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I asked for graph paper at the age of eight to make floor plans for our house. I probably get it from my mother, a creative soul. In one afternoon she could cut a pattern from a newspaper and create a beautiful  outfit for me to wear that night, all while getting three delicious meals on the table. I think this is why I’ve always been able to imagine things into being.

I grew up on the wild and beautiful Sea Islands of Georgia, surrounded by ancient oak trees dripping spanish moss, huge sand dunes, wild horses, alligators, birds and other exotic creatures. It was primal, undeveloped and exquisite. This upbringing gave me a deep respect for and loyalty to nature. It is my inspiration and muse.

One of my earliest memories is of the old Carnegie mansions on Cumberland Island, GA. These were the finest homes on the east coast at the turn of the century, and I remember staring at the handmade MacKintosh wallpaper, the velvet sofas, the Audubon prints and other beautiful art, but I was especially drawn to the library filled with leather bound books. I wanted nothing more than to live there, and in time, I did.

After college I didn't immediately go into the field of design. I was concerned about the damage we were doing to our environment and joined forces with a small group to form a nonprofit. With the help of others, including River Keepers, we became the first environmental group in the nation to successfully sue and win a cash settlement from a municipality. It was a major victory that set a precedent for other groups to do the same, and it instilled in me a belief that a small group of people can do big and important things. 

I moved to New York City and started my design business while living at the Chelsea Hotel. I was hired to design the Bubble Lounge, the first champagne bar in Manhattan. During this period I designed a residential loft for the Vice President and Head of PR for Calvin Klein. I began designing furniture for this project when I couldn’t find pieces that fit my vision for the space. I found my passion, and I never looked back. My friends call me the "nomadic naturalist designer" because I’ll follow interesting projects all over the globe. Over the years, I've set up studios in Maui, Atlanta and Austin.

At this point in my life, I’m most concerned with creating spaces that enrich the lives of my clients. Our homes and offices, as well as the public spaces we visit like hotels and restaurants, affect our health and well being. It is my goal to help uplift as many lives as possible by creating inspiring and healthy spaces. I do this by working with color, light, aroma, sound, edible landscaping, and bringing the vibrant energy of nature inside.

I hope to have the chance to collaborate with you!

My Best,

Marla