Inspiration in the Studio

Unique, Enduring, and Luxurious. Exactly!

As the weather finally turns cooler and our thoughts turn towards the holidays, we wrapped up the 2018 Southern Studio at Sunset series by welcoming Erin Weston of Weston Farms to lead an Antiquity Wreath Making Class.

It was such fun to fill the studio with clients and friends for a night of food, wine, laughter, and magnolias – what could be more Southern that that?!

Southern Studio loves to incorporate local artists into our designs. In 2002, Erin Weston relocated from NYC to her home state of North Carolina to become a farmer, combining her UNC Chapel Hill fine arts degree with the family business. Weston Farms now has more than 10,000 trees and their signature wreaths, garlands, and fresh Magnolia arrangements are shipped nationwide. Erin’s work has dazzled local markets, national interior designers and presidential florists alike, and has been featured on the cover of House Beautiful, in Southern Living Magazine, HGTV, Time Warner Leisure Channel as well on display at The NC Museum of Art. It was such a treat for her to share her talent and enthusiasm with us!  Erin’s vision to “grow a unique, enduring luxurious product on her family farm” is a perfect collaboration with Southern Studio.

After a brief demonstration by Erin in wreath making technique, we got to try creating a magnolia wreath to take home.  Everyone started with a huge bag of fresh magnolia, a wreath form, florist wire, clippers and varying levels of confidence to dig in.  And while every wreath was beautiful, each was just a little different.  Isn’t that fabulous?

Sipping cider, a pot of chili on the stove, pretzels, caramel corn, pumpkin cookies, and an evening of cheer made for a perfect fall night and a wonderful way to head into this season of hospitality.

Thank you to all who shared the night with us.  Here’s hoping all of our homes are filled with family, friends and laughter this Fall!

Meet Our Team: Paige

Our Meet Our Team series continues this week and it is time to introduce Paige!   Her organization and calm poise allow her to juggle many balls, keeping us all on track behind the scenes.

First things first. How did you get started in the interior design world? What sparked your interest?

I’ve always had a love for fashion and design since I can remember. Growing up I spent every “take your daughter to work day” at engineering and design firms, which lead me to the College of Textiles at NC State. Once I met the SSID team in Apex, I knew it would be the perfect place to combine my passions for customer service and design!

How would you describe your role at Southern Studio? What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I am the Project Coordinator, so I track and receive orders for our clients (and try to make it look so easy). I love being able to see the design work into a full install and a happy client! You’ll also find me helping with our studio events, keeping up with the marketing calendar, and styling our photo shoots.

Your design style in three words:

Industrial meets Coastal

Describe where you feel most inspired.

Anywhere at the coast. From sitting on the beach to strolling through unique, local shops, it’s one of my favorite places for inspiration and relaxation.

Do you have any words you “live by”? If so, what are they?

Do what you love, love what you do. It’s the motto from where I worked in college, that I truly believe in and always try to live by. Because like they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Solids, stripes, or florals?

Is all an option?! I love to mix patterns, whether it’s in my wardrobe or at home, especially just the right combination of florals and stripes.

What items are always in your fridge?

The honest answer is wine and cheese!

What is your favorite room in your own home and why?

Without a doubt the master bedroom. We recently bought a fixer upper and this was our first project. It’s filled with all my favorite things; accessories from adventures (like our antique door headboard), reclaimed barnwood ceiling, and usually my golden retriever, Nash, right in the middle of the bed.

Highlights from High Point!

We are still in awe of all of the beauty we experienced last week at the High Point Furniture Market. It was a rough start with Hurricane Michael crashing the party and leaving many of the showrooms (and our hotel) without power. As we settled into four solid days of meetings, showroom visits, seminars, and connecting with industry friends from across the country, we quickly realized how fortunate we are to work and play with such an incredible group of professionals.

There are so many moments and new ideas to share, so we thought we’d ask our team to share their top highlight. These are the trends that we are sure to see working their way into our designs very soon!


Favorite Market Trend: Rich fabrics, colors and textures. Velvet and Mohair!


Favorite Market Trend: So many fun custom pillow details!


Favorite Market Trend:  Green. Green. Lots of Green.


Favorite Market Trend:  Upholstered furniture legs!

