Isabella has it all: designer linens, local art, lighting, gifts, accessories, and the necessary guidance of their in-house professionals to help you piece it all together. With fun furnishings, dynamic design, and modern minimalism, owner Erin Dougherty curates perfect spaces for artful, luxe, and laid-back living. Erin fills us in on all things Isabella, even sharing some of her own design advice and in-store favorites to freshen up your space.
Erin, how did you get your start in home furnishing and design?
After deciding to go back to school for interior design, I began working at a local furniture and antiques shop in Charlotte. Over the years, I transitioned into owning my own shop and creating a design business. Not only do I love the design side of the business, but the retail part of buying and working with clients is a big love of mine.
Give us an overview of what you do and the services Isabella offers.
Isabella is a retail boutique and design studio. Last year, we relocated the shop to a charming house on Cherokee Road. The retail shop, located on the first floor, is stocked with fine linens for bed and bath, original art from local artists, candles, pottery, lighting, upholstery, case goods, etc. Our design studio is located on the second floor. The new studio has been a game changer because we have so much more room for our ever-growing fabric swatches!
What are some of your favorite pieces or trends at the moment?
We have several rattan pieces on the retail floor now, and we love them; everything from vintage rattan chairs, to woven pendant lighting, to updated wicker pieces, and rattan mirrors. It is a great way to add texture into the mix of a room.
What is your most basic advice for decorating and elevating a room?
Start by decluttering and editing the pieces you have. Lighten up a dark room with a fresh coat of a paint. Switch out dated lighting. Have your favorite sofa reupholstered and add new throw pillows. Take down blinds and add drapery panels. Wallpaper will completely transform a room; if you are afraid of the commitment, start with a powder room.
What’s your go-to gift and why?
I have a few go-to gifts depending on the occasion but, lately, I love the gift of a small, handmade ceramic piece. We carry a ceramic line by Jill Rosenwald from Boston; her small bud vases make a beautiful and unique gift.
How would you advise someone to begin to make a space his or her “own?”
Artwork and photographs are a great way to personalize a space; gather a collection of your favorite photos and small pieces of art, have them framed, and create a gallery wall. We love to accessorize with coffee table books as well. Find books that interest you and stack them up on a side table, add a piece of pottery to the top, and you have an instant personal vignette.