A bit about Molly....
I want to begin by first saying that I'm so thankful to God that he gave me a passion and love for art, flowers and all things beautiful! And if I have any talent or creativity at all, it has come directly from Him. I was thankfully and gratefully born and raised in Boone, NC!
My handsome and precious Dad is John Winkler, a contractor and businessman in Boone. With his good looks and towering stature, I have always been in awe of his debonair style. I first remember being exposed to construction and how buildings came together while riding around with my dad as he was checking on his different job sites before he would take me to preschool in the mornings! I'm sure I got my appreciation for problem solving and architecture from him.
My sweet and beautiful mama, Bain Winkler is a retired kindergarten teacher. Miss Bain has a great sense of style and really, really good taste. As my biggest encourager, she has always graciously allowed me to do absolutely anything I wanted to at her house! In high school, our house was like a design laboratory for me! I learned how to hang wallpaper, paint cabinets, stencil on walls, make and hang window treatments, etc...She never once said "no" to one of my ideas. She also instilled in me a love for old houses and antique furniture. My older brother, Trae Winkler can do anything with his hands, seriously. He's so smart and incredibly skilled.
My Precious family
My husband of 22 years , Mike Northern, is a general contractor and owner of Blowing Rock Property Services, a full service property management company specializing in serving the needs of summer residents. I have two awesome sons. Austin, 21 (attending Liberty University) and Ridge, 19, who will soon be serving in the United States Air Force. Daughter Georgia is a vivacious, dancing, spunky 6th grader!!
Even as a very small child, I remember always drawing and coloring and absolutely loving anything to do with art! Much to my mother's dismay, some of my first drawings were on the walls of my bedroom!
I still love to paint today....when and if I can find the time!
I spent endless hours at my grandmother Jean Winkler's house who taught me all about flowers, flower arranging and my favorite - household tips and stain removal!
I have always been very observant of details in houses. I can't remember what my friend, Lisa's grandmother looked like but boy, do I remember her house and her cute little kitchen!
I still vividly remember as a 6th grader, rearranging my friend Shauna's grandmother's bookshelves. I can't believe the things people let me do with their houses at such a young age.
I was keenly aware of details and the style of friends' homes I would visit often as a child.
One of my favorite sleepover venues was at my friend Autumn Baker's house. Her mother, Marvella had (still has I'm sure) a great sense of style when it came to decorating their adorable cottage by the pond! I can still picture the way each room looked. Unlike any other family I knew, they always had a renovation project going at their house. Before then, I hadn't realized that people could actually modify what they had rather than moving to a whole new house. She also had such unique pieces in her house. She used things like wagons for coffee tables. She was shabby chic before shabby chic was a thing! I was intrigued by the way lots of homes I visited had their own unique style but, I have to say, Marvella's was my absolute favorite! A few years ago, I had the chance to finally tell her that she was one of my inspirations and her cute house and her innovative ideas were some of the reasons I knew I wanted to be an interior designer.
As I grew, I began to realize that I could change the furniture around in my bedroom, that it didn't have to stay the way my mom had arranged it initially.
I especially loved rearranging the furniture in my dollhouse, painting the walls and even painting faux rugs on the tiny floors. I was probably 8 or 9 when I discovered that interior design was a career you could get paid for!
I have never considered doing anything else. Although, I've often thought about how much fun it would have been to be a set designer for tv or movies.
While watching TV as a child, instead of paying attention to the story line, I was looking at the way the rooms were furnished. Little house on the Prairie, Guiding Light, you name it, I scrutinized the sets. I vividly recall the day I realized that someone's job was decorating the set of "Sanford and Son". Mind blown.
In high school, I worked at Tweetsie during the summers. When I got my first paycheck, I headed straight to Hickory for an unfinished armoire I would immediately paint for my bedroom.
I taught myself how to sew so, that when I moved to college (UNC-G), I could make window treatments and matching duvets for me and my roommate out of a set of sheets I had purchased.
While in college at UNC-G, if I didn't come home to Boone on the weekends, I would go to my Aunt Sharon's 100 year old farm house in Siler City, NC. There, I would change something here or move something there or paint this or rearrange that. I'm so grateful that she let me do whatever I wanted. Anything I could think of, she would let me do. Her house was a wonderful place to experiment!
After graduation from college with a degree in housing and interiors, Mike and I got married and moved to Hilton Head where I teamed up with local interior designers and worked as an artist painting murals in their clients' homes.
After we discovered we missed the mountains and our families too much, we moved back to Boone!
I have an especially deep fondness for old houses. When driving past them, I still want to go in every one I see. I want to see how the floor plan flows...where's the staircase, etc....? Is there any original wallpaper? What do the bathrooms look like??
That's why I love our old house in Blowing Rock so much. It was built in 1926 and needed a lot of work when we found it. I'm still so grateful to Mike that he agreed to buy it even though he was leery. (He doesn't like old houses as much as I do) But thankfully, we've modernized ours just enough that he doesn't complain quite as much about the drafty rooms in the winter!
Restoring and adding on to our old house over the past nine years has been one of my absolute favorite projects, a true labor of love. When we needed some extra space for our two growing boys, I designed an addition that I think blends really well with the original house.
I also have an affinity for old chairs of all shapes and sizes. So much so that my husband brought me one that he found at the dump one day! Ha!
I've found them at yard sales, Hebron Colony, side of the road....you name it, I've probably found a cute little old chair there!
Our home in Blowing Rock was on the tour of homes back in 2008, (LOTS of work, blood sweat and tears. Mike has told me we won't be doing that again...ever.) But, from it came something truly wonderful. The owner of CR Laine in Hickory, Sonny Roseman and his precious wife, Adelle toured the house and liked what they saw. They approached me to help give their company a new look and design aesthetic. This began a 7 year relationship with the company as their design consultants and High Point showroom designers! In fact, We won runner up to best showroom design in 2011. (Beating Bunny Williams; BIG name in the design industry, we were sooo excited!!)
For 14 markets we chose their furniture frames and fabrics and conceptualized and installed their high point showroom.
Our work with CR Laine has definitely been a highlight in my design career as we watched their business flourish and grow and become one of the furniture industry's leading manufacturers.
Another highlight was being featured in the December 2007 issue of Southern Living magazine with the main camp house we completed at Sunalei in the western part of Watauga County.
Through my years as an interior designer, I have been blessed beyond belief and am so thankful to God that He has allowed me so many wonderful opportunities to help precious families all over the southeast with their homes.
I am so thankful to have met remarkable people and made so many wonderful friends. I've also had the great pleasure to work for many local families in the high country and those have been some of our absolute favorite jobs. To help someone make their home a place they love even more because of what we've done is a true blessing. I've had such a wonderful time and look forward to many more years of helping make homes in the high country and beyond a bit more beautiful!!