Alys Stephens Protzman, LEED, Allied Member ASID

Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, I was encouraged by my mother and grandmother, two women who embody southern grace, to explore my creative interests. That involved painting, gardening, and the occasional Sunday afternoon bedroom makeover.
Time with my Father could mean hikes in the Alabama woods, but it was my father’s passion for travel that frequently took the whole family farther afield. My Dad encouraged my curiosity for other cultures, and this curiosity for others lives lies at the center of my design approach today.

I like to work with the client to create a sense of belonging, flow, and function, in spaces that reflect the people who live in them.

After going to the University of Virginia, I moved to New York City for five years. My time in New York played a major role in making me the person I am today. I graduated from The New York School of Interior Design with high honors, went on to intern with Bunny Williams. Then I joined Robert A. M. Stern Architects and worked on high-end residential and institutional projects.

Craving some stars and moonlight I left New York to return to the beaches of the Gulf Coast of Florida — where I spent summers as a kid — to take a position as Style Director at Alys Beach, a traditional neighborhood development by Duany Plater-Zyberk. My experience at Alys Beach (named for my grandmother and namesake) deepened my understanding of effective high-level design. Some of the best spaces I know seem very simple and yet the impact on those who live in them can be quite profound.

I started Alys Design in 2010 after moving to Chapel Hill with my husband. I have enjoyed working with an incredibly talented group of tradespeople, builders and architects. I have been fortunate to design interiors for amazing families who have invited me into their lives and homes to create stylish, functional and sustainable spaces for them to live and work. For this experience I am grateful.

It is now time for me to move onto the next chapter. I will not be taking any new projects after October 2023.

Please check back for updates!

With gratitude, Alys