Brad Ramsey’s energetic approach and thoughtful attention to design is invigorating, and the results are spectacular. Brad founded Brad Ramsey Interiors in 2012 and hit the ground running. In the past five years, his work has given dozens of clients spaces they love and live in, and he has been featured on HGTV’s “Interiors Inc.” Each space Brad designs is an experimentation in balance and layering. We admire his ability to combine textures, colors and patterns without overwhelming the eye. He may challenge you to consider a funky light fixture or an unexpected piece of furniture, but his balanced designs are sure to suit your personality and lifestyle. We were thrilled at the chance to ask Brad a few burning questions and are excited to share his responses with you today!
Tell us about your early career. When did you decide to open your own firm?
I worked for another design firm for almost five years before I decided to go out on my own. I started as a project manager and eventually worked my way up to taking my own jobs and clients. It was a great learning experience. Design is always different in real life situations than you would think. Learning the finesse of working with clients and handling challenges is best learned by experience.
What is your design aesthetic and how does it set you apart?
I like a well-balanced space with thoughtful layering and textures. It doesn’t matter what the style is, whether modern, contemporary, traditional or transitional, every space needs the correct balance. I’d like to think I have a good instinct for creating well-curated spaces with natural balance.
What is the first question you ask a client?
I like to start with the personal component — tell me about your family, how you live, what makes a house feel like a home. We will get to budget and specifics later, but always personal first!
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? What is your favorite part? And do you have a least favorite part?
The initial brainstorming sessions are my favorite part of the design process. During this phase, the sky is the limit and it is fun to think outside of the box. I really get a chance to know the client by throwing thoughts and ideas their way to see their reactions. But in the end, I always design to the aesthetic of my clients so that it feels like their home and their space — not mine. As far as what I like the least, that would easily be handling damages and shipping issues. It takes more time and is much more frustrating than we ever let clients know. It is our role to shield them from those “less attractive” parts of the design process.
What has been your most challenging project to date and why?
Recently, we completed a second home for a client that we built in Alys Beach, FL. We did the project completely turn-key, handling even the smallest details. It was a blast and exhausting, too. Out-of-state projects are always more challenging because you can’t just run out to the job site and take a measurement if changes have occurred. It takes a lot of organization from my entire team.
What are your predictions for 2017 interior design trends?
Color is back! We are moving out of the grey neutrals and into more colorful rooms. Neutrals will always be the base of how I design, but I love infusing a space with color and pattern too!
Do you have any go-to stores for interior design finds?
Most of the products I purchase for my clients come from the wholesale accounts I have procured, but a run down to Atlanta to Scott’s Market is always a fun way to grab some unique finds.
How do you think Nashville’s design scene differs from that of the rest of the country?
We are growing so quickly here in Nashville and have people moving from all over the country, so as a designer this allows me to have a diverse clientele with many different tastes. This keeps things interesting and fun. I would say it is almost impossible to peg Nashville’s design scene as any one thing anymore, but upscale casual seems to be fairly consistent.
Do you have a favorite room in the home to design?
Not specifically. What I love the most is getting to design multiple rooms so that they can each be unique but have a common aesthetic and theme running throughout that allows the home to feel cohesive.
If you could design one person’s home, who would you choose?
Oh, definitely my mom’s! She is always asking me for advice, but they don’t have the budget to do all of the updates that her and my dad’s house needs. If I could get rid of some of their old furniture and give them a fresh new space, that would be my most fulfilling design job!
Who have been your industry mentors/role models (your personal interior design crushes) and why?
Having worked for Jonathan Pierce for years, I would have to say that he made a huge impact on my work. Also, I sought out a mentor friendship with Ray Booth of McAlpine when I started my business, and he has been a great role model to have. As far as design crushes, I get them every day for different reasons. Whether it is on Instagram or somewhere else, I am constantly saving inspirational photos to my phone from all sorts of people. Social media has put some of the best inspiration right at our fingertips on a daily basis.
Would you share one designer secret with SB readers?
Don’t select all of your favorite items and try to put them together and make them work. Design should include pieces that play well together. That means you might have to select a simpler table if your chairs are loud and proud, or vice versa. Too many power players in one room makes for bad design.
What are three household items you couldn’t live without?
My white Belgian linen bedding, my art collections and good bourbon glasses (including the bourbon, too, of course).
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
I always start off the year wanting to get more organized, so there is that. But more than anything, my resolution for 2017 is to love well, have fun and give my best at everything I do.
If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?
Creative, thoughtful, layered, balanced and beautiful!
Thank you, Brad Ramsey, for inspiring us to freshen up our homes, call our mom and learn about you as a designer!
To see more designers we are crushin’ on, click here.