JoAnne Haynes got her toes wet in the world of design nearly 40 years ago while living in her home state of California. The Nashville design community benefited from her decision to move her family to Franklin, Tennessee – California’s loss was our gain. JoAnne creates everyday living spaces with classic sensibilities, resulting in well-balanced, inspiring interiors. Through her full-service firm, J. Haynes Interiors, she is bringing beautiful, classic design to homes across Nashville and Franklin. In addition to sharing her talents with homeowners in the area, she dedicates herself to bettering the community as an avid volunteer. Most notably, JoAnne started the O’More Designer Show House and served on the board of her alma mater for many years. We are thrilled that JoAnne made the decision to call Nashville home. We are even more excited to welcome her, a woman whose demeanor is as lovely as the spaces she creates, as today’s FACE of Nashville!
Tell us about your company and the services you offer.
We are a full-scale design firm. We do mostly upper-end residential projects, although I have done commercial work. We do a lot of new construction. I like designing the floor plan and flow of a home as much as I like designing the interiors.
What led you to the O’More College of Design?
When I first married, we lived in Santa Cruz, California, where our first child was born. I helped my husband start a chain of restaurants that were housed in old train stations, which I would renovate. That is how I got started in the design business. I also had a real estate license and worked in subdivisions on model homes. I had a second child and was widowed in 1976. I knew I wanted to pursue design, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it with two small children to support.
I had visited a friend in Tennessee, who had taken me to Franklin. I immediately fell in love with Franklin and met Mrs. Eloise O’More. Franklin was precious and darling and safe — and completely different from Santa Cruz. I bought a house and attended O’More, and I absolutely loved every second of it. When I started, the school was on West Main Street. Mrs. O’More bought the current building on South Margin Street, and I was a member of the first graduating class on that campus.
After graduation, I started my own design business and have been doing that ever since (close to 40 years).
Tell us about your involvement with the O’More Designer Show House.
In 2013, a handful of us had the vision to create the O’More Designer Show House, featuring alumni spanning the decades. I had done the Junior League Show Houses over the years, so I knew what a show house looked like. I chaired and was project designer for the first three homes. The first was a new build; the second and third were historic properties. The historic homes really fit with my interests — I have always been attracted to architectural history. I’ve done some master’s coursework in preservation at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and have studied at Winterthur in Delaware and elsewhere. It’s been a lifelong passion.
The show houses were great fun. Now that the school has evolved, I hope they will find a way to continue that event successfully because it’s such a great way to highlight what the graduates contribute to the world professionally.
How would you describe your design aesthetic? Has it changed in 40 years?
It hasn’t changed! I brought California to Nashville when I came. I do light, airy, bright, timeless design. I think “pretty” would describe it as well as anything. I don’t do trendy at all. I like what I like.
Bringing California design to Tennessee was progressive at the time and is what helped my business take off. I was showing people something they hadn’t seen before. Now that California has gone so contemporary, I am not sure I would fit in there anymore!
What is your favorite thing about living and working in Nashville and Franklin?
The friendliness. People in Nashville’s design community are helpful to each other, especially the ones who have been here for a long time. It is a close-knit group. Particularly in Franklin, they are keeping with tradition. Strong efforts are made to preserve the buildings and keep the charm — not to let the growth take over. They have done a fabulous job of keeping the structures and charm.
What’s the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on? What’s your favorite?
The show houses were my biggest challenges and my favorite projects. I also remember an event for the torch relay around the 1996 Summer Olympics that I chaired with my friend Linda Westin for the United Way in Centennial Park. It was a massive undertaking, with thousands of people in attendance, but it was such a fun project to work on. I have always enjoyed volunteer work and continue to volunteer in many different ways.
How has Nashville’s design scene evolved?
There is a tremendous amount of talent here. Originally, there were only a few designers in town, but as Nashville has grown and become the “it” city, the design community grew with it. Now, we have any type of designer you could be looking for. That was not the case 20 years ago, which is great. I think it is wonderful that they are starting the design district on Sidco, but we need more of that. There has been talk for years and years about holding a mini ADAC market here, and hopefully that will come in the future.
What is an early career mistake you made? What lessons came from this?
From a personal standpoint, I learned not to make quick decisions. From a design standpoint, I learned never to have a piece delivered when I am not there. Once, our delivery guy put a sofa in the wrong house. That was a lesson learned.
If you could design one person’s house, who would you choose?
Princess Kate. I would be happy to do their new nursery!
When you aren’t working, where can we find you?
I spend a lot of time with my granddaughters in Franklin. I continue to do volunteer work, and I am in the process of remodeling my own home. I also love to travel.
What is your favorite travel destination?
We have spent every summer for the last 15 years in Maine, but this year we are only going to spend three weeks. We had a house in Owl’s Head, on the central coast, and my husband (who is an art dealer in his second career) had an art gallery in Thomaston. Now we are just going to visit, which is how we started going up there in the beginning. It was time to downsize.
My college roommate and I also travel together – to France and all different places.
What is the best piece of advice you received, and from whom?
My mom told me that everything always works out like it is supposed to, and she was right.
Aside from faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
My coffee, my books and sunshine.
Thank you, Joanne! And thank you to Ashley Hylbert for the fabulous photos of this amazing FACE.
Allow us to introduce you to Dr. Erin Steidl, OB/GYN. Not only does she make other women moms with every delivery she makes, but she’s also a mom herself. Get to know our newest FACE of TriStar! CLICK HERE.