Designer Calder Clark of Calder Clark Designs in Charleston, South Carolina, dishes on color, trade secrets, and more.

By Stephanie Gibson
July 12, 2012
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

"On the coast, even after the longest workday you can still end with a beachfront bucket of oysters and a cold beer."
—Calder Clark

You're hired to design a beach house but you can't use a blue-and-white palette. Which colors do you choose instead?
CC: I would use ballet pink and salmon, with occasional pops of the boldest coral-orange. Orange is definitely my design calling card! You could even layer in bisques, grays, and icy blues with total success.

What is one decorating trick you just cannot live without?
CC: A contrast welt. Nothing says polish like a zingy white piping across the edge of a bright sofa or pale Roman shade.

A room isn't finished until ... ?
CC: ... you add a drop-dead gorgeous chandelier. My favorite is the ropey Luigi Eight Light by Solaria—it's a statement piece.

Wallpaper at the beach, yes or no?
CC: All day long. I love a cabana stripe, a vintage bamboo trellis, or even a simple flaxen ticking. And of course I can't get enough of Phillip Jeffries grasscloth in any shade.

What are some simple ways to kickstart summer?
CC: Put away the down comforters and break out the matelassé! Make an amazing salsa every night, perfect your basil-lime gimlet, and snip azalea and palm leaves from the garden every day for your kitchen.