The Nashville Edit asked six of Nashville’s most sought-after interior designers to elaborate on their art curation process, and have even shared a few insider tips for readers to apply to their own homes.

Ray Booth

of McAlpine

On the importance of original art:

Art is always going to be one of the “secret sauces” to use on any project. It is that undefinable quality that can take an interior from good to great. In our process, art is the one ingredient that really allows you to tie together a room emotionally, palette-wise, and conceptually.

On where to find unique pieces:

Some of our favorite galleries in Nashville are Tinney Contemporary Art, Zeitgeist, and David Lusk Gallery.

On favorite local artists:

We do often use art from Ed Nash. Ed has a great talent for color and abstract paintings. He also is very collaborative, he welcomes input and direction without sacrificing his own voice in his work.

Jonathan Savage

of Savage Interior Design

On the importance of original art:

Original art can really define a space. Having a one-off piece like no one else makes for an interesting talking point and adds to the overall environment. It is very common for us to commission artists to create something special for our clients.

On where to find unique pieces:

Often times you can find me digging for treasures at Gas Lamp Antiques, The Belle Meade Shoppes, or shopping the latest market finds at Epergne.

On favorite local artists:

As of late, I am completely obsessed with fine art photographer, Joseph Guay, one of the south’s premier artists.  Whether he is capturing the architectural details of the south or the most beautiful object he does it right every time.  

Robin Rains

of Robin Rains Interior Design 

On the importance of original art:

An original art piece is hard to beat! An authentic piece enhances our appreciation and conveys an almost magical sense of the artist’s essence, one that cannot be duplicated. We encourage our clients to collect art that is meaningful and evokes emotion. Whether it be while traveling or from your favorite local gallery, the hunt can be a very satisfying experience. Sometimes the most interesting artwork directs our focus somewhere unexpected​.​ Art will always make a space unique and give the place a personality, no matter the style. I’ve learned that if a particular piece, no matter how small, is powerful enough, it can command a wall. The image below shows original artwork by the famous painter, Alberto Galvez, whose paintings can be found in numerous international private and corporate collections.

On where to find unique pieces:

We love Leipers Creek Gallery and David Lusk Gallery for art and sculpture.
We recently commissioned a spectacular piece by talented artist Erik Stromberg, who moved to Nashville this past year. We are thrilled to have his gallery down the road! Charish is another platform where we sell our antiques and its a great source for vintage art. You can search locally or internationally which we love! We are excited to expand our art inventory at our new design showroom with one-of-kind pieces from a handful of our favorite local artists.

On favorite local artists:

I have always loved Kit Reuther’s work who is a Nashville native and who’s current art + sculpture can be found at David Lusk Gallery. I’ve enjoyed watching her work evolve over the years. I respect her use of architectural abstraction and admire her restraint, minimalism, and use of geometric form and texture. I’ll never forget purchasing my first Jack Spencer fine art photography piece for my personal collection over 20 years ago. I’ve gone on to use his work throughout the years in many design projects across the country.

Scarlett James

of The Mix Interiors

On the importance of original art:

Original art adds tremendous depth and interest to a room and is also a great jumping point for the overall design and color scheme. We love when original art is personal to the client and helps tell their story.

On where to find unique pieces:

Our go-to galleries in town are Bennett Galleries, G.Grace Gallery, and Nashville Artist Collective. Local art shows, such as the Harding Art Show, are a great way to discover new artists, and Instagram is an awesome source to connect with local and regional artists as well.

On favorite local artists:

Oh goodness, I don’t know that I can pick one. Christina Baker (Bennett Galleries), Caroline Allison (Zeitgeist Gallery), Jennifer Gibbs (Marketplace Interiors), Shelby Foldy (Providence Interiors), Sketch, and Co. (G. Grace Gallery).  

Julie Couch

of Julie Couch Interiors

On the importance of original art:

I have always had a deep appreciation and love for art… I was actually an art history major in college and now own a non-profit art gallery, G. Grace Gallery, founded in memory of my daughter Georgia Grace. The importance of original art really depends on the specific client.  For some clients with lots of wall space to fill, decorative art can be a wonderful alternative to meet lead time and budget, perfect for secondary spaces.  Sometimes, we’ll do fine art in the spaces that are most used and visible, like the living room, dining room, entry, or master bedroom. Art is usually one of the last selections we make in our design process because it’s so very personal to the client and something that we like to work on with each client to find something that they truly love.

On where to find unique pieces:

Locally, I love to shop for antiques at Gas Lamp and Gas Lamp Too. We used to have a booth there and have picked up some great finds there from a hundred-year-old chandelier to vintage chairs. I also love to shop at Robin Rains’ showroom. We recently sourced an awesome bust statue for a client from there and Robin has some fabulous pieces.

On favorite local artists:

Amanda Norman is a fabulous artist here in Nashville. She paints really beautiful abstract watercolor pieces in blue, green, and blush tones. I also love Charlotte Terrell’s stunning landscapes. I purchased one of Charlotte’s pieces for my personal home years ago and am now fortunate enough to have her as one of our artists at my non-profit art gallery, G. Grace Gallery. You can find both Amanda and Charlotte’s work at our website www.gggracegallery.com or you can stop by our gallery in the 12th South neighborhood here in Nashville. Our Instagram is @g.gracegallery.

Evan Millard

of Modern Remains

On the importance of original art:

Art, in any form, is often the heartbeat behind each of our designs. That special work has the power to make you feel an emotion and completely change your day!

On where to find unique pieces:

In addition to sourcing those unique works from the artists we represent, at Modern Remains, we love local galleries like Zeitgeist & G. Grace Gallery.

On favorite local artists:

Megan Lightell will always be a local favorite to Modern Remains. Her work transports us to many parts of our beloved state. Megan’s Plein air paintings primarily focus on land being conserved by the Land Trust of Tennessee. Her work can be found at Zeitgeist.