Moving to Wilmington NC: Begin Again

By Lynn Cannon Leake |

MOVING… a word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of even the most intrepid of us. That goes for moving anywhere, even moving to Wilmington NC, a place with so many positives.

However, something most of us have in common is that we don’t stay in place. The process between making the decision to relocate and the actual completion of the move is arduous, to say the least; it’s physical, it’s emotional and it’s exhausting. But we are adventuresome creatures, always in moving to Wilmington NCsearch of something better, and in the case of moving to Wilmington it’s probably the warmer weather that draws us here – along with the southern hospitality.

As interior designers, we meet a lot of people who are in the midst of making big life changes. Moving involves lifestyle changes that provide a great opportunity to surround yourself with a new color palate, a new style and new friends. A designer can become your spirit guide through the maze of design choices you make when you move into a new home. Designers delve into the emotional territory of combining comfort and beauty. They talk about children, grandchildren, golf, dogs and cats, views, and the possibility of entertaining new neighbors as they look for solutions to design dilemmas and possibilities.

Once the new neighborhood and the new home have been chosen, there is a definite direction for you and the designer to follow. Around here the colors that we choose to live with often come from the surroundings… Carolina blue skies, sandy beaches, tall pine trees and, of course, the Atlantic and all that goes with it. Leaving behind the trappings of the north can be exhilarating, even though trading in heavy textures and deep rich colors for light weight linens and summer hues sometimes takes time. Our move to a new home“resale” shops are full of the dark lustrous wood pieces that have been hauled for hundreds of miles only to be eventually cast aside for lighter, brighter pieces that have a vintage flavor. What most of us are looking for in our casual “down east” homes is a finish that is painted or reclaimed, and impervious to daily use. No delicate shiny surfaces that might scratch easily when a toy truck runs across it, or a wet glass is set down for a few minutes. The most popular pieces right now are made from actual reclaimed wood… with layers of paint and signs of an earlier use. These free us from worry and relieve us from dusting and waxing quite so often. There is more time for visiting at the pool or smacking a pickle ball across the net, laying out on the sandy beaches, or playing 18 holes.

Once you recover from the physical trauma of packing and unpacking boxes, you can start to enjoy the next chapter in your life. New schools for the children, new neighbors to meet, even a new grocery store can all be a challenge… but don’t you love a challenge!


Lynn and her husband Sam moved to Wilmington in 2004. After accepting an invitation by Norwalk Furniture to open a franchise here, their daughter joined them as part of the new venture. The LUXE Home Interior store in Mayfaire was born from that store, and the second in Waterford,  and has been an all-consuming endeavor. Lynn comes to the business with a Master’s degree in interior design. See the stores’ unusual art and unique decorating items at

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