BY MORGAN WISTED PHOTOS BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN, KRISTEN MAYFIELD & EMILY MINTON REDFIELD
With so much talent in the entertainment industry, it’s not surprising that creative individuals in other arenas flock to our city for inspiration and sharing expressions and ideas with like-minded hopefuls. We’ve found three businesses based around a love for art that just happen to be adding a bit of color and culture to homes, hotels, and stores around town.
JAMIE BECKWITH COLLECTION, WOOD WHISPERER
Having spent the early part of her life singing, dancing, and traveling the world, it's no surprise that Jamie Beckwith found herself pursuing her creative interests as a career. She spent her time designing interiors, devouring art books, and updating family and friends' homes. After her initial portfolio caught the attention of tastemakers and soon-to-be clients, like Nicole Kidman and Carrie Underwood, she opened the doors to her interior design firm, Beckwith Interiors. Within a few years, Beckwith decided to follow another dream, also launching a wood flooring and treatment collection, and from here the business has soared.
It was an idea sparked by a child's playroom floor that projected Beckwith to becoming a master craftsman responsible for some of the most astounding wood floors and vertical displays available. Beckwith envisioned a jigsaw patterned wooden floor for the playroom, but quickly realized it would not be as simple as ordering the pieces from a catalog or showroom. Not taking no for an answer, Beckwith began finding the right people and suitable materials to make her vision come to life. When it was complete, she had a precisioncrafted product that would stand the test of time, and additionally, a realization that she may be on to something.
Fast forward to today, and the Jamie Beckwith Collection is now the premier destination for luxury wood treatments. Each product is specifically engineered not to warp, made with the finest materials available, and comes handfinished for quality you have to see to believe. Beckwith's design background and eternal love for the process gives her collection soul, "we create designs that resound with other designers," she affirms, "if I could keep coming up with designs and have new lines coming out all the time, I would!"
Sharing exclusive details on her next line to be released, Beckwith noted, “we have six new designs for our next launch reminiscent of Italian travel and midcentury modern living. Expect lots of circles, ovals, and curves, which is something we are not used to with wood.” Additionally, she teased at a line with Currey & Company for Spring 2021 working with lighting, showcasing a different dimension of her multi-faceted skillset.
For now, Beckwith suggests browsing her current favorite—the Etch Collection, "I love the Etch products. They offer wonderful texture for any wall. There are so many different looks you can get from those patterns!" No matter what design, line, or product you choose, Beckwith puts it best, “if you love it, you can't go wrong.”
JULIA KIPLING, WHIMSICAL WATERCOLORISTS
If the saying, "if the shoe fits, buy it in every color” rings true, then similarly, “if the art piece is spectacular, turn it into a wallcovering and hang it on every wall in your home.” At least that's the translation for watercolorist, Katherine Stratton Miller. In the midst of having extraordinary success with her "Otomi" line of work—crisp, fanciful pieces inspired by her farm life childhood and love of traditional Mexican embroidery—Miller met Rowanne McKnight. The two met through the Nashville Artist Collective, where McKnight serves as the director. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Miller’s work drove the duo to start brainstorming, "wouldn't this be incredible over full walls?" With visions of colorways and large-scale interpretations, the two set to make their dream a reality with the creation of Julia Kipling.
If that sounds like the most seamless, straightforward start-up plan of all time- that's because it was! “We really were just having an average, everyday conversation about art and then it was like, well let’s do it,” recalls the smiling duo. Even when faced with the saturated wallpaper sector, the pair kept persisting—reminding themselves that there will always be choices for art. If everyone stopped creating because there are already centuries worth of work in place, there would be no modern artists.
Julia Kipling's creations also grant more people access to Miller's color rich art. Miller notes, "I've always been interested in these patterns and textiles and embroidery, but to take my works and have them turned from a precious piece of art to something that's not as precious, something that's a little more life proof is special. It's special to be able to reproduce my paintings for more people to experience." Fans of Miller's will be thrilled to know that a growing list of wallcoverings- including McKnight’s favorite, a rose color patterning printed on gold flash paper-are being installed in several Nashville businesses this year, with a foray into textiles also in the works!
The whimsical prints in four different color collections transport you to a place where the drinks are cold, and the worries are few (well, maybe that's just me). The point is, the prints are transportive, and we all deserve a slice of paradise now and then – even if it's only during a powder room visit. "Pick what you love and go with it," says Miller with passion, "it's a straightforward process to install and can always be removed. What's important is bringing the joy of artistic expression to your walls. You don't have to do an entire wall. Start with a ceiling or bar and then take it from there!" Because, as the duo so poignantly put, "Your life isn't beige, and your walls shouldn't be either."
ANGELA SIMEONE, COLOR CREATOR
An intricate weaving and layering of texture and color define Angela Simeone's work as an abstract painter and reflects years of honing her process. When asked about her artistic intentions, Simeone explained, "I want my work to generate a frequency—a feeling that hits the viewer and produces a good amount of questions and musings. I hope my art creates a level of wonder and a space to be in that moment.” Hailing from an artisan heritage and intensely creative roots, it's no surprise Simeone followed suit with a highly lauded art career as a painter and pattern designer.
Simeone's canvased work emits intense color vibrations, bombastic in scale and color wattage. Her process begins with an un-stretched canvas, which is akin to painting on a roll of fabric. This leaves an openness to her creations in terms of scale and dimension. "I can create to achieve what I am feeling at the moment and apply techniques that a stretched canvas doesn't afford." This process also allows her work to be rolled and shipped in a mailing tube for easy, damage-free transport and minimal costs to her clients. "I typically ship directly to their local framer for stretching. Meeting and working with tradespeople and framers who are local to the client is a really enjoyable way to finish a project.”
Simeone’s work has received national press been appearing in House Beautiful, Domino, and Luxe magazine. Her expressive abstracts have translated through a partnership with Minted.com in everything from duffle bags to stationary and wrapping paper. Angela’s work can be found around Nashville and nationwide in well-appointed public spaces, including Etch Restaurant, Grand Hyatt Nashville, Blackberry Mountain Resort, the Sara Cannon Clinics, and the newly opened Jasper's restaurant on West End.
This national recognition is well-earned and Simeone's latest line of wallpapers is likely to turn her into a household name. Made by hand and then translated to wall covering, clients can experience her designs in a whole new way. “I’ve created a wallpaper line with a point of view—it is very current while remaining classic. I combine rich, earth tones and organic colors with graffiti and block print like markings producing effects and patterns that you won’t find elsewhere.” Her line is manufactured and printed in the USA, completely PFC, VOC, and Vinyl-free (no plastic) and on paper of 10% recycled base paper from consumer waste. This eponymous wallpaper line is quickly becoming the next big thing. The collection houses over 50 different patterns and attracts traditional to minimalist clients and interior designers alike and can be ordered from her website AngelaSimeone.com or Chairish.com.