This year marks the 20th year I have been practicing Interior Design as a profession. Of course, like most decorators I know, I have been decorating houses almost all my life. I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have an opinion about how to improve the home of an aunt, friend’s mom or my elder sister (we decorated my sister’s second house when I was 14 and we are in the middle of a redo on her current home over 30 years later!)
I spend countless hours pouring over my colleagues’ work throughout the country, so I thought it might interest you to know who my favorite local interior designers are in my hometown of Nashville, TN. Nashville is the “it” city right now and people are moving here in droves. I can’t work with everyone, so a lot of people ask, “Who else would you recommend?” Well, that’s hard to say, because I love so many of my local design friends, but if you are looking for someone who has similar taste and style to my own, then I have showcased 5 of my favorites below.
Mark Simmons, Mark Simmons Interiors
Mark Simmons has been a design hero of mine since I moved to Nashville in 1994. I have drooled over too many of his rooms to mention. He is an old-school decorator. (This is my highest compliment, for sure!) What this means is that Mark uses time-honored fabrics that showcase classic motifs. Fern prints in a sunroom, damask in the dining room and plaids in a gentleman’s study, all perfectly picked to create rooms that are oozing in tradition. In my mind, he is the best.
Roger Higgins, R. Higgins Interiors
Roger Higgins’ rooms are elegantly rough and refined at the same time. He uses texture in a way that pleases the sense of sight and touch. I love his use of deep colors with soft pastels to provide contrast to a room that also plays to the tension between the masculine and feminine. This is a motif I use in many of my own designs. I like to take what I call a “sweet” color and ground it with a dark coordinate. This makes rooms easy to live in because they play to a formal and casual quality at the same time.
Kathleen Evers, K. Evers Interiors
I describe Kathleen Evers’ rooms as picture perfect. Every time I enter one of her rooms I stop and stare. I find myself unable to even more forward as I stop to take in every detail. She is adept at curating beautiful and poignant art in the rooms I’ve been blessed to experience in person. I would also describe her work as meticulous, meaning no detail has been left to chance.
Sarah Bartholomew, Sarah Bartholomew Design
For someone who loves Blue and White porcelain as much as I do, Sarah Bartholomew’s rooms are some of my favorites. Her own home here in Nashville was featured in the September 2016 issue of Southern Living and it was a tour de force. She has revived classic patterns decorators have been using for decades, using them with relaxed sisals and linens, opening them to a more casual lifestyle. This is so exciting because this younger approach brings a freshness to her rooms and has brought traditional patterns and colors, as well as curated antiques back to the forefront of trends today. Her rooms are breathtakingly bright and happy.
Carolyn Kendall, Alcott Interiors
What I love about Carolyn Kendall’s rooms is how luxurious they are. I met Carolyn for the first time a few years ago attending the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville. Her booth is always the first one as you enter and her showmanship is grand indeed! I always just stop and stare to take in all the fine fabrics and antiques. Then I slowly walk through and find the most elegant pieces. I still mourn over a pair of French bergere chairs in the most delicious cocoa suede that I let slip by. That booth is a microcosm of her homes and rooms, expertly curated with refined wallcoverings, fabrics and antiques. Even though she showcases the most elegant antiques, I wouldn’t call her rooms precious. The rooms are beautiful and livable, and most importantly, pack a WOW factor.
This is not an exhaustive list, as I admire so many other interior designers in Nashville, TN, with tastes and looks very different from my own. But if you are looking for the best traditional designers in Nashville, this is the go-to list, unless you must have me, in which case, I completely understand. I am humbled to group myself, Eric Ross Interiors with this esteemed list of interior designers and decorators.