Vicky Serany has come home.
Serany, owner of Southern Studio Interior Design, recently moved her business from Apex to Cary, where she and husband Dan have lived since 1986. It’s where they raised their two children, and where Serany is eager to see her business grow.
Serany started the studio in 2001 and hired her first employee 10 years later. The business now employs six full-time and two part-time workers. Serany and her staff have nearly settled in at 119 W. Park St., one block off Academy Street, Cary’s newly refurbished main street.
“We worked with the town to convert this house to commercial use,” Serany says of the 4,200-square-foot dwelling built in 1951. “With everything that’s going on in Cary, we felt like it was time to give back and help with the revitalization. The town of Cary was phenomenal to work with. They helped us every step of the way.”
Serany spent two years looking for the perfect location and then six months on renovations. The home was updated in 2010, with a second-story addition and other improvements.
“We wanted a place that was charming but functional, with storage space, too,” Serany says. “We’re very fortunate to work on some beautiful projects, and we have clients who feel like giving back to the community.”
With that in mind, Serany is eager to open the studio for fundraisers and other community events.
She did just that with the studio’s open house in late September. Serany created a gathering space on the back patio, complete with a grill and fireplace. It will be the site of an upcoming oyster roast.
Inside, the original living room beckons clients with comfortable chairs in a variety of available designs. The dining room has become the conference room, with conference chairs on the way — again, in an array of designs.
With the removal of some walls and changing hallways on the back part of the house, the master bedroom has become an expansive, light-filled design studio. The former master bath area now houses storage space, with a front bedroom converted to an office for two of Serany’s employees. Additional offices are upstairs.
The kitchen, updated in the renovation seven years ago, was simply refreshed. It’s plenty big for caterers, and a nice touch for employees, too, Serany says. “We’ve never had a kitchen before.”
The entire studio is done in neutral tones, including walls, painted brick and trim in the perfect shade of white — Incredible White, as it were. The choices were intentional on Serany’s part, so clients won’t be unduly influenced by the surroundings.
The side porch carries a pop of color. Southern Studio’s logo color — a green-blue, or blue-green, depending on how you look at it — now covers the broken-tile terra cotta floor. A bright, floral rug and matching green-blue chandelier pull the room together. It serves double-duty as the staff’s meeting room and lunchroom.
“For us, this new space has given us a vibe of home,” Serany says. “It’s very comfortable and welcoming. I think everybody’s happy with it. We’re investing in the community, because we own this building. It’s just another step in our growth.”
For Serany, moving into new digs meant taking advantage of more storage space. But she’s adamant about not filling the house too much.
“This is an industry of touch and feel, and you collect a lot,” she admits. “We purged so much in the move.”
Serany says she and her staff endeavor to be good neighbors in a largely residential neighborhood.
“I hope it just gives us an environment that truly inspires us to do even better design,” she says.
For more information about Southern Studio Interior Design, visit southernstudio.com.
Susan Shinn Turner writes stories about western Wake County for The News & Observer. Email her at email@example.com.