Arkansas Governor’s inaugural ball designer and Southern Glam originator Shayla Copas shares insights on using shocking color combinations.

Shayla Copas, the owner of Shayla Copas Interiors, has loved interior design her entire life.  Since opening her own design firm in 1997, she has become one of the South’s most well-known luxury designers.

Shayla Copas is an interior designer you want to get to know—whether you recognize her work from the covers of design publications, High Point Market,  The Design Network or, perhaps, the Arkansas governor’s mansion (in 2015, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Shayla to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Commission.)  Using color and luxurious patterns in her signature ‘Southern Glam’ style, Shayla does ‘southern’ like no one else. Take a look at her new book,  Four Seasons of Entertaining, for beautifully inspiring insights on seasonal decor.

One of Shayla’s designs for her show on The Design Network

At Vishion we are all about color. What a treat to have the pleasure of sitting down with a designer often referred to as a ‘color guru’ for some sweet tea and a chat about her design approach and use of color.

Shayla showcases one of her recent interior design projects.

You are an award-winning interior designer, one of High Point Market’s most sought after panelists and just released your first book. What can you tell us about yourself and your design style? 

I believe design should tell a personal story and create various levels of depth and interest. I am often referred to as a “color guru” because of my keen eye for combining color, pattern and texture to create a beautiful balance and unexpected interest for an event or interior design.
Photo from @shaylacopas

You just released your newest book Four Seasons of Entertaining, what inspired you to write it?

I have always been fond of every season of the year, particularly the planning and execution of themed seasonal parties with my personal twist of southern style. After decades of designing both residential and commercial spaces, my work has evolved to include designing and hosting balls and soirees. In honor of my fondest memories spent with friends and family during seasonal gatherings, I decided to write a book, Four Seasons of Entertaining, to share my favorite seasons and the delicious cuisine and tabletop designs that accompany each occasion.
Image from Four Seasons of Entertaining

What are your favorite color combinations?

I’ve never met a color that I didn’t like! When it comes to color combinations, I tend to find unexpected pairs between colors and patterns. The result? Shocking color combinations that make a lasting statement.
Shayla showcasing her elegant yet bold designs

What has been your favorite design project? 

I was honored to design and execute the planning for the Arkansas Inaugural Ball in 2015 and again in 2019 for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. These have become two of the most impactful and memorable design projects I have worked on.
Images from the Inaugural Ball

When designing a space for a client, do you ever run into color challenges?

I love all things bright and colorful, so sometimes it is not the challenge of finding the perfect color combination for a space but convincing a client to take a risk with a bold color palette.
Design by Shayla Copas

What color trends did you see at High Point Market this year?

Color is back! For some time the design world has been drawn to neutrals (particularly gray), so I was ecstatic to see color making a comeback! Greens took center stage (from rich emerald green to a softer hued teal), which pair beautifully with both neutrals and other rich colors.
Image sourced from @shaylacopas

How would you describe your design theme or vibe?

I like to describe my personal design aesthetic as ‘Southern Glam’ – a term I have coined to describe the overlapping use and appeal of designing with glitz, glamour, pattern and color.
Image sourced from @shaylacopas

Love this interview?

Follow Shayla Copas on Instagram and take a look at her new book, Four Seasons of Entertaining.

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