She effortlessly combines a traditional, antique aesthetic with sleek and modern elements, mixing in pieces that are unique to each client for a look that is inviting, timeless, a breath of fresh air. Cindy McCord creates spaces that not only reflect her clients’ personalities and meet their functional needs but that are equal parts sophisticated elegance and lived-in, laid-back comfort. We are crushing hard on interior designer Cindy McCord of Cindy McCord Design Inc. Read on to learn more about her passions, her projects and her thriving design business.

Cindy McCord
Cindy McCord of Cindy McCord Design Inc.

What is your design aesthetic and how does it set you apart?

My goal is to create interiors that are classic, warm, inviting and timeless. I strive to achieve an individual look depending on each client’s desires and visions.

Tell us a bit about your background and experience in design.

I began my career after earning my B.A. in design from the University of Memphis. I worked in the hospitality industry designing hotel interiors for several major hotel brands. After 12 years, I decided to open my own firm, Cindy McCord Design Inc. We have now been in business for more than 25 years.

Are there any trends you’re loving at the moment, and, alternately, any timeless aspects of design that you cling to?

I am cautious when it comes to following the trends. I have seen so many trends come and go that I feel strongly about clinging to individual style and timeless design. I do welcome fun and unexpected touches of colors in fabrics and art!

Cindy McCord
Large windows, gleaming countertops and smart lighting make this dreamy kitchen positively sparkle.
Cindy McCord
Subtle pattern on the living room rug adds interest while keeping with the room’s neutral palette. Cindy used soft, neutral hues throughout the entire home, changing its mood and vibe to one of relaxed elegance.
Cindy McCord
Doors open to connect the dining space to the screened porch, which features a long farmhouse table surrounded by casual cane-seat chairs.
Cindy McCord
A show-stopping light fixture and chic wallpaper take this hallway vignette to the next level.

RELATED: East Memphis Home Makeover: A Neutral Palette Brings Soft, Subtle Elegance

Cindy McCord
In this master bedroom, the soft palette goes beyond relaxing to ethereal, as if the space is resting on a cloud. Cindy reupholstered an existing chaise to create a restful spot for lounging or reading.

What has been your most challenging project to date and why? How did it help you grow as a designer?

No doubt it was a new construction residential project on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean — 2,354 miles away! The design phase fell into place beautifully, but logistics and installation were quite a challenge. I took a great crew with me from Memphis, and we all made it happen! The icing on the cake was when VERANDA magazine did a full feature on this project, and I was able to meet their former editor Lisa Newsome. It was a challenging yet wonderful experience.

What brings you the most professional joy?

A pleased client after an installation!

Do you have a favorite space in the home to design?

Not really — I think each space has its own personality depending on its use. I love doing all spaces, because they build upon each other.

What is your favorite room in your home and why?

I love our outdoor living space. It’s one place where I can relax and not be thinking of all the things I should be doing.

Cindy McCord
With its open access to the adjacent living space and kitchen, this dining spot was made for entertaining.
Cindy McCord
On buying trips, Cindy finds fabulous antique and vintage pieces, like this weathered table which lends an element of texture and patina to the decor.
Cindy McCord
The airy living area in this lake house adjoins the dining room and kitchen via wide openings framed by rustic wood beams.
Cindy McCord
Reclaimed wood beams complement the sleek elegance of the bedroom decor.
Cindy McCord
The master bath offers a subtle touch of gilded glamour.
Cindy McCord
A bar and billiards complete this downstairs lounge.

RELATED: Rustic Elegance Overflows in This Beach House … on Pickwick Lake

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere I go! Whether I am in Memphis or traveling for work or vacation, I am constantly taking pictures. It is fascinating to look around and see how many things that can inspire you. I have way too many photos on my phone, but I refer to them for inspiration often.

Where do you take chances in design?

I don’t take many chances. When spending my clients’ money, I want to feel confident on each and every recommendation, large and small.

If you could choose one designer to redo your home right now, who would it be?

Suzanne Kasler! I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest in her home in Atlanta several years ago at an event, and it was amazing. I have all of her books and relate to all of her interiors.

Share one designer secret with us regular folk.

If you don’t find exactly what you want, wait! Be patient — it’s out there.

Cindy McCord
Gleaming countertops, farmhouse sink, tile backsplash, custom drapery, gorgeous cabinetry with elegant hardware — this kitchen is a dream!
Cindy McCord
By day, this kitchen and dining room space is flooded with natural light, and by night, thoughtful recessed lighting and a lantern-style chandelier lend a warm glow.
Cindy McCord
We love this chic entryway.
Cindy McCord
Warm yellows and golds intermingle with cool blue and green tones in this laid-back living space.
Cindy McCord
An acrylic stool with fluffy sheepskin seat, a soft blue custom curtain with pom-pom detail, and botanical wallpaper lend a softness to this sleek master bathroom.
Cindy McCord
It’s all in the details. This timeless kitchen vignette marries form and function.
Cindy McCord
An elegant, beachy vibe meets rustic lake cabin feel in this fabulous bathroom in a home on Pickwick Lake.

What home decor items can you not live without?

That one is easy. Beautiful lamps and decorative lighting, fresh flowers, a wonderful candle and inspiring and colorful coffee table books.

Hypothetical: You have to choose only three colors to use throughout your home. What are the three colors?

A warm white, a fabulous neutral and beautiful bluish and green tones mixed in.

If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?

Unique, classic, timeless, collected and balanced

Thanks, Cindy! To learn more about Cindy McCord Design Inc., visit

Thank you to Julie Wage Ross for these gorgeous images of Cindy’s interiors.


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About the Author
Lauren Helmer

Lauren Helmer is a writer, editor, and artist with a passion for food, the arts, interiors, and the people who create them.