It’s been a big year for Tommy Smythe. Not only did the designer turn 50 this past summer, he launched a design firm, TOM, along with fellow Sarah Richardson Design alums Lindsay Mens Craig and Kate Stuart. “I always wondered what it would be like to be out on my own,” says Tommy, who spent 19 years working with Sarah on multiple TV shows and design projects. “I wanted to try a new concept, where I gathered a community of designers, project managers and technicians to execute their skills on a per project basis, assembling a perfect team for each client.”
They tested that concept with a to-the-studs renovation of a circa-1790s home in Charleston, South Carolina — their farewell project for Sarah Richardson Design before launching TOM. The design brief? To make all the modern amenities disappear and highlight the home’s historical character. That meant finding local contractors and craftspeople who could recreate antique foxed mirrors, carve a new wood mantel to replicate an original and hide air-conditioning ducts in a chimney breast.
Among the crew on site, Lindsay confides that Tommy was fondly referred to as “Maestro.” She says, “Tommy and I have such a special working relationship, and Charleston is Southern charm on steroids. I fell in love with the architecture, the people and their dedication to craftsmanship; it was perfection.” Adds Tommy: “Our goal was to make this house livable for the next 200 years,” says Tommy.
Scroll down to tour this historical home that has been given a new life!
Author: Wendy Jacob
House & Home November 2020
Tommy Smythe & Lindsay Mens Craig, Sarah Richardson Design