Each year, Our State’s Made in NC Awards celebrate the talent and creativity of North Carolinians. Meet the state’s winners, honorable mentions, and judges. Check out all of this year’s
Kara Cox’s mid-century modern home features one-of-a-kind and vintage pieces, antiques, and a growing art collection that includes a selection of Seagrove pottery. Many items — like her custom eight-way hand-tied upholstered furniture, made by Hickory manufacturer Wesley Hall — were crafted in North Carolina. Each room is beautifully decorated, but with a husband, a Cavapoo named Penny, two kids, and friends whom she loves to host, Cox has also designed her home to suit her life. And that’s also what she does for her interior-design clients, creating spaces to fit their tastes and lifestyles.
Cox got her start in home furnishings while growing up in Asheboro. Her father was the company doctor for Klaussner Home Furnishings, and he encouraged her to work in an upholstery plant the summer before she started college. But she was more interested in fashion, so after graduation, she moved to New York and worked in management at Saks Fifth Avenue. When she returned to North Carolina, where there were few opportunities in the fashion industry, Cox pivoted to home furnishings. She found that her professional skills — color, design, trend forecasting — translated well to her new field. After earning a second degree in interior design, she spent time working for a local designer before striking out on her own in 2010.
At her full-service residential design firm, Kara Cox Interiors, Cox’s sensibilities are influenced by travel and fashion — color trends in European clothing tend to become home trends in the U.S. a few seasons later, and she often brings back antiques from her trips abroad to place in clients’ homes. But although she draws inspiration from sources around the world, her North Carolina roots shine through in her design process. “I feel like it’s been an important part of my journey growing up in the Triad to continue that legacy of bringing well-designed spaces to people’s homes,” she says. “It’s building on the history that North Carolina has for fine furniture and home furnishings.”