Where Did The Name Copper Dwelling & Design Come From?

Where Did The Name Copper Dwelling & Design Come From?

Just about once a week, the question of "What's with the name", gets asked. It's a really simple answer but always a good conversation piece. Well, the answer is... Our house is all Copper. Built in 2003, by Architect & Interior Design Professor at Winthrop, Greg Tew, the home is a one of a kind here in the Southeast. The copper Tew used was bought as flat pieces, which he took to a fabricator to turn the edges of the pieces so they would fit together.

They used more than 700 pieces of copper, each four and a half square feet. Tew would put up about 70 to 80 pieces a day, involving joining the pieces, then lining them up on the house. The difficult part of using the material was making sure it was level, a tricky task because the house is three levels. They had to wear gloves to put it up so the oils from their hands wouldn't tarnish it. The house is built in the dogtrot style, an old Southern style, where two boxes are separated by a wood porch. It was created from the single-room log house.

When the family outgrew the house, they added on a second house next to the first. The two buildings were joined by a common roof and a connecting wooden floor. The style allows air to breeze through. Over the years, the house will go through a series of color stages, showing purple swirls, russet to light brown, then chocolate shades to its ultimate color, a blue-green patina. The house is an ever changing work of art and design. 

When at neighborhood functions or events around town, we're often introduced as "The family in the Copper House". For years, this was the case. It became our adjective. So 3 years ago, when deciding a name for our Real Estate & Design Company, the descriptive words used for the past several years seemed like the perfect choice. Therein lies the birth of Copper Dwelling & Design. Stop by sometime and check it out. At our last research a few years ago, and as far as we know, it's the only copper cladded house in the Southeast. 

Our Latest snow this week. It's a rarity here in South Carolina.

The Hats We Wear & Keeping An Attitude of Gratitude

The Hats We Wear & Keeping An Attitude of Gratitude

Brittany Kelly, owner & designer: Copper Dwelling & Design

Oh the many hats we wear. I get asked daily, " how do you do it all?" Truth is... I don't. Some days I do it really well and some days I fail miserably. The holidays are a time that we are reminded of gratitude. I look back over the past few years and I have so much to be thankful for yet so much seems like a blur. It's funny when you pause and think about all the things you've said yes to. At this very second, I'm a wife, a mom to 3 vivacious girls, an interior designer, PTO Vice President, Board Member of Early Learning Partnership, Co-founder of an Activist group, and my neighborhood's Empowerment Leader. These are just my current official titles. These don't include the unofficial hats I wear as my husband's assistant, our tax preparer, the maid, the cook, the taxi, the tutor, the caretaker and family peace mender. 

When I type this out I understand why I feel so tired all the time. I understand why I go through the drive thru so much and have gained 25 lbs in 5 years. I understand why most days I wear no makeup and a messy bun. I understand why I drop the ball sometimes on a project or why I procrastinate. I'm slowly having to learn how to be a "no thank you" person. Although, since my marriage counselor told me years ago, to stop saying yes, I believe my list got longer. My problem is, I'm passionate about a lot of things and they're all things I want to be apart of. I just have to learn to be thankful for the opportunities and the lessons that I've learned along my path. 

Michael and I have been blessed to be able to work together towards a career dream. We are entrepreneurs and have had some very successful ventures and some total flops! Since our marriage almost 13 years ago, we've owned 6 businesses, some simultaneously and others not. The good news is, we're still standing but with greater knowledge than ever and more precious souls in our lives. If anyone came to me and told me I got a do-over, I would kindly turn it down. The people we have met along the way and the hard lessons learned, are what made us who we are today. I feel we can weather anything thrown our way including a 2008 collapse of an economy. 

November is always my month of reflection on the past and my motivator for the next year. What can I do better, what should I continue to do, and what are my top "too important to let go" things? Through it all, I find my gratitude in each obligation. I think of the struggles I conquered, the sleepless nights of wondering how will I fit it all in the next day. When I reflect on these days, I'm reminded that somehow, someway we survived. We may have had McDonalds for dinner. The kids may not have gotten a bath every night or a bedtime story, but they were loved. Our kids, for the most part, just go along with the flow. It's all they've known. Lola grew up in a pack-n-play in our gift shop/wine bar. She sat in her car seat in my spa's reception room, sleeping, while I worked giving massages.

