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Interiors LAYERS OF LIGHT THE MIX INTERIORS AND CIRCA LIGHTING COLLABORATE ON SPACES THAT FUNCTION IN MANY WAYS, MEETING THE NEED FOR HOMES TO BE A PLACE WE WORK, ENTERTAIN, RELAX AND REMINISCE.
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PHOTO: PAIGE RUMORE PHOTOGRAPHY
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PHOTO: REED BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY, CONTRACTOR: CASTLE HOMES
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F O L L OW T H E
AT @ n a s h v i l l e . d e s i g n . c o l l e c t i v e
kay, 2021. I guess it was a decent effort, but let’s try that one again.
Sure, it was … different from 2020, but last year certainly had its own challenges. The design and development industries were as busy as ever, but shipping, staffing and material shortages made everything take longer. In many ways, that helped us appreciate just about everything more than we had in the past.
And, in what can only be considered a positive aspect, all of that waiting made us pull back the curtain and think about all of the people and livelihoods that are behind just about everything we have — and everything we want. Knowledge is power, and having a deeper insight into the development of design has bred patience and strengthened our community. Those same issues people in the design industry faced translated into the paper industry, as well, and made me, even with my decades of experience in print, develop a deeper appreciation for what goes into people picking up a copy of Nashville Interiors. It is so much more than photo shoots and interviews and advertising sales and press checks. With multiple rounds of price increases on all paper grades throughout 2021, I was forced to learn more about my own industry, to dig deeper into mill closures and trucker shortages and manufacturing delays. What I learned has only strengthened my commitment to the print industry and to all of the people I never knew I depended on to make Nashville Interiors happen. So, it’s time for a reset. In 2022, I will have owned the magazine for five years. It’s time for a few changes — a new look, new products and new ways to connect with us and each other that go beyond the final print product, which will remain glossy, stunning and committed to telling the stories of the people and spaces that inspire. It’s never too late to grow, to make changes and to reach for new goals. Let’s all see what we can do in 2022.
—Hollie Deese Publisher 8 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | FALL 2021/WINTER 2022
Visit our new showroom in Franklin 256 Seaboard Lane, Ste. C-103, Franklin, TN 37067 Open Tuesday - Saturday | www.NashvilleLamps.com
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FALL 2021/WINTER 2022 PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR Hollie Deese EDITORIAL DESIGN Ginger Katz ADVERTISING DESIGN Mary Grace Gauerke Tracey Starck COPY EDITOR Jennifer Goode Stevens, GoodeEdits.com SALES Hollie Deese Pam Harper CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brian Bruzewski William DeShazer Allison Elefante Sarah B. Gilliam CONTRIBUTING WRITER Jim Myers
Nashville Interiors is the premier building and design guide of Middle Tennessee. We feature regional master artisans, designers, architects, builders, artists, collectors and retailers, and we bring you news of the region’s trends in building, design and development. We also showcase the inspiring spaces of our area’s eclectic group of residents. Nashville Interiors is published by Deese Media LLC. It has continuously been in print since 2000.
Visit the online edition of Nashville Interiors regularly for fresh content between issues, profiles of designers, businesses, artists and architects, extra photos we couldn’t fit in print, style tips, trend pieces and information about events, art openings and other design events around Middle Tennessee.
All editorial and photographic content is the sole property of Deese Media LLC and is not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of the publisher. Nashville Interiors is available at select locations and events. For information on where to find a copy, receive an advertising rate sheet, request content reprints, suggest story ideas or notify with website or social media issues, contact Hollie Deese, firstname.lastname@example.org
ON THE COVER
When designing a family home in Green Hills, Scarlett James of The Mix Interiors worked with Gena Dorminey from the Circa Lighting Showroom at the Nashville Design Collective to make sure the right lighting was layered throughout each room. This ensured each space could function in many ways, fulfilling the many needs we put on our homes these days.
Follow Nashville Interiors on social media for updates when new content is posted online and for behind-thescenes looks into photo shoots and insider events.
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Nashville CONTRIBUTORS Interiors ALLISON ELEFANTE, RUBY AND PEACH PHOTO
Allison Elefante is a Nashville-based interior and architectural photographer, and her company, Ruby and Peach Photo, has become a mainstay with local designers, builders and artists in the industry. She is classically trained in photography and graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Allison developed a passion for interiors over the past several years and is genuinely excited when she walks into the rooms of her clients. Her work is widely published on social media and in local magazines, and this marks her third cover with Nashville Interiors. When she isn’t behind the camera, she enjoys time at home with her husband and three young children.
William Deshazer is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Nashville. He spent 12 years working at various newspapers, including Memphis’ Commercial Appeal and the Chicago Tribune. He’s a regular contributor to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in magazines from National Geographic, Golfweek, ESPN The Magazine, Runner’s World and O, The Oprah Magazine. His interior photography has been used by Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Whiskey Advocate Magazine and Davis Jewelers. William has been recognized by Photographer of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association. When not taking pictures, William is either writing music or exploring locally and beyond with his wife.
