Holding Court

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Globally renowned designer Chuck Chewning debuts his outdoor-centric retail concept this Fall

FROM THE AWARD-WINNING RESTORATION of the Armstrong Kessler Mansion to historic properties such as the Grande Bretagne in Athens, Greece, and the Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy, Chuck Chewning has had his hand in the design of some of the world’s most elevated spaces. 

Now, he is making his curations more accessible with a new retail concept named Courtyard, inspired by Savannah’s secret gardens and outdoor living. Located at 406 W. Jones St., the store is less than a mile from SCAD Museum of Art — apropos considering Chewning is not only an alumnus of The Savannah College of Art and Design, but also the first recipient of the SCAD Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008.

Courtesy of CHARLES H CHEWNING INTERIORS // Photography by THOMAS LOOF

To find the perfect location, Chewning scouted both old and new buildings, from the Historic District to Starland before landing on a building that previously housed Thrifty Hardware. “The block was restored in recent years by a Charleston developer. Brooks Construction (Josh Brooks) and Sottile & Sottile Architects (Christian Sottile) worked on the project, and we [have worked] with them both on a number of our own design projects,” Chewning says. “Most important, besides being a great space and location, there is an attached, private, 2,000-square-foot courtyard for our use.”

Courtyard culture has long been part of Savannah’s allure. Then, the pandemic brought new fervor for outdoor spaces, which can be leveraged as alternative places for working from home, as much as for entertaining or simply relaxing during golden hours.

“There was a lack of high-end, designer-selected outdoor furnishings and lifestyle [items], not only in Savannah but also in the Lowcountry,” says Chewning. “You have to travel to Charleston to find designed outdoor items at Elizabeth Stuart. This was the inspiration moment to do a store in Savannah. We spend a lot of our time year-round outside, from historic courtyards and river-view porches to furnished docks. We want our outdoor spaces to look and function as well as our interior spaces, so the exterior becomes an extension of the home.”

 At Courtyard, expect to find anything and everything to enhance your space — including antiques and new outdoor accessories such as urns, furniture, rugs, pillows, lanterns, statuary, gardening tools and more. In addition, Chewning also plans to offer a large collection of outdoor tabletop items, such as dishes, stemware, serving pieces, placemats and napkins.

Charles H Chewning Interiors, chuckchewning.com, @chccourtyard