Our Summit alums live in some pretty fantastic places across the South (and beyond!), from small towns to large cities. And how they choose to spend their free time in these places no doubt inspires their creative efforts. One alum for whom this is certainly true is Louise Johnson, the 2016 Traditional Home Top 50 “New Trads” interior designer at Louise Johnson Interiors and artist at Louise Johnson Art in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Louise’s love of art, interiors and family are evident on her IG feed, so it’s no surprise that her favorite picks in Spartanburg reflect these interests. Take a look at the photos she shared with us, as well as some of her local favorites, in this mini guide to Spartanburg.
Spartanburg is a very dynamic community. Our downtown is the hub that connects all residents with restaurants, night life and the arts. With over 100 multifamily units under construction, South Carolina’s first AC Hotel nearing completion and additional restaurants and retail spaces, Spartanburg is growing rapidly!
What is your favorite place to shop?
Spruce is my favorite new store for gifts, artwork, and one-of-a-kind accents and accessories. Mary Stewart Loring opened Spruce this spring, and it has quickly become a go-to place for designers and consumers alike. Parker Kennedy Living, Parris and Paul, Blend Collections, Page Davis Studio, Lucy Boland and Louise Johnson Interiors are just a few of the talented vendors represented at Spruce.
Petit Armoire is a great shop for women, children, and gifts!
For Antiques, you don’t want to miss Alan Christopher Antiques!
Where do you love to eat?
I have several favorite restaurants in town. When I need to unwind with my friends, I head to Willy Taco for their mouth-watering margaritas and queso dip. The Standard, is quickly becoming a local favorite. It recently opened in Drayton Mills, a historic textile mill that has been developed for both residential and commercial uses. When I’m craving authentic Italian cuisine, I head to Renato In Centro downtown.
What are your favorite cultural and outdoor activities?
Our Chapman Cultural Center is out of this world, and there are countless cultural events taking place here throughout the year. Last year, The City of Spartanburg was selected as one of four cities to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light brought nine temporary art installations to public spaces in ten neighborhoods throughout the city. It was a beautiful event that received great recognition.
With three active and athletic boys, we are constantly outdoors. Aside from sports, we love to explore local hiking spots like Glendale Shoals Preserve, located on the Lawson’s Fort Creek. We also love taking advantage of the many activities downtown like The Criterium, “Spartanburg’s Fastest Night”. Cyclists from all over the world race around the half-mile downtown course and it is quite exciting!
For more design, interior and art inspiration, follow Louise on Instagram!
photos: Marian Ashley Photography and Lucy Boland for Louise Johnson Interiors