North Carolina, by design

23 May

When Jeanne Mercer-Ballard was in second grade, her teacher asked the students in her class to write down on a piece of paper what they wanted to be when they grew up. Jeanne wrote:

INTERIOR DESIGNER

TEACHER

STUNT WOMAN

Well, OK, so she’s not a stunt woman.

Jeanne did grow up to be an interior design professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where she teaches classes in visual literacy and environmentally sensitive design. She’s also worked as an interior designer in Chicago, Kansas City, and Charlotte, N.C.

She lives with her husband, their two young children, and a dog in a passive solar home on 10 acres in rural Zionville, an area surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the proximity to the mountains and outdoor activities that attracted her to the area.

“I remember the first time I came to Boone,” she said. “I was here for the weekend, and it was a cool July night. I got out of the car and just started skipping. I loved the climate.”

Jeanne (’89 interior design) is originally from Nebraska City, Neb. She and her family enjoy hiking and just generally “being outside, getting muddy.”

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