Charles is a recognized authority on fine furniture, and is the past chairman of Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library, High Point, N.C. Sutton has written, taught and lectured throughout the U.S. on furniture history, design, period styles, construction and care. Charles was a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Appalachian State University teaching classes on the history of furniture design.
Charles and Martha Sutton founded Sutton Fine Furniture which was responsible for fine reproductions licensed by The British National Trust, The Smithsonian Institute, The Henry Ford Museum and The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Sutton twice won the coveted, industry-wide Daphne Award for the best reproduction furniture made in America. In 2012, Charles and Martha established SIDE, The Sutton Initiative for Design Education at Salem College, Winston-Salem NC, featuring a chair library of 50 iconic chairs that are used to teach design and construction to students throughout North Carolina colleges and universities.
Sutton has served as chairman of the board for North Carolina Museum of Art and is a member of the American Society of Furniture Designers, The Furniture Society, American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, and The National Advisory Board for Reynolda House Museum.