Designer Spotlight: Maggie Dillon

Meet Interior Designer Maggie Dillon! Earlier this year, Maggie launched her own Interior Design firm and is already off to the races. We are loving all of her designs so far, and can’t wait to see where her new business takes her!

Meet Interior Designer Maggie Dillon! Earlier this year, Maggie launched her own Interior Design firm and is already off to the races. We are loving all of her designs so far, and can’t wait to see where her new business takes her!

What inspired you to start your own Interior Design business?

I worked in the industry in Charlotte, NC for 7 years prior to starting my own firm, nearly 6 of those with Charlotte Lucas Interior Design. My (now) husband started business school last fall, so I moved to Chapel Hill when we got married and felt it was the perfect opportunity to launch MDI.

Who and/or what are your main sources of inspiration?

While I wouldn’t say our styles are perfectly in line, my mom remains one of my most impactful inspirations. A bit more traditional than me, she stays true to her aesthetic and isn’t afraid of moving things around and swapping pieces out. Plus she’s been my #1 cheerleader (along with my husband) for starting my own business. My sister, owner & founder of Gabrielle Jewelry, is also at the top of my inspo list. She started her jewelry business over 10 years ago and has paved the entrepreneurial way for me.

How would you describe your design style?

Colorful & unique, practical & user-friendly, personal.

What is your very favorite room to design?

Dining Rooms have recently shot to the top of my list. Nowadays, they can go in a number of different directions depending on how the client plans to use the space. They don’t have to be super formal or traditional. It’s the perfect room to mix old casegoods or rugs that might have been inherited by a family member, with new elements such as lighting and art. And a place where families and friends can gather, converse & enjoy a meal together. Plus, it’s almost always an appropriate space to use a bolder & brighter wallpaper or paint color.

What are some of your favorite paint colors at the moment?

Farrow & Ball ‘Pink Ground’ is always a favorite. It’s subtle enough, but still makes a big impact. I recently used their ‘Studio Green’ in a Living Room and adore how it turned out. It’s perfectly dark & moody.

If a client is on a strict budget, what are your favorite cost-effective ways to make a big impact?

Vintage pieces! Including upholstery. The bones are solid on those old guys, and when you have it in your budget to reupholster, the fabric will be there. Another piece of advice: don’t stretch your budget thin trying to get everything at once. Take your time with it and spend your money on pieces that are built to last.

Not only are your interiors beautiful, you make the most elegant tablescapes! Do you have any go-to entertaining tips and tricks?

Lots of layers and lots of fresh flowers! And don’t be afraid to bring out the fine & fancy. Mixing old & new (a common theme!) is also an easy way to add interest. Here I paired my personalized Coley Home napkins with my great-grandmother's silver.

You recently designed a room with a Coley Home Crown Bed! Can you walk us through the design process?

I love the way this Guest Bedroom on Sullivan’s Island turned out. I used the Crown Bed with the Kate style headboard & lemongrass fabric. Topped off with the ebony legs, it’s a killer combo. We used the CH coverlet and sheets (so soft), and added in Tulu’s “Stella” fabric for complementary pillow shams & duvet. The client wanted this room to be suitable for her mother’s friends to stay in, but also exciting enough for her eight year old daughter to grow into. I think we checked all of the boxes!

Other favorite interior designers?

Apparently I’ve got a thing for British designers, including Sophie Robinson for her bold (and admirable) use of color and Beata Heuman for her perfectly quirky and layered designs. Kit Kemp's Firmdale Hotels have been high on my bucket list to visit, too. And I can’t forget Charlotte Lucas, my forever muse and favorite lady.

TV Show you are currently watching?

I finally convinced my husband to watch New Girl with me. We’re about halfway through and it has us laughing at least every 10 minutes.

Favorite/most inspiring place you’ve ever traveled?

Last March we took a family trip to Patagonia and it was the most breathtaking landscape I’ve ever seen. Not as much ‘design inspo’ found there (although I’d highly recommend Explora, the resort where we stayed) but I left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. One of those good-for-the-soul trips!

Favorite ways to stay sane during these crazy times?

Exercise! I am a big CorePower Yoga fan, and their On Demand app has been a lifesaver. We also recently invested in a Peloton and I’m kicking myself that we didn’t do it sooner.

Favorite recipe?

We’ve been living out of Caroline Chamber’s cookbook throughout quarantine, appropriately named Just Married. Her newsletter is also hugely helpful, sent out every Monday with several different recipes. And subs for nearly all ingredients! Highly recommend her One Skillet Chicken Parm Gnocchi, using Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi.

If you were to put a reminder on a boudoir pillow for your husband, what would you write?

"Feed the dog"

Item(s) on your bedside table that you can’t live without?

Biokiss from Biologique Recherche, a full Nalgene, my all time favorite Santal Noir Candle & my iPad (so I can read at night without keeping my husband awake!)

Thank you, Maggie!