For Melissa Marsh, moving to Wilmington was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Markraft designer made her way to the area in September 2018.
Two days before Hurricane Florence, to be exact.
“We were here about two days, shoved everything unpacked into our closets and drove three hours to Charlotte,” she said. Her host -- a woman who went to school with Melissa’s mom -- showed some real southern hospitality, opening up her home to Melissa, her boyfriend, best friend, mom, and chihuahua for about a week and a half. Melissa eventually made her way back east and found she had no power for three days, having to unpack and setup an entire apartment in 80-plus degree weather with no air conditioning.
After her unique welcome to the area, Melissa began to find inspiration throughout the natural world surrounding her in the Cape Fear region. “One of the best things about being a designer in Wilmington is the plethora of beautiful places and sights and the vibe that comes with living on the coast,” she explained.
The inspiration provided by the beauty of the beach builds on Melissa’s background in residential design, specifically kitchen and bath design which she has been working in for eight years. She has also worked as a commercial designer for a year “to challenge myself and become a more well-rounded, knowledgeable designer.”
Melissa’s favorite trend in the design industry is the movement toward a more minimalistic, sustainable “less-is-more” design. As people become more aware of their impact on the Earth and its dwindling resources, Melissa explained, they are learning to live happily without all the extra “stuff”. Clean, simple lines paired with a pop of color or a funky light fixture really make a space stand out.
“Pair that with super sustainable materials that are both durable and ultra-renewable, and you’re on the path to creating something truly beautiful and responsible,” she said.
Color-wise, Melissa is seeing an influx of rich, jewel tones – such as deep turquoise, indigo and hunter green paired with brass and iron tones, which adds both a warmth and an eclectic feeling to a space. This is ideal for her concept of the biophilia of a space, or the act of bringing nature inside using greenery and indoor plants.
When asked what she enjoys most about her work at Markraft, Melissa immediately pointed to getting to know her clients on a deeper level, building a personal connection while “solving the puzzle” of a client space through spatial planning.
“It is extremely rewarding to be able to take a design from concept to finish and be able to see all your dreams and ideas come to life. I enjoy creating spaces that my clients love aesthetically that also fit each of their unique lifestyles,” she said.
Let Melissa Marsh and the other professional designers at Markraft share their expertise with you. The designers consult by appointment, but drop-in visitors are always welcome to stop by and browse the showroom. The Markraft Design Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 2705 Castle Creek Lane just off Castle Hayne Road.