Living out loud

Home + Garden

February 1, 2022



Lori Shaw designs an uber-feminine dining room with bold accents and punchy patterns.

by Cathy Martin  •  photos by Heather Ison

When Lori Shaw’s 20-something client tapped her to design her south Charlotte home, she wanted a vibe that embodied feminine strength with bright colors and bold patterns. No space captures that spirit more than the home’s dining room, where hot pink velvet armchairs and acrylic ghost chairs surround a table set for 12 under a floral-wallpapered ceiling.  

TO THE MAX: A Miranda Kerr alabaster dining table from Designers Marketplace is lined with stackable ghost chairs from Houzz and hot pink captain’s chairs from Wayfair. For the ceiling lighting, the designer arranged 10 individual pendants. The floral Milton & King wallpaper on the ceiling complements walls painted in Sherwin Williams Dress Blues.

Shaw enjoyed a successful career as a cookbook author until 2020, when a breast cancer diagnosis followed by six months of treatments made her rethink her intentions. She began studying design, got her master gardener certification and, last year, launched Joyful Home Design, an interior and landscape design firm. She says her goal is “to help bring clients the joyful spaces they want to spend their time in, especially now that so many people are spending more time at home.”

Nearly a dozen projects later, Shaw says she’s found her calling. “It came so natural to me,” she says. The challenge in this case, however, came in finding furnishings and accessories in the bold palette her client desired amid so many neutral-toned showrooms in Charlotte. She and her client found inspiration in United Kingdom-based designs, where bold accents and colors are more prevalent.

Shaw, who can be found on Instagram @spacesthatbringjoy, says her client isn’t the only one who’s trading a neutral palette for a color-splashed one. She’s noticed a shift among other clients as well. “People used to decorate their houses for other people,” often with entertaining in mind, the designer says. Being homebound during the pandemic has many homeowners craving more vibrant spaces. 

Her client is proof that a bold and colorful home can be mood-lifting. 

“[The homeowner] says her serotonin levels go up whenever she’s in the house.”  SP

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