Davis grew up in Charlotte. She attended the NC School of the Arts the first three years it was open and graduated in Music in 1968, followed by a BA in Music and Philosophy from Swarthmore College and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Oregon. During 1973 she attended the University of Auckland and received the government's Queen Elizabeth II Prize in Architecture, a historical preservation award.
Early in her career, she worked for Carrboro's Designworks (with Dail Dixon, Giles Blunden, Knox Tate, Bob Giddings, and Walker Hagans) in Carrboro and was one of the founders of Space Builders. also in Carrboro. She has been Principal of LCDA Architecture since 1983 and President of Davis, Davis, and Davis Construction, owned with her dad and her brother. She was featured in a "Dreams and Creativity” story on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 in August 2005.