Did you know that I’m a bona fide interior designer?
In addition to my bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising from Harding University, I have a BFA in interior design from O’More School of Design. Shortly after graduation from O’More in 2007, I landed an internship at Grid Partners in New York City, one of the top retail design firms in the world (I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s actually true unlike those “World’s Largest Firework Superstore” claims). Among many things, my work at Grid Partners involved drawing/CAD, conceptual design and material selections. Interesting side note: after internship was complete, I was actually offered a job as the Lead Material and Finish Selector, which I turned down so I could move back to Nashville. I got a better offer from a guy with a nice beard.
Fast forward five years and I was approached by Tara&Co., a lovely Arkansas jeweler in need of a new build. I was basically given a blank canvas with this instruction: ‘we don’t want it to look like a traditional jewelry store’. Check.
This project was extra exciting for me because I was not only given the job of designing the interior, but also creating the concept and design of the exterior of the building. The bulk of Tara&Co.’s business is engagement and wedding rings, so I created a design around the concept of a small country chapel. This structure provided an opportunity for plenty of architectural details like a gabled ceiling, a set of beautiful antique doors (salvaged from an old building in Brooklyn) and much more. There’s nothing quite like seeing a building you designed become a reality.
A few of the ways I was involved in this project:
Developed and designed overall concept for the exterior of the building.
Selected materials for interior and exterior.
Selected furniture and fabrics.
Sourced and selected front doors, rugs, wallpaper, wedding portraits, etc.
Consulted on layout of showcases.
Now completed, the end result is something I’m very proud of. I am extremely excited to show off these photos (shot by my handsome husband) of the completed project… my favorite interior design project to date.
One of the many treasures I found while out hunting for goods for the store is this collection of amazing family wedding portraits. After arm wrestling Mr. Tara&Co. for them, I lost. I knew I should not have handed them over to him in the first place. At least now they are on display for loads of people to enjoy. From the looks of it, they were each shot in the same studio. Is it the same family? Who knows? Someone call History’s Mysteries!
Another jewel of a find was this gorgeous wedding certificate and original frame from 1890. What family member let this thing go?!
The last photo is a model built by an 8th grader that just showed up with it one day at the store to say he really liked the building. To my knowledge he entered into a competition and placed! Way to go young man. You just made my month.