Theory of Place: Interview with Emily Knotts of Crisp Interiors

Greetings! This is Loannie from Theory of Place and I’m delighted to share my first feature in this corner of the internet. Upperlyne & Co. has always been the classic, casual, and cool hustle bird’s blog; it’s no surprise that I often found myself ferociously refreshing the web browser, hoping that Juley had posted something new in the last 20 seconds. Yes, I’m that girl. Obviously, every hard working type-A needs an inspiring website to scroll through. This was mine, especially on Wednesdays.  

The W-word can be dreadful for even the most seasoned #hustlebirds. Anyone who has spent hours looming over papers and dense schedules will be running closer to empty on their inspiration fuel tank mid-week. Naturally, when I’m faced with this dilemma, the obvious remedy is to click on the Pinterst tab that is carefully nestled on my web browser. Pin-it patrons know that the best part about logging on is the endless scrolling and the plethora of beautiful images. One particularly fruitful session yielded the likes of Emily Knotts.

I’ve always had an attraction towards cottage style homes so when I stumbled upon Emily’s, I found myself pinning and re-pinning like a mad woman. Not only does she have an amazing home, Emily and her husband run a business of refurbishing furniture. It’s no surprise that her home inspires her work, so I was eager to reach out to Emily and pick her brain on what inspires her love for Crisp Interiors, an easy yet chic style that perfectly aligns with what we love here at Upperlyne & Co.

How has your natural environment influenced your design aesthetic? While I love everything about living in Charlotte, North Carolina - or the "Queen City" as locals know it - living on the shores of Lake Wylie has more deeply influenced my design aesthetic. My husband and I feel blessed to wake up to such gorgeous views outside our windows each morning. The fog hovers over the water in the morning, the afternoon light shimmers, and the evening gives the most stunning sunsets. With such beauty surrounding us, I try to let nature take center stage and be the true design star of our home. 

With such beauty surrounding us, I try to let nature take center stage and be the true design star of our home.

When decorating, I try never to compete with what's outside our windows; but only enhance it in some way. With this in mind, we've incorporated loads of natural light into our home - especially in the living room. We added french doors that lead out to the deck. On most sunny days, these doors are flung wide open, allowing the outdoor space to be an extension of our living area. To keep things crisp and fresh, most of our furniture is white or linen. Though hard to keep clean with little ones around our home, it does brighten up the space. The neutral furniture allows you to play with color by mixing up pillow choices. With such a neutral pallets, it's important to bring in lots of texture to keep the space from feeling too sterile. I've found that our dark hardwood floors ground the room, while the driftwood used on our handcrafted coffee table and console table brings a little of the outside in.

Crisp Interiors specializes in traditional/cottage decor and refurbished/handcrafted items. What is it about these concepts that draw you in? Refurbished furniture and decor is an important part of my design style. Using these types of pieces prove that style doesn't have to come at an extravagant cost. My love of bringing new life to old and unloved pieces began when my husband and I first got married. We were on a "newlywed budget" and I had to figure out how to decorate our home with what we could afford. We began shopping at thrift stores and flea markets on the weekends and took on one DIY project at a time.  

Often I would find inspiration from expensive furniture stores and then my husband would make these gorgeous pieces from salvaged wood. Or other times, I'd see a dresser with good bones at a thrift shop and we'd paint it and change out the hardware; in no time, we had a piece that we loved at a price we could afford. Perhaps what I love most about handcrafted and refurbished decor is that they allow your home to tell a story. Each piece represents a memory and has a history behind it. Woven together, these pieces give your home a feeling that your decor has been carefully collected over time with things that you love and have meaning.

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Loannie Dao
Design + Interiors Contributor
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The Denim Report

This spring + summer it's all about good denim. There's a significant 70s minimal trend happening now that has me craving denim skirts, jackets, and jeans of all sorts and sizes. Having an arsenal of good denim is an investment in getting dressed in a snap. Toss on a slightly larger denim jacket over the fanciest of skirts and your look will still be effortlessly cool. Turn to an a-line skirt for a polished look without looking overdone. An oversized denim shirt over swimwear? Done and done. Or, pair the quintessential black skinnies with a pair of leopard kitten heels and you've got instant chic.  All this and it's wearable year-round.  

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images via: pinterest and linked sources