PAMELA MONAGHAN, WYND & PAISLEY PHOTOGRAPHER Pamela Monaghan is a freelance photographer and owner of Wynd & Paisley Photography. She has a bachelor of arts from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where she met her husband. The majority of her work is wedding and lifestyle photography, but she’s always up for new and exciting shoots. Her work has been featured in multiple magazines, including Your Sumner and The Pink Bride, and she runs a blog called Girls Gone Mild. She lives on several acres in Portland, Tennessee, with her husband, three children and four Dalmatians.
SARAH B. GILLIAM
Sarah B. Gilliam is a photographer and marketing director in Middle Tennessee. She is a community advocate and recently opened Portrait Park, a public art project featuring largescale photographs of people in her hometown of Columbia, Tennessee. When she isn’t working within her community, she can be found with her family raising wildflowers, keeping bees, stacking firewood and finding inspiration in the simplicity of living with the land.
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BRIAN BRUZEWSKI, DOUBLEBEE PHOTO PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Bruzewski, owner of Doublebee Photo, is a commercial advertising photographer specializing in lifestyle location photography. Bruzewski worked as an art director for 20 years before transitioning to photography. He shoots for a wide variety of industries with extensive experience in health care and enjoys helping businesses show their people, places and products in action. Based in Nashville, but working on locations all over the U.S., he loves being outside, particularly with his kids, a camera, a guitar or a fishing pole.
JIM MYERS WRITER Jim Myers is an award-winning food journalist who has trained his eye on the intersection of Southern culture and the natural world for more than 25 years. Currently he’s the minister of culture for Nashville’s iconic Elliston Place Soda Shop and thinks every good day starts with a buttermilk biscuit and orange sherbet milkshake.
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Susan Gregory 61 5 . 2 0 7 . 5 6 0 0
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Nashville CONTENTS Interiors
43 SEASON’S BEST 24 THE This year we are loving all things Very Peri, the customcreated Pantone Color of the Year.
OF LIGHT 30 LAYERS When The Mix Interiors needed ways to make the rooms in a client’s home function in more ways than one, they turned to Circa Lighting to choose lighting options that add flexibility, from bright task lighting to a warm, relaxing glow.
FOR INSPIRATION 56 OPEN Every showroom at the Nashville Design Collective in Wedgewood-Houston is completely full, with each space a place of inspiration and guidance for anyone working on their home.
61 HILLTOWN A family finds exactly what they need — and nothing extra — outside the city in the idyllic gem near Columbia.
FARM LIFE SPOTLIGHT: JOHN PAUL KESLING 43 LUXE 70 ARTIST A new build designed by architect Preston Shea of P. Shea The Kentucky native tackles mortality and everyday life Design and designer Anna Forkum gets plenty of period touches to create an idyllic farmhouse that is equal parts luxury and laid back.
SPOTLIGHT: LEVERICK HOMES 52 BUILDER Using innovative design and quality construction, the team has quietly been building a reputation for excellence amid the development boom. 20 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | FALL 2021/WINTER 2022
though his work created in his Madison studio.
A MOMENT 76 CREATING Gracie Studio, known for their hand-painted wallpaper, creates custom spaces that wow for the return of the Antiques & Garden Show.
From imagination to Installation
We’ve got you covered! MYERS FLOORING OF NASHVILLE The Design District | 2919 Sidco Dr. | Nashville, TN 37204 | Main 615-777-3344 | Fax 615-777-3345
www.myersflooringofnashville.com NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 21
BRING YOUR VISION TO US The experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery are here to help create a home that’s as extraordinary as you are. Any project, any style, any dream—bring your inspiration to Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Visit build.com/ferguson to schedule your personalized showroom experience today.
YOUR LOCAL SHOWROOMS: NASHVILLE MURFREESBORO CLARKSVILLE
©2021 Ferguson Enterprises LLC 0921 3321192
Yearly Co. is the perfect destination for heirloom quality solid 14k gold jewelry. Specializing in custom fit bangles, we have the perfect gifts, year after year.
4107 Hillsboro Circle • Nashville TN 37215 *Our new showroom location coming February 2022
WINTER’S BEST: PANTONE EDITION OUR SEASONAL WISH LIST INCLUDES EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO HAVE IN PANTONE’S PICK FOR COLOR OF THE YEAR: VERI PERI, A PERIWINKLE BLUE HUE WITH A VIOLET-RED UNDERTONE THAT IS THE FIRST COLOR EVER CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE HONOR.
Familiar and yet subtly irreverent, the Once Upon Our Time wallpaper ($230/roll, curated.com) takes classic “toile” patterns from the past and gives them a highly modern perspective. Designed by Young & Battaglia, the pattern is printed on a hard-wearing smooth paper that is simple to install with no wallpapering table needed.
The luxurious lavender Ripple Rectangle Cushion from Jonathan Adler ($123, themodernshop) is an excellent, embroidered choice to refresh your home with a touch of color and chic style, especially in contrasting design.
With an insatiable appetite for glamour, KOKET took the classic tub chair to new heights with the Chignon chair ($3,200, bykoket.com), available fully upholstered in many colors, including a bold periwinkle.
Halo Sit side table ($160, amazon.com) can be used next tothe sofa, as a decorative storage option in the dining room, as a bedside table or as a small laundry basket in the bathroom — not to mention its second job as additional seating.
