Sanctuary Design Co. — WHO WE ARE

We celebrate January 2017 as the official opening date for Sanctuary Design Co., although owner/designer Darlene Tuttle had been creating interiors long before that date. Since 2017, we have expanded our services beyond residential/vacation home interior design to commercial work with retailers, real estate agents and developers.

January 2018, SDC grew into a furniture and home accessories retailer. We work with some of the best furniture manufacturers in the world. We choose to partner with companies that value the importance of quality craftsmanship and solid wood construction. These custom pieces are made to last, many by artisans in the USA. By purchasing directly from the manufacturer, we offer our clients competitive pricing and quality furnishings that will stand the test of time.

Our client list has grown. Our vision has expanded, but our focus remains the same. Plain and simple, our passion is design. We approach each project with one goal in mind, delivering a design our CLIENTS LOVE.


In 2019, we relocated the business to Elizabeth City, NC. Our passion for the waterfront area and the potential we see for a rebirth of the downtown, brought us home. Our goal is to help local businesses and homeowners refurbish and rejuvenate our beautiful historic district. Develop locally, shop locally, give back locally, that is the heart of Sanctuary Design Co.

2017 Parade of Homes winner providing assistance to designer/builder Salt House Designs

2018 Parade of Homes winner People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice- Caribbean Queen Sea Thru Construction


Owner, Darlene Tuttle

Darlene Tuttle — Owner/Designer

My passion for all things creative led me to start this company. After working in retail and freelancing in furniture and interior design, starting my own business was a natural next step. It’s my belief that getting to know my clients and creating a personal relationship with them always results in better design. I’m not looking to deliver my design. I want to help you create your own space that feels like your sanctuary. 

Although the client’s personality always leads the design, there are a few design philosophies I adhere to. First and foremost, quality is king. Buy the best you can afford and it will last forever! Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, it brings a room to life. Neutral spaces with pops of color serve you well. Pillows and accessories are easy updates when you are ready for a change. There must be at least one piece in a room that elicits the response, “OMG, where did you get this!” 

Michelle Griffith — Designer

Michelle has spent the last 20 years developing a local following and is our go to designer for all things Southern Coastal. From residential to high end rental properties, Michelle’s deep southern roots shines through in her design aesthetic.

Michelle Griffeth
Laura Sageser

Laura Sageser  Designer

Bachelor’s Degree in Design from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Laura’s background in retail design transitioned into a passion for commercial design work. Her attention to detail makes her a contractor favorite for new construction builds as well.

Paige Russell – Design Assistant

Emilee Tolbert

Emilee Tolbert — Project Coordinator/Design Assistant/Organizer

As Project Coordinator, Emilee manages all aspects of the project from contractor collaboration to placing orders to furniture delivery and everything in between. Her attention to detail and her organizational skills assures the project stays on track with minimal disruption of progress. 

As design assistant, she provides another opportunity for collaboration that adds to the quality of the services we provide. 

Her background in the retail furniture industry has proven invaluable to Sanctuary Design Co. The knowledge and relationships she has cultivated in the industry allows us access to some of the biggest names in the furniture business.