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Carrie Robinson wasn’t alive during the 1970s. But the interior designer is hearkening back to the Southern rock era in her work on the new Mercer Music at Capricorn.

“We are definitely focusing on the soul of the project, which is this very kind of ’70s vibe,” said Robinson, who is working on Capricorn’s interior design with architect Bob Brown. “So we decided to take the historic look and continue that throughout.”

The original Capricorn Sound Studios defined the Southern rock genre of the 1970s, birthing legends such as the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop and many others. 

Building on that legacy, Mercer Music at Capricorn will reopen in Macon, Georgia, in December as a multi-purpose, 20,000-square-foot complex including an active recording studio, music incubator, museum, and office and co-working space.

Recapturing the interior design of the studio’s heyday wasn’t easy. 

“Unfortunately, there was not a lot of original material or detail left within the building, so we are just kind of having to interpret from there and figure out a new ’70s look to go into the space,” Robinson said.

To do that, she traveled with a Mercer University team to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and FAME Recording Studios in Alabama. Both studios now have museum spaces within them, and FAME is still an active recording studio.

“We were able to see some similar spaces from that era and what other people had done — how they were interpreting their museum spaces,” Robinson said. “And then we just took it from there and did research on just a general kind of ’70s feel from that time.” 

The result? A lot of browns and warm tones with a little gold and burgundy.

“There is going to be a rusty orange, which does give a nod to Mercer as well, which we wanted to do,” Robinson said. “There’s going to be a lot of velvets throughout the space. A lot of leathers for durability.”

At least one original element will remain — a curtain panel in the production room for the studio is being taken down and cleaned.

Robinson, principal designer and owner of Macon-based Robinson Home, contacted a fabric conservator in Atlanta about the job. His response surprised her.

“After talking with him about the project and telling him what we needed done, he said, ‘That sounds great. Gregg Allman was a great friend of mine, and I used to spend time in that studio, so I’m very familiar with this curtain,’ ” she recalled.

One part of the project will have a more contemporary design. The co-working area will be up-to-date and modern, “which will be very nice for the people renting the office space,” Robinson said.

Bringing the old Capricorn Studios back to life is significant for Macon, she said. 

“The goal is that it’s going to bring people back in to record music in Macon,” Robinson said. “For a long time, Macon was known for that. And for many years, it has not been.

“So hopefully this will bring that back.”