Get to Know: Alexis Pawling
Founded on classic design principles, Alexis' aesthetic is sophisticated and unique, but is not limited to one style. She expertly blends color, texture and pattern to design smart and energetic living spaces. Alexis embraces each client's vision and personality to help them achieve their home's greatest potential and to create livable, fun and fresh surroundings. Her designs have a curated appeal, combining vintage, custom and antique pieces with splashes of color and whimsy.
Q: How did you start your design career?
A: After college, I returned to my hometown of New York City to start a job as a legal assistant at a white-shoe law firm prior to starting law school. Two years later, I was acutely aware that becoming an attorney was not in the cards for me, so I abandoned the law school plan and began exploring career options that I knew I would find more fulfilling. I wanted to find a field that I was passionate about and that I could see myself happily working in for the long term. I have always been a creative person and had a deep appreciation for NYC’s architecture, as well as design and fashion, so I looked in that direction. I remembered that, even from a very young age, I loved designing beautiful surroundings for myself, and would frequently refresh the look of my childhood bedroom. It soon became clear that interior design was the perfect path for me. And so began the next chapter as a designer.
Q: Tell us about your first job?
A: I took my first job in the design world as a design assistant at the acclaimed Gomez Associates on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There, I helped create fabulous interiors for incredible NYC apartments, as well as clients’ country homes. Starting out on projects with seemingly unlimited budgets afforded us the freedom to be bold and creative. Taking helicopters from Manhattan to clients’ beach homes was a unique travel perk.
My husband and I moved to Charlotte in 2007. Prior to moving, I had secured a position with Barrie Benson as a design assistant. I worked for Barrie for 2+ years before I learned the lay of the land and was introduced to local vendors. I have great admiration for Barrie and her fabulous style. Once I got pregnant with my first daughter, I started Alexis Pawling Interiors.
Q: When designing a room, what is the most important factor for you?
A: Comfort and function is paramount when designing a space. Livable luxury!
Q: What is your favorite finish or gemstone?
A: Unlacquered brass is my absolute favorite metal because it is a living finish—the patina it gets adds a feeling of worn elegance. Also, I’m inspired by nature and its serene beauty and calming spirit. In my own home, I have rock crystals dappled throughout my decor. That is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to Modern Matter’s hardware—your selection of gemstones is so inspiring, and I like to use them to add a beautiful pop of color. If I had to choose, Labradorite, Amazonite, and Rose Quartz would be my favorite stones.
Q: Any tips on creating timeless interiors?
A: Adding architectural features such as molding or trim detail make a home feel timeless. Coffered ceilings and hidden doors add a lasting warmth. Furniture should have classic, elegant lines, while art and accessories can be more bold and playful.