Author Archives: Megan Draper

Sweet Summer Time

Yesterday marked the first day of Summer. For many who grew up in the South, Summer often stirs up images and memories of sitting on the porch, sipping sweet tea, and enjoying the long days.

Southern homes are famous for their relaxing and beautiful porches, which provide views and breeze.  Here are just a few porches that we’ve done recently.

Robert E Lee Blvd

24th Ave


Go ahead, grab a glass of ice tea and daydream of your perfect porch (then give us a call to help make it a reality!)

Mirror, Mirror

We recently learned that a picture from one of our projects on Isle of Palms was featured in a Houzz story!  The article 10 Ways to Make Your Statement Mirror the Fairest of Them All highlights a bathroom in one of the remodel/additions we did of a beautiful beach cottage.

15 24th Ave

If you remember from our portfolio, this project only added 23 square feet of interior space to the home, but repurposed existing space; renovated, expanded and combined rooms; and simply cleaned up other areas with lighter colors and better lighting.

The bathroom mirrors were a great way to tie in the nautical theme and as Houzz contributor, Jessica Prince-Montague, points out, “Two can look even better. Especially in a symmetrical situation like this nautical-themed, dual-basin bathroom.”

If you are interested in seeing our other projects on Houzz visit our profile at


Portfolio Update – Grand Pavilion Blvd

slide2We are excited to share with you a new project in our portfolio! The remodel of a home on Grand Pavilion Blvd. was completed in 2015 and we recently received the pictures from the photographer.

As you will see on our portfolio page, this project started as a simple renovation to enclose an existing screen porch. As I worked with the owners and they saw the potential of their home, we decided to expand the scope of the project. We ended up also renovating the outdated kitchen and bathrooms in addition to enclosing the porch.

After working with the clients, we saw an opportunity for increasing energy efficiency by upgrading the exterior windows. We also replaced the aging cedar siding with cement board siding, which dramatically increased the curb appeal of the home.

TMD Architects is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with these clients on this project and appreciate the chance to be a part of the process.


Custom Living: Flip Flop Family

With balancing so many different projects and the craziness of Summer, we haven’t hard too much time to work on custom living projects recently.

One project that we were able to complete was our Flip Flop stop for our back porch. It was fairly simple project (for Trevor) made with 1×6’s and some scrap plywood. I added the text “flip flop family, est. 2007,” by printing the mirror image on our inkjet printer and then transferring the text by rubbing on the backside with a dull object against the wood. I then simply painted over the rubbed text and added a chevron for decoration.

flip flop familyAnd, in the end, it ended up being the perfect way to announce that our flip flop family will be growing by two flip flops this January! We are excited to welcome baby Draper and I’m already looking forward to many custom living projects especially for this sweet little one.


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in Charleston, South Carolina area and throughout the Lowcountry.


King’s Highway: An update

Back in November 2013, we shared with you a post about our project located along side of King’s Highway. I just happened upon an article from The Post and Courier about this historic path: Not just any dirt road: Protection sought for old King’s Highway. Given the feedback we had on our original post, we thought you might enjoy an update!


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in Charleston, South Carolina area and throughout the Lowcountry.

More projects, less posts

Wow! It sure has been a busy around here at TMD Architects. The good news is that we have been busy with new projects throughout the Lowcountry (Downtown, Ion, Isle of Palms, James Island, Mt. Pleasant, Awendaw…even out in Hollywood!), The bad news, though, is that we have had far less time to share with you everything going on!

We will do our best to get caught up on our blogs and social media in the coming weeks and months, but thought we would start by sharing a quick note about one of our most unique projects of the spring.

A few months ago, a couple contacted us to design a cabana for their beach house on Isle of Palms. As you can imagine, designing a beach cabana allows for a little more creativity. After a handful of meetings, we were able to share with the client a wide variety of ideas for their new area: from the everyday to the out of the ordinary. While we knew it wouldn’t be one that the client would choose, my favorite was the one Trevor pulled together just for fun! Here is a quick hand sketch of the design.

Cabana Hand Sketch


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in Charleston, South Carolina area and throughout the Lowcountry.

Before and After: 24th Avenue, Isle of Palms

Just yesterday we realized that it has been awhile since we have participated in #transformationtuesday! But, we are back and excited to share with you the transformation of our project on 24th Avenue.

We were able to transform this existing house into a beautiful beach cottage with one very small addition-adding just 23 square feet of interior space to the home. Working with the client, we repurposed existing spaces; renovated, expanded and combined rooms; and simply cleaned up other areas with lighter colors and better lighting. We also addressed exterior needs, such as increasing the curb appeal of the house with an inviting new entry stair and covered stoop and also greatly expanding the deck overlooking the backyard.

We think you will love it as much as we, and more importantly, our clients do! But, take a look at the Before and After: 24th Avenue, Isle of Palms video to see for yourself. You can see find additional details at the 24th Avenue, Isle of Palms Portfolio section of our website.

Before and After: 24th Avenue, Isle of Palms Video

Before and After: 24th Avenue, Isle of Palms Video

So, what do you think?


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in the Charleston, South Carolina area.

Carlton Simmons

Last week, I shared with you about Philip Simmons…today, I’m excited to share with you about his nephew, Carlton Simmons.

Carlton was busy working when we arrived at the Philip Simmons Museum and Shop. There was only one other car in the parking lot when we arrived and since the house is tucked away, we decided to stop by the museum to make sure that it was OK to continue around to the back of the house.

Carlton greeted us as we entered the small shop which was covered in black soot, but didn’t miss a beat as he worked his way between the blazing fire and the two anvils in the middle of the shop. We all said our hellos and then watched in awe as he hammered and pounded the piece of iron.

