Inspiration in the Studio

Chef Vinnie from WOLF SUB-ZERO shares a holiday recipe!

We recently partnered with our friends at Wolf and Sub-Zero to share a recipe perfect for the holidays in our latest issue of STYLE + SOURCE! Check out this feature here.

Our team was also blessed to get to visit Chef Vinnie in action and enjoy his culinary expertise at the Wolf Sub-Zero showroom in February and he let us in on another secret to his Thanksgiving feast: his poultry rub – perfect for that turkey!

Whether you are an amateur or home-chef this easy rub will complete your holiday table this year!

Chef Vinnie’s Poultry Rub:
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon blackening rub
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika


Blend all ingredients well; may be stored in an airtight container.

Chef Vinnie Balducci, CEC Corporate Chef, Sub-Zero Group Southeast, Inc.

We hope you have a blessed holiday with your loved ones!

Photography: Stacey Van Berkel

Remodel (pictured): Asbury Remodeling

Appliances: Wolf Sub-Zero

Simplified Sunday :: Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of the home and one of our favorite places to incorporate items that are both beautiful and functional. From hand crafted cutting boards found at a local farmer’s market to cookbooks from around the country, we know our kitchen collection is constantly growing and begins to tell a story. Whether you grew up in the kitchen with family recipes or prefer take-out from a favorite restaurant, there is something about how gathering around an island becomes a sacred place.

When designing a kitchen think about when and how you utilize your space. Make sure your kitchen works for you! Here are a few of our best kitchen planning tips:

  • Start by selecting appliances that fit your lifestyle.
  • Locate your flatware drawers and dinnerware cabinets near your dishwasher for ease of unloading.
  • Plan for larger walkways surrounding the refrigerator to allow for open doors (minimum clearance of 36″, but we prefer 42″-48″ for the best traffic flow).
  • Use the range hood or backsplash to make a statement and focal point.  There are so many beautiful options today, so pick one you love and build the design around it.
  • Design the base cabinets with either drawers or roll-out trays.  You’ll maximize your space and be so glad you did!
  • Pay attention to the countertop material and make sure you understand the maintenance required.
  • Like any space in your home, lighting can set the mood.  Consider statement light fixtures, then add recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, and any additional lighting for function or aesthetics.

Don’t forget to add the special touches, too. We’ve curated a collection of our favorite kitchen items, some that we use daily and others that we love to gift. Follow the links to bring some of Southern Studio’s must haves into your kitchen.

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Enjoy and Be Well! 

Project Reveal Part II :: Charlotte Charm

Today we’re revealing Part II of our Charlotte Charm Project!  This project was another collaboration with New Old Custom Homes in The Bramble, a Southern Living Inspired Home community.

Upon walking through the arched front door, the foyer makes a grand first impression.  The trim detail on the walls and herringbone hardwood flooring are architectural elements that incorporate visual interest into the space.

The open floor plan allows for a flow between the kitchen, dining, and family rooms.  Creating a cohesive look between the three while giving each room it’s individual personality is an opportunity for our creativity to soar.  We love the mixture of fabrics and patterns in the combination of the area rug, custom window panels, blue velvet chairs, and textured weave sofas.

Natural wood in the flooring, sofa console table (notice the live-edge detail), and mantle wall bring warmth to this family room.  These tones, along with brass and gold lighting and accessories, contrast the cool blues and grays of the color scheme.  And check out those windows – bright sunlight is the best accessory!

A powder room with personality!  The patterned wallpaper with a bamboo-framed mirror give this powder room a natural, organic vibe.  The mirrored bamboo sconces round out the look, and the vanity drawers provide a lot of necessary storage.

This round dining table is the perfect place to gather and have great conversation over a family meal.  The dining chairs have a remarkable level of detail thanks to the brass nailhead trim, patterned fabric, and cutout back.


In the kitchen, both the island and the ventilation hood are covered with an unrefined wood paneling (amazing craftsmanship from the New Old team).  Visual interest is achieved through the contrast between the rustic element of wood and the polished look of cabinetry, lighting, and hardware.

An apron-front sink under an oversized window is the ideal place to do the dishes.  There is even a built-in espresso machine for coffee in the morning.  Stay tuned for Part II of the Charlotte Charm Project Reveal!

Builder : New Old

Photography : Dustin Peck Photography

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!

Project Reveal : Exquisitely Renovated

When favorite clients with incredible vision ask for our help with a major remodel of their 20+ year old home, we jump at the opportunity.  It’s not always a pretty process living through a remodel, but the end result is so worth the effort!  Follow along as we tour you through this “new” home .

The living room fireplace wall was completely re-designed and the wall to the adjoining kitchen was removed. The fresh color palette was created with performance fabric and carefully curated details.

The kitchen was completely demolished down to the studs and a peninsula wall was removed. The result was a bright, open space designed for large family gatherings with lots of young grandchildren to be spoiled and entertained. The cabinetry was stacked to the ceiling to maximize storage and create a clean aesthetic. The central island anchors the space and is topped with a stunning slab of quartzite.

The master bedroom is a calming retreat (even for the furriest members of the family).

The outdated garden tub and small shower were removed from the master bath. As we re-designed the space, we created an incredible steam shower and free-standing tub that could compete with the most luxurious spas.

We even gave the powder room a well-deserved makeover!  We especially love the wallcovering.

There is nothing quite like the joy of transforming a home for a special family.  This holiday season, we can’t wait to see photos of this space being shared and enjoyed!