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One Vendue Range: Charleston, SC

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The heart of downtown Charleston offers a plethora of fine dining establishments, artistic venues, cultural events and historical attractions. Add in outstanding Lowcountry golf courses, a temperate climate and the area’s overall quality of life, and it’s easy to see why Dave and Laura Wallace chose Charleston for their retirement home. After living in Tokyo for five years, the Wallaces spent three years at Kiawah before moving downtown to One Vendue Range in February 2003.

“We liked Kiawah because of the golf and the beach, but this location is fantastic. We can walk to all our favorite restaurants and the different art galleries,” Dave said.

One Vendue Range was the brainchild of Charleston resident Wally Seinsheimer, owner of Dolphin Architects & Builders, and Harry Frampton and Ross Bowker of East West Partners of Beaver Creek, Colo. Designed by architect Chris Schmitt of Schmitt Sampson Walker, One Vendue Range features four primarily brick buildings with coast stone and stucco accents, two private garden verandas and a public art gallery displaying the works of regional and local artists. One Vendue Range combines historical charm with 21st century conveniences, while respecting and enhancing the entire Waterfront Park area.

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“Even though One Vendue Range is new construction, it has an old look which we really like. We also believe it is the best quality condo development in the city,” Dave commented.

Dave’s career as a General Electric executive gave the Wallaces the opportunity to live and travel all over the world, and they have acquired an extensive collection of rare artwork and exceptional antiques now displayed prominently throughout their 3,400-square-foot condominium.

The spacious entrance foyer, with soaring 11-foot ceilings, is home to a circa 17th century Japanese screen titled “Tales of Genji,” along with an 1815 classical sofa originally handcrafted in Baltimore.

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Entering the beautifully appointed living room through an arched entryway, you will find custom built-ins that are fabric-backed and indirectly lighted to showcase a collection of Imari – the world-famous Japanese porcelain named for the port town from which it was shipped abroad by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries – a pair of Ming Dynasty tomb stoneware figures and, the Wallaces’ most prized possession, a Bodhisattva, a 1,500-year-old stone head of a Buddhist saint from the Tang Dynasty.

“Laura and I decided to use a neutral background to emphasize and highlight these spectacular antiques,” said Judy Bowers, owner of Judy Bowers Interiors LLC.

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Blending perfectly with the two brocade pale crème reading chairs and matching sofa, Lee Jofa silk fabric frames the wall of windows. The living room also has two unique Chinese folding travel chairs, a Summer Hill wooden coffee table and Baker Square accent tables.

The same Lee Jofa silk is found in the dining room, providing a pleasing sense of continuity.

“We didn’t want color or fabric to overwhelm the spectacular view. The approach was to keep it simple,” Bowers commented.

The study is a work of art. All the interior trim, along with the walls, beamed ceiling, windows and French doors, are clad in knotty pine, painstakingly distressed, giving it an antiqued look and feel. Another antique Japanese screen, circa 1680, hangs over the leather sofa. Titled “Castles on the Tokaido Road,” it is believed to have had great military significance to the Japanese warlords of this period. French doors lead to a spacious private balcony, where Laura and Dave relax and enjoy panoramic views of Waterfront Park and the Charleston Harbor, including Fort Sumter and the USS Yorktown.

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