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Interior Designers/Decorators

I have a few designer crushes that I have decided to reveal to the world in the form a blog post series. I don’t know, maybe once a month? We’ll see.

So I ‘follow’ several designers/decorators across various social media. Consequently, I know more about their lives than some of my actual sisters (literally). I have awesome sisters and all, but I don’t know what they are eating/drinking/shopping every single day. Our world is weird, right?

One of my absolute faves is Emily Henderson. She won Design Star a few years ago and has been wowing both myself and the design world ever since. She has a knack for pulling together spaces that are fresh, unexpected, beautiful, functional and representative of both her and her clients, which is amazingly tricky to do. I really love everything about her, except for maybe her occasional sailor’s mouth (yes, I’m a prude). Crush unphased. In addition to crazy talented, she is quite the comedienne – one of my favorite of her traits. I just know we would be best friends if we could ever meet… says the creepy stalker. Emily – you have nothing to worry about… I’m hilarious and cool.

So please follow her and develop your own crush.

Here are what I consider to be some of her greatest hits.

EHblog1 EHblog4 EHblog3 EHblog5 EHblog7 EHblog6 EHblog2

You can find all of these photos on Pinterest. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Yes, I’m aware that everyone has been writing about the ‘Pantone Color of the Year’. But indulge me as I share my own expert opinion on the matter. By ‘expert’, I am mostly referring to the fact that I really really like color in general. Like, A LOT. See? Expert.

So I love the color. And not just because it won a hypothetical trophy, but because I have always had a thing for pinkish-purple. Proof: this post from 2012.

Now, I am currently ‘with-child’ for the second time (due in May) and for the second time a little gentleman will be joining our family. I am thrilled that we will have two little boys – truly I am. But I have always been a girly-girl. I love this orchid color but will obviously not be able to use it within the confines of my home due to all the testosterone… at least not as a sofa or wall color. Or anything of significant scale, really (boo). Perhaps I’ll save it for the day when I have my very own home studio. Look out boys, I assure you it’s going to be so feminine and precious that you will never want to enter.

Here are some of my FAVORITE uses of this lovely color:


You can find all of these photos on Pinterest. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


In my experience, collaborations can either be awesome or the opposite of awesome. Fortunately for me, this particular collaboration was awesome.

Tec Petaja and I had been trying to do a shoot together for literally a year and-a-half, when finally the stars aligned and we were both simultaneously available. The concept was to feature some of my florals (with a color palette that would work for any season) as accessories to one of his model shoots. So in addition to the bouquets, Tec asked for a large floral headpiece and I gladly delivered. You’ll notice some summertime seasonal favs like peonies in both the headpiece and bouquets.

Sincere thanks to Tec Pataja for the lovely photos, Chelsea Pataja for the styling (will you please come fill my closet with coolness?), Jordan Buyers for hair and makeup and Danielle Maltby for lending her beautiful mug to the photos. Special side note: Jordan recently gave me one of the best haircuts of my life.
Photos by Tec Petaja

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.

Each week I have the pleasure of visiting a super fancy country club in the Nashville area. Hold your horses – I’m not a member and I don’t get to play golf (which is a good thing because I would guess I am not good at golf since I’ve never played). Instead, I contribute to the fanciness by providing lovely little flower arrangements for the 20+ tables in the clubhouse dining room.
Here are some Instagrams of my greatest hits. Speaking of, follow me on Instagram to see more flower pics (and let’s be honest… some baby pics as well).
Follow me on Instagram if you wish.

As a wee lassie (and let’s face is it – all the way up to about age 14), when asked my favorite color I would recite, “it’s a tie between pink and purple”. There was no way I could choose one over the other. If I got a purple caboodle, then I’d need a pink scooter… I’d always try to even it out.

A few months ago I was asked to design a bouquet for an open house at a swank Nashville hotel. At the flower shop, I found that the most beautiful flowers available that day were pink ones and purples ones. “Do I dare?”, I thought to myself. The ten year-old Amanda within me was screaming “YES! YOU MUST! YOU OWE ME!” Let’s be clear – I don’t owe ten year-old Amanda anything. She totally went against the sound advice of our mother and “got bangs”. Big mistake. Nevertheless, 2013 Amanda likes a challenge, so I set out to make the color pink with the color purple both pretty and cool.
Both Amandas agree: pink and purple are still awesome.

I’ve had many recurring dreams since I was a kid. Of course, there’s this one about a skeleton in a top hat playing checkers. But then there’s also the one about someday winning a blue ribbon. That’s the one I want to talk about right now.

I’ve always dreamed about winning a blue ribbon. I mean really win it and not just receiving a ‘you showed up, you’re sweet and such a great participator, so here you go – a blue ribbon!’. And a few years ago I was inspired by my husband’s and my pastime of visiting rural county fairs. After seeing all those canning, embroidering and pie-making ribbons in the exhibit halls, I decided to enter a cake into the Tennessee State Fair. Turns out, I mistook my zeal for EATING cakes as a call to competitively BAKE them. While I still maintain pride for trying, I realized I would have been better off in a category in which I am actually capable of placing.

