At a home in Ballantyne, With Faith and Design turned a master bath into a beautiful spa-like sanctuary.

Creating Sanctuaries

Design duo breathes new life into residential spaces

By Michelle Boudin | Photos courtesy of With Faith and Design

Samia Pope says interior designers Cindy Baxter and Marissa Watts somehow knew exactly what she needed. She was mentally and physically exhausted after a 15-month bout with cancer, and she hated looking at certain rooms in her home.

“Every time I was in my house, I was remembering, ‘There’s the couch I laid on for three hours when I couldn’t move,’ or ‘There’s where I was sitting when I got a call with some bad news.’ I needed a change, and they worked magic. They breathed new life into my space.”

Baxter and Watts have been working together as a design team since 2017. They call their business With Faith and Design.

Marissa Watts and Cindy Baxter

“We came up with that name because we want people to have faith in us as designers, and … because we like to pull in our faith and spirituality and bring the love and joy into someone’s home,” says Baxter.

The women describe their aesthetic as transitional, not traditional, but also coastal, relaxed and family-friendly. If that sounds familiar, there’s a reason. Baxter spent more than a decade as a buyer for Pottery Barn, even designing some furniture that is still in their catalog. She also worked as a national sales manager for Martha Stewart and a creative director for Williams-Sonoma.

Watts is originally from California. She studied interior design in college but worked as a teacher. She says, laughing, “I loved teaching, but I cared more about what my classroom looked like.”

When she and her husband moved east to the Ballantyne area, she was a stay-at-home mom who often painted furniture and redid pieces for friends. “I’ve always been very creative and had my hands in a lot of projects. Then I met Cindy, and we became friends. The timing was right to finally do something more with my design work. She’s taught me so much about the business. We really balance each other out.”

The women met when both were living in Ballantyne. Baxter now lives in Waxhaw, but Watts still lives in Ballantyne Meadows, and many of their clients are in Ballantyne and the surrounding communities.