Top interior design trends in 2020

For those who don’t know, I’ve grown up around homebuilding my whole life. My dad is a custom homebuilder in Winston-Salem with a company called Homes by Jonathan Lee. My mom, Alicia Lee, is also an interior decorator. They work as a team with my mom helping my dad’s clients select every detail of their custom home.

I grew up going to appointments with my mom and her clients, seeing them pick out accessories such as lighting, cabinets, and granite countertops. My favorite appointments were at 1502 Fabrics in downtown Winston-Salem because my brother and I would play hide and seek among the rows in the store that contained giant rolls of fabric. We loved getting samples cut of our favorite ones to take home. 1502 is no longer in downtown Winston, but has a location in High Point.

Recently I spoke with my mom, Alicia, to ask for her input about what she’s seen as the most popular interior design trends so far in 2020. As we talk through the different trends, you’ll see see pictures of the work she’s done with her clients on homes that were built by Homes by Jonathan Lee.

A style of home that has been around for some time, but still has a great amount of popularity is the modern farmhouse which was made popular by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Alicia said that the most popular look for the exterior of a home with this style has been using white siding with black windows.

For interior colors, Alicia has had clients choose to have white walls with white trim, while adding wood and brick features.

“Adding wood beams or brick accent walls brings a feeling of warmth to a home,” said Alicia. “Adding these touches gives the home a rustic feel. I like the use of the brick because it also gives a cool warehouse, loft vibe to a room.”

Alicia has also had clients add texture to walls with wallpapers such as grass cloth. Or they’ve added textured, modern walls or ceilings such as in the home below.

For lighting, most of Alicia’s clients have been selecting ones with a transitional style that have clean, straight lines.

“I haven’t had any clients recently who have picked out traditional style lighting,” said Alicia. “They’ve been picking transitional, contemporary lighting with clean lines.”

She said they also will pick light fixtures or a fan that’s contemporary, but has a twist that gives it an artistic flair such as the sputnik lights pictured next. This picture also features the trend of using black and white but adding the pop of gold with the lighting and hardware. For entertaining, it would be a chic detail to use gold-colored silverware to match.

Also, notice the handles on the cabinets featured above. The trend with hardware in homes with this style has been to pick ones that have a simple, modern look to go with the contemporary lighting. Alicia said currently her favorite lighting is by Currey and Company and Generation Lighting.

She’s also styled homes where Midcentury modern features have been blended into the use of the modern farmhouse trend such as with the lighting, mirrors, and floating vanities pictured below.

Alicia said to stay current with what trends are becoming popular, she pays attention to new collections and always attends the High Point Furniture Market. Also of course HGTV is on almost 24/7 in their home.

We would love to hear your comments on which of these you like most or what other styles you’d like to see more of this year. Leave a comment and let us know!

Jacqueline Lee, Realtor

I’m available anytime for all of your real estate related needs!


Obtaining a mortgage in a marketplace impacted by COVID-19

Watch my Q&A with Scott Mulder of Prosperity Home Mortgage. Scott answers questions about obtaining a mortgage right now with the effects of COVID-19 on the marketplace. He also offers helpful information about programs available right now for first-time homebuyers. Reach out to me and Scott with any questions after you watch the video! We are happy to assist with your home buying and selling needs during this time.

Jacqueline Lee,, 336-354-3090

Scott Mulder,, 919-819-5636

My favorite takeout spots

Remember not so long ago when we could eat out at restaurants? It’s now become a foreign concept in light of the current situation with COVID-19. I miss it so much, and I’m sure many other foodies do as well. Right now, the restaurants you love need all the support we are able to give them. There are some amazing options for takeout available, and I wanted to talk about my favorite places and the dishes I’ve enjoyed so that hopefully you will give them a try too.

To start out your day, stop by Layered Croissanterie for coffee and an inventive selection of mouth-watering croissants. Located down N. West Street, not far from Glenwood South, they have very creative flavors. My favorite is their Everything Danish which has whipped bacon creamed cheese and everything seasoning. If you’d rather have something sweet in the morning, they also have croissants with chocolate, s’mores, and various fruit flavors.

My favorite Everything Danish is featured here at the top.

For coffee and a pastry or full on breakfast, there’s also Morning Times on Hargett Street. My favorite is their Chai latte, which I get hot or cold depending on the weather and my mood. I went the other day and it brightened my morning to see one of their friendly staff members feed two huskies each a piece of bacon as a treat.

If you’ve been craving tacos, Lola’s Beach Bar at Five Points is my go-to. During normal times, eating at their outdoor patio is like having a beach day getaway. But for now, they are offering their amazing Mexican food to go. My favorite dishes are their Hang Loose steak tacos and the Gnarly Nachos, which they pile ridiculously high with every nacho topping you could possibly want, including their homemade Lola’s sauce. If you live in the Five Points area, they’ll even deliver your food on this golf cart they’ve decked out with a surfboard. 

You can also order their tacos in a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla

If you’re looking for delicious, authentic Chinese food then you can’t go wrong with Chuan. Located on New Bern Avenue close to downtown, this a spot you have to check out if you’re a big fan of Chinese food. The Schezuan Farmer’s Chili Chicken is my favorite dish so far. If you like seafood, they also offer a boneless whole fish and sizzling squid if you want to try something you wouldn’t normally find at your average Chinese takeout spot. 