Well, much to my delight, this year the State Fair powers-that-be reinstated the category of “Flower Arrangement” (apparently it had been years since is was in the creative catalogue). After a bit of paperwork, I settled on entries in the categories of ‘large arrangement” and ‘small arrangement’. And I am proud to say I close out the 2012 fair season with a blue ribbon (large arrangement) , a red ribbon (small arrangement), and best of all… a purple ribbon for BEST IN SHOW (for my large arrangement). I know it’s just a ribbon, but I must say it’s the proudest I’ve been in my adult/career life. Please forgive the tooting of my own horn. Is that such a crime? Either way, I promise I won’t/don’t do it often.

This is proof that dreams really can come true (thank goodness it wasn’t the one about the skeleton)!


Happy One-Year Birthday to BHLDN Houston!

Lucky me! I just so happened to be in town for the one-year celebration of one of the loveliest stores in the land: BHLDN. Complete with wild berry bellinis, macaroons, cupcakes, and many other edible pretties, the birthday party was a room full of sensory-overload. I could stare at those dresses, shoes, jewelry, underpinnings and decorations all day long… fortunately for me, the party afforded me the time to do exactly that.
Here are some snapshots of my visit. Happy Happy Birthday BHLDN Houston.
Now come on over to Nashville ~ we’ll welcome you with open arms!
Photos by Moi

Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to the first “Amanda Jerkins Stellar Vendor” profile : wedding planner Jennifer Hamilton of Mr.&Mrs. Weddings and Events. Jennifer and I met a little over a year ago and have had the delight of working on several events together. I’ve seen her put out fires, wrangle brides’ mothers (and grandmothers), and – without fail – deliver beautiful, well-executed events to her clients.
A brief Q & A with Jennifer:
1. How long have you been in the wedding business? I’ve been in business for 2 years.
2. What is the greatest asset Mr. and Mrs. Events brings to the table when working with a bride? I am
extremely detail oriented and organized when helping my clients plan their wedding day. However, at the
same time I am a very relaxed, laid back person and try my best to make sure my brides have fun while
going through the planning process. Planning a day that is as close to perfect as possible for my clients
is very important to me, but at the same time I try to have a very calming presence so that my brides can
relax and just have fun on their big day!
Along with planning and coordinating, I also offer design services for my clients. I am on cloud 9 when
a bride comes to me wanting to do things a little differently and needs help to create fun, unique details.
I am most creative when allowed to come up with personal details that really mean something to my
3. If your 2012 self could help your 2007 self plan your wedding, what would your to do list look like? I
loved planning my wedding and was very happy with everything but I could offer my past self some great
advice on ways to stay organized a little better and could also offer her some wonderful planning tools.
And I would definitely tell my past crazy bride self to “make a decision already!” and to just enjoy every
single moment. ;)
4. What celebrity’s (future) wedding would you most want to help plan? I must say I would be pretty
stoked to plan a wedding for Johnny Depp. I cannot even imagine how much fun it would be to design a
wedding for someone that eccentric. Just think of all the crazy, quirky details! Maybe I could theme each
part of the day after a different character he’s played….
And a few a lighter questions thanks to questionologist Dr. Morris Gregwire:
6. How many days before you trash leftovers? Probably too long….I get very attached to food.
5. Who is your favorite TV sitcom mom and why? My favorite sitcom mom at the moment is Gloria
Delgado-Pritchett (Sophia Vergara) from Modern Family. Love her!!
7. Demonstrate how you text laughter: haha (if I’m giving someone a pity laugh) and blahahahahaha!! (if
something really cracks me up)
Three cheers for Jennifer!
Some of Jennifer’s handiwork:
Photos by:

All the way back, long ago in 2008, I was a bride and hired myself to be the floral designer for the wedding. I was SUCH an easy client to work with, even though I completely stiffed myself on payment (lame joke alert). So while we’re on the subject of weddings and wedding flowers, I thought I’d show you  a couple of photos and briefly tell you about my own wedding flowers.

First, the Amanda Jerkins Design logo is, in fact, my arm, my dress and my bouquet. And thanks to the wonderful Phindy Studios, the details were captured in one incredible photo that I’ve gotten plenty of mileage out of since the start of my business. It is my current company logo, but was also Phindy Studios’ logo at one point. And yet more proof of its popularity is that fact that here, some sort of wedding company in the Middle East ‘illegally borrowed’ it and it is their logo as well (would it kill them to learn how to use Photoshop?).

Original Phindy photo of me/my dress/my flowers:

Recently discovered Middle Eastern website using the photo without permission:

For the bouquet, I was going for classic, refined, and well… me (not that I’m necessarily classic or refined – but I’m working on that). I pieced together my dream bouquet from my favorite rose, my favorite all around flower – white ranunculus – and tea leaves.

Here are a few more shots of my bouquet and wedding day, courtesy of Phil and Mindy Thornton at Phindy Studios.

Look at that beardless chap!

Thanks again to Phindy Studios for the lovely photos.