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T R A N S FO R M T H E WO R L D
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
STUDY INTERIOR DESIGN AT BELMONT For 50 years the O’More College of Architecture & Design has been a learner-centered creative community that serves undergraduate students by providing a service-oriented and ethically-rooted CIDA-accredited program in Interior Design, alongside a new program in Architecture.
36 Years. 40,000 Designs. Experience Matters. 615-742-1955 closetcompany.com 26 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | FALL 2021/WINTER 2022
Making homes beautif�l since 1968.
Bradington-Young • Bernhardt • Hooker • King Hickory • Sam Moore • Universal & more BINKLEY NASH FURNITURE AND DESIGN | 224 NORTH LOCUST STREET | GALLATIN TENNESSEE | 615.452.7096 | BINKLEYNASHFURNITURE.COM
“Circa Ligh ting h as a great s e le c t ion of b e a utiful produ ct, an d the ir c u s t om e r se r vice is fan tastic. A big bon u s is ou r c lie n ts love bein g able to s e e t h e it e m s in p erson in the Nash ville s h owroom . ” - Scarlett James
BISTRO MEDIUM CHANDELIER IN HAND-RUBBED ANTIQUE BRASS DESIGNER: IAN K. FOWLER
L E F T: AN N I E H I MME L H AV E R; RI G H T: S C A RL ET T JA M ES THE M IX INTE R IOR S
Layers of Light THE MIX INTERIORS AND CIRCA LIGHTING COLLABORATE ON THOUGHTFUL HOME ILLUMINATION.
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Homes have taken on more meaning than ever before - and rooms have taken on more duties. The right lighting can help create spaces that function in many ways. Pictured here, the Bistro Medium Chandelier by Ian K. Fowler.
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BY HOLLIE DEESE PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALLISON ELEFANTE, RUBY AND PEACH
carlett James from The Mix Interiors knows you need more than furniture and fine finishes to make a house a home. Great lighting can help deliver a feeling of warmth and visual comfort.
“We definitely look at it like putting a puzzle together,” James says of selecting fixtures for the house to create a space you love. “Your home has always been a place to nurture your family and friends, but for many of us, it is now our primary place of working and entertaining as well.” Handling business development in Nashville for Circa Lighting, Gena Dorminey collaborates with designers, builders and architects to make lighting selections—just as she did with James on this home.
Annie Himmelhaver, senior design associate, left, and Scarlett James, principal designer and owner of The Mix Interiors, collaborated with the design team at the Circa Lighting showroom at the Nashville Design Collective on the lighting design of a family home.
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The Armato Small Table Lamp by Kelly Wearstler and Morris Small Lantern by Suzanne Kasler warm up small spaces. 34 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | FALL 2021/WINTER 2022
INTERIORS “Many design and build professionals see us as an extension of their own staff. We like to become involved in a project as soon as possible because we are able to offer added support and expertise,” Dorminey says. “Lighting is all about layering— from architectural to decorative. You really want to have a variety. When you start from the production and planning stage, you are able to optimize the look, feel and function of your space with lighting.” James, who is principal designer and owner of The Mix, has worked with Dorminey and Circa Lighting on multiple projects. She loves to pull a few lighting options for each space in a home to see how the fixtures fit together, what the homeowner is drawn to and how, altogether, the lighting can complete the whole aesthetic. She typically draws up a lighting plan in tandem with the furniture and architecture plans.
Left, Baxley Sconces by Alexa Hampton. Below, table lamps are necessary when overhead lighting is just too much.
Lighting is all about layering— from architectural to decorative. NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 35
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A pool house acts as a bar and library and extra entertaining space.
“For this project, the homeowner wanted her space to feel like a family home—classic, timeless and in keeping with the feel of the neighborhood,” James says. “Lighting is my favorite part,” she adds. “When we’re drawing the floor and the reflected ceiling plans, we determine what we need for each space and start putting together options. It’s kind of like putting an outfit together, trying different shapes and finishes.”
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Chandeliers are looking a lot more organic these days, including the Hampton medium chandelier by Aerin, left, and the Calais 34” chandelier by Niermann Weeks.
Hicks Small Pendants make the kitchen a beautiful space to cook and entertain.
Different needs for different times of day also are taken into consideration.
on weekends, working during the day or decompressing with your family in the evenings.”
“Everything should be on a dimmer,” Dorminey says. “You want your home to be multi-functional and adaptable for how you’re using your space at any given time. Lighting should be adjustable to accommodate entertaining friends
A home that allows easy transitions from work to play to rest is more sought-after than ever before, and lighting is the one design element that can instantly transform a room into any type of space you need it to be. NI
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E X P E R I E N C E
V I S U A L
C O M F O R T
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Timeless Design for Current Living
Margi’s Chair & Chair Alike 2205 Bandywood Drive Nashville, TN 37215 615.463.3322 margischair.com
A CUSTOM FARMHOUSE IS FILLED WITH ELEGANCE AND ERA-CORRECT TOUCHES BY HOLLIE DEESE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN BRUZEWSKI
woman from Georgia met a man from Oklahoma on a ranch in Colorado, where they fell in love over their mutual passion to become teachers. Eventually Kelli Shipman did become a teacher, but Jason became a doctor instead and was matched with Vanderbilt. So, they came to Tennessee and moved into a little house in West Nashville. Three kids and 10 years later, they moved into a much larger home in Franklin’s gated LaurelBrooke neighborhood, but it still wasn’t quite right. “My husband, being from somewhat rural Oklahoma, really wanted some property where he could work with wood and dig a hole and all that good stuff you absolutely cannot do in LaurelBrooke,” Kelli jokes. “I prayed about it for years, because financially we were going to have to buy a piece of property, maybe an hour or more away.”
