Inspiration in the Studio

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!

It's All About Making Connections

Southern Studio threw open our doors again last week for the latest event in the Southern Studio at Sunset series. We welcomed Amy Flurry, author of Recipe for Press, to lead a discussion on the importance of optimizing media opportunities to bring our brand of beauty, design and joy to a wider audience.  It was truly a night of collaboration, creativity and communication for the local design community.

While sipping blackberry sparkling cocktails, we connected with friends new and old, and were so grateful to all for bringing such energy and inspiration to our studio!

Many thanks to Mill Collective for generously sponsoring copies of Recipe for Press for everyone; to Ashley Cox, editor of Home Design & Décor Magazine for joining us; and to all our design friends – we hope you left as recharged and inspired as we did!

And of course, a special thanks to Amy Flurry for reminding us “It is all about making connections.”

A Raleigh New Construction Project Comes to Life

There are so many special moments during the construction of a custom home!  For this particular project, it started over fourteen months ago.  The plan was almost final and our clients wanted to make sure the space would function for their family and reflect their contemporary style. Most clients have one chance to build their dream home and want to be thoughtful with each detail. Through a series of weekly meetings, we have tackled the decisions one design element at a time. It’s our job to understand our client’s vision and provide guidance throughout construction to bring that vision to life. During a recent site visit, we were able to capture a few mid-construction details.

The custom front door was recently installed and is anxiously awaiting the finishing stain and unique hardware.

The staircase is a focal point of the home and spans three floors. From the treads, to the handrail, to the spindles….every detail needs to be designed.

There are three fireplaces in the home that require unique designs. This asymmetrical fireplace wall is going to be fabulous!

The individual design elements are being installed as we work on the interiors and furnishings. The vision is coming together beautifully!

Construction will be completed by the end of summer!  We have so enjoyed working with our clients who value design and enjoy the process….the perfect combination for a beautiful and very custom home!




Meet Our Team: Julia

From intern to a leader at Southern Studio, Julia is next up in our “Meet Our Team” series. Recently, Julia was promoted to Lead Designer – discover a little more about her below!

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

When I was little, I loved playing with different textures and patterns, mixing and matching them together. One of my family friends was actually an interior designer and I had the opportunity to shadow her at the Design Center in Charlotte, which was my first real-life exposure to interior design. From then on, I knew I wanted to pursue design as a career, so I chose Meredith College for its accredited interior design program. During my senior year, I interned at Southern Studio, eventually leading me to a full-time position on the team.

Describe a project you would jump for joy to do.

That’s an easy question, I would love to design a nursery! I imagine a neutral color palette to keep the room gender neutral. Stray Dog Designs has an exquisite white on white pendant chandelier that is embroidered with an animal pattern – I’ve been dreaming of using the piece in a design. From the furnishings, window treatments, and artwork to even the books and toys, I would love to have a hand of putting the entire nursery together.

What is your favorite shade of white paint color?

“Snowbound” by Sherwin-Williams. I use this color often, as it’s a beautiful white that doesn’t feel stark. I love the color’s subtle gray undertone.

What’s on your nightstand? 

I have a simple white lamp with a gray shade, a current book I’m reading, and a mango and papaya scented candle from Candlefish – the perfect summertime scent.

Your design style in three words:

Sophisticated. Inviting. Cozy.

We love your knack for organization. Any design tips you can share for keeping your home tidy while still “livable”?

It’s easy to keep things just to have them – my tip would be to only keep the things you love. Less is more. Also, I have to mention using trays to keep things organized  – I love using them when styling a coffee table or tidying up bathroom items.

Where do you find inspiration for designing something new?

I love scrolling through Instagram, particularly to discover new textile patterns color combinations. Finding new-to-me fabric lines and designs by textile artists spark my creativity.

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

Personally, I’m drawn to softer, more subtle pattern, and I enjoy incorporating tone-on-tone prints. However, I have to say I would love to use a pop of the bright, leafy green color I’m seeing everywhere this season, and I’m waiting on that perfect project!

What’s the best piece of design advice you’ve ever been given?

Function and aesthetic must work together. Nail down the function of the space first, and then layer the aesthetic. 

Your dream party to host?

A backyard, poolside Cinco de Mayo party! It would be super colorful and bright with lots of confetti. Not to mention, it would have to include margaritas and a festive table setting.