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Wilmington Magazine

Nancy Mullineaux
Dezign Inspirations/Home Design Resource


Dezign Inspirations, a full-service interior design firm, offers a unique blend of services for both residential and commercial interiors. Run by owner Nancy Mullineaux, the business includes a full-scale design resource showroom that serves as a one-stop shop for clients who are building, remodeling or designing a home.

The showroom gathers everything that might be needed under one roof. “People don’t have to run all over town looking for tile, furniture, flooring and granite, trying to pull detail together independently,” said Mullineaux. With over thirty years of experience, Mullineaux enjoys helping clients transform their dreams into reality by offering inspirational design concepts for every style and budget.

Mullineaux has made a specialty of working with clients from the ground up, beginning with the blueprints. For one recent project, a new home built by Wilsey Custom Home Inc. for Charles and Lisa Alfano, Mullineaux partnered with her clients for over a year to create a hoe that reflected their lifestyle and personality.

Located in St. James Plantation, the home backs up to a nature preserve, and her clients value a connection with the land and surrounding environment. “For a lot of people who move to our area, a new home is an opportunity to update their look.

Clients tend to want a more comfortable, more informal design, with furniture and colors indicative of the coastline,” said Mullineaux.

To select the furniture, the designed took the Alfanos to shop at the High Point furniture market, which offers a vast selection of home goods. They fell in love with a cream fabric embellished with bold, seaglass-aqua and brown spirals, evocative of crashing waves. Mullineaux upholstered a chair, ottoman and accent pillows with the find, and the fabric became the basis for one of the home’s color palettes.

“That seaglass color is so fresh, with a zen-like feeling reminiscent of the ocean,” said Mullineaux. The designer paired the rich sheen of the inspiration print with the neutral tweed of the sofa, adding a masculine element to the room with a sleek brown leather chair.

A seafoam area rug draws out the room’s blue-green tones, and the print’s oceanic swirls are echoed in the sinuous lines throughout the room. “I love to bring the unexpected to a space, as it’s those distinctive special touched that make design exceptional, similar to how the perfect necklace and earrings make an outfit,” said Mullineaux.

In the kitchen, the client selected and exotic, multi-colored whit granite for the countertops, with reflective undertones of seaglass and taupe.  Mullineaux chose a natural pewter glaze to accentuate the details of the cabinetry and complement the colors of the marble backsplash. “In all my designs, I feel it’s important to consider all the details of the room so that each element sings together like a symphony,” she said.

By using a common denominator- whether it be a material, a color or a repeating fabric- to pull the eye from room to room, Mullineaux strives to create a unifying flow in every home she designs. In the St. James Plantation home, all the paint colors were selected to coordinate with every aspect of the adjacent rooms, including fabrics, flooring, bedding and tile.

“If you’re building a custom home, hiring a designer who has the expertise to consider every visual element will help you avoid costly mistakes,” said Mullineaux. The designer carefully ensures that each detail harmonizes with its adjoining areas, considering such subtleties as pairing the whites, cool grays and blues of the fabrics, cabinets and furniture with a complimentary nickel finish or metal fixtures.

“When everything is installed and I’m setting up final touches like furniture, accessories and window treatments, that’s the most gratifying time,” said Mullineaux. “After months of work, seeing the look of excitement, wonder and pure satisfaction on my clients’ faces is very rewarding.

Style Tips

If your home is fully or partially carpeted, consider ripping out your old carpeting and laying wood flooring throughout. “Having a unified floor treatment creates a natural flow from room to room,” said Mullineaux. “To emphasize the different personality of each space, accentuate with area rugs.”

Paint your ceilings the same color as the walls. “White ceilings cut off a room,” said Mullineaux. “Painting your ceilings the same light, fresh color as your walls makes your crown molding pop, and the entire room feels homier, brighter and more expansive.”

Try using more stain-resistant outdoor fabric indoors, particularly if you have dogs, children or grandchildren.

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