Inspiration in the Studio

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!

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.


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!