Tammy Randall is the award-winning lead interior designer and partner of LL&A Interior Design. In her 33-year career, she most enjoys creating spaces that reflect the individuals who dwell within. And she adores her colleagues and relishes being part of the design team at LL&A, where she not only has a hand in growth and development for the firm, but she also serves as project manager, initiating all project coordination, space planning, budget management and documentation. Having earned her interior design degree from Sullivan University, this dynamic designer continues her professional learning as a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). When not immersed in design, Tammy volunteers at local charities and spends time with her family and dogs on their horse farm. We are delighted to introduce our Interior Designer Crush du jour, Tammy Randall!
What is your design aesthetic and how do you translate that to a client’s home?
My look is a crossover between boho-farmhouse, with a dash of shabby, which most will say is a bit eclectic. What may translate more than anything is my love for personalization. I love when you walk through a door and you know exactly who lives there. Providing the space to tell the story of its occupants is important to me. Family treasures, photographs, books or items collected during travels are essential to integrate and display proudly into a client’s space so their own story will be told.
Where are your favorite local spots to source decor for a client’s home?
I love Blue Ocean Traders. It is a great local spot for the trade to source authentic, unique and quirky pieces, from furniture to doors and accessories. But, naturally, my go-to spot is LL&A; we offer such a variety of unique artwork, lamps and accessories that it is easy to find just what I need.
Are there any trends you’re loving at the moment, and, alternately, any timeless aspects of design that you cling to?
Golds in various finishes are trending now in plumbing, hardware and lighting. Mixing metals in the right doses is such a great way to shake things up. Lighting companies are mixing the golds with black and silvers, which are fun and classy at the same time. “Blackgrounds” for fabrics, wall-coverings and accents are dramatic and offer a great base to any accent color or neutral. To me, the timeless “foundation” I always try and stick to is beautiful, basic brown stained on hardwood flooring. When you keep a brown stain foundation, it will work with other various stains used on furniture when those items are layered in. Gray stains may be on trend and look great with what is happening now but, I am not sure how long they will stand the test of time. However, gray-stained furnishings look smart on brown hardwoods, so it keeps the trendier stain on smaller price-tag items.
What has been your most challenging project to date and why?
Each project brings its own sets of challenges; whether it is simply finding the “perfect” fabric for a window treatment or renovating a kitchen and disturbing the lives of families for eight weeks. But distance between ourselves and our out-of-state clients will always play a huge role with its set of challenges. With distance comes the extra effort to locate and partner with trusted and professional suppliers and contractors to assist us with implementing and completing these projects. It is a bit like online dating. We court one another over the phone and in emails for weeks, then have our first date at the installation! It is such a rush of nerves and emotions watching all the planning come to life on install week, but the pay-off is gratifying.
What brings you the most professional joy?
I have been an interior designer my entire career — 33 years. Design is all I know, and I am so proud of that fact. I have watched this industry change and evolve, which has kept me on my toes. It is certainly never boring or stale. Several of my clients are my friends now and have been with me for many years. Also, knowing that I am able to work each day with a group of women who are my best friends and confidantes makes coming to “work” a joy for me. I may be fine on my own, but I am better together with our team. I am a lucky girl, and I am grateful for it.
How does Louisville’s design scene differ from the rest of the country?
Our area tends to be slightly more on the conservative side of design. Commitment can be hard for many people for fear of tiring of pieces. We are still a traditional community at heart but are stretching our imaginations by adding wonderful modern art, seating or carpets into traditional spaces or barn wood into farmhouse design. The West Coast steps outside of the box a bit more freely and is not as reluctant to take risks, in my opinion.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My primary source of inspiration is the clients I am working for. Their homes, businesses, lifestyles and business practices are always my starting point. The outdoors is usually my other go-to; I love earth tones of blues and greens of various hues and pairing them with a neutral palette. Natural fibers are always a draw to me — wood, baskets, wovens, jutes, leather and wool — I love them all. And there are such great offerings in textiles, metals, woods and clay — my favorites!
Who have been your industry mentors and role models and why?
That is so easy for me to answer. I have been blessed to have worked alongside many strong and talented women my whole career, all of whom I have learned and grown from. Connie Pohlman and Liz Wilson certainly had a huge impact on my career. Both are local designers from the Louisville and Southern Indiana area that provided me a platform to do what I love to do. And as I mentioned earlier, I get to work every day with our beautiful team. Leslie Lewis-Sheets, my dear friend and soul sister; Lauren Eurton; Dawn Davis; Sarah Borgmann and Whitley Gregory are all models who keep me fresh and forward-thinking. At 54, I am still learning, and each of us contributes something unique to the table that we all benefit from. I truly believe “Your vibe attracts your tribe.”
Share one designer secret with us regular folk.
Layers! Layer it on with pillows, blankets, quilts and throws. It is such a terrific way to add style, personality and comfort. Create your own little nests on your sofa and bed by layering in blankets and down pillows with great color, pattern and soft texture. Then cuddle up!
What are your predictions for interior design in the next 10 to 15 years?
Service will be the key to a successful designer. In order to make it in this industry, service has been and always will be the mainstay. Consumers want to matter, and providing your time, insight, professionalism, resources and knowledge (from your education and experiences) will still be a draw in the next 10 years. Business practices of the industry have changed immensely with the introduction of the internet, Amazon, Wayfair, Houzz, Pinterest and the resulting desire for immediate gratification, but I still believe that people need people.
If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?
Individuality is timeless — do YOU!
Thank you to Tammy for sharing her impressive portfolio of work and thoughtful insights. To contact LL&A Interior Design, visit leslielewisdesign.com.
Check out our other local interior design articles here.