From the moment MA Allen was born she was encircled by the interior design industry, with parents in the furniture and design world. So, it only seemed fitting that she would follow in their footsteps as a principal and interior designer at MA Allen Interiors.
“As a child, I was always working alongside my mom, and decorating and redecorating my room, dorm rooms in high school, apartments in college, and on to my first home,” said Allen. “I was always sketching and designing furniture. Custom work is still one of the highlights of my job.”
Before taking on the design world herself, Allen had very different plans. With a dream of going to law school and becoming an attorney, she attended the University of North Carolina. During her junior year at UNC, she took a trip to Budapest. It was there where she was reminded of her true passion.
“I spent so much of my time on that trip going from antique store to antique store and loving every minute of it,” said Allen. “I realized that law would not be my career path. Once I made the decision to go back to school and pursue a career in interior design, I have never looked back.”
Allen graduated from UNC in 2006 before entering Meredith’s interior design program. She graduated from Meredith in 2010 with a B.A. in interior design and a minor in studio art.
In 2011, the Wilson, N.C., native decided to take on a new challenge – small business ownership. She launched MA Allen Interiors. And, as one of the top designers in the Triangle, Allen is gaining success in the industry and has garnered national recognition for her work.
She was recognized as the 2016 HGTV Faces of Design – Editor’s Pick for Posh Public Spaces. In addition to being named the Triangle Downtowner Magazine’s Best Interior Designer, she was awarded the 2014 Best of the Triangle. For the past four years, she has taken home first and second place in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Carolinas Excellence in Design Awards.
Her advice to aspiring designers: “Education. It’s a must in this world with the number of untrained decorators increasing. A degree from a CIDA-accredited school is a must for separating yourself from the competition and making you, as a professional, top of the field.”