Inspiration in the Studio

Setting Intentions for a Fabulous 2019!

Fresh starts, goal setting, resolutions, taking stock of what works and opportunities for improvement…these are the possibilities that each new day brings. At the start of a New Year it is especially exciting to set clear intentions and challenge ourselves to grow and be better than ever before. We are ready to cultivate what matters!

So here they are in black and white – literally – on our kitchen wall, so that we are motivated by their clarity each and every day!

Our Southern Studio Core Values

Our passion is creating joyful experiences through a relational design process that creates functionally beautiful spaces. This necessitates that we function as an awesome team of amazing individuals who are:

  • Excellent – We expect nothing less than the best effort from ourselves and from each other.
  • Thoughtful – We use kind words, offer meaningful gestures, and provide helpful support.
  • Creative – We believe that beauty transforms us and look for opportunities to incorporate our love of design in our work and in our lives.
  • Making It Happen – We fill our time with action and take initiative to reach goals.
  • Detail Oriented – We pay attention to the small things that will take tasks from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • Able to Connect – We take time to share, listen, collaborate, teach, and learn.
  • Humbly Confident – We strive for a balance between knowing there is always room to improve and knowing we are prepared to succeed.

Happy 2019, friends!  Let’s do this!


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!

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 Whirlwind Week at The Southern C

To deepen our team’s curated-centric design goal in 2018, we are continuing to travel. We’re finding inspiration in what we see and who we meet, and in turn, giving each client’s design the extra “polish” – featuring unique pieces from the artists and artisans we have a pleasure in coming across. First, Paris. Now, Sea Island, Georgia.

This month, Julie attended The Southern Coterie Summit in Sea Island. We’ll let her share a bit of her experience in her own words:

It would still be an understatement to say that this conference, created to form a community of Southern creatives, left me in awe. I drove back home to North Carolina inspired and encouraged by all the makers and doers, interior designers, editors, and small business owners who all came together for a 3-day connective and collaborative experience at the Georgian coast. 

Entrance to The Cloister, location of The Southern C Summit


Day 1: The summit kicked off with a Swag Market, where I was able to meet a number of sponsors and event attendees who set up product booths – I loved meeting these small business owners who each had their own story of how they launched their business. After the market, we made our way to The Cloister ballroom, where we listened to speakers ranging from the founder of RMS Beauty to editors from House Beautiful/Elle Decor/Veranda and Garden & Gun. The day concluded with a “Summit Soiree” at The Vine’s Greenhouse at Sea Island, featuring tastes from across the South, beautiful floral arrangements, and decor fit for mixing and mingling with fellow creative souls. What an evening to remember!

Lunch location at The Sea Island Beach Club


Day 2: On day 2, I was on the go from morning until late that night. There were 6 sessions/panels, ranging in topics from branding, to website development and design, to social media – even my own mentorship session with the senior market editor for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Veranda. Inspiration heaven! Out of all the speakers, Elizabeth Mayhew, Brand Editor of Draper James (the clothing line created by Reese Witherspoon), stands out most in my mind for her words of practicing “yes and,” approaching challenges at work with confidence and enthusiasm, showing a willingness to go the extra mile. We also heard from talented bloggers, interior designers, and business owners – each sharing their own lesson applicable for me to bring back to the studio.

Favorite spot to catch up on work, The Cloister’s sunroom


Day 3: The final day of the conference wrapped up with a delicious Southern Brunch, featuring two of my favorites – a latte bar and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit out of Charleston. Before we all went our separate way, this time was meaningful in making those last connections with those in attendance, collaborating just a bit further until I hit the road. Although difficult to leave such a beautiful place, I came back to the studio with new relationships with brands across the South, insightful takeaways, and an excitement for Southern Studio’s streamlined focus on making this year one of curated design.

Follow along to see where we go next!

Welcome to Our New Home!

Exciting changes are happening at Southern Studio! At the beginning of the fall season, we moved to our new downtown Cary studio, a 4,200 square foot restored home built in 1951. We’re settling into our white brick nest on West Park Street, thrilled that we’re steps away from the heart of downtown. The home’s transformation now includes offices, a design studio, a showroom, client gathering spaces, and of course, a front porch complete with rocking chairs.

Last month, we hosted an Open House to celebrate our move and toast to our team’s hard work, our new neighborhood, and the opportunity to host community events right in our backyard.

We invite you to take a peek into our Open House!

Photo Credit: Be Bold Photography