Don't try to fit some mold. Don't worry if every day isn't perfect. I've found those are the days that are most memorable and the ones you look back on and laugh at the most. Michael nicknamed me "Mother of the Year" (sarcastically). I live up to it daily. I believe it all started when we flew to Dallas when Lola was about 5 months old and we ran out of diapers. I made her one out of paper towels and blue painters tape, until we could get to a store to buy some. You know what, it's a great picture that I look back on and think , man we were ingenious.
Trust me, I wish there were days where I could do nothing. I'm sure those days will come when my girls head off to college. In the mean time, I'm going to follow my chaos.

As long as my passion flame is still lit inside of me, I'll try to be the best I can. Understand my best may not be stellar. I will continue to be grateful for the chance to get to do what I love and surround myself with friends and family who make me laugh. Get rid of anything that is toxic in your life. They tend to blur your happiness and it's hard to see the gratitude you have for life when toxic people, habits or commitments get in the way. I encourage you for the month of November to journal nightly, just one or two sentences. Write down something that happened to you that day that you are grateful for. It's fun to look back to years past and reflect on those things. They shape you. #attitudeofgratitude  

6 Rules For Decorating Your Mantel

6 Rules For Decorating Your Mantel

Copper Dwelling & Design's Tips for A Well Thought Out Mantel

October 10, 2017

Welcome Fall! Ahhh.. nothing speaks to me in fall like a chai latte, pumpkin pie and a warm, inviting mantle. It's taken me a bit to get in the fall mood this year with 90 degree weather, here at home, in SC. This week though, we got our first dreary day in 3 weeks. Out popped my mood to decorate for fall. It never fails that every time I start decorating a mantle, I hear a nagging voice ( no not nagging ) just a matter of fact voice screaming at me " taller to the left"! You see, I grew up with a grandmother and mom who owned a gift store and home goods business for over 30 years. Their store was Crate & Barrel, Anthropology & Pottery Barn, before their time. Each room was decorated like a room in your home and everything was for sale. From furniture to coffee, table settings and soap, it was a one stop shop for any and all things home. I was born in that ol' store and spent just about every day there. I was never too young for inventory or decorating in the back rooms. They "let" me do what I wanted. It never failed that they would stroll through, while I was in decorative mode and say "taller to the left". Trust me, as a decorator now, I struggle with this sometimes, mostly when it comes to bookshelves, this saying does not ring true, but I have found, with about 90% of mantles, it's definitely true. 


Now that we have the #1 rule stuck in your head, it's time to gather your things. My favorite part of a house is the fireplace. It's your chance to express who you are. The fireplace should always be your focal point in a room. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, show her some love!

Rule #2- Odds are more visually appealing than evens. The only exception I have to this rule is 2 bookends or 2 large candlesticks on either side, or 2 vases. Depending on the size of items you've picked and how many items there are, you can lay them out on the floor. If you have 3 larger items Ex: 3 different size pictures; you'll want to place the largest of the three in the center and the next to largest on the left and shortest to the right. 

My #3 rule to a perfect mantle is nature! Every mantle could use a touch of the outdoors. This can be a floral wreath, a vase with a few sprigs of something green or colorful, a potted plant etc. It's soothing to the soul to have something green in your home and especially around your fireplace. One is usually enough, unless you are balancing out your mantle with 2 of the same containers or vases. Gadgets. Trinkets. Littles. Oh My!

#5 and one of my most fun parts of decorating a mantle, is finding those tiny items that you just love. Whether you found them at an antique store or they were passed down to you or your kiddo made them in art, this is your chance to showcase them. Pull them out from the cabinet and let it be your conversation piece. Don't overdo this step. I have seen some try to put up a full on collection of figurines. Don't do it! The only time that looks good is if it's a bunch of glass bottles. Three items should be enough. Remember your Odds vs even rules will apply here.

#6 Rule to a perfect mantle is levels. Use books laying down or a neat decorative box to elevate a trinket or 2. I usually will put one item on the book and one on the mantle to give it variation like the picture below. Notice the odd numbers, different heights and green items with a focal point in the center. 

 No matter your style, you are sure to have a few amazing pieces laying around your home, that are screaming at you to showcase them. Now is your chance. So grab a few hours and enjoy putting your mantle together! Happy Fall Ya'll

We Made It A Year...What's Next?

We Made It A Year...What's Next?

Copper Dwelling & Design, Owner & Designer Brittany Kelly

8760 Hours

The amount of time we spent finding our clients their dream homes and making their visions come to life. Being a Realtor and Interior Designer are two jobs that you simply don't get to clock in at 9am and leave behind at 5pm. There are days when I have no clue if the dogs got fed or the kids. However, we made it.

A year ago today, we decided to take the leap and join forces combining Copper Dwelling + Design. It was a scary thought of Michael going out on his own with Allen Tate but it is one goal that we had set our minds to. With three quarters to go into the year, he nailed VIP each quarter. I couldn't be more proud of the realtor he's become. 

