Who Is Maggie Dillon? Get to Know the North Carolina Designer

maggie dillon

Andy J. Scott

Overall design merriment” is what Maggie Dillon does best. That’s the quality she loves in her favorite designers’ work, and we see it as a through line in her own. This aficionado of color and pattern mixing isn’t afraid to push boundaries. “Paying attention to scale and tone, there are a few rules that you can really break, and it can open up a whole exciting world of possibilities,” Dillon says. If you love green velvet, pink walls, and floral wallpaper, prepare to meet your new design crush.

Dillon got her start in interior design right out of college, working as a personal assistant for a designer at Circa Interiors in Charlotte. “I quickly found myself wanting more involvement on the design side of the industry,” she says. The next role for her appeared at the perfect time: Local pro Charlotte Lucas was looking to make her first hire. Dillon went on to work with Lucas for the next five years while attending design classes. She struck out on her own and started her firm, Maggie Dillon Interiors, in 2020.

I say do what makes you feel good and confident with your designs.

You might cast Dillon as part of a group of American designers, like Lucas and Jamie Meares, another Raleigh-based designer whose flair for color Dillon admires, who are the stateside incarnation of the colorful, imperfect, country-house-inspired British design style that’s beating back the minimalism we’ve been so ensconced in. Dillon herself is a fan of the Bloomsbury look: “They do it just right,” she says of current British designers. “A little bit disheveled, a lotta bit quirky, and an unflinching use of color.” She’s all in for the whimsical hand-painted details we’re seeing on mirrors, bedside tables, lampshades—“you name it.”

That said, Dillon doesn’t necessarily follow what’s popular. “I’m not one to zero in on a trend,” she says. “I say, do what makes you feel good and confident with your designs, and if that’s an application that happens to be popular at the time, no stress.”

On the business side, Dillon comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her father and brother work for the company her grandfather started in the 1970s, and her sister has her own jewelry line. “I grew up seeing firsthand what hard work and a steady, positive entrepreneur attitude can accomplish,” Dillon says.

Dillon wants her clients to feel “comfortable, at ease, and at home,” but also as if “they were pushed in all the right areas to step even a little outside of their comfort zone.” An 1870s home in downtown Raleigh epitomizes her approach. She started it two years ago, right after her first son was born, and will be wrapping it up just as her second child is on the way. “The whole home is wrapped in lively wallpapers, warm colors, and inviting tones,” she says—just her style.

a living room with a blue chair and a table

Anna Routh Barzin

Colors lighten inherited antiques in a young family’s home.

House Beautiful: What’s your favorite…(and why)?

Item to collect: “Glassware. I’m powerless against all types—big and small, vintage and new, coupe and flute. I’m running out of shelving over here.”

Paint color:India Yellow by Farrow & Ball is my current infatuation, and I’ll always be able to find a place to use Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball too.”

Artist or piece of art: “Right now, I’m working on/waiting for a commissioned portrait of my son with Sarabeth Arima. I’ve loved everything about the process: her thoughtful interview questions, her intricate layers. I seriously can’t wait to see the end result.”

Local shopping destination: “For clothes, Vermillion is my local go-to; you can find attire for really any occasion. For the home, Union Camp Collective is our Raleigh gem. Charlotte, the shop owner, keeps it fully stocked with any and all eccentric accessories, upholstery that’s waiting for new life, and lighting aplenty.”

Online store: “If shopping for design, Chairish has and will always have a large piece of my heart. If shopping for me, it shifts between Matches Fashion and The Real Real. (I can go down a mean rabbit hole on that site.)”

Travel destination: “I’m going to have to say the South of France for this one. We spent time there recently, and the charm that exudes from every corner is fantastic and profound. Will also never turn down a tropical Bahamian trip.”

Decor item you buy on repeat: “Coffee table books. You can never have too many, and they provide endless hours of design inspiration.”

Meet the Rest of Our Next Wave Class of 2024

next wave class of 2024

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