Charlton Hall – How Smart UX, Eye-Catching Visuals and Software Integration Delivered a Winning Website
Charlton Hall is an art and antiques auction house based in the town of West Columbia, South Carolina. Now in its 90th year, the business welcomes bids on a range of consignments. These are drawn from categories including Asian art & design, fine art, furniture, jewellery and timepieces.
A Pioneering Spirit
Charlton Hall has always embraced something of a pioneering spirit. It was, for example, the first regional auction house to produce an illustrated catalogue. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, when the internet began revolutionising the auction sector, the business was front of that queue too. The result? Charlton Hall became one of the world’s first three auction houses to offer online bidding.
A Welcome Addition
When the time arrived for a website redesign, Charlton Hall asked Hookson to step in. We couldn’t wait to get started and to welcome Charlton Hall to our growing list of auction-house clients. These include our website design work for Gorringe’s, Tajan and Toomey.
As well as showcasing a rapidly changing roll call of consignments, the new website would have to operate seamlessly with the leading auction-house software system Charlton Hall already relied upon.
Beginning with a Flexible WordPress Design
Although a previous design had included key content like auction dates, invitations to consign and the company’s history, the time was right for a new aesthetic and functionality. These would celebrate and showcase Charlton Hall’s eclectic inventory, speak to its new global audience and offer exciting, visitor-pleasing features.
Building out the site on WordPress would provide an agile base for this new, feature-filled website. Then, from a robust template, we would go on to customise the site, culminating in a unique, responsive design solution.
Developing a Design Strategy
By their nature, auction houses are home to arresting and beautiful items. Following consultation with our client, large and striking visuals of these stunning consignment items would lead our design strategy.
With collections from entire estates often characterising the consignments welcomed by Charlton House, in the mix were paintings and manuscripts, pottery and furniture. Contributing to a breathtaking effect, a scrolling feature showcased this rich variety, the bold, pin-sharp images changing smoothly from one category to another.