Seller Story: Nashville, TN

I’ve probably wanted to be an interior designer since I was little, but when I was young we lived in a small town, and I don’t even think I knew it could be a job. There were no antique stores; no one hired designers to decorate their houses. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my mother was passionate about decorating. That’s a big part of why I have such a respect for it—I loved our house growing up. For my mom, it was about creating environments rather than falling in love with certain pieces of furniture—and that’s how I design today. It’s more about the feeling than about the pieces.

I’ve had my business about 10 years, and I am probably more client-led than a lot of designers. Nowadays, with Pinterest and everything else online, people know what’s out there. I like to stay true to what they want, but in a unique way so it doesn’t look like every other house on Pinterest.

I like to bring in the unexpected—abstract art next to antique furniture. Often people aren’t confident to mix styles and textures on their own, but they love it when they have someone to guide them through the process. In this sale you’ll see a few old Oushak rugs, for example. We have a lot of big homes in Nashville, but even in large family or living rooms I use those layered over seagrass and sisal all the time. Most people can’t buy a $30,000 antique carpet to fill a whole room, but they can buy a smaller one and layer it and get the same look. And I love the emerald Port 68 lamps. Green is not that common in interiors. Often it’s juvenile, but this is a really sophisticated color.

Seller Story: Nashville, TN
Seller Story: Nashville, TN
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Seller Story: Nashville, TN

What are some design trends you love, and others you’re tired of seeing?

I will always love a white kitchen and white marble. That’s a huge trend, but it’s such a classic that it’s also timeless. Brass hardware has also really taken off, and I love that too. Though I tend to mix metals—you’re not limited to just one anymore. One I’ve seen too much of is reclaimed wood. It does add patina, but one side or dining table is enough. When it’s everywhere it feels like a theme.

Let’s say I moved into a new house. Where would you tell me to start?

With a seagrass rug and light neutral upholstery with a shape that appeals to you. And then I would encourage you to get some beautiful ceiling fixtures and lamps you love. Lighting is a good place to splurge because it can be a little more whimsical or fragile. It’s generally up high and doesn’t get damaged or dirty. And with those three elements, you would already have a pretty house. Then start adding in some art. It doesn’t have to be gallery investment quality, and it doesn’t have to match anything—you just have to love it.

Nashville is exploding on the design front. You have a show on the DIY network, and HGTV has a couple of shows there too. What’s going on?

It’s really booming. I read somewhere that 30 people per day are moving here. I love the city and the surrounding area. Downtown Franklin is 30 minutes away, and that’s a fun place to spend an afternoon, with clothing shops and furniture stores. Then we have two big antique malls, GasLamp and GasLamp Too, with tons of inventory and vendors. And a flea market every month that I go to a lot. So there’s lots of places to keep a designer busy!

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