I was honored to design multiple commercial locations and dozens of residential properties. From tearing out walls and blowing out ceilings, to scraping wallpaper, installing new floors, new furniture, amazing light fixtures and some incredible kitchens and bathrooms; I have to say, we knocked this year out of the park.

In February, we added a new division of Copper Dwelling & Design called "BIG ASS BLOOMS". We wanted something different to give our clients as a way of saying "Thank You". They are a life-sized bouquet of flowers that are bound to brighten up every room in a house. We love delivering these babies upon the closing of a client. 

So what's next you ask? Well... we have some pretty lofty goals in the coming year, including the possibility of a store front. Yes, we've been there and done that but we miss it. So, if all goes well, we hope to open the doors of The Mercantile By Copper Dwelling + Design.

So stay tuned for all things CD+D. You never know what we'll come up with next. (I mean, we don't even know what's next!) But here's to 365 days of success and not killing each other.

Interior Design: How To Design A Space On A Small Budget + A Few Of My Secrets

Interior Design: How To Design A Space On A Small Budget

Copper Dwelling & Design Designer, Brittany Kelly

If you don't know by now, I'm the equivalent of "Design on a Dime"! I grew up in a home surrounded by a decorator mom and grandmother and a dad that would just build it himself. Thanks to them, I've learned a few tricks of the trade. While I always love fancy things and name brands, I haven't always been able to afford them. Once you learn how to get the same look for less, you'll be cooking with grease.


When I got into the industry, I wanted to be a designer that the average person could call on for help with their home. I wanted for them to feel comfortable with me and not give off a pretentious vibe. I wanted the working mom to give me a ring and say,"I don't have the time for this, but I want something different, can you do it while I'm at work?" I hope I give my clients that feel and that they trust I have their budget in mind. Don't get me wrong, I'll take a huge budget and go to town, but I really enjoy a challenge of being given $500-$1500 and told to make something happen in a room.


Some may know we owned an eclectic home store in the early 2000s and sold furniture, as well as home goods. One thing we picked up on quickly, is the markup on furniture, and even more so the markup on name brand furniture. A secret you'll see is that big name companies purchase furniture from market and they'll stamp their logo on it and charge double. 


One thing you can do to stay on budget is shop discount stores. Places like Homegoods, TJ Maxx and Ross often get some great pieces in that will give you the same look. Another way to save money is shop online at sites like Wayfair, Joss & Main, Hayneedle, Overstock etc. You may have to put the furniture together but you will save hundreds of dollars. The sites also have amazing customer service. 


Now that you know my take on furniture, let's talk about the simple things that can change a whole space and how to do it for as little damage to your wallet as possible. These are my top 4 things to change for maximum impact.


1. Paint- color can change an entire space & mood. Decide a color that you are drawn to. If it's a bright color, go with a neutral paint color and accessorize with that color you are drawn to. You will thank yourself 1-2 years down the road when you are tired of it and can't change anything without having to completely re do the room. So let's say you are drawn to yellow. I'd paint the room cream, navy, duck egg blue or grey. These are safe colors that go with anything incase you tire of the yellow. Pull you accent color in on your pillows, rugs, bookshelf pieces and curtains.


2. Lighting alone can make or break a room. There is nothing more amazing than a light that gives you personality, style, character and a conversation piece. Some of my most favorite lights come from my local lighting store, in the sale section, or from flea markets. Don't get me wrong, I spend a pretty penny on lights each year, but they are so important. Lightbulbs are equally important. The eye hates a daylight bulb. There is nothing cozy about it. Stay away unless you want a cold sterile feel. For lamps, you can find great deals on the half off week from Hobby Lobby and Homegoods has reasonable lamps too. I usually can score lamps for about $50 each. Quick funny, my most favorite light ever is in my lounge room and cost $30 from my local lighting store. I assume no one could envision it. It's a bronze round globe with different size holes throughout. Well.... when dark, the entire room looks like a honeycomb. It's a conversation piece for sure. So moral of the story, toss out those builder grade lights and start one by one on creating your story. It doesn't have to break the bank.


3. Curtains- I have two pet peeves- When curtains don't come at least to the baseboard or floor, and curtains that are hung right at window height when there is room to go taller.  I will say 84"curtains should probably never be in your shopping cart. Most tops of windows sit around 90-96". I'll never know why stores like Target and others only stock this size. Ikea is a huge secret of mine for curtains. They are affordable and come in long lengths. Another secret I'll share is www.halfpricedrapes.com, a go to for more affordable, semi-custom, and long option curtains. PS. yes Target sells longer versions on their website and ship within a couple days. 