Generations to Come NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 43
Designer Anna Forkum was able to play on homeowner Kelli Shipman’s favorite colors to inject plenty of personality into the space, including orange, blue and mustard. Shipman also sourced the large chandelier light fixture herself, big enough to add some heft to the open living room space.
Those prayers were answered in a much better way when a friend in Hillsboro Valley alerted them to a property that was likely to become available. Kelli, now a teacher at Christ Presbyterian Academy just down the road, wrote the woman a letter. When the owner was, indeed, ready to sell, that letter put the Shipmans at the top of her list.
That barn was built in the ’60s by a man who had bought the 1950s property for himself and his wife, who ultimately refused to live that far from town. He sold it to the Underwoods, and after Mr. Underwood died, Mrs. Underwood responded to Kelli’s letter and sold her the home.
“She had a stack of letters from over the years from people putting them in her mailbox, so why did she choose my letter? Well, obviously it was God,” she says. “I had written about her barn, this beautiful barn on the property. And we have just felt so blessed.”
“We had really hoped to be able to renovate the original house to work for us, but we just couldn’t,” Kelli says. So, they hired architect Preston Shea of P. Shea Design to design a working farm home on the property. They wanted something that functioned for their family of five, provided
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Having the space for family to gather without bumping into each other was important to Shipman, so there is plenty of room between the oversized island and the counters. The hutch in the kitchen was custom made by Skillington of Karmal Skillington.
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the feel of a renovated farmhouse that had been there for generations, yet had luxurious touches and thoughtful design. The addition to the property was brought to life by builder Mike Stouffer. “They wanted their furniture to be a lot of leather, kind of indestructible, because they were really going to live this farm life,” designer Anna Forkum said. “And then with the colors, we just played around with what she liked — the reds and that robin’s-egg blue.” For standout wood pieces, like an oversized door with stained glass, Shipman turned to Leigh Skillington, at Franklin’s Karmal Skillington, to execute her vision. Skillington ended up doing a few other custom pieces in the home, like a hutch in the oversized kitchen to display dishes. “I knew we wanted a big kitchen. Every house we lived in before, the kitchen was the size of a matchbox — even in LaurelBrooke,” Kelli says. “The sink is actually a replica of what was in the cottage because having drainboards is the best thing ever.” This home is one that is truly lived in, with plenty of space for the family’s book collection. Above right, the stained-glass door was made by Leigh Skillingtonat Karmal Skillington and was inspired by farmhouses from bygone eras. Right, a mudroom is in constant use as family members, including furry ones with muddy paws, enter from getting messy from the working farm.
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Off the kitchen is a dumping zone era for when Jason or the kids — ages 18, 16 and 14 — come in with muddy boots, or one of the two dogs has muddy paws. Windows are strategically placed everywhere to soak in the beautiful views and natural light.
NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 49
INTERIORS One room that tips the scales to total glam is the master bathroom, with its standalone tub under an oversized chandelier that Kelli found. It reminded her of a tree. But the work didn’t stop with the original cottage or new build. While they were working on getting all of their permits, their new neighbor came to them and said she had prayed about it and thought they should buy her house, too, so she could go live near her grandchildren. And, taking her cue, Kelli’s father bought that little stone house, which they lived in while their new home was being built. The hope is that they have finally created something they have always dreamed of, while providing their children a place to call home if they ever feel called to come back. “We are hoping that one day maybe God will bring one of our kids back and they can live in the house,” she says. NI
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DESIGN • POWER • INTEGRATE
BUILDING, DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT
Working in neighborhoods like Charlotte Park, the team at Leverick Homes invests in the extras to provide a home that stands out among other new builds. Right, from left, Jeremiah Pierce, Ali Daher and Josh Pierce. 52 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | FALL 2021/WINTER 2022
Building Blocks LEVERICK HOMES WORKS TO CREATE A LEGACY OF LONGEVITY BY HOLLIE DEESE PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALLISON ELEFANTE
he list of respected builders in Middle Tennessee, the ones who get referrals from former clients who can’t sing their praises enough, is not an easy one to get on. After all it takes years to become a Barlow, a Castle, or a Legend. But the right drive, design acumen and desire to serve the community in business and builds will help get you there.
