By Olivia McClure

When it comes to interior design, Margi Hargrove doesn’t like to follow the crowd.

At her Green Hills store, Margi’s Chair and Chair Alike, Margi offers a variety of rugs, chairs, sofas and chandeliers, all of which are chosen to help customers “create a beautiful, unique, personal space.”

“We strive to offer the unexpected,” Margi says.

After studying graphic design and textiles in college, Margi decided to pursue a career in interior design and space planning, which eventually led to the establishment of Margi’s Chair and Chair Alike. Today, Margi’s store showcases pieces from across the globe, providing a rich, varied assortment to help people fulfill their design visions.

“We pride ourselves on providing American-made upholstered pieces — chairs, sofas, sectionals, ottomans — from North Carolina, California and Virginia,” Margi says. “We do import from a fabulous cabinet maker in San Miguel, Mexico, and their hand painted pieces are fantastic. We import lamps and many other accessories from around the world as well to offer a wide, worldly variety to cultivate one’s own style.”

When it comes to guiding customers through the design process, Margi says she doesn’t adhere to the latest trends. Rather, she encourages customers to form their own design inspirations.

“I encourage my clients to decorate with what speaks to them,” Margi says. “I often urge my clients to pick up a design magazine once in a while and see that wallpaper is fabulous, dark elegant wall colors in small spaces is drama, and decorate with color … Don’t follow the big box stores and get the same thing your neighbor bought!”

While many buyers may be tempted to purchase furniture solely for its aesthetic appeal, Margi urges customers to select comfortable pieces that will last for a long time.

“If you purchase wisely – the better quality – then you can achieve a look and comfort that lasts without having to constantly repurchase,” Hargrove says. “[Update] along the way with fresh pillows and throws!”

When it comes to designing one’s personal space, many people may want to solely follow their own creative inspiration, rather than get an expert’s advice. According to Margi, while she doesn’t often encounter many challenges in her work, she says the one thing she struggles with is gaining customers’ trust, which can be avoided by properly consulting an interior design expert.

“The only challenge is trust,” Margi says. “So many clients have had bad experiences by the time they might find me, and they are scared and timid of thinking outside the box because of mistakes they have made or were led to make by not consulting an expert. My expert advice is: consult an expert.”