Tell me about your background and how it informs your business.

I went to art school to study graphic design and oil painting but ended up transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill after I freaked out over the artist’s life. I had a whole life-crisis situation. But the way I got into design is all self-taught and just being a sponge of information, just consistently reading design publications and following artists and designers that I love.

So what does The Spot Studio do for your real estate clients?

I do interior staging and decorating. So I help any clients who are interested redo their space [which could] be as big of a project as they want: a total room or renovation to figuring out which colors they want, what kind of furniture to buy, how to change the space to make it for them, personalized, a place that they feel happy and uplifted.

What are some home decorating tips you’d offer?

The hunt for the right pieces is absolutely worth it. If you have older decor and you don’t want to part with it because you paid all this money for it, don’t be afraid to utilize Facebook marketplace, the OfferUp app, Craigslist, and sell pieces that don’t feel like you anymore. Look at those places to buy new pieces. The hunt takes time. We also have a lot of great local sellers around the Triangle who have a very interesting selection of furniture and decor.

Over the years, we have had so many neutral color schemes that were all gray or all white and just these blank palettes. But bright colors [are entering] the picture. Green has become neutral and we are seeing more eclectic looks. Painting is an easy way to update a space. I definitely suggest using samples because colors can look so different under different light [in] your home.

Consider using peel and stick wallpaper in unexpected places, like on a kitchen island [behind] the stool area, or in a medicine cabinet, or stair risers. It is great for renters, an easy way to upgrade your home and you can remove it when you move out.

Don’t be afraid to mix metals. Matte black with brass and stainless steel—we are seeing a lot more of that. Experiment with textures. Try different things because now it is so easy to change out your look and collect pieces that feel like you.

What advice would you give to first-time homebuyers looking to buy homes in the tough Triangle market?

Be patient. Opportunities come along. People get discouraged and it’s a very emotionally involved process. If you really want a home and put in your all and you don’t get it, and it happens repeatedly, it can be very, very exhausting and just sad. But if you are willing to be more flexible where you are looking, you can open yourself up for more opportunities. So don’t be rigid in what you are looking for, keep an open mind in where you are willing to live. Don’t get discouraged.

Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an email to

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.