It’s that mindset, and respect for the legacy of quality work that has already been done in Middle Tennessee, that Ali Daher, Jeremiah Pierce and Josh Pierce bring to the work they do for their company Leverick Homes. But making sure their quality in construction has not wavered amid Nashville’s unprecedented building boom is only one way they set themselves apart. “This is my hometown,” says Jeremiah, a Ridgetop native. “So building and renovating houses is about more than making money. I wanted this company to be based on quality because this is somebody’s home. This is where they have birthdays, celebrate holidays, laugh and cry with their family. And for most Americans, it’s the largest tangible asset they are ever going to have. So how do we build a house better? How do we build a house smarter?” After getting his law degree, Jeremiah became an appraiser in 2003. He
bought his first flip in Cleveland, Tennessee, a basic new construction home he went in and upgraded with crown molding, hardwood and other designer details. Then he did a few more. In 2008 he added Realtor to his bag of experience. “I really learned a lot about process,” he says. Jeremiah connected with Daher after he moved from Michigan in 2000 to work with his brother on a home construction job. After 10 years Daher went out on his own and founded Wolverine Construction. His electrician connected them, and they began working together on a flip in 2011. In 2019, they restructured things, paring the team down to Pierce, his brother Josh and Daher. Together, they all agree that spending money on quality designer finishes — more than might seem fiscally responsible — will bring higher sales along with a solid reputation. They are proud to work with designers like Aimee Lee Kinssies and Loree Beth Harris to deliver the most beautiful home when it hits the market. “Since the day we met, we’ve been spending way more than other people and taking the time to really do a quality job and overdeliver for an area,” Daher says. “But it is what I would enjoy if I lived there. We are coming at this from the right place.”
NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 53
And while the hope is whoever buys one of their homes will love it for a lifetime, they hope when the time does come to sell that the fact that it is a Leverick Home will be its own selling point. “We want to be different,” Jeremiah says. “We don’t want to be business as usual. We consider Leverick to be an outlier. We want to be disruptors. But it takes a lifetime to gain a reputation and one second to lose it.” NI Leverick hires local designers like Aimee Lee Kinssies and Loree Beth Harris to ensure that their homes are finished in the best light.
Nashville Clothier since 1855 3900 Hillsboro Pike | 615.383.2800 Mon. – Sat. 10a – 6p | Open til 7p Thursday
www.levysclothes.com 54 | NASHVILLEINTERIORS | SUMMER 2021
To schedule an appointment call
7108 Crossroads Blvd, Ste 304 Brentwood, TN 37027 www.frenchscabinets.com
Interior Design by K Sneed Design
NASHVILLEINTERIORS.COM | 55
Design On Demand THE NASHVILLE DESIGN COLLECTIVE IS A ONESTOP SHOP FOR ALL TO MAKE SELECTIONS AND SEEK SERVICES
BY HOLLIE DEESE
et’s put a rumor that has been circling for decades to rest, as it stopped being applicable quite a few years ago to anyone who has been paying attention.
Nashville is *not* seven years behind bigger cities when it comes to design trends. In the midst of our design and development boom, we’ve gotten all caught up. We’re right on par with trends — when we aren’t making our own. And now that Nashville is a world-class design destination, it’s time to make the whole process less intimidating. All the showrooms open at the Nashville Design Collective in Wedgewood-Houston go a long way toward making great design easy. At the NDC, people can walk through each of the showrooms, representing all different aspects of home design, and just take
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BUILDING, DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT
in the experience of being able to consult with some of the best-known design business in the country—many that are in Nashville for the first time. “There’s so much of our product that the local community frankly has not seen, or did not have access to before,” says Richard Anuszkiewicz with Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, which has its flagship showroom in Atlanta. The benefit for all when there is so much inspiration under one roof is immeasurable. The creativity and decades of skill and knowledge of the teams of each showroom are available to people who are looking to renovate, remodel or refresh — even if they don’t have their own designer. Ra autatur? Tisit optatur, qui con estruptat accae porporibus esteniminum fugias eum, quideliquas estiume min cum aut int ea dolores dolupti ntibusdam volo berit veria
“We get to work with area’s top interior designers — we probably work with 40 or 50 different interior design firms,” says Textures Flooring owner Andrew Denny. “And without the interior design community, we wouldn’t have the cool stuff that we have. It inspires us to produce something above and beyond. We are here to listen and then use our skill and experience to help produce what a designer’s mind sees.” The NDC isn’t a mall, it’s a design destination, so many items need to be custom-ordered. But those who must walk away with something have a few options, like any of the antiques, art or coffee table books designer Robin Rains has rounded up during her travels overseas and has on display. Or beautiful bed linens from Peacock Alley, even if you don’t see them on racks or shelves. “You don’t see packages and you don’t see price tags and you don’t see storage. You see a beautifully designed space,” says Katherine Nicholson with Peacock Alley. “But what they don’t know is that we have all of the product here. They could leave and go home and put it on their beds.” At the end of the day, it’s just really nice to walk in a beautiful building, connect with people in the design community and look for new inspiration and resources in a town with so much potential. “Right now, we are in a community where we have like-minded businesses catering to clients who are all looking for that elevated product to bring into their home,” Nicholson says.
BUILDING, DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT
SHOWROOMS AT THE NASHVILLE DESIGN COLLECTIVE Circa Lighting Founded in Savannah, Georgia, by Gale Singer in 1998, Circa Lighting was her answer to making the process of choosing lighting less overwhelming. There she opened her first well-edited lighting showroom where clients could shop in a boutique atmosphere. She then began outreach to interior designers, architects and builders to have a similar experience locally and online.
designs and are a go-to resource for architects, interior designers, builders and homeowners needing cabinetry.
Robin Rains Interior Design and Antiques Interior designer Robin Rains is known for her use of European antiques, which she sources through regular travels to France, Belgium and Spain. Rains opened her flagship showroom in the Nashville Design Collective, a stunning gallery space filled with her one-of-a-kind European treasures.