4. Accessories- Now you all have found Homegoods by now. Do it! I have my top accessory picks. Believe it or not there is a method to my madness. I almost always go to Ross first. While my Ross is very slim, it never fails that I go to Homegoods or TJ Maxx first and then will find the same thing at Ross for much less, so it's a rule I have if one is around. Hobby Lobby is trouble but you will find what you need and 100 more things. Every other week at Hobby Lobby, different things are 50% off. For example if you go now and their pictures are regular price, next week they will be half off, so just wait. Target is also a great choice. If you haven't figured it out by now, shop the end caps at target on the insides of isles. Not the end caps on the main isle side. Most of the time, this is where you will find 30-50% accessories. I always score great pillows, pottery, vases, candles, frames etc on those shelves. Now! What do you need to look for? Always grab something green. A succulent, a potted plant, a sprig of eucalyptus, a fiddle leaf fig tree.... just something green. Every single room in your house can stand some greenery. Next, a vase or jars. These can be used alone or with something in them. Set on top of a stack of books to get dimension and height. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors....grab them. Little, big, funky, and fancy. A mirror is another item that can go in any room. Shop Ross for mirrors. Typically you can get a 36x24 for about $39.99 there. Next best place, Target, then flea markets. I have bad luck ordering mirrors online. They either don't look like their picture or they come broken. 


I hope you've learned a little something to get you going on your next room re-design. If you're still that person that just doesn't have the time, has a hard time putting it all together or just simply doesn't enjoy it, give me a shout! 

The Mercantile

The Mercantile

Rock Hill, SC’s Best Gift Store

May 20, 2018 

It’s really incredible what can take place in a few short months. It’s official that we have a space! Located at 130 W White St in Rock Hill, SC, we will open Copper Dwelling + Design’s headquarters in a 4300 sq ft warehouse built around 1884. It was the original Fewell Cotton Warehouse that stored the cotton for the factory located just beside it. The Mercantile will take up the front 2200 sq ft while the back half will house a workshop, warehouse, offices, design showroom & a conference room.


With its original floors just laid on crushed coal ash and toenailed together, it has withstood the test of time. My guess is the coal ash prevented insect damage and rot. The original brick walls and beams still pride themselves from the ships they came off of in Charelston, SC some 134 years ago. It was the heart of a small mill town that the railroad ran right through. 

 For years Michael and I have eyed this building. About 3 years ago, we met with the previous owner and wanted to purchase it, but limitations with parking and city regulations put it out of our reach. Life has a mysterious way of working itself out and this past Christmas, I found out who had purchased it and that I just happened to know the amazing family behind it. I had heard they may tear it down for parking but then mentions of a huge rehab in the making. To my, oh so wonderful surprise, he had decided on the latter. So, of course I get to calling & emailing. We pitched our idea, threw in a couple winks and nudges and were honored to be able to lease a spot from The Williams. 

Owners of The Mercantile, Brittany & Michael Kelly

Owners of The Mercantile, Brittany & Michael Kelly

There really couldn’t be a better family to do business with and we’re so fortunate to have them believe in our idea and want success for us. For years, we have wanted to be downtown Rock Hill and never felt the time was right. Well… for the first time we are pulling the trigger. With all the plans for Knowledge park, we are expected to have some 3000+ guests each weekend, right beside us. It also happens that we have brand new apartments and condos going in, a few hotels, some amazing restaurants and other incredible neighbors. 

Why a Mercantile? We noticed one thing about downtown, you can’t even go anywhere close to get toilet paper. Ha! I know, we think of the dumbest things, but seriously, these people living downtown need a one stop shop for all lifestyle needs. We decided we would carry Kitchen, Bath, Bedding, Garden, Furniture, Hardware, Gifts & more. So what better to describe an “any and all" store but to call it a Mercantile. It fits right along with what was originally there.


Our hopes are to attract the “downtown dwellers”, the “out-of-towners” and the “across-towners”. We want to be a destination for any and all things home. 

Our biggest goal is to become part of the community. Be able to invest in the children and neighbors of our community by giving back to the programs we believe in. We want to help set our community up for success. Be innovative. Start a trend in looking out for each other and not the big franchises down the way. Invest in a community, and you’ll invest in its future.

We hope to be open this fall and in plenty of time for the holidays. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram for real time updates and get ready for a red carpet event!

Thanks to all of the support we have already received and the extra hard push to keep us adulating like we’ve never done before!