

 

DHM invites you to join us at the 2024 CSOL Designer Showhouse as we champion the power of music to inspire and unite our city.

 

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Increase Your Property Value with Home Staging

Need to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best price? Have you considered home staging? If not, you definitely should. With the proliferation of TV shows that highlight carefully staged homes, buyers’ expectations have increased. Homes that are staged sell faster than homes that aren’t staged. Why wait around for someone to see the potential in your home when you can reveal it through some simple staging methods?

 

WHY STAGING HELPS BUYERS

Many buyers have trouble visualizing a home the way it could be for their family. If your home has clutter and personal knickknacks and photos throughout, it may be difficult for the buyer to see the house as their future home. Removing excess furniture and giving each room a clear purpose can really make a difference. According to the National Association of Realtors® Home Staging Report, homeowners should always do the following before putting a home on the market:

  • Thoroughly clean the home.
  • Remove all clutter from the home.
  • Repair any aesthetic issues.
  • Remove any personal photos and memorabilia.
  • Make sure each room serves a purpose (i.e., a designated family area, eating area, guest room or master bedroom).
  • Be sure not to neglect the outside of your home: pressure wash; blow the roof, driveway and decks; maintain landscaping and add colorful plants; create an outdoor living space.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

Youhome staging example at 20 Murray Blvdr real estate agent can help determine what needs to be accomplished to show your home in the best light. Disher, Hamrick & Myers’ agents are experts in the Charleston real estate market and know what buyers are currently seeking. They also have eyes trained to see what you may not. DHM is even the first real estate agency in Charleston to offer in-house virtual staging.

 

CONSIDER THIS

Here’s a real life example of something you might not consider would affect your home’s salability: a homeowner is a big fan of a local college football team and showcased sports memorabilia throughout the home. That particular team has some pretty big local rivalries and even seeing that school’s color and logo might cause a visceral reaction in fans of the other team, subconsciously giving them a negative vision of the home. Although you might not like fans of a rival football team, you certainly wouldn’t exclude them from buying your home! Simply removing the memorabilia makes the home more welcoming to all and doesn’t cost a penny.

If you and your agent decide to stage your home, put your focus on the following rooms:

  1. Living room
  2. Kitchen
  3. Primary bedroom and bath
  4. Dining area

 

STAGING INCREASES HOME VALUE

According to the NAR report on home staging, 20% of Realtors® believe that staging a home garners a 1-5% price increase over similar homes that are not staged. 14% believe the price increase is closer to 6-10%, and some even more. The median cost of staging according to the NAR is $600. Think of it: in 2024, the median sales price in the greater Charleston real estate market is $531,728. That means a potential increase of $5317 -$53,172. That’s a minimum return of over 886% on your staging budget! And if your home is in downtown Charleston where the median sales price is over $2 million, your return is even greater. Plus, almost half of listing agents report staging decreases the time a home spends on the market.

 

DHM REAL ESTATE CAN HELP

At Disher, Hamrick & Myers in Charleston, we won’t leave you in the lurch when it comes to figuring out how to present your home. We know what buyers are looking for today and can guide you through the process with our real estate services. If you decide professional home staging is the right option for you, we can also refer you to a proven, reputable staging company. We’ll even help coordinate the staging process. For ideas on how to get started with staging, or to buy a home that works for you, take a look at some of our beautifully staged properties for sale.

 

For a checklist of things you should do on their own before listing your house for sale, download a FREE copy of our ebook “How to Get Your House Ready for Sale in 6 Easy Steps!”

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Moving Tips for Historic Homeowners

Historic homeowners are custodians of our architectural heritage. The houses they live in and care for have stood the test of time, and often come with unique features and storied pasts. As such, the prospect of moving in to or out of a historic home can be filled with challenges that ordinary homeowners may not face. Fortunately, DHM Real Estate agents are experts with decades of experience helping clients with all aspects of owning a historic property. In this article, we’ll explore essential tips for moving to or from a historic house.

 

PLAN EVERYTHING

The first moving tip for historic homeowners is to carefully assess your situation.

Black front door to a historic house with fanlight above and detailed white molding around.1. Create a detailed moving plan with a timeline and budget. Take into account any necessary permits and approvals, which may be more complex for historic properties.

2. Hire professionals with historic home expertise. Relocating historic treasures requires a delicate touch. Be sure to enlist the services of long-distance moving experts that have the specialized knowledge and experience to transport your cherished artifacts and heirlooms safely.

