Insights from Photographer Margaret Wright, an innate preserver and admirer of beauty and design
Over a year ago, The Nopo crossed paths with Margaret Brinson Wright on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her portfolio of design and architecture, history and modernity, light and shadow. Margaret, an engrossing stylist, and architectural photographer, has an incredible knack for capturing the essence of objects and interiors, and speaking with her is like the end of a good yoga practice: your heart beats steady and you’re totally at ease knowing that a long-lasting calm will follow.
She could have been swept up in the hustle and bustle of her industry, but instead, Margaret’s nature is one that pauses, reflects, plans, and acts only when ready. In spite of this, Margaret is someone that gladly ventures along the path less taken. Raised in the countryside, she grew up longing for the next chance to visit nearby Charleston, South Carolina, and its dizzying early-18th century streets.
The city’s downtown is an artist’s palette of colors and is typically made up of houses that are either narrow and deep, drawing the eye into internal piazzas and up flourishing balconies, or enormous buildings with arches big enough for giants. As one of the oldest cities in the US and one of the first to preserve its historical buildings, it sings of centuries of people, change, and growth. And it was this city that encouraged Margaret to break away from the known and fall into the arms of architecture, design, and photography.
Much like Charleston’s quirky streets, Margaret’s taste is an eclectic mix of all things bold, “no matter if it’s ultra-modern or ultra-traditional, as long as it’s different, unique, and exciting,” and her own home is a canvas for the extraordinary and wonderful things she had longed to do while living in white-walled rented apartments earlier on in her photographic career.
For the past four years, Margaret has been busy renovating and redefining the character of her home with her husband Ben. The couple, who met at university and have been each other's biggest supporters since, are doing all the hard graft themselves, including painting, upcycling furniture, refinishing bathtubs with the help of Margaret’s father, and even transforming one room into a master bedroom with an en-suite.
“It was just a big empty space, so turning that into something functional and adding the bathroom felt like such a huge accomplishment.”
Ironically, the biggest renovation barrier in this project has been Margaret’s imagination. She knew exactly what she wanted, but it wasn’t easy to source things that sometimes didn’t even exist. As someone that tries to buy second-hand or vintage first, Margaret was pushed to look towards upcycling, DIY, and artisanal-made products, which is where her style and The Nopo’s unique community of artisans came together.
How to Approach Decor and Design, The Wright Way
Margaret has integrated many of our artisanal beauties in her home and boasts that her favorite ever candles came from our community. “If I am going to buy something new, shopping on The Nopo is exactly how I like to do it. I want to buy something meaningful, that supports artists, is one of a kind, and has a story.”
Margaret’s top tip for home improvements remains to avoid getting stuck in your own head and instead share the imaginative load. “Talk to as many people as possible about space planning and ideas before beginning a renovation.” Margaret also emphasizes the importance of taking your time to source what feels right and representative of your style, valuing quality, uniqueness, and artistry overfilling spaces and quick fixes.
A love of art shines through in Margaret’s photography work as well as her home. Behind a lens, she uncovers the artists in objects and the designers decorated within their interiors. Her photographic approach is similar to that of a home building because it’s all about taking your time. “When I’m shooting, I’m waiting on the light.” Rather than playing with or manipulating it too much, she chooses to honor light’s very changeable and fickle nature, making her photography unique and full of life.
True to form as an innate preserver and admirer of beautiful things and design, her Nopo curated collection is an array of unusual shapes and textures. Head over to her Featured Collection available from today and fill your home with a touch of Margaret’s imaginative and creative styling approach.