The Jasper is a luxury, waterfront apartment building in historic Harleston Village in Downtown Charleston—and it’s where interior designer Susan Galvani of Spruce Interior Design calls home. 

“The building was just completed a couple months before we moved in in March of 2021, so we were the first tenants in our unit,” Susan says. “I instantly fell in love with the 10’ ceilings and amazing views of downtown Charleston, including the Ashley River and Colonial Lake.”

The building was perfect for Susan’s new chapter in Charleston. “It felt sort of like a Tribeca loft with the tall ceilings and open floor plan,” she explains. “I love the mix of people in the building—lots of New York City transplants like myself!—and  variety of activities just outside including tennis, pickle ball and a great playground where I go all the time with my 3-year old son. It’s a bit of an anomaly in Charleston, which is full of historic homes, but I appreciate all the modern amenities and conveniences especially with a toddler.”

As with many new builds, the space felt a bit cold. “One of the first things I wanted to do was bring in natural materials such as rattan and jute to warm things up,” the designer explains. “I kept the living and dining area light & airy to embrace all the natural light. The main upholstered pieces are covered in off-white performance fabrics or slipcovers and color comes in through pillows and artwork.”

The floor plan is open, so she created different “zones” for different functions—hanging out, working, dining, toddler play and toy storage. “Happily, the ‘play zone’ infiltrates the entire space and matchbox cars on the kitchen table are a regular occurrence,” she says with a smile. “My son’s room has Sandberg’s iconic Raphael wallpaper that is paired with a Roman shade in Ottoline’s Sporty Stripes, which brings a welcome playful element to the room and keeps the paper form feeling serious. I used Chasing Paper x Pehr’s Life Aquatic wallpaper in his bathroom, the same pattern on a play mat we already had and loved! I love how the ocean theme of the paper plays off of our home’s location by the water.”

The living spaces feature smart furnishings: the Entryway Rack from Open Spaces, a seagrass bench and organic shaped wood mirror (another Etsy find), Sixpenny’s Neva chair, and Article’s wood and leather counter stools, which bring in warmth and texture. “I also had a round oak coffee table made by Tony Oliver, who is based in Baltimore and super talented,” the designer shares. “It is so durable and easily one of my favorite pieces of furniture.”

When it comes to designing for herself, Susan admits it’s both easier and more difficult than designing for clients. “When it comes to designing a space for myself, it’s easier in that I know what I like, but harder because I know how many options are out there!”

For readers moving into a new build, Susan offers sage advice: “It might feel a bit sterile at first, but adding your own light fixtures really goes a long way in terms of personalizing the space. And vintage textiles and furnishings are a great way to counterbalance all the newness.” And finally, don’t be afraid to let the design grow. “I definitely don’t consider the space ‘done’ but I appreciate the idea of a home evolving over time and the ways it can adapt to our changing needs.”