An Industry Pro Downloads Us on Her Favorite Rooms of 2020

December 17, 2020
In her current role as the Editor-in-Chief of Charlotte Home Design & Decor magazine, Ashley Hotham Cox sees her fair share of gorgeous interiors on a daily basis. And it shows no signs of stopping. “Since we’ve been mostly cloistered at home, people have become hypervigilant of their spaces and want updates—but yesterday,” she notes. Her prediction for the coming year? “Designers are busier than ever with projects despite the increase in lead times. So if I had a crystal ball, I would say 2021 will be full steam ahead!”
As we all eagerly look ahead, we asked the Charlotte, North Carolina native to take a quick trip down memory lane and share the 10 most spectacular rooms she fell in love with over the course of 2020.


A soothing blush pink living room designed by Lane Brown.Dustin Peck
“One of my favorite combinations is pink and black, so when I spotted this blush-hued reading room with a zebra hide designed by Lane Brown of Phoebe Howard, I was immediately drawn in. The coffered ceiling, along with the sculptural art by Caroline Boykin, adds extra dimension and visual interest to the space.”

A dreamy chinoiserie-inspired dining room by Mary Margaret Beaver.Dustin Peck
“My jaw dropped the first time I stepped into this dining room by Mary Margaret Beaver. The colors, the patterns, the details—it’s all heavenly. From the hand-painted silk wallpaper and Turkish rug to the chinoiserie curtains and antique Chinese ancestor portrait, this room checks all the boxes.”

A crisp, modern hallway designed by Teri Thomas.Chris Edwards
“I was drawn to the simplicity, modernity, and materiality of this lake home entry hall by Teri Thomas. The cool slate gray floors are polished concrete, while the ceiling above is stained shiplap with wooden beams. It’s crisp and cool, yet still warm and inviting. I appreciate the balance of lines and scale in this space.”

Handpainted walls give this powder room by Gray Walker an abstract feel.Brie Williams
“I think it’s fair to say that the powder room is usually the number one stunner in a home, so I’d be willing to bet this one designed by Gray Walker would be the blue-ribbon winner. With walls hand-painted by local artist Lana Rubwright and color-matched cabinetry, this small washroom is the best-in-show of experimentation. Its painterly perfection is topped off with a killer black stone sink and counter, Ro Sham Beaux sconces, and a rococo-style mirror.”

Designer Lindsay Speace gave this traditional butler’s pantry a modern twist with pops of citron.Brie Williams
“Color reigns supreme in this butler’s pantry, where not an inch of space went unnoticed. From the custom-designed Mirth Studio floor tiles to the matching trim and cabinetry, designer Lindsay Speace spared no detail. The Brighton Pavilion wallcovering by Miles Redd for Schumacher is one of my all-time favorites. The chinoiserie desk is insanely gorgeous, and the art that hangs above is by one of my favorite emerging artists Laura Deems.”

The serene palette in this bedroom by Lisa Sherry allows an eclectic collection of objets to shine.Brie Williams
“While I’m naturally drawn to vibrant colors, I find a neutral palette to be really refreshing when it’s done right. And in my opinion, designer Lisa Sherry knocks it out of the park every time. She struck such a stunning balance between light and dark, hard and soft, new and old in her bedroom. It’s the juxtaposition that brings harmony to this space. A room can be perfectly decorated and can check off all the design element boxes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s of great interest. It needs to tell a compelling story, and sometimes it’s the small objects—family heirlooms, flea market finds—that add layers to a design. Without these details, a room falls flat. I loved seeing her collections of feathers, hats, matchbooks, and art on display throughout her home.”

This living room by Jane Caldwell is the epitome of mixing, with its collection of pieces from across styles and eras.Dustin Peck
“This room by Jane Caldwell exemplifies everything I love about design—it’s all about the mix. The abstract painting above the mantle, the Dorothy Draper dressers, the vintage Ming chairs, the use of color and pattern. It’s a balancing act between new and old, contemporary and traditional. I could live in this space forever.”

Charcoal-hued walls add drama to traditional dining room by Mary Tobias Miller.Dustin Peck
“This is one of the most beautiful dining rooms I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s elegant, feminine, and sophisticated. From the charcoal walls and peony pink upholstered chairs to the bronze mirrored ceiling reflecting the low-hanging iron-and-wood chandelier, this space by Mary Tobias Miller is the perfect setting for an intimate gathering.”

Designer Nicole Mooney turned a tiny powder room into a destination with a colorful combo of wallpaper and Art Deco-inspired floor tiles.Dustin Peck
“The smallest spaces sometimes offer the greatest opportunity to pack a powerful punch, and this powder room by Nicole Mooney does just that. I was stopped in my tracks the moment I saw it. My first-ever designer crush was Kelly Wearstler and her Art Deco tiles for Ann Saks are on display here, along with a bold gondola wallpaper.”

Barrie Benson shows her skilled hand at mixing traditional and modern elements in this dining room.Brie Williams
“I’m fairly certain anything Barrie Benson touches turns to gold. She has a knack for modernizing a traditional space with contemporary elements and vice versa. In this dining room she designed for architect Lindsay McCullough, Benson carefully blends vintage pieces with modern finds: the Edward Wormley chairs paired with the Georgian table, the framed Gracie panel acting as art with the adjacent Serge Mouille light fixture that offers a touch of mid-century modern.”