Inspiration in the Studio

Spotlight on Made in America

This Labor Day weekend we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite American-made manufacturers that we love to support! One of the most important elements we incorporate into our designs is quality craftsmanship ensuring our clients can enjoy their homes for many years to come.

LEE Industries creates high-quality home furnishings that are fully customizable to our designs in our home state of North Carolina.

We love using Dunes and Duchess lighting and furniture in brightly colored finishes as pops of color! These hand-turned, hand-finished pieces are always a fun addition to any home.

This Dunes And Duchess dining table and Kari Fisher  roman shades play well together in our Southern Living Inspired Home on Bald Head Island.


Lucy Smith‘s handcrafted metal furnishings are produced in Alabama, in collaboration with her family’s long time steel business.

Tracy Glover uses traditional Italian techniques to craft her artisan glass lighting. Each piece is handblown to order in her Rhode Island studio.

Hickory Chair is another go-to source of quality, American-made furniture for our client’s homes. These customizable pieces will become your family’s heirlooms for generations.

We hope you gather as much inspiration from these American-made manufacturers and designers as we do!

It’s just a sampling of the beautiful work happening right here in the good, ole USA!  Happy Labor Day!

Simplified Sunday:: Pet Space

As we officially enter the dog days of summer, what better way to show your pet some love than incorporating their space into your home’s design?


We often include family fur-babies into functional room designs. These spaces can be in mudrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchens….or just about anywhere in the home where pets can be near their people!

One way to make these pet spaces functional yet fun is to create special features just for them. Consider using wallpaper or patterned tile for a bit of whimsy. Finish the space with a stylish pet bed made from brightly-colored performance fabrics designed to hold up to even the most ruff use! Add a set of stylish bowls and a bin for toy storage and your pet will feel right at home.

Today our Southern Studio Simplified feature highlights some of our favorite finds for our special pets. These are the pieces that make life a bit easier and look amazing, too!


[show_ms_widget id=”36043088″ image_id=”41912242″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

[show_ms_widget id=”36043090″ image_id=”41912244″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

[show_lookbook_widget id=”460860″]


Simplified Sunday :: Pantry Organization

An aesthetically-pleasing pantry appeals to almost everyone, but there is good reason for keeping this high traffic corner of your home in tip-top shape. Increased functionality of your pantry is crucial to creating more time in your busy day . . . and let’s face it, who doesn’t need more time in a day?

No matter the size of your pantry, space organization is key to making it work for your family. Utilize the back of the door in a small space, a lazy-susan in a corner and tiered spice racks to take advantage of this precious real estate.

Glass or acrylic containers are not only beautiful but serve a greater purpose: to seal out unwanted guests (read pests!) and preserve your dry goods longer. See-through containers and clear labeling also prevent your kids from spending too much time rustling around and leaving a trail. Enjoy some of our favorite organizational finds to help get your pantry in tip-top shape.

[show_ms_widget id=”36040058″ image_id=”41908628″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

[show_ms_widget id=”36042265″ image_id=”41911291″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

 Kick off your Summer with an organized pantry + shop our favorites below.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”4047816″]

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”4047818″]

Simplified Sunday :: Kick-Off to Summer!

It’s the official weekend to kick-off summer!  Whether your plans take you to the beach…or the lake…or the mountains…or your own backyard…we have gathered some of our favorite finds for outdoor entertaining and fun.

[show_ms_widget id=”36039597″ image_id=”41908063″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

A bit of commentary on the table in the bag!  It is so easy to carry and assemble this low table that’s the perfect height for beach chairs.  It’s been in the Crate and Barrel summer line for years and it is a must-have for happy hour on the beach.

[show_ms_widget id=”36039598″ image_id=”41908064″ width=”720″ height=”540″]

For anyone who has a vacation home, Scout bins are amazing for transporting necessities!  They’re strong and can hold everything from food and drink to sheets and towels.  When not in use, they easily collapse so they can be tucked away. They’re another Southern Studio favorite find!

As we celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, may we remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Sub Zero + Wolf Showroom Visit

Last week, the entire Southern Studio team had the privilege of visiting Sub Zero + Wolf‘s showroom in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Sub Zero + Wolf are purveyors of high-end, luxury appliances that are unrivaled in their market.  Their commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and hospitality was an inspiration to us.

The morning of our training, the showroom’s executive chef prepared us a breakfast spread – potatoes, banana bread, bacon, protein pancakes, fresh fruit, and strawberry-banana smoothies.  We even got to cook our own made-to-order omelettes on a Wolf griddle range top.  If we had to rate Wolf’s appliances solely based on taste, they already earned an A+ in our book.

We then got a training tour of the entire showroom.  We learned that Sub Zero + Wolf is a third-generation business that started in the twenties in Madison, Wisconsin (where their factory is still located today).  The founder needed a refrigeration device to keep his son’s insulin cold… and the rest is history.  Refrigeration was the first avenue of appliances (hence the name Sub Zero), and cooking appliances came next with the acquisition of Wolf in 2000. Finally, in 2019, Sub Zero + Wolf began manufacturing their own dishwashers, a new line called Cove.

We had a blast exploring the showroom and envisioning these appliances in our future projects.  One of the most remarkable things about Sub Zero + Wolf is the way they incorporate state-of-the-art technology into their appliances.  We learned that they use a unique air filtration system that removes ethylene gas, a gas that hastens the ripening of fruits and vegetables, from the air inside the refrigerator.  Because this is filtrated out of the air, produce lasts weeks longer than we are used to with standard appliances.  The average family produces $2,000 of food waste every year, but this cost would be radically reduced with a Sub Zero refrigerator because of their unique air purification system.

 After passing an extremely thorough testing process, each product is shipped to it’s new home where it is meant to last up to 25 years.  For context, the average run-of-the-mill appliance only lasts 6-8 years.  These pieces of equipment really do stand the test of time.

We also learned that the air in refrigerators and freezers should be different:  freezers should have dry air while refrigerators should be humid.  Therefore, Sub Zero manufactures their refrigerators with two different compressors (as opposed to just one in a typical appliance) to produce both variations of air.  The final product:  an appliance that keeps food fresher, longer.

For lunch, we got another taste of what these appliances are capable of.  The executive chef and sous chef prepared us a feast starting with soup and homemade bread.  Believe it or not, the bread was baked in their signature steam oven which utilizes both steam and heat while still allowing food to brown and crisp.  Next we had salmon with roasted vegetables (also cooked beautifully in the same steam oven for just twelve minutes), risotto cooked on an induction cooktop, and shrimp seared on a hot griddle.  Is your mouth watering yet?!  The unmatched technology found only in Wolf cooking appliances was apparent in both presentation and taste of the food.

After hands-on learning, an educational tour around the showroom, and a cooking demonstration, our team left with a wealth of knowledge about Sub Zero + Wolf.  We are convinced that their appliances are the best of the best.  We believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and deserves to be equipped excellently, and we are eager to continue designing homes to incorporate Sub Zero + Wolf kitchen equipment!  What a fun and educational team building experience. We are now big fans of taking the train from Cary to Charlotte!