Sherry Hart adds some much-needed fun to the interior design world, a lot of people would say. In addition to her magazine cover stories (recently, one of her projects was on the cover of House Beautiful … not too shabby), show house rooms, One Room Challenge projects and miscellaneous houses big and small, Sherry pens the always personal — and always entertaining — Design Indulgence blog, where she chronicles the day-to-day life of a designer, Old English sheepdog owner and Atlanta resident who keeps it real. We got some scoop from Sherry about her history and philosophies. Meet our newest ID Crush!

sherry hart

Sherry Hart has an unmissable knack for making bold statements with neutral color palettes. Her designs make us grin as much as her blog posts do. Meet our latest Interior Designer Crush! Image: Anthony Masterson

Do you have any childhood memories of you being designer-y at a young age?

Oh yes … when everyone wanted a pink bedroom, I wanted lavender. I always going against the norm! And I was very specific about my bedding, but my Mom had great taste to keep me in line. She was from Nashville and had a good Southern flair.

We love your career path. Tell us what you did in your younger days and how you made the journey to interior design?

I was a flight attendant for 20 years, and then when Eastern Airlines went out of business I decided not to pursue that career. I had just moved to Atlanta and my husband and I bought a house, which we totally renovated. It was during that time I felt I had discovered something I could be passionate about, and knew I should nourish. I decorated the house, there was a home tour, and people started asking me to help with their homes. I might have sent some images of one of the bathrooms to a certain magazine editor 25 years ago, and well … you know the rest of that story.

How would you describe your design style? Do you have any signature looks, and what do you enjoy doing, design-wise, these days?

My style went through a transformation about seven years ago when I switched from using color to a more neutral palette, sprinkled with a lot of black and white. I painted my walls and floors white for that crisp background and it definitely stopped that roller coaster of repainting rooms with the latest trend color.

sherry hart interior design

A vignette in Sherry’s own house (a cottage in the Peachtree Park neighborhood of Atlanta) shows her love of black, white and neutrals. “I like black and white because it can be easy to find things in those colors … ha ha!” she says. “But seriously, I love using texture in different shades to make a neutral room feel cozy — such as using different weights of fabrics. And let’s be honest, since I am older (ahem), I already did that ‘color thing’ 20 years ago.”

sherry hart interior design

In the recent House Beautiful “Whole Home Project,” Sherry’s role as interior designer got her all sorts of national attention. The covered porch rocks it with that green ceiling, furniture by Woodard, outdoor planters from Huff Harrington and glass fireplace screen from Ballard Designs. The art is actually a TV with screen savers that resemble paintings. Image: Victoria Pearson

sherry hart interior design

Sherry packed this show house room — for Atlanta Magazine’s Pinewood Forest idea house — full of good ideas, including using a single wallpapered wall as an accent, choosing a daybed as both sofa and bed and layering textures rather than colors. Image: Lauren Rubinstein

sherry hart interior design

The designer frequently collaborates with builder Michael Ladisic, none more impressive than Michael’s own house. An arched inset wall provides the architectural drama, while a painting by Andrea Costa and sofa from Charles Stewart add the perfect scale and color. Photo: Erica George Dines for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

What’s been your hardest project to date and why?

I got an incredible opportunity to work on House Beautiful‘s first “Whole Home Project,” a fully decorated home with all sponsored products. If you know HB, then you know they’re usually all about color, and that’s not my thing. It was not easy and there were a lot of “cooks in the kitchen,” meaning I had editorial guidelines to meet along with making plenty of sponsors happy. Trying to infuse my style into it became nearly impossible, but I feel that in the end, we achieved a good balance between all the parameters we had to work with.

Who are your design idols and why?

I love Daryl Carter because of his use of black and white and minimalist approach. Someone I was introduced to on Instagram is Sean Anderson, whose style I adore. And Victoria Hagan’s designs really appeal to my love of mixing modern and tradition with seamless transition.

sherry hart interior design

Tone-on-tone features distinguish the foyer in builder Michael Ladisic’s house. To complement the space, Sherry chose a simple sphere pendant from Circa. Image: Erica George Dines for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

RELATED: Designing With Plants: Expert Tips for Stylishly Greening Your Interiors

sherry hart interior design

Sherry used her favorite shade of white, Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove” in this Atlanta kitchen. The custom pewter table is from Francois & Co. and the chairs are Vanguard Furniture. Image: Rustic White.

sherry hart interior design

Her love of black and white is loud and clear in this master bedroom, with walls clad in Benjamin Moore‘s “Iron Mountain” and inexpensive benches from Lamps Plus recovered in zebra fabric. Image: Tina Rowden

People love your design blog. When/how/why did you start it, and what are some stories about doing such a personal blog?

I started my blog one day in 2010 with no plans on how it would go past my first post. What a ride it has been, and it sounds weird to say this, but I love the writing aspect of it. Somebody gave me the best advice: “Keep it real by just speaking your voice and don’t worry about using perfect grammar.” I come from a family of storytellers, so I think it’s a good fit. Instagram has almost taken over from blogging, but I have to tell you, I have no immediate plans of quitting! I think the funniest post I wrote was about my neighbor and how jealous I was of her backyard. People thought I was serious. It was a very snarky post, I admit, but the comments I got from people were really funny.

What are some of your go-to sources — both online and store-wise — these days? You’re good about doing both high and low products in a room. Any tips on where to go and how to incorporate bargains? Similarly, what do you think is splurge-worthy?

I love to mix high and low! I really believe beautiful custom upholstery and Target can live together in the same room. I am a real stickler about purchasing well-made upholstery pieces that will last and then you can be budget-minded about the rest of the space. Meaning this: Accessories can be trendy and it’s easy to swap them out if you didn’t break the bank with a purchase. I love Home Goods (they sell the same things I see at High Point Market, but they buy in such volume, it allows us to get those good deals!) I also love Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Overstock.

RELATED: Home Design: How to Make the Most of Your Budget

sherry hart interior design

Elsewhere in the room, a comfy reading chair from Lee Industries is accented by antique bird prints she picked up at Scott Antique Market, one of her favorite sources for one-of-a-kind treasures. Image: Tina Rowden

sherry hart interior design

Sherry’s own Old English Sheepdog, Cami, got to fill in as a model for the pet room/mudroom in the Atlanta House Beautiful show house. The metal dog door is both functional and beautiful. The dog-themed wallpaper is by Thibaut. Image: Victoria Pearson

sherry hart interior design

Floral fabric — fresh, but not stuffy — from Sanderson Fabrics drapes the master bedroom in the show house with a custom canopy and bed skirt. Image: Victoria Pearson

If you could be the interior designer for anyone, who would it be (and why)?

Oh gosh … that is a tough question because I would want them to also be excited to work with me. I feel like the best collaborations come from clients that truly trust me, so designing for my sisters is always first on my list. If I’m just dreaming here, it might be George and Amal Clooney. He is funny and she seems nice, plus they have houses in Italy and London, so that would be fun.

sherry hart interior design

Sherry’s own family room is light and bright thanks to her white painted floors, vintage acrylic table and a curated mix of accessories. Image: Anthony Masterson

sherry hart interior design

A soft, nature-themed wallpaper from Lee Jofa sets the tone for this classy powder room. Image: Rustic White.

How do you spend your off hours?

You’ll find me walking my Old English Sheepdog, working out and dreaming about design. My real guilty pleasure is Netflix and reality TV … yeah, you can call me shallow, but seriously, there is something intriguing about it. After I discovered Downton Abbey — which I was late getting into — I also got hooked on British crime shows.

Learn more about Sherry Hart and her inspiring spaces by visiting sherryhartdesigns.com.

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