Christopher Peacock Cabinetry Christopher Peacock began his career in London in the 1980s, working at Terence Conran’s furniture store in London. He went on to work at the Boston Design Center, then in New York City as a kitchen designer at the Architects and Design building. He went out on his own in 1992, and the brand soon established itself as the best combination of beautiful hand-crafted cabinetry in the classic British style, but made to order in the USA.
Peacock Alley Moving from their Sidco Drive location to the NDC, Peacock Alley was founded by Mary Ella Gabler in 1973 when she sold 250 patchwork pillows to Neiman Marcus. By sourcing fabric from the finest, most responsible mills around the world — most notably in Portugal — and having them sewn in their Dallas workshop by skilled, local artisans, Gabler created a line of high-end luxury linens and bedding that still impresses today. Textures Since 2004, Andrew Denny’s Textures Nashville has established itself as a premier supplier of wide-plank hardwood flooring, custom area rugs and much more. By pushing design and superior craftsmanship, Textures has become a preferred partner of interior designers, architects and custom home builders with their craft-made, smallbatch products that allow for complete customization to achieve the perfect flooring solution for any home. Kolo Collection Michelle Larrabee-Martin and Greg Martin transformed the Southeast’s exterior design industry when they founded Kolo Collection in Atlanta in 2003. Their NDC showroom opened in 2019. The company’s foundation is built on an affinity for high-quality outdoor furniture and a passion for turning a modest patio into a genuine outdoor retreat. But the family company’s true guiding principle is its commitment to a personalized experience filled with expertise, honesty and an artful eye. Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio has created and installed innovative award-winning kitchens, baths and closets for national and international clients since 1979. The flagship Atlanta showroom is led by Matthew Quinn, while the Nashville showroom is led by Richard Anuszkiewicz. Today, their firm of designers, design engineers and installers focuses on attention to detail and helps guide client-inspired
Bennett Galleries This outpost of Knoxville’s 30,000-square-foot full-service art and design gallery is a curated version of the original, with an array of furniture, jewelry, art and rugs. Pieces come from all over the world, and the team can help with design services and special orders.
Renaissance Tile & Bath Founded in 1991, Renaissance Tile & Bath is a leading design resource oﬀering artisan tile, natural stone, highend plumbing, luxury fixtures, bespoke faucets and custom vanities to clients who value exquisite design as much as superb quality. From a single warehouse in Atlanta, they have grown into a leading design studio and source for the world’s most desirable kitchen and bath products, including its exclusive O’Neil Ruppel collection. Francois & Co. Founded in 1997 by Thierry Francois, the showroom at the NDC is a perfect example of their attention to detail and commitment to quality. Their team of skilled artisans pride themselves on bringing heritage and history to life by painstakingly recreating and refining traditional methods and lost arts. Many of the signature products make an indelible statement, honoring the highest standards of workmanship and quality while evoking the beautiful memories of Thierry’s European childhood and his love of the arts. Prodigy AV Offering the latest in technology, smart home automation, entertainment and security combined with design, the team of technology advisers at Prodigy are key in leading homeowners to the right products for their project — or projects, if they choose to sync their services among multiple properties. Artistic Tile This family-owned tile company designs and sources their products with one goal in mind: to enhance the lives of their clients by making their spaces more beautiful. The Nashville space is their ninth showroom and has its own slab gallery — which is not something typical to other showrooms.NI
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A FAMILY FINDS EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED OUTSIDE NASHVILLE IN THE IDYLLIC GEM OF COLUMBIA
“We’re not Swiss Family Robinson,” Sarah Gilliam deadpans, looking out her utility room window at the line where clothes hang to dry in the fresh rural Tennessee air. “We do have a dryer.”
Nestled on 11-plus acres in rural Middle Tennessee, Gilliam and her cartographer husband, Patrick, and their two
children live their reclaimed lives in a reclaimed farmhouse. They’ve known each other since high school, and they both grew up in Columbia—the seat of Maury County, roughly 45 miles southwest of Nashville. The town is best known for well-preserved antebellum homes and for Mule Day, the annual hootenanny heralding children’s love of horses and donkeys.
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BY JIM MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH B. GILLIAM
After college they found themselves in Nashville, where Sarah worked as a photojournalist at The Tennessean, but the dream of land pulled them south to a ridgeline called Hill Town about 10 minutes outside Columbia. Like any good Southern story, though, it disarms preconceived notions. Their move wasn’t so much an escape as it was a return home. They wanted some land, 15 or more acres to be exact, for greenbelt tax purposes, but time and resources drove their decision. Ultimately, they found the geographical features and a home they could remodel to fit their accessible dream. That’s the part that conjures the Swiss Family connections, albeit without the shipwreck and the panoply of exotic animals. The Gilliams bring an enviable combination of great taste and handy capability to their home, while still having enough sense to bring in professional carpenters and tradesmen to do the tasks they couldn’t (or shouldn’t) handle. Patrick will point to parts of an outbuilding that aren’t quite plumb or square, for example. The home is a paragon of efficient space, and not simply for thrift’s sake. It starts with a broad covered porch laden with comfortable furniture. “We spend a lot of our time out here,” Sarah says, and it’s clear that every square foot is about practical use.
