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the real raleigh :: settle monroe

By 7/27/2018

Name Settle Monroe
Occupation Creative writing teacher & mom

Who do you live with My husband, Jeff, our children: Jack (9), Duncan (7) and Hattie Mac (12 months) and our chocolate lab, Porter (14)
What’s your sign Sagittarius

Describe your style in 3 words Warm, relaxed and colorful

3 favorite things about your house 1) I love the split-level. It lives like a ranch, but we still have separation for bedrooms and a playroom. 2) The location - I can run out the door to walk the children to school or hop on the greenway for a walk or bike ride. 3) The deck my husband and father-in-law added on to the house. It is a great spot for gathering friends and family.

What do you collect Quotes, poems, books, song lyrics. I have scraps of paper with words and phrases taped on walls and mirrors and tucked all over the house. Oh, and boots - I also collect boots. 

You’ve done an amazing job at making this house feel perfect for your family - simple, classic with just the right amount of personality. What were some of your tricks? Start simple and add layers of spunk as you can.

Favorite places to score finds for your home My mom is an artist and an art collector. Her house feels like a revolving art gallery. I scored several of my favorite pieces in our home from her walls.

Favorite cocktail Old fashioned in the winter, gin and tonic in the summer
Necessary extravagance/simple indulgence Date nights/Hot Tamales and sour jelly beans

Favorite place to get coffee in Raleigh Yellow Dog
Fave restaurant Stanbury, Bhavana and Centro

Favorite piece of clothing right now Now and always - my grandmother’s yellow sundress that she wore all the time in the summer. Whenever I wear it, I feel like she is drinking a martini and waving her hands telling a story right next to me.  

What’s your newest music discovery Every year or so I rediscover the Staple Singers. Blaring “I’ll Take You There” in the kitchen makes even emptying the dishwasher bearable.

What would people be surprised to learn about you One of my first jobs involved being a cafeteria lady (hair net, latex gloves and all). I got a real thrill doling out extra chicken nuggets or piling on the mashed potatoes for kids when my boss wasn’t looking.

Favorite song right now “Good Kisser” by Lake Street Dive. Although, my family has banned it in our house because I have been singing it nonstop.
A book you've read more than once Jayber Crow, Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bridge to Terabithia

Your favorite 3 things in your house 1) A David Shingler painting of my boys in the woods 2) Needlepoints of Revolutionary War generals that my grandmother made ages ago 3) An old photograph of my great-grandmother, Harriet Settle Plyler, for whom my daughter and I are named

What do you bring with you everywhere you go? A hair rubber band. How do women wear their hair down all day long? I can’t last more than an hour or two. I’ve usually got a book and a journal with me also.
Favorite place to buy clothes The Real Real, Shopbop, Father and Sons, Dress, Ebay
Dream dinner party guests Wendell Berry (give me your insight to change the world), Tina Turner (give me your legs ) and both of my grandfathers (they were great conversationalists)

Fave scent Dove soap
Piece of Jewelry My grandmother’s emerald cocktail ring

Impromptu talent show - how do you win The last talent show I was in (5th grade), I performed an interpretative dance wearing bright orange Duck Head shorts and a unitard. I did not win. However, I still have a pretty mean “up and under” move on the basketball court. Only my dad and husband can defend it. Could I do that in a talent show?

Fool proof dinner party tip Light candles and have a playlist ready. I enjoy planning the music just as much as I enjoy planning the meal!

Best concert you've ever been to When I was ten years old, my favorite song was “Blowing in the Wind.” My dad took me to see Bob Dylan that year, on a school night. I’ll never forget it.
Favorite song to dance to TIna Turner’s version of “Proud Mary”   

What’s always in your refrigerator Siggis yogurt, Roots hummus and La Croix
Book you're reading right now The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

Netflix obsession Grace and Frankie
What can you not stop thinking about Traveling out west with my family in a camper.

What do you do first thing after you wake up I sneak downstairs like a ninja and pray I have time to read and write before the baby wakes.

Weekend Destination The woods of Scotland County, NC on the Lumbee River, where my family has been gathering for many generations
Fave museum North Carolina Museum of Art, my favorite in all the world
Two things you love about your job 1) Teaching is such a creative outlet for me. I get so much energy from planning lessons and dreaming up projects to engage the writing group. 2) I love my students! I teach middle school girls, mostly. They constantly challenge and inspire me (and keep me humble).

Where is the last place you traveled Pine Knoll Shores, NC
What did you bring back Seashells and a few extra pounds from too many Big Oak shrimp burgers

Song/album/station that always puts you in great mood Van Morrison’s “Moondance” album, Neil Young’s “Harvest” album and Reba McEntire’s song, “Fancy” (the absolute best)
Fave movie set design “The Shop Around the Corner” in “You’ve Got Mail” is my all-time favorite.


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  1. I love this series! I would love to hear more about favorite artists/galleries either in a separate feature or in The Real Raleigh posts. These women have fantastic taste! Thank you!

  2. This home is full of inspiration! I love this series.

  3. Such a wonderful interview with Settle and a peak into her beautiful home. Also love seeing her beautiful art!!

  4. I enjoy this series as I always love a look inside someone's home. I would love to see more diversity though - in age, ethnicity, gender, decorating style/taste.

  5. Thank you, Settle, for sharing your home and life. I never comment on blog posts; however, this one left me so inspired that I had to say something. I have so many ideas teeming in my head. I appreciate your opening your home to me.

  6. Love the warmth of this home! Just as welcoming as the people who live there! Great post.

  7. This house is like my ideal happy place! Where did the wicker animal stand come from... and is it a camel?! ❤️❤️

    1. Hey Alice— I bought the wicker camel (yes!) from Finds in Raleigh.

  8. Love, love this beautiful and inspiring home! Any chance I can get the source on the black kitchen chandelier?? Love the bold and clean look of it.

    1. Hey! I bought it from Crate and Barrel a few years ago!

  9. What a lovely home!! Do you mind if I ask if those are Eames chairs at your dining table? I'd love to put something similar in our beach house, but I don't want to splurge for the real deal since we'll be renting it for now... thanks so much!!

    1. Heck no they’re not Eames! They’re even better- inexpensive knock-offs from Amazon! Check Amazon. They’d be perfect in a beach house!

    2. Thank you, Settle! I love your home - it is perfect!

  10. About to pin a bunch of these images. They're all so perfectly my taste!

  11. What a beautiful, inviting home! This is what I want for my home, but I’m having a difficult time getting there. These photos are inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Settle, your home is amazing! Love your art! Would love to know who some of the artists are for the pieces in your home if you don't mind sharing beyond David Shingler.

  13. When can I move in? What a perfect homey-home.

  14. oh my goodness, Settle! How thrilled I was to see your lovely smiling face and home! I miss seeing you via JMates...I had no idea the degree to which you are living such a colorful vibrant artfull life! I mean, wow! I am inspired. Do you still have a blog? Hope our paths cross again in the future. xoxo julie, chapel hill

  15. Hello! Beautiful home! I love all the color! Would you happen to know the paint color of the twin bed in kids room?

  16. Love this! Do you know what color the twin bed is?