Paige and Kayla

Favorite Market Trend: Bold Pattern, Color and Texture.


Favorite Market Trend:  Beautiful, Durable, and Cleanable Performance Fabrics.

Taking the time to learn and explore the many opportunities right here in North Carolina is invaluable to nurturing creativity. It’s just one more thing we love about our great state!

Meet Our Team: Kayla


Next up on our “Meet Our Team” series is Kayla. Her positive energy is refreshing and her behind-the-scenes support is invaluable to our team.

First things first. How did you get started in the interior design world? What sparked your interest in the business?

From a very young age my sister and I had an obsession with playing house, so much so, that we used to print out floor plans of homes off the internet and tear out photos of rooms from my mom’s magazines to design a house for our future families. I also grew up with influence from two Aunts that are interior designers and spent time shadowing and eventually interning for them as I got older, which added to my interest. Even though I wound up falling in love with NC State’s College of Textiles and majored in Textile Design, when it came time to look for a job I was still so interested in interior design that I branched out.

Do you gravitate toward bold prints or softer, more subtle pattern?

Can I say both? I love a bold, playful pattern that makes a statement in a room. But I have an appreciation for softer, more subtle patterns because they add texture to a space. I also really enjoy when a fabric has very bold print or pattern but in a soft, subtle colorway. Kari Fisher has AWESOME fabrics!

What’s on your nightstand?

A lamp, a jewelry dish, the current book I am reading, and a picture of my family.

Your design style in three words:

Classic, yet playful.

Describe a favorite moment of your job. 

I absolutely LOVE installs. Seeing a design come to life and the reaction of the client is priceless. There really isn’t anything better than install day!

Your ideal weekend plans consist of:

Ideally, I would travel every weekend if I could. But realistically, it’s spent watching or going to sporting events with my family, getting together with friends, or spending time with my boyfriend.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I don’t have normal/typical day, which is exciting. But a few things my days sometimes consist of are: planning our next install, preparing design presentations, and sometimes even day-tripping it to High Point to pick up the perfect piece for a client.


Designer Destination: Field and Supply

In our continued effort to provide unique, one-of-a-kind artisan pieces for our clients, we ventured to the Hudson Valley in New York this past weekend for Field + Supply, a modern makers craft fair at the Hutton Brickyards. It was a magical fall weekend to explore so we have to share the highlights!

The Artisans

There was no shortage of amazing talent!  We’ve created a list of  curated finds that we hope will soon find their way into one of our projects….leather wrapped ballet barres and leather swings (everyone needs to play), carefully woven wood shelving, soft sculpture wall art (grown up macrame), pottery, and unique wood species that make a statement.

We are believers in quality over quantity. Investing in just one gorgeous statement piece can make all the difference in a space. These handcrafted works of art tell a story of craftsmanship and beautiful design using natural materials. Enough preaching…you get the idea!

Local Shops

The inspiration along the Hudson Valley extended beyond the artisans as we explored the shops of historic Kingston. A visit to Exit Nineteen was a highlight for beautiful gifts and entertaining accessories (loved the candle selection)!

A visit to the Blue Cashew was a favorite for unique finds for the kitchen. To feed our need for artistic inspiration, a stop at the Catskill Art and Office Supply was a special treat.

The Foodie Experience

The adventure would not be complete without the experience of delicious food and drink. Thanks to a tip from a local gentleman, we enjoyed fabulous bites, cocktails, and conversation while sitting at the Butterfield‘s bar in Stone Ridge.

For a delicious farm-to-table dining experience, we loved the vibe and energy at Silvia in Woodstock. The cocktails were amazing too!

The Outdated Cafe in Kingston was the ideal place to start the day. What could possibly be better than farm fresh food served in a vintage and antique market?

Sweet Dreams

We enjoyed two completely different lodging experiences. The Hotel Dylan is a boutique hotel that immediately takes you back to the Woodstock era, complete with a turntable in each room. It was a pleasant surprise to return from dinner to find a roaring fire and a bag of s’mores supplies hanging on our door.

For a luxury experience, the Hasbrouck House will not disappoint. Originally built in 1757, this renovated stone home is filled with design inspiration and exquisite details.

It was a quick weekend away with a surprise around every corner and it has us wanting more. Plans have already started for a return trip!