Morehead City-based interior designer Emily Guthrie and business partner Kathy Guthrie (no relation but great friends since grade school) got a call from the local chamber urging the duo to show up at a casting call of sorts. Blog Cabin 2013 project manager Dylan Eastman was hosting a meet-and-greet in search of an interior designer. “We made an appointment to meet with Dylan on a Friday at 5 because usually no one does anything after Friday at 5,” says Emily. They met for dinner and talked about the remodeling project, their design philosophies and more. Having Dylan’s undivided attention paid off: Emily and team got the job and quickly became immersed in the world of Blog Cabin.
Emily brings to the table a background in both fashion and interior design. The Morehead City native owned two women’s clothing boutiques before making the transition to interior design — initially working with her husband, a builder, to stage spec homes. Armed with three storage units filled with furnishings and accessories, Emily decided to open her own 1400-square-foot design shop in 2011 and relocated to her current, larger location in October 2012. Her customer base reaches as far afield as Topsail Beach (a two-hour drive from Morehead City), and she stands apart, she says, for her unusual take on the classics. Walking the High Point Furniture Market each season keeps her vision fresh. “If we like the design of a piece and it’s out of the norm, we will buy it. We like to start our own trends” she says. “We find that when everyone else has the same look it loses its charm, so we try to buy the things that nobody else has.”
Jody Wiener, a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, joined the team shortly after Emily opened her first shop and offers a contemporary lens that Emily relies on. “She’s helped me take it to another level,” Emily says. Jody has clocked in endless hours at Blog Cabin, creating style boards for each space, interpreting the show hosts’ vision for rooms, decorating and, when necessary, painting furnishings.
Emily describes the overarching design aesthetic at Blog Cabin 2013 as “coastal casual.” “It’s got a nice mix of industrial, recycled and reused elements with a very cool palette. It’s very relaxing,” says Jody.
Ready to renovate your own historic gem? The duo offers up advice, based largely on their experience at Blog Cabin. “Be willing to make mistakes,” says Emily. “Sometimes you are so afraid of making a mistake that you don’t do anything. So try it.”
“Take your time and be open-minded,” adds Jody. “And look at things outside of the box: Take an old piece of furniture and don’t just paint it but change its purpose. And, above all, don’t throw out your shutters.”