'Happy Nude Year'

January 2018 Issue

Meet the Home Owner: 

The first feature of the new year is my lovely friend, Paula. Paula is Ashlyn's mother. You can see Ashlyn's unique home in our November Issue. Paula and her husband are saying goodbye to their home in Charlotte to move closer to family, here in Durham, NC, this January. I can't wait to show her the "go-to" shops with Ashlyn. They're going to love Durham and this fresh new adventure with their new home. 

I am so proud and glad that I was able to capture her home one last time before they closed it's doors for the last time. Read along to meet Paula, and to hear her and her home's story.

Her Story

How/Why did you choose this house?

When Paul and I moved to Charlotte 23 years ago we looked at many houses. This house was our favorite. It was only 2 years old when we moved in but it has the charm of an older home with it’s gleaming hardwood floors, the tall ceilings, the crown molding in all the rooms and the built in bookcases. This home has a wonderful flow and is great for entertaining. 

Why Charlotte or this location?

Paul’s job brought us to Charlotte in 1994. We weren’t familiar with the area at all but have come to love the location of our home. It is so convenient to shops, restaurants, grocery stores, the movie theater and the library. We can walk to all of these locations.

What do you love most about your home?

There are so many features of this home that I love! My bright white kitchen, the large living and dining rooms, the cozy den where we watch TV are just a few things I love about this home. But my favorite area has to be our courtyard. It is a brick walled little paradise with it’s ivy covered walls, the sound of the water in the fountain and the seasonal flowers. All these things make it a wonderful place to sit and relax any time of the day. 

I also love my kitchen. We have a sitting area in the kitchen where we spend a lot of time. In the morning the sun streams in and it is such a cheerful place to be especially at the beginning of each day!

How did you get your start in design?

I do not have any formal training in design. I just have always loved decorating my home and making it beautiful. I am fortunate to have an eye for decorating and it is my passion. My friends and neighbors have asked me to help them with their homes and I gladly do it! I just finished helping my next door neighbor decorate her bedroom and the two guest rooms. She told me she loves going upstairs now!  Your home should be your haven, your happy place and  your retreat. A place where you feel comfortable and happy every day.

What is your design philosophy?

I love traditional, classic interiors and my home is a reflection of this style. It is furnished with antiques and vintage pieces that I have collected over the years. I am a collector and I love displaying my collections. I feel my house tells a story about who lives here.

When you walk into my home I want you to feel welcomed and comfortable. I want every room to feel cozy and inviting and a place you can relax and make yourself at home. 

My house is always evolving. I change things around frequently. Each season means different accessories coming out! I display my collections seasonally. In the fall I display my collection of Demijohns, wooden boxes and pottery. Winter months mean lanterns, antlers,  silver pieces and glass globes are on display. I love bringing out my Blue and White in the spring. I put beautiful yellow forsythia flowers in a tall blue and white vase in my foyer to welcome quests. In the summer I display my collection of shell boxes, driftwood and seashells I have collected on trips to the beach.

I edit frequently so my house does not look cluttered. I use trays a lot to corral some of my collections because “ Everything looks better on a tray!”

I also have many books in my home. I love the warmth and character that books give a home. I have always heard that books give a home a soul. I can’t imagine my home without books. My home is also full of green plants. Not only do they purify the air but add so much beauty to our home. Caring for them is a relaxing and calming process to me. 

Who is your biggest Inspiration (designers & influence)?

You should see my collection of magazines! I have a hard time letting go of them. I have a bookcase in the upstairs office where I keep them. I love to leaf through them when I need inspiration. Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Veranda and Southern Accents are my favorites. Unfortunately, Southern Accents is no longer in print but the old publications are still inspiring. I also collect Decorating Books. I look to them often for inspiration. Some of my favorite designers are Charlotte Moss, Nina Campbell, Bunny Williams and Tom Scheerer.

I have recently joined Instagram and I enjoy scrolling through and seeing all the beautiful homes and vignettes. I am inspired daily by all the talent out there!

I enjoy going shopping for inspiration. Just walking around a décor shop or antique shop can give you new and fresh ideas. We have some wonderful places in Charlotte where I can go for inspiration. The Sleepy Poet, Slates, Cotswold Marketplace, Alexander Scott, Hamilton Stuart, Classic Attic, Southend Exchange and The Clearing House are great places to go to be inspired. The Depot in Concord is also full of ideas and inspiration. Occasionally I go to Scotts Antique Market in Atlanta. It is an amazing place to go and see beautiful furnishings for your home. I always come home inspired and with a treasure or two to enjoy in my home.

Why is creating a beautiful home important to you?

I love to be surrounded by beautiful things. Our house is not grand by any means but it is comfortable and cozy and filled with belongings that I have chosen to make our home a place we love to be. Whenever we travel I am always so glad to return home. There is no place we would rather be! I gain so much pleasure making our home beautiful and a place Paul and I can relax and enjoy living our lives. It is important to have a place free of stress and turmoil. A place where everything is tidy and in order has always been a priority to me.

So many of my “things” bring me such pleasant memories. I can recall where I purchased that special piece, who I was with and the fun I had hunting for the treasured item. I will never be finished decorating! I like to freshen things up with new pillows or new accessories and a fresh coat of paint now and then. My house is always evolving! I can’t imagine it always looking the same from year to year.