CSP Note: We love “Smarty Mominations,” and today’s comes from CSP reader Tyler Larmee who thought Ashley Cox would make a super Smarty Mom. Tyler and I tag-teamed on this one. Tyler wrote the intro, and I did the interview. Thanks SO much, Tyler, for introducing us to Ashley, and thanks to Ashley for sharing her family and life with us! ~ Cheryl
Ashley was destined to lead Home Design & Décor magazine. As a college student, this Charlotte native began her career as an intern at Charlotte magazine. She continued to grow her portfolio as a contributing writer to area lifestyle publications Charlotte, Charlotte Wedding and Charlotte Home + Garden.
In 2013, Ashley made a huge move to New York and joined the editorial staff of Traditional Home, where she moved up the ranks to Associate Market Editor under the tutelage of industry veterans, learning the ins and outs of creating a magazine. During her tenure at the respected home publication, Ashley earned her certificate in Interior Design from the famed Parsons School of Design. But Charlotte called her home. With her new position as Editor-in-Chief of Home Design & Décor, Ashley combines her experience in lifestyle magazine production and interior design. As a mom to a young son and another baby due this spring, as well as wife to fellow Charlotte native and emergency room doctor, we know the Smarties will love getting to know Ashley.
~ Tyler Larmee
Smarty Mom: Ashley Cox
Married to: Married to Dalton Cox; It will be four years in August.
Children: My son, Wilder, is 14 months old; Baby girl is due in May. Things are about to get real interesting!
Years in Charlotte: Although I’m a native Charlottean, I’ve only lived here as an adult for a few years.
Area of Charlotte you call home: Old Foxcroft
Occupation: Editor, Home Design & Decor
Alma Mater: University of South Carolina
Tell us what you do for Home Design & Decor magazine.
I oversee all of the editorial for the magazine, which means that I manage and produce all of the creative content for the front of book stories, as well as the feature home articles.
How did you get started in the magazine industry?
I was one of the unfortunate many to have graduated college at the onset of the recession. So when I moved to New York, I quickly realized that my degree in just fashion wasn’t going to cut it in terms of landing a job with Vogue. To ride it out, I decided to go back to school and get my master in journalism where I focused my attention on magazine production. For my practicum, which is basically an internship on crack, I worked for Charlotte magazine and really fell in love with the industry.
What is the best part of your job?
I work from home, so the best part of my job is being able to do what I love while still being able to see and hear my son throughout the day. It’s such a blessing.
You are a great resource for all-things home design. What big home trends should we be on lookout for in Spring 2018?
I don’t really buy into the whole what’s in and what’s out thing, but if I had to identify an upward trend, I would have to say the departure from all-white kitchens. More and more people are opting for bolder color when it comes to cabinets, backsplashes, and appliances in their kitchens.
What home design trend is on its way out?
Again, if I absolutely had to list something I would say rose gold is on the decline.
If someone wants to stay timeless as she choose pieces for her home, what’s one thing you’d tell her?
Being true to yourself is the most classic choice you can make. If you see something that you absolutely love, then get it. Your home should be a reflection of you and should be filled with the things you love most – not items that others have given their stamp of approval.
What’s something you miss about living in New York City?
Everything! Riding the train, the pizza, the diversity, 24/7 delivery, hearing five different languages while walking two blocks, the shopping, the museums, the parks – Washington Square is a personal favorite, brunch and mimosas with friends… I could go on and on!
What’s something you don’t?
Trying to catch a cab on a cold, rainy day. Or, even worse, miscalculating the depth of a slushy lake that has formed at the street corner. One wrong step and your whole day is ruined.
Any tips for other working moms on keeping your sanity (because let’s face it, “balance” is overrated! :-))?
Give it a rest. This is something I find hard to do, but you have to give yourself a little personal time. Hire a babysitter if you have to, but take a bath, get your nails done, go out to dinner with a friend… Whatever it is you like, go do it! All of these things should be done with a big glass of wine in hand, of course.
Now for the Smarty lightning round:
Best place for a date night in Charlotte? It’s a rare occasion these days, but my husband and I love to go to Intermezzo. I highly recommend ordering one of the pizzas with a side of creamy feta. It’s to die for!
Best piece of baby gear? Sleep sacks are crucial, but after our recent trip to Florida, I will have to say never travel without a pacifier! Wilder raged the entire flight – I’ve never sweated so much in my life from all the anxiety. It was a traumatic experience for everyone on board.
Favorite boutique? It’s a toss-up between Abode and Slate Interiors.
Favorite piece of furniture in your house? I have so much love for all my babies, but there is a special piece that just came to live with us. It’s this beautiful vintage Maitland-Smith Art Deco style 4-panel folding screen. It’s super cool.
Favorite color to use in your home? I don’t think I’ll ever tire of peacock or apricot. They’re two of my all-time favorite colors.
Favorite color to wear? Black – especially these days!
Best place to take a toddler on a rainy day? I have no earthly idea. Fill me in if you know of a good place!
Favorite park in town? The unofficial dog park at Mint Museum
Last book read? Don’t tell my bookclub, but the last book I’ve actually read from front to back was Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman
Thing you’re most looking forward to as the weather warms up? Driving with my windows down
Favorite thing about living in Charlotte? Being close to mine and Dalton’s families – We live next door to my parents, and my sister is right down the street. As well, Dalton’s parents, grandparents, sister, and cousins are all here, too. It’s a wonderful thing for our son and soon-to-be-daughter to experience.
Three things you couldn’t live without? My passport, agenda book, and chapstick. We’re talking about personal objects, right?