After a few minutes of watching, Carlton offered to answer any questions we had…what he didn’t realize is that I am the queen of questions.

First, of course, what was he making? Carlton’s reply: “A plant hanger.”

Next, the anvils…there were two, what was the difference? He explained that one was older (used by Mr. Philip Simmons himself) and a better quality. However, because of the many years of use, it wasn’t square and he had to use the newer anvil if he needed a flat edge.

photo 1

As he pounded the piece of iron on the older of the two anvils, I couldn’t resist but ask…have you ever pounded your finger? (By this point, I think he was catching on that I was pretty good at asking questions) To my amazement, he hadn’t. He said he was more concerned about the iron getting too hot and catching first than hitting his thumb/finger. As he reminded me, he could control the hammer, he couldn’t control the flame.

Then, the hammer/tools…what was the difference and how did he choose which one?  Carlton explained that it all depended on what he was trying to do with the iron as to what tool he was going to use. He also shared that a lot of the tools were handed down to Philip Simmons by his mentor Peter Simmons (no relation), so some of them were over 100 years old!  He continued by explaining that if Philip Simmons couldn’t find a tool for what he needed to do, he would make the tool himself.He then pulled a pulled a large piece off the wall and explained that Mr. Simmons would use patterns for some of the larger pieces. This was only after he would create a very tight circle at the end of the iron (you could say that this was his “signature move.”)

But, how did the patterns “work”?  I asked…So he walked over to another area of the shop, leaving the piece he had been working on in the fire, to show how you can literally pull the iron around the pattern to create the look you want.

As he made his way back to the fire, I found myself with a host of questions about the fire! But I thought better of it and decided to visit the museum instead. But, before leaving I had one more question….would it be if we stopped back by after visiting the museum to see what he had gotten done. He politely agreed.

So we went inside to take a look around and learn more about the life of Mr. Simmons.  And after just a short period of time, Carlton came into the house to let us know that he was about to do something we were “going to want to see.”  And then he hurried back to the shop… know I was close behind!

As we came in to the shop Carlton was just pulling the iron out of the blazing fire and began putting it into a clamp. After the iron was secure he began twisting it with what looked like a huge pair of pliers.

photo 4

After finishing this step, he chiseled a P, S, C, and another S (for Philip Simmons and Carlton Simmons) into the piece and was it was complete!

The entire experience was amazing. I love talking with people about their passions. The opportunity to ask questions and learn first hand from others is simply inspiring! And the best part of it all?? We are now the proud owners of a Simmons piece that I got to see be created first hand!

If you haven’t done so already, I’d highly recommend you visit the Philip Simmons museum (30 1/2 Blake Street – Between America and Drake, and between Columbus and Cooper Streets – Charleston, SC 29403). I’d suggest you give a quick call before heading over to make sure they are open. The curator is amazingly nice and will let you know, too, if the demonstration will take place (usually at 2:00 pm on Saturdays).


Philip Simmons

A few weeks back, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, we made our way downtown to explore. We didn’t have any real plans, but I had seen on the Philip Simmons Foundation website that they had both a museum and a Saturday afternoon demonstration; I had decided that if it worked out, we would try and stop by.

I’ve been fascinated with the life and work of Philip Simmons since I first saw his portrait by Molly B. Right, bottle camp portrait artist, in the Ashley River Tower at the Medical University of South Carolina (portrait below).


I learned quickly that Mr. Simmons was the most celebrated of Charleston ironworkers of the 20th Century.  I love how Stephanie Hunt, of the Charleston Magazine, describes Mr. Simmons in her article from June 2009, the month he passed away: “You’d be hard-pressed to find a Charlestonian more beloved than Simmons. He’s the darling of preservationists, the epitome of artistry, the king of craftsmanship, and the hallmark of humility. And besides all that, he’s just plain endearing.”

If you have ever visited Charleston, you know that beautiful ironwork adorns the streets welcoming locals and visitors like arms opened wide.  Considering the type of man that Mr. Simmons was, it would be easy to say he is partially responsible for all of this hospitality!

Since  it was a beautiful morning and we had some time before the ironworking demonstration, we  decided to first take a stroll around the Peninsula to see what we could find on our own of Mr. Simmon’s “hearts, gates, and grates.” The Foundation even provided a map with a sampling of his work.  Of course, if you are interested in something more official, there are a handful of walking tours you can sign up for.

Here is the Heartgate, which is at the entrance to Philip Simmons Garden at 91 Anson Street (please note that I am borrowing this picture from the Philip Simmons Foundation Website).


After searching out a handful of his pieces, I was beyond excited about seeing his home, which is now a museum, and watching the demonstration.

I can’t wait to share with you about our experience at Mr. Simmons’ home and shop, but I will save that for next week since this blog has already gotten long. But, in the meantime, be sure to check out these resources to learn more about Mr. Simmons and his work; I think you find his legacy as endearing as those who knew him personally.

Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc
Charleston Magazine’s Tribute
Sunhead Projects’ Tribute Video


Before and After: Johnson Road

You will quickly understand why we selected our Johnson Road project for this week’s #transformationtuesday post.

This existing home in the Crescent neighborhood of West Ashley had room sizes typical of 1950’s houses. Our focus was to create larger rooms while utilizing as much of the existing home as possible. Additions to the side and rear of the home provided some of this space, while other rooms were expanded within the existing home or saw their use change (i.e. the living room became the dining room). Increased ceiling height in many of the new spaces is a noted improvement along with opening up the existing front entry to be a two story space.

Take a look at the Johnson Road transformation through this short (1:56) Before and After: Johnson Road video and be sure to check out the pictures at the Johnson Road Portfolio section of our website.

johnson road

Johnson Road: Before and After Video


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in the Charleston, South Carolina area.