3. Communicate with local historic preservation authorities to understand the regulations and requirements affecting your move and obtain any necessary permits. Some historic districts may allow moves only during certain hours to maintain the peace of the neighborhood, or they may regulate when and where moving vans may park. Be careful of local noise ordinances as well.

 

PACK YOUR TREASURES

Packing up a historic home is a delicate process that requires extra care and attention.

Fireplace in a historic house with detailed molding, antique chandelier, and family heirloom painting above the mantle.1. Prioritize delicate and historical pieces such as antiques, family heirlooms, and fragile items for special handling.

2. Use archival-quality packing materials. In addition, carefully label each box and its contents. Document everything in case of damage or loss, and to make unpacking easier.

3. Consider temporary storage if there is a gap between leaving your old home and settling into your new one.

 

SAFEGUARD HISTORICAL INTEGRITY

Preserving the architectural integrity of historic homes is key.

Arched doorway in a historic house with detailed molding.1. Prevent damage to walls, floors, windows, and moldings. Use protective coverings and padding if necessary to safeguard the home’s architectural elements from your furniture and vise-versa.

2. Measure. Historic homes may not have the same door or window dimensions as more modern homes. In addition, they may not be consistent throughout the dwelling. Be aware of this when moving large pieces of furniture. Measure openings to be sure your existing pieces or new purchases will fit.

3. Maintain documentation and photographs of the home’s condition both before and after your move. This will be helpful for insurance purposes as well as historical records.

4. Comply with local regulations for renovations. While preserving authenticity is crucial, you may need to modernize parts of your historic home for comfort and functionality. If you plan any alterations, ensure they comply with local historical preservation regulations and obtain necessary permits.

 

Moving as a historic homeowner comes with challenges. However, with these tips, the transition can be a seamless and rewarding experience. Assess the situation, plan meticulously, safeguard historical integrity, and confidently embrace your new chapter! Remember, living in a historic house makes you not just a homeowner, but a steward who protects its legacy for the next generation of caretakers.

 

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Southern Holiday Traditions

How do you celebrate Christmas in Charleston and where did those traditions originate? The South is rich in history, and Charleston is no exception. Did you know that Southern states were the first to adopt Christmas as a legal holiday? (Alabama in 1836, followed by Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838.) Over the years, it’s no surprise that many regional Southern holiday traditions have spread around the country.

CHARLESTON’S POINSETTIA ROOTS

Southern holiday poinsettiaToday we hail the poinsettia as the official plant of the Christmas season. Did you know this is thanks to a South Carolina gentleman by the name of Joel Robert Poinsett? Poinsett was in the United States House of Representatives and also served as the Minister to Mexico. While on a trip to Mexico in 1925, he discovered the festive red-colored flower. He brought it home to Charleston and introduced it as a holiday adornment. The rest is history. Today, throughout the South and the nation you will see these beautiful flowers displayed on the inside and outside of homes during the Yuletide season.

CITRUS FOR THE SEASON

Southern holiday citrus decorationsTo this day, it’s a Southern holiday tradition for Santa to leave some citrus fruit in children’s stockings. No, it’s not a gimmick to take up space. Years ago, finding citrus in your stocking in the middle of winter was a luxury. Citrus fruits were only available during certain seasons of the year, so receiving an orange at Christmas was a special and expensive treat. Decorating wreaths, trees, and holiday decor with different citrus fruits is still a tradition today. In fact, take a tour around downtown Charleston or visit one of the museum houses to see citrus and evergreen decorations on the outsides as well as interiors of historic Charleston homes. To view some beautiful examples, try one of these tours. Or if you can’t make it in person, you can watch the Garden Club of Charleston create their annual traditional holiday decorations at the Joseph Manigault House.

FRIED TURKEY, OYSTERS, & PECAN PIE

Southern holiday oystersWhat would a Southern meal be without any of these delicacies? Fresh oysters are popular during the holiday season because their harvest is best during the coldest time of year. (Remember the old adage that oysters are good during months that have an “R” in their names.) Deep frying as a preparation for turkey also originated in the South. And don’t forget the pecan pie for dessert. The documented history of this recipe dates back to the 1880s. Legend says the French in New Orleans made a version of it after Native Americans introduced them to the pecan tree. Today this gooey, delicious Southern treat has spread across the country and is a staple this time of year. Visit Southern Living for a variety of delicious pecan pie recipes and other traditional Southern holiday foods.

What holiday treats and traditions does your family celebrate? Please share in the comments. Disher, Hamrick & Myers wishes HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all!


If this discussion of Southern holidays makes you yearn for a home in beautiful Charleston, SC, give us a call at 843.577.4115. Disher, Hamrick & Myers has been a leader in Charleston real estate since 1984. From historic downtown to the islands, we will help you find your dream property!

