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Design Star

Kate Abney | March 28, 2013 | Articles National

With a mom like interior designer Melanie Turner and a stepdad like home-builder Stan Benecki, this Buckhead-born-and-bred girl has a lot to live up to. “I grew up my whole life around design,” Davis says. “For fun, we would go look at houses on weekends... all the while, I was figuring out my own sense of style.”

Her sophomore year at Auburn University, she scored a coveted internship with interior designer Amanda Nisbet in New York—where she worked on a show house for Traditional Home. The next year she studied abroad in Ariccia, Italy, and won Moattar, Ltd.’s first rug-design competition. As a senior, Davis zeroed in on L.A.’s KNA Design, a high-end residential and hospitality firm. After completing an internship there, she decided to go after an open 9-to-5 position at the company. At the end of the interview, she made her intentions clear: “My mother always told me to ask for the job at the end of an interview. Because that’s why you’re there—you want the job!” Just before graduation that spring, she got the good news. For two years, Davis lent her talents to major projects at KNA—Caesars Palace, Disney World and even a Bel Air home in Eddie Murphy’s ’hood.

Ultimately realizing her passion for residential design, Davis moved back late last year, more excited than ever to discover ATL’s edgy environs. She has a laundry list of new restaurants to try, but even bigger goals before she turns 30: “I want to design a line of furniture and a line of textiles, and be published,” she says. And though she’s superstoked about being back in Buckhead, this globetrotter also has her sights on Paris: “There is art, design, fashion, food and culture everywhere [there],” she says. “I’m already taking French lessons!”


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