Design Duo

Textile designer Clay McLaurin and designer James Wheeler's shared office space is an ode to fresh-faced beauty.

Prompted by the quick growth of their respective companies—and a desire to leave room for expansion—textile designer and artist Clay McLaurin and interior designer James Wheeler opted to reimagine the look of a traditional design studio, putting a fresh spin on shared office space in an open but cohesive, light-filled Old Fourth Ward space.

Longtime friends, McLaurin and Wheeler’s challenge was designing the space to accommodate both business and creativity. Their main objective: to create a client-facing design office with distinct areas for conducting formal meetings, as well as an artist studio where product can be designed for sale to the trade. To accomplish this, a pass-through wall was reconstructed by enclosing it on one side and adding cabinetry on the other to house a designer resource library. Ceiling-mounted Belgian linen panels act like doors, which can be closed for privacy, while white-washed surfaces allow the pair’s artistry to shine.

Design at Work: Clay McLaurin and James Wheeler’s shared Studioplex space is not only a brilliant interpretation of the designer and artist’s personal aesthetic, it’s also an expert exercise in mixing vintage and found objects with custom and modern pieces. In Wheeler’s office, top left, an antique fireplace surround made in an old factory in Athens, Georgia, adds architectural interest. On the other side, a pair of 19th-century French doors opens to reveal a designer resource library. The pair commissioned the large, custom work table from North Carolina artisans; the white-washed table functions as both a conference table and work surface. You might find McLaurin dreaming up his next watercolor or unrolling fresh textile collections for Clay McLaurin Studio; his upholstered poufs, in Maze and Hollyhock, anchor the rear wall.

Clay McLaurin, Clay McLaurin Studio.
James Wheeler, J Wheeler Designs. (404) 907-8605;