The family of four spends time in the kitchen making simple meals and lifelong memories.
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Inside, the Gilliams have found that sweet spot that is just large enough, but no more. It harks back to homes built before WWII when we had all the space we needed, and when plates were smaller because portion sizes were smaller. The upstairs kitchen, for example, has the breathing room afforded by a vaulted poplar ceiling. That leads to a simple bathroom, the aforementioned utility room and three bedrooms, none too large, and as Sarah notes as she gestures toward them, “We pretty much just sleep there.” Upstairs is indeed tastefully utilitarian and sparse, but downstairs coziness ensues, and visions of a Luddite encampment fade away. Insulated by the earth on three sides, the basement is replete with computers, a large screen television for movie nights and sports viewing, and a large craft table for games and homework.
A clawfoot tub is era-appropriate in the pre-WWII home.
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The children mainly spend time together outdoors or in one of the three small bedrooms, connecting without digital distractions.
It doubles as an office when Patrick works from home, and Sarah’s photography has its own space— digital and old-school. Much of her photo editing is done on screens, but the basement’s bathroom also houses a darkroom. The woodburning stove down there can heat the whole house if needed, but Patrick is quick to note that they have a fully functioning HVAC system as well. Again, the yin and the yang.
The basement is where the family can watch movies, and Sarah works to edit her photos, digitally and with a darkroom for developing film.
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Beyond the basement sliding doors, the land slopes down to a creek. They’re keeping bees, and Patrick has a list of the 42 species of trees on the property, many of which he planted himself. They both are quick to mention their close community of neighbors, the nearby bakers and the meat CSA—marveling that in their out-of-the-way location they still can get most of their food within five miles of home. In the fall, they invite tech-weary folks out for Patrick’s axe camp. It’s not the hipster sports craze of flinging small hand axes at bullseyes in downtown bars, but the utilitarian art of handling long-handled tools for the purpose of felling trees and splitting wood to heat your home for the winter. Patrick leads it with his warm, dry humor, and folks enjoy being outside, warming their hands by the fire and enjoying some “brown water” when the chores are done. Patrick admits some attendees never come close to working up a blister, but it’s never really about that. The number of return customers is proof enough of its merit.
Patrick’s axe collection comes in handy during their annual axe camp.
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BUILDING, DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT
Sarah, meanwhile, has turned her professional lens back on the community she grew up in, printing larger than life images of her fellow citizens on metal plates and displaying them in public spaces around town, bringing a sense of civic pride to a community that is rapidly becoming the southern anchor of what may someday be considered greater Metro Nashville. The Gilliams and their children, now 8 and 13, are living a beautiful yet wholly accessible dream. This is their Shangri-la writ small—a life not captured, but intentionally wrought by a very creative family. NI
For more information about Sarah Gilliam’s community photography Portrait Park and the Hill Town Axe Camp, visit sarahbgilliam.com.
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G OOD FOODS IN GO O D SP IRIT S E V E RY NIGHT. N O. 4 01 UNION S T REET NASHV ILLE , T N
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ART, ARTISANS AND ANTIQUES
Artist Spotlight BY HOLLIE DEESE PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILLIAM DESHAZER
Growing up in Ashland, Kentucky, artist John Paul Kesling spent a lot of time outdoors with his three brothers on the banks of the Ohio River. His musician single father got custody of all of them when Kesling, the youngest, was 18 months old.
He was drawn to art at a young age, often helping friends finish art projects in high school, but it wasn’t something he thought to pursue until his second year in college studying to become a physician’s assistant. “I was taking an elective art class, and I really liked it and was really getting into painting,” Kesling says. “I hadn’t really painted before that, and I was getting good feedback from my teacher.” Once it hit him that he could do it, he did. He got his BFA in arts from Morehead State University, then he spent a semester in Europe studying art history. He went on to earn his MFA in painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010 before grinding out an existence as an artist in Brooklyn for six years. “New York was really hard,” he says. “There were two good years, maybe less, in the six years I was there. And they weren’t all together — it was like three days here and then two weeks that were not good. And then you have a great day because you had enough money to do laundry, with extra money for a pizza. It’s crushing.” That financial struggle can prevent artists from having the space and time to immerse themselves in their work. After spending a month in an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center, Kesling realized how important having that kind of space and time was to his growth as an artist. Now, his studio space at his home in Madison, Tennessee, gives him the stability to really explore his own work and processes. “I just didn’t have the time or stability to focus on my work, to really make it good or make a lot of it,” he says. “Before, my studio time was very limited, or it was spent in just a panic of what could I make that maybe potentially somebody would buy. I was doing commissions for very little money. I was painting pet portraits. You know, I was painting just anything that somebody would give me money for.” After losing his studio space in New York twice in six months, he landed the art fellowship in Vermont. As that wound down, he was looking for, as they say, something completely different. “I was pretty finished with New York anyway. It’s just hard to get out of there,” Kesling says. He moved to Madison in 2016, and got a job in East Nashville.
