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For Charleston designer Ginger Brewton, in life and in interiors, roots have always been important. When the Greenville, SC-born designer moved to Charleston, she started a trend. The majority of her family—and their traditions—moved to the coast as well.

As it turns out, family and Southern style might have that in common. When it comes to design in the South, “there’s always some aspect of tradition,” Brewton said. Whether it’s furniture, china or art, things that have been handed down from family seem to usually make an appearance in Southern homes. For clients who have certain pieces that are of significant meaning or importance, Brewton said, “we start there.”

But honoring tradition doesn’t have to betraditional. While previous generations have tended to be more traditional, “our generation is more classically modern,” Brewton said. Straighter lines and cleaner looks are what Brewton is seeing more and more of. But these looks are “still layered and textured and warm, so it’s not too stale or contrived.”

And, of course, so much of Brewton’s design starts with a focal point. A fabric “even in it’s just on two pillows” can be just luxe enough to become a starting place for a room. In addition, Brewton said, “I’ve done an entire room around a piece of art.”

For clients who have a firm idea of what they want their home to look like, that focal point can be a good start. But, for those who are unsure of their style, Brewton goes back further. She asks, “What’s your favorite hotel? What colors do you wear?” She takes the time to explore where her clients like to be and why and how their family lives and functions in their home. Do they entertain? Do they prefer things to be closed or more open?