DIY with Morgan-Palmetto Highway

Episode 64: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson. Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Morgan, a designer, architect and craftswoman with a master’s degree in architecture. She has been working in the field for 4 years and is fascinated by how things get built. A lover of patterns and textures, but appreciates balance and clean lines, Morgan runs Palmetto Highway and is an Architect turned DIYer.

Ready? Let’s go…


•  I was lacking that passion that I had in school, the excitement to design, and so I started just kind of doing some of my own interior styling stuff with my roommate, and we were just posting on Instagram and we thought it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun. And then work got busy again, so of course that kind of petered out. But when I noticed layoffs were impending, I started exploring the idea of doing some freelance work or renovating my boyfriend’s house at the time, and that’s where I am now, I got laid off and I decided to go in, full steam ahead and renovate my house and teach people what I know about architecture. (04:12)

•  Home Depot was one of the main sponsors at the Haven conference, and they have a competition every year called Orange tank, and they basically put out a pitch like, Submit your ideas for this type of project, and there are different categories for different monetary levels, like we will give you money to complete this project sort of thing. And so I entered that and I didn’t win… That’s okay. The connections that I made, it was virtual this year, because it was 2020, but I still managed to make some connections. I kept up with the people that were in my emails and I was like, If I’m going to make this thing work, I really need to get into it… And so every couple of months, I would just sort of email a couple of the people that I had connected with, and I eventually got my first paid collaboration with the Home Depot spring of that next year. So, less than a year later. Now, it wasn’t enough to quit my job, but It was certainly enough to be like, Wow, I can do this. (11:06)

•  Well, I had to kind of figure out what my priorities were… Yeah, I got to this point where I was like, I was told I needed a blog, I was told I needed a Pinterest and a Twitter and a Facebook, and it was just sort of like, Okay, well, if that’s what I need. And so I just sort of started all of these things, I don’t keep the blog up regularly, I’m not posting every Tuesday and Thursdays, but I have content over there and for my bigger projects, like I had a lot of questions about this coffered ceiling that I did in my entry and an epoxy table top or a counter top that I worked on. Now those… I got a ton, a ton of questions about, How did you do this? I love how you did that. Can you please talk about more about how you connected these together, and so I will then turn something like that into a blog post because that is a great way to share more details and more information that people can always refer back to. But I don’t keep it up, because at a certain point, you’re just running yourself too thin, you’ve got to put your energy where you are either most passionate about, or where you can see the most return on your efforts, and blocking is a long-term game. (20:08)

•  At some point, I think one of my big goals is to be able to purchase houses, and I don’t necessarily want to be a flipper because I feel like flippers have a really negative connotation; cheap, quickly done. But I see so many poorly done jobs that I want to be the one that actually does it right. Yeah, absolutely, girl! I want to be the one that gets in there and even if it costs a little bit more, I want it to actually be good for whoever ends up purchasing it, or if I decided to rent it or whatever. It’s almost like I want to improve the name of the industry, change the reputation. And I don’t want these cheap flippers, the cheapest materials, things not being done correctly, I want to do it right, because I want people to have nice spaces to live in. (36:55)


Morgan at Palmetto Highway is an Architect turned DIYer. She was laid off in 2020 and used that as an opportunity to start her design business and renovate her home. With her experience in architecture, she is attempting to bring her home’s design vision to life and to teach her audience everything she knows so that they can do the same. She is a stubborn optimist determined to turn her current home into her dream home on a budget.


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