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Ensuring the latter are Lisa Bohbrink, manager of The Studio at Design Associates — a showroom that enables clients to stop in and experience the quality and comfort of the furniture on display — and Tina Williamson, of the eponymously named T. Williamson Interiors, who shares The Studio with the Design Associates team. Inside The Studio, clients can purchase products off the floor or place orders fol-lowing consultation with the interior design team. Williamson practically cut her teeth at the High Point Market, visiting for the first time in 1976 as a staff designer with Wilmington-based retailer Sutton Council. “Back then, the owner, Billy Sutton, would take six or seven of us to the High Point Market each season to work with the high-end, bench-made fur-niture companies like Henredon and Hickory Chair, Karastan rugs, and so on. ... It was an intimate gather-ing with the sales people and an incredible learning experience because it was all hands-on. It was exciting and fun, with wonderful meals and interesting people, but at 27 or 28, I couldn’t process how important it really was. I realize now that we were all women, which was fairly unusual at the Market back then, and Billy was smart to get our input about what we thought would work on the floor. He knew that when someone came in to shop, we would really be familiar with the product.” Williamson has been a working interior designer since the mid-1970s and is generally happiest knock-ing around a job site with plumbers, electricians, architects, and the homeowner, she says. “I love architecture and I’m good at assessing scale, form, line, texture, proportion and color,” she says. “I’m also good with math and keeping track of the details that come along with those things. I think few people really understand the third dimension. When they walk through a space they believe they are seeing two dimensions, but they don’t grasp the cubic space that is needed for furniture and human traffic, for the function of each individual room to be successful and comfortable. I myself cannot always explain why I want something to be the way that it is, except that after all these years, my eye notices so many details that it just comes naturally. I know 50 august 2015 WBM Designing Women


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