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9 Tips for Ensuring the Security of Your High-End Investments

In the world of high-end investments, privacy and security are paramount. Whether you’ve invested in luxury real estate, high-end art, or rare collectibles, protecting your valuables requires a comprehensive approach. Ensuring the safety of your assets encompasses physical security, cybersecurity, and discretion. Today’s DHM Blog brings you 9 essential tips to safeguard your high-end investments and give you the peace of mind of knowing they are well-protected.

 

1. CONDUCT A COMPREHENSIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

clipboard with a hand conducting a security risk assessment checklistBefore diving into the specific security measures, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Consider factors such as location, market conditions, and the nature of your asset. Consult with experts who can offer valuable insights and help you identify any vulnerabilities you might have overlooked. Then tailor your strategy to implement the recommended measures.

 

2. INSTALL ADVANCED SECURITY SYSTEMS

hand holding a cell phone that connects to various advanced home security systemsInvest in cutting-edge security systems including surveillance cameras, state-of-the-art alarms, and access control measures. Ensure they are regularly maintained and upgraded to keep up with evolving threats. In addition to advanced technology, consider integrating smart home automation into your setup. Smart systems allow you to remotely monitor and control your security measures, providing real-time updates and alerts to your mobile device. This added layer of convenience and control can significantly enhance the safety of your high-end investments.

 

3. INVEST IN SECURE STORAGE

home safe to secure storage of high-end investmentsHaving a secure storage solution is vital for physical assets like art, jewelry, or collectibles. Use a fire-resistant, high-end safe or vault with a robust locking mechanism. If storing possessions off-site space, choose a location with a reputable track record for security. Either way, document and catalog your items meticulously. Create an inventory with detailed descriptions and photographs, and keep this information in a separate, secure location. This documentation will assist in recovery efforts in case of theft or damage and also with insurance claims.

 

4. SECURE YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

laptop computer with VPN on the screen to secure your digital footprintIn today’s digital age, privacy extends beyond physical security. Take steps to secure your online presence. Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts and enable two-factor authentication. Be cautious about sharing sensitive information online. It’s also wise to invest in a reputable virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and shield your online activities from prying eyes. Also be sure regularly to update your cybersecurity measures.

 

5. MAINTAIN DISCRETION

cell phone with social media on the screen on top of a keyboardWhile it’s natural to be proud of your high-end investments, exercising discretion can go a long way in ensuring their security. Avoid flaunting your assets in public and be mindful of who you share information with. This includes posting about your assets online, for example in social media – especially if your post would disclose the location of your assets. The more discreet you are, the less likely you are to attract unwanted attention.

When selling your home, you may want to keep certain works of art away from the public eye in listing photography. You’ll also want to secure valuables such as jewelry when potential buyers tour your home. And of course, you’ll want to use a reputable real estate agent who has experience in luxury properties. They will guide you through the home-selling process and serve as a trusted gatekeeper between your possessions and potential buyers.

 

6. HIRE REPUTABLE MOVERS

reputable movers with a clipboard checking boxes for a secure move of high-end investmentsWhether you’re relocating to a new home or transferring your assets to a different location, it’s imperative to maintain a high level of security throughout the process. Ensure your valuable possessions are carefully packed, transported, and unpacked. Once you’ve settled into your new space, take the necessary precautions to secure it. Moving should not be a vulnerability in your investment’s security, but rather an opportunity to enhance and reinforce it. Reevaluate systems, change access codes or locks, and verify the integrity of your storage.

 

7. EMPLOY PROFESSIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL

2 professional security guardsFor particularly valuable or sensitive investments, hiring professional security personnel can be indispensable. Trained guards can provide on-site protection, monitor security systems, and respond swiftly to any potential threats. Their presence alone can act as a deterrent to would-be intruders.

 

8. IMPLEMENT ACCESS CONTROLS

laptop computer with blank username and password fields for acess control on the screen Carefully control who has access to your high-end investments. Only allow trusted individuals and prevent unauthorized people from compromising your asset’s security. Ensure clear protocols are in place for granting and revoking access.

 

9. STAY INFORMED ABOUT SECURITY TRENDS

Stay informed about the latest trends and technologies. Security is an ever-evolving field, but by staying up-to-date, you can adapt your security measures to address emerging threats effectively. Remember that safeguarding your high-end investments is an ongoing process. With the right precautions in place, you can stay a step ahead of potential threats and enjoy the privacy and security of your high-end investments with confidence.

 

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