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JOHN PAUL KESLING “It’s closer to my family in Kentucky,” he adds. “I was going home maybe once every two years or something, and they’re all getting older.” Coming from New York, and never having been to Nashville, though, he thought he’d be able to hop public transit to work each day. The reality was he would have to leave three hours early to commute by bus. He bought a car. Then when his girlfriend had to vacate her apartment on short notice, it seemed to be the right time to make the move into town. Represented locally by Red Arrow Gallery where he has had a solo show, Kesling has also shown locally at Gallerie Tangerine Oz Arts and the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Louisville. And he doesn’t have to sell any of his belongings to create his art anymore. He is just selling his art and constantly trying to push his creative comfort zone. “What I enjoy most about other artists, and I think I’m drawn to in my own work, is that I’m constantly trying. If I get too comfortable with something, then I have to start over with the next body of work,” he
says. “I try to take something I’m not good at, or something new, and figure out how to work with that. And I will make some bad paintings for a bit and figure out what I’m good at.”
ART, ARTISANS AND ANTIQUES
John Paul Kesling in his Madison studio space.
Kesling makes his own frames and canvases thanks to some basic woodworking skills learned at SCAD, which gives him the freedom to create in any size, any time. Not that it eases the stress of creating a piece that looks good on Instagram but even better in person. “I don’t want it to have the online dating effect that it looked way better online,” he says. “I don’t want it to be misleading.” He always is interested in exploring what paint can do — “It’s such a traditional medium but it always surprises me, so I am open to whatever the paint decides to do, and then trying to figure out how to harness that in a way that keeps me interested in the process.” But he expends just as much effort exploring his subjects — which often are inspired by his travels or by human mortality, fueled by the death years ago of his stepbrother Jared. “He and I were really close,” he says. “When he passed away, it was right before I was applying to grad schools, and so it all happened at once, a lot of change.”
One of the last times he saw Jared was in the ICU, and Kesling showed him a portrait he had done of him based on a photograph. And when Kesling walked out the door, Jared said, “‘Well, I guess I’m immortal now,’ and I remember that it was very strange, and that stuck with me. And I think my work is very much about the moment I’m in,” Kesling says. “Even if it’s a nostalgic painting from an old photograph of my family.” Kesling still thinks about his stepbrother every day, and about moments he shares with the people he cares about, so his work is always contemporary to him even as he revisits those times in his past. “There’s something really dynamic about the moment you’re in — where your memories and your tomorrows are meeting — and it’s an exciting place to be,” he says. “I don’t want to be what I was yesterday.” NI
Home is where your story begins. F E B RUA RY 1 1 – 1 3 , 2 0 2 2 M US I C C I TY C E N T E R — N A S H V I L L E , T N P U R C H A S E T I C K E TS AT
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ART, ARTISANS AND ANTIQUES
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Creating a Moment GRACIE STUDIO CREATES CUSTOM SPACES THAT WOW FOR ANTIQUES & GARDEN SHOW RETURN BY HOLLIE DEESE
ike Gracie, president of Gracie Studio, has only been to Nashville once before on a family vacation, and he is looking forward to returning this year as part of the 32nd annual Antiques & Garden Show at the Music City Center Feb. 11–13. The event, which draws attendees from nearly every state, is expected to bring more than 15,000 people to tour its three interactive landscaped gardens and its showcase of antiques from more than 150 dealers. This year, there also will be multiple, custom-designed installations from Gracie Studio, including a unique-to-the-show wallpaper installed in a charming fairy-tale cottage that illustrates this year’s show theme: “Home is where your story begins.” “We had to curate something completely original.” Gracie says. The signature product of Gracie Studio, a fourth-generation design studio with presences in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles, is hand-painted wallpaper—much of it in the chinoiserie style. The craft originated for export in China in the 1700s, and Gracie has had it produced there for their company since 1927. In addition to the wallpaper in the cottage, the studio created imagery for the lecture stage backdrop and huge entryway panels, which he says took about 100 hours per panel to paint. “You can get close and see all the individual brush strokes,” he says. “There is an actual artist putting a brush to the paper, every line that you see in there.”
So, combine that kind of detailed handwork with the sometimes-frustrating logistics that go into creating large-scale, interactive installations remotely, and it will be just as exciting for Gracie to see the final outcome as it will for any other attendee. “The whole idea of scale is completely lost on a screen,” he says. “It’s amazing how much we found we can do using technology, but it’s somewhat utilitarian. We’re exchanging information in a very effective way, but we’re not immersing ourselves in an experience together. So to be able to walk through the mazes and experience that movement through the space, there’s just no replacement for the real thing.” The East Garden will be presented by garden designers Anne Daigh and Wade Rick of Daigh Rick Landscape Architects, and its garden structure, built by Cook Builders, will feature Gracie wallpaper. The West Garden will showcase a design by Joseph Hillenmeyer Garden Design of Lexington, Kentucky, with a Hartley Botanic greenhouse. The design for Cheekwood’s botanical Entry Exhibition will again be led by Cheekwood Vice President of Gardens and Facilities Peter Grimaldi. “We love working with the Nashville interior design market and look forward to really being able to enhance that relationship—and expanding our work with landscape designers, which is not an everyday thing for us,” Gracie says. NI
Clockwise from far left, the Gracie Studio custom wallpaper designed for this year’s show; a previous show’s garden installation; Mike Gracie, president of Gracie Studio.
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