“I believe that your home tells a story, and I design spaces that tell this story in an intentional and beautiful way,” says Ragan Wesson, a Birmingham interiors expert who designs homes that are unique and affordable. The concept of storytelling is central in Ragan’s work. When it came to creating a home for her family, the goal was to utilize sentimental and meaningful items that tell her story. “A lot of the pieces in my home were inherited or purchased at a thrift store or an antique mall, and there is a story behind almost everything I own,” she explains. “I started with a clean, simple canvas of neutral and earthy tones to make the house warm and inviting and layer pieces on top.”
The designer demonstrates her knack for storytelling and showcases her interior design method with the 1950s ranch-style home she and her husband purchased last fall. As a family of four, they were delighted to find a home in a choice Homewood neighborhood, and they got to work immediately with easy fixes: freshening up the interiors, scraping the popcorn ceilings, replacing light fixtures and painting while maintaining the home’s original character. Thanks to large rooms and a livable layout, the house only required decorative upgrades. When it came time for furnishings, Ragan selected pieces from her collection that she has been building for many years.
“I like to help people think of ways to repurpose pieces that are sentimental. These pieces bring a touch of history and can be paired with modern pieces to keep them fresh.” In the main living area, a buffet that belonged to her great-grandfather was repurposed into an entertainment console. Her childhood twin beds now live in her older daughter’s room, and a cabinet from her great-great-grandfather occupies her youngest daughter’s room. Ragan built the breakfast area around a table that has been in the family for years, and small pieces from antique malls and thrifting trips are peppered into every space. Custom upholstery and locally sourced rugs are the final touches. With a new coat of paint and thoughtfully chosen furnishings, the result is livable interiors with a collection of treasured pieces that give a glimpse into the story of the Wesson family.
In addition to using interior design to tell homeowners’ stories, Ragan is enthusiastic about demystifying the world of interior design. “There seems to be a lot of mystery around interior design, and I am working very hard to refine my process so clients know exactly what the timeline and budget for a project will look like,” the designer explains. Because Ragan didn’t receive formal training for interior design, she has a fresh perspective of the industry. Her interiors anchor her to the past and present of her family, and the chosen pieces tell their story. Her choices reflect her style and helped her better her interior design process — now, she is ready to bring this level of design into other homes that have a story to tell.
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