Keeping it Simple in the Country’s Most Popular City
written by Jamie Penn • photographed by Tripp Smith
Based in the heart of downtown Charleston in the fabulously-restored, 4-story historical landmark, 95 Broad Street, the Luxury Simplified Group will not only find a home for you, but renovate and decorate it too.
Around 1770, when Major Peter Bocquet settled into his newly constructed home on 95 Broad, five years before the cloud of the Revolutionary War would blanket Charles Towne, maintaining the lifestyle that accompanied a man like Bocquet’s professional position was, in some ways, less complicated. Bocquet operated his business from the salon on the first floor of the home. Living, dining, and entertaining happened in the drawing room just above the salon. In his era, lifestyles and luxury were created and managed within the confines of a home.
It is this spirit, infused with modern-day function and design, that owner Chris Leigh-Jones reincarnated when renovating the beautifully restored home to fit the Charleston-friendly, interconnected staff of Luxury Simplified and the services they offer.
Conveniently located between Meeting and King Streets in the business district, 95 Broad stands apart, not only for its lime-washed terracotta exterior finish, its classic wrought iron balcony, but for its open door policy. Passersby are invited in through the classic Regency doors, into the salon, a luxurious reprieve from sightseeing complete with chandeliers encased in a contemporary metalwork twist. Digital touch screens offer visitors a preview to local architectural hotspots and encyclopedic real estate options while lounging against high back sofas. The above real estate office located in what was traditionally the drawing room, houses the offices of knowledgeable staff ready to accommodate prospective home buyers and visitors.
“First, Chris opened it up. Tearing out the long, narrow entryway worked wonders, obviously making it more inviting. The interiors were designed to be comfortably elegant, savvy and sophisticated,” Mary Moore said.
The beautiful hardwood floors and hand-carved molding preserve the flavor of tradition while the furnishings and building art on display add a Restoration Hardware-style contemporary flare.
From the building’s art offices on the third floor, artists have conjured or collected many of the architectural pieces on display all of which are available for purchase.
A Match Made in Charleston
Chris Leigh-Jones was excited by the eclectic real estate market and the need for artistic renovation, revitalization, and management therein. Excitement only grew when he recognized a need for a more integrated real estate service designed to make the finer things more attainable to visitors, prospective home buyers, and residents alike.
Known as a “serial entrepreneur,” Leigh-Jones tried his hand at many construction and service-oriented businesses abroad before Luxury Simplified was born, including large engineering firms, and building art and restoration services.
Since Luxury Simplified opened its doors in February 2013, the seed of a startup has grown into a thriving, multi-faceted service allowing residents and visitors a one-stop-shop for all their real estate needs. From highly experienced brokers, in-house renovation, building art and design, interior design services, property management, and private event space to concierge services complete with area tours in one of Leigh-Jones classic cars – a ‘37 Bugatti, ‘54 Aston Martin, or a ‘38 Jaguar – Luxury Simplified serves Charleston’s feast of opportunity on one exquisite, consolidated platter.
Buying and Selling
Charleston has been voted “City of the Year” for three consecutive years in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and in 2012 was voted “No. 1 city” on their “Best Cities of the World” list.
As America’s favorite city, interest in permanent residence, vacation homes, and rentals is endless. For clients putting their home on the market, be it in downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant or any of the surrounding islands, the Luxury Simplified team takes the process out of the owners hands from start to finish.
Building Arts master John Paul Huguley, founder of the prestigious American College of Building Arts (ACBA) located in Charleston, consults with clients to help give them the edge that will set their residence apart and secure it for the future. With the cream of the crop from the ACBA to back him up, Huguley can connect with the metalworker or woodworker needed to install any request.
In-house interior designer, Robin Rogers, with nearly twenty-five years of residential and commercial design experience, leads the interiors division of the group. She urges clients interested in selling their home to take family function out of the equation when preparing to put a house on the market. Interior refurbishment designed to suit a variety of styles and tastes can spice up a home as well as a sale.
Luxury Simplified makes Charleston more than accessible for potential buyers. As guests at one of the company’s few downtown properties, including 95 Broad’s 4th story, luxurious rooftop apartment, prospective buyers are offered the best of local flavor in the most opulent fashion through LSG concierge services.
Just the Beginning
The Luxury Simplified construction division has 40 active renovation projects throughout the city. And now, with his eye on the East side, Leigh-Jones will soon add many more to the list.
95 Broad is now available as event space, including weddings, business cocktail parties, fundraisers, and more.
And the property management division is coveted for its comprehensive service.
“As this company has grown, we’ve been able to watch it evolve,” said PR Coordinator, Susan Sellers. “And, it’s been a pretty exciting trip.”
So, whether you’re passing through, or seriously considering exploring the Charleston market, don’t forget to visit the lime-washed stucco beacon of light at 95 Broad. Once you get there, you may not need to leave. But, if you choose to, choose the Bugatti.