Interior designer Julie Couch is someone we’ve admired for years. Not only does she run a busy interior design firm, Julie Couch Interiors, but she bubbles over with enthusiasm for everything she does. Known for designs that are artful and sophisticated, mixed with whimsy, Julie was selected by Traditional Home as a 2015 Rising Star. And we were thrilled to see her work recently on the cover of Country Living magazine. With her latest stint as the interior designer on DIY’s “Nashville Flipped,” her talent is on display for all to see and we’re thrilled for her. She’s also a new member of the Southern Living Designer Network. We caught up with this busy business owner, interior designer, wife and mom, as we wanted to show off her style and why she’s our interior design crush this month!
What is your design aesthetic and how do you translate that to a client and his/her home?
“We should live with the things we love the most” is the core of my design philosophy. Whether those items are important antiques or sentimental collections, those guide me in creating a custom, tailored design plan. Typically, I prefer larger, investment pieces be neutral for longevity; it is essential to showcase personal pieces in a home that make it unique. As I create a design plan, staying true to most of the basic principles of design is the foundation from which I build in making a room work. Ultimately, my spaces are a result of conversations with my clients. Knowing what they want is how we can make it come to life in the most elegant and beautiful way possible.
What brings you the most professional joy?
Install days can be stressful, sweaty and long, and they don’t really teach you this in design classes! At the end of the day, when everything is in place and perfectly complete, my heart is happy. I absolutely love making my clients’ homes their favorite place in the world; the day they finally get to walk in and see it is the best. It never gets old.
Are people starting to embrace color again, or is the movement still strong with a canvas of white?
I will never tire of white! I love the crispness and the simplicity. But my designs are unique to each client. In the past 10 years, I have done my best to listen to client likes, dislikes and desires with my selections based solely on them. Guiding them from dreaming about how they’d like to live to surrounding themselves with exactly what they love is always my goal.
What’s one of the most misunderstood aspects of interior design (from those outside the industry)?
Well … design is only a portion of what I do each day. We have lots of vendors, freight companies and local artisans that we rely on to make a project come together. So, with all the details involved, I spend way too much time in front of my computer, resolving damages and delays or going over bank statements. However, I will continue to do as much as I need to do in exchange for the joy and honor of designing homes!
Would you share one designer secret with SB readers?
Paint colors and finishes seem to be the most common question. So, as a general rule, I use a single neutral color throughout the core of the house, in open areas and hallways, like Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray or White Dove by Benjamin Moore. For finish, my go-to is eggshell on walls, flat on ceilings, and satin trim. I save the bold, dramatic colors for individual spaces like a powder room, master bedroom or dining room.
Let’s talk money. I know you offer a variety of services to make your advice affordable to many. What’s the most affordable way to get your advice, followed by the most intense, knowing that you also offer packages in between. And, do you consult clients outside of Nashville?
Yes, I love to travel and have completed projects across the Southeast. We offer a range of services beginning with a reasonable, flat-rate, two-hour consultation. In addition, we offer a day of design, e-design or a new construction/renovation package. Most clients ask for full design, start-to-finish guidance from us, but we truly try to tailor our services to the scope of work, budget and timeline required.
Who have been your industry mentors/role models (your personal interior design crushes!) and why?
I have followed the career of Windsor Smith for years and identify with her love of contrasts, which she executes flawlessly. I was fortunate to meet her earlier this year and learned she is as gracious and beautiful as the homes she creates.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
With a degree in art history, fine art, sculpture and painting on canvas are my primary sources of inspiration. Searching for antiques and imagining where they could live next also feeds my design inspiration.
How did the opportunity with the HGTV network and “Nashville Flipped” come about?
The pilot for the show was picked up for HGTV early last year with another talented designer, but that arrangement didn’t work out. The crew was moments from starting to film but still wanted a designer’s perspective as part of the show. The production company, Tacklebox Films, searched for interior designers in Nashville and found a video of me on my website. They called me, asked if I’d like to come in for a meeting, and a few weeks later I was on set filming the first episode!
Has the TV bug bitten you?
It was so much fun! I loved the people I got to know while working on the show, and I learned a lot. My first love will always be design, but the show was a wonderful opportunity that I just had to take. There were lots of late nights and very early mornings necessary to keep my design business on track; I am so glad that I took a chance, did it and now have several lifelong friendships.
If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?
Make home your happiest place.
Thank you, Julie! To find out more about Julie Couch Interiors, check out her website, here.
Interior photos by Alyssa Rosenheck.
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