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The founder of interior design company Design by Tula, Tula Summerford has lived in Raleigh for a decade. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Summerford has a gift for marshaling color, pattern and texture to create spectacular spaces. Summerford is married to Allen and is the mother to four children, Katina, Nicholas, John and Kara. She’s a member of The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, as well as a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts of America, and her favorite local charity is the Green Chair Project.
Hometown: I grew up in Jamaica, New York, about 20 minutes from the city.
Your neighborhood: Country Club Hills
What do you love most about Raleigh: I lived in New York for 20 years, and then in the small, quaint North Carolina town of Edenton. Raleigh offers the perfect balance of both.
Currently reading: “The Lost Girls of Paris” by Pam Jenoff
Currently listening to: Girl Boss with Sophia Amoruso. My daughter Kara turned me on to this.
Style mantra: My style is a celebration of my designs in all forms! Style should always evoke emotion and create conversation.
Style influencers: I’ve always admired Iris Apfel for her eclectic style. Her originality and mix of couture with flea market finds are perfection.
Favorite clothing labels: Gucci, Proenza Shouler, Dries Von Noten
Flats vs. Heels: Heels … always heels!
Local go-to shop: Vermillion and Gena Chandler
Last great lunch: Bida Manda
Go-to piece: My black Iro jeans
Favorite piece of jewelry: My charm bracelet filled with memories of my childhood
Travel dreaming: Bali
Favorite drink: CHAMPAGNE! My two faves are Perrier-Jouet Belle and Krug
Style secret: I’m always on the move … comfortable and chic is my usual vibe. I wear lots of black but love to add a pop of color.
Moment in your life that inspired your style: My first boss told me it was better to have a few fab, high-quality pieces in your wardrobe vs. a closet full of average pieces.
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