Design expert opens 'shabby chic, unique' store in Destin

Jessica Coker
Interior designer Risa Priestley hanging out in a nautical-themed room of her newest business, Risa's Interiors.

“If you love something, it doesn't really feel like a job.” That’s Risa Priestley’s motto, and the owner and namesake of Risa's Interiors is living it out at the newest retail and remodeling specialty shop opening in our neck of the woods.

Priestley, along with interior decorator Paige Whitten and remodeling specialist Jennifer Skillman, say they are excited to open the store for their grand opening on Friday and Saturday.

Priestley, originally from Cedartown, Ga., spent years vacationing in Destin, and when she moved here eight years ago her plan was to retire.

"That didn't happen, but I'm so excited to open the new location. This will be my fourth design store in 30 years, but it’s my first store in Florida," says Priestley. "My first business was a frame shop, my second business was silk trees and plants and my third was a molding distribution company, and I'm also an interior decorator."

Priestley first entered the wide world of design inspired by her mother who did window draperies and dabbled in interior decorating. Now she has a store of her own right here in Miramar Beach.

"Shabby chic, unique to the area," Priestley tells The Log, when asked about the style of her store. "We have a really casual, comfy feel here. Another thing that’s different about our store is that you can buy pieces right off the floor, it's nice that you don't have to wait.”

When you walk around Risa's Interiors retail store it's easy to get caught up in the "shabby chic" style of all of the furniture, artwork and accessories meticulously placed throughout the building, but that's only one part of their business model — the ladies of Risa's are also remodel specialists.

"It only takes us 7 to 10 days and we can have an entire condo remodeled from top-to-bottom. That includes everything from the lighting, artwork, bedding to the rugs," says Priestley of her team’s 'turn-key' quick-condo jobs. Priestley, Skillman and Whitten specialize in this kind of custom-condo project.

The team will roll out the proverbial red carpet and welcome guests in serious style into Risa's Interiors during the two-day grand opening celebration Friday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Risa's Interiors is located at 13370 Emerald Coast Pkwy. Miramar Beach (next to McCaskill's Jewelry) and they can be reached at 850-654-7472.