For lunch, if you’re looking for a great sandwich, Sidestreet Cafe in Historic Oakwood is doing takeout as well. I had a corned beef reuben the other day with a sweet tea. While you’re over there, it’s very peaceful and relaxing to get outside and take a walk around the Oakwood neighborhood. There are so many beautiful homes and gardens to see.

If you’re missing a night out of upscale dining, Crawford and Son can offer that experience at home with their phenomenal takeout. I have to say, if you get takeout without getting their rolls then you didn’t do it right. These hot rolls, with a sprinkle of sea salt on top practically melt in your mouth and complete your dinner by having them to dunk in your extra sauce from dishes such as their Braised Beef Cheeks. The Whole Grain Risotto with fresh vegetables and truffle pecorino is amazing as well. This has hands down always been my favorite restaurant, and I’m so impressed with what they’ve done with their takeout. I can’t wait to be back eating in their restaurant, but for now this will do. And there’s no judgement at all if you eat all six rolls in one sitting…as I did this myself the other night. I guess that’s one joy of eating at home, because only my cat was around to witness it!

My takeout from the other night. I got their vegetable risotto with the homemade rolls that come with hickory butter. Good luck just eating one.

Craving Italian food for dinner? Try Vic’s Italian in City Market. Their pasta with vodka sauce is rich and delicious. I recommend using their garlic knots to dip in your extra pasta sauce. They are currently also offering take home pizza kits so you can make your own pizza at home, which would make for a fun quarantined activity for now. They also have a Lake Boone location if you are closer to that one.

Vic’s take away pizza kit

For dessert, I’ve been obsessed with Two Rooster’s Ice Cream. This is perfect for right now, because they offer pints to take home. They have signature flavors that are always available such as coffee bourbon, roasted strawberry and honey, blackberry hibiscus and many more. They also have featured flavors that are around for a limited time. My favorite featured flavor right now is Peanut Butter Fluff and Trail Mix, which I am currently on my second pint of.

Peanut Butter Fluff and Trail Mix ice cream. This is a limited flavor though so
you better get there while they still have it!

I’ve got one more dessert I had to mention. Barcelona Wine Bar located in the Warehouse District downtown has an olive oil cake that’s to die for. Wondering what olive oil cake is? They take a fresh pound cake, drizzle olive oil on it which soaks into the cake, and top it with a sprinkle of sea salt. Barcelona currently has single slices available to go or you can even purchase a whole cake. It doubles as a delicious dessert, or as breakfast with your coffee. Barcelona also has a full take home menu of tapas, so it’s great for both dinner and dessert to go.

Barcelona’s Olive Oil Cake

I hope you’ve enjoyed my rundown of my favorite takeout spots in Raleigh right now. I’d love to hear what takeout other people have enjoyed. Let’s keep supporting our favorite restaurants, one roll (or six) or pint of ice cream (or two) at a time! And since we just had Mother’s Day, I’ve included a picture of my mom and I eating a Crawford and Son for my birthday in February to reminisce on the days of actually eating in restaurants.

Jacqueline Lee, Realtor

Please reach out anytime with questions about real estate or Raleigh in general!


A little about me and why I love this resilient city

As a North Carolina native, I’ve been living in Raleigh for about eight years ever since I moved from Winston-Salem to attend N.C. State University. Raleigh has grown so much since I first came here and I’ve fallen in love with this city.

Right now we live in a strange, unprecedented time with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been incredible to see how people and businesses in the Raleigh community have adapted to this major disruption to their lives. So much has changed, including how we are able to interact with each other. It’s all been virtual, with countless Zoom and FaceTime calls. It’s now the norm to pickup our groceries and takeout curbside, and to wear a mask when going out.

As a realtor in Raleigh, the way we do business in our industry is rapidly evolving. We are going virtual, offering video tours of homes and conducting online consultations. There is still a great demand for homes, and we are working our hardest to be innovative and adapt to meet the needs of homebuyers and sellers.

During more normal times, the Raleigh I know is a place where you can go out to dinner or to an event and see an entire group of new people yet still see a familiar face or two. It’s a city that always feels like home, and at the same time feels exciting and different with there always being something new to do.

For those who know me, you’re well aware that most of my conversations revolve around talking about a new Raleigh restaurant or a recent event that happened. Raleigh is host to so many local restaurants and amazing small businesses my friends and I frequent. There’s a growing food scene that’s been attracting celebrity chefs with innovative, upscale cuisine. But at the same time, there are places with southern classics with the best mac and cheese and fried chicken around.

Any day of the week you could find an event to go to, whether that’s a local band playing, an art show, or a festival downtown which is just naming a few things going on. There’s always something new to do.

There are also great places to get outdoors and most of these activities are totally free. We have beautiful parks and lakes like Lake Johnson and the Umstead State Park. You could spend a day at the N.C. Art Museum, then go for a walk on the Greenway right nearby.

It’s going to take time, but we will get back to being able to enjoy life in Raleigh with all these activities and events.

With my career in real estate, I’m passionate about giving home buyers and sellers the best experience possible. And right now, I’m able to start a blog to help people get to know the Raleigh I’ve come to love virtually by reaching out to readers online.

I hope that from my posts, Raleigh residents will discover new areas to explore or consider a new neighborhood to move to. I also want to tell people who are moving to Raleigh or thinking about moving here about what this city has to offer and show how resilient we are in the face of such uncertain times.

I’m available anytime if you have questions about real estate or Raleigh in general. Email me at or reach out via call or text at 336-354-3090.

Jacqueline Lee, Realtor