Inspirations: Interview with CoCo Design Partner, Gray Oak Studio


We found Gray Oak Studio on Instagram and have been loving their collaborative perspective on home decor.  Recently, the trio of designers shared with us their story, style, and own inspirations.  We hope you love this new, Massachusetts-based interior design company as much as we do!




CoCo: What inspired you to become a designer?  

Gray Oak: We were all settling into our own homes – Sonia built her home, Michele and Leah renovated their homes – and found ourselves constantly discussing tile and molding and paint colors. We’ve been friends for years and at some point over the last year we realized how similar minded (and passionate!) we are about home design. At first it was a running joke that we should start an interior design business and then, very organically, the dream became reality. Five months later, here we are!



CoCo: How would you describe the style of your work? 

Gray Oak: We don’t have one style. Between the three of us, we each favor a different style. Michele leans Farmhouse. Sonia leans Coastal. Leah leans Scandinavian. We take our different perspectives and work with clients to find the style that works for their lifestyle and feels like home.




CoCo: How important is art in your work? 

Gray Oak: Art is really important and people can be really afraid of it. It can be difficult and a bit intimidating to choose something you love that’s not commercial…from IKEA or HomeGoods. We try to help clients think of an area of their life that we can translate into art. Art is so personal that the most important thing is for the homeowner to love it and not worry about whether others do.




CoCo: How often do you recommend that a client commission a work of art, and why? 

Gray Oak: Often…if it’s in the clients means. And, we should take that back because commissioned art doesn’t always mean super expensive. What it really means is personal. Sometimes that’s hiring a well-established local artist, sometimes that’s finding a young art student whose ready for her first commissioned job or sometimes that’s finding a low key crafter at a local fair/festival. Can you tell we love local?


Gray Oak Studio-70sized.jpg


CoCo: Describe one of your favorite clients.  What made it fun and productive to work with them? 

Gray Oak: One of our favorite clients, and favorite projects, was a homeowner who inherently trusted us. Right from the start she was deferential to our opinion, even if it diverged from her instincts. She understood that considering design elements in a vacuum was unproductive and, instead, considering the big picture was tantamount. She had opinions, of course, but she bravely gave us the green light to run with our vision.