Inspiration in the Studio

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.

Meet Our Team: Crista

We’re continuing our “Meet The Team” series with Crista, our Studio Administrator. Find out a little more about her below!

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

I started as a client of Southern Studio. I enjoyed the whole process and working with everyone on the team, so when I found out there was an opening I knew I wanted to join the team. 

Give us a peak into what your career before Southern Studio. How your past work connect with what you do now?

Before staying home with my children, I was a research scientist. I worked on the Human Genome Project, Infectious Diseases and then later in the area of Metabolic Disease. The attention to detail, organization and trouble shooting needed to create and run experiments in a lab are the same skills needed to take a design all the way to installation in a client’s home.   

Your responsibilities at the studio are:

I am responsible for the daily operations of the studio, which includes accounting and human resource duties, as well as placing all orders and reviewing acknowledgements. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people – The people I work with, the people that we design for, the people that we buy from, the people that deliver our product. I love installations too! Seeing the finished product and how all of the pieces come together to create a beautiful space is quite satisfying.

What’s your morning routine?

I get up at 5:30am to run with my dog, Riggins. I love running in the morning because I already feel so accomplished and my day has barely begun. I usually see my son for a few minutes before I head out. I have to stretch when I get home so I try to catch the news and then I get ready for work and head out by 8:00am. If it’s a really good day I  have thrown in a load of laundry and started the dishwasher on my way out!

What’s currently sitting on your nightstand?

Lotion, a candle and books. Right now, I am reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

Your design style in three words:

Comfortable, functional and collected.

Describe your dream home…

Anywhere my family can gather…a villa in Tuscany or a lake house close by as long as it’s filled with family and friends and designed by Southern Studio. Then it’s my dream home! 

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be, where would you go, and what would you order?

I am very fond of this question … I answered it once in an interview and my answer is what got me the job. I wonder what I will get this time…right now, I would love to have lunch at the Willow Inn on Lummi Island with the chef Blaine Wetzel, and I would eat what ever he was serving. I love food!



Meet Our Team. Welcome, Elizabeth!

Our team is growing and the energy is exciting! Over the next few weeks, we want to introduce the incredible people who make the magic happen at Southern Studio.

We are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth as an Interior Designer on our Southern Studio team!

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

Do you remember Trading Spaces? From a young age, I remember watching the show, and my interest in design grew from there! In high school, I took an interior design class, then focusing on only looking at colleges with an accredited interior design program. I followed the footsteps of both my aunts and my great-grandmother, attending Meredith College in Raleigh.

How would you describe your design style in three words?

Classic with a twist. I know, that’s four words!

Your go-to color palette (maybe one in your personal home)? Is there a specific color that you think withstands “trends”?

I gravitate toward cool grays and whites with dark black accents. There’s something about the combination of a cooler-toned color palette accented by dark black hues that I love.

To me, greige will remain a versatile neutral that withstands trends. Somewhere between gray and beige, greige can span many different tastes and interior styles, allowing it to work well in many spaces.

Your favorite white paint color?

“Aesthetic White” by Sherwin-Williams. It always feels fresh, yet it can go warm or cool in different light.

An interior design tip that can make all the difference?

If you love something, it will always be in style. Save and splurge on one item you absolutely love, rather than just filling a space with things you like.

What is your favorite interior design / coffee table book?

Elements of Style by Erin Gates.

What’s currently sitting on your nightstand?

My lamp, a phone charger, and a pink hair bow courtesy of my 15-month-old daughter.

What is your favorite source for inspiration?


What catches your eye first, stripes or florals?

Hands-down, stripes.

Your advice for transforming a “house” into a “home”?

Personalization. Making your space yours. Fill your space with meaning by carefully selecting personal family heirlooms, items from your travels, or pieces that tell a resonating story.

Has motherhood changed your outlook on designing spaces? If so, how?

I would say both yes and no. I believe you can still achieve highly-curated design in your home along with having young ones around. With the advances in fabrics and materials today, style and durability can go hand-in-hand.

Do you have an “essential” accessory in your home that you just can’t live without?

Oh, I love including lamps all over my home. They’re double-purpose too – lamps are practical and they can serve as conversation-starting works of art.