Pierce & Ward Designer's Layered Nashville Home
With the exception of musicians, actors and activists whose work I’m a huge fan of, I’m not much for celebrities. I don’t care who they’re supposedly dating or how much cellulite they have. But, I can’t say that I don’t get taken in and influenced by the rich and famous either. In my case, my way of judging which of these beautiful strangers I worship the most comes down to who has the nicest house. Shallow and terrible, I know. But is it really any worse than the tabloid way?!
One day while creepin’ supermodel Lily Aldridge’s Instagram (who seems like a very nice person and who, I’m sure, is professional and diligent in all of her endeavours. Yes, I’ve added in this disclaimer to avoid seeming like a dickhead who heartlessly uses celebs for their interior inspo.), I spotted a picture of her quaint kitchen. Interior design duo Pierce & Ward were tagged in the caption. And just like that, I had a whole new group of celebrities to suddenly take great interest in.
Two years after first discovering the work of Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward, not only have I become a HUGE (well, through my method) fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney and model and musician Karen Elson , I’ve become an even bigger fan of the duo’s ability to mix texture and colour. Their signature style is traditional and user-friendly; banquet seating, open shelving and ceiling-high bistro-style tiling. Yet it’s their use of clashing texture and pattern that takes their comfy spaces up a notch into layered, bohemian wonderlands.
It’s always interesting to see how designers design their own space, without a brief or client input. Recently, I was able to find out thanks to Garden & Gun magazine (a publication I was unfamiliar with and is, to my relief, more “garden” than “gun”.). Here’s a nosey around the Nashville home Louisa shares with her Rolling Stone music critic husband Austin Scaggs and their two kids.
While drawing up a freehand blueprint of her dream home, Louisa put in serious legwork. She visited tons of other homes to get a feel for what she did and did not want. To keep costs down, Louisa quite literally window-shopped in the “boneyard” of a local company where rejected windows and doors are sold at a discount.
Note the two types of countertop and two paint colours used on the cabinetry. This is a great idea if you can’t afford all-over marble, or don’t want painted units to darken your space too much.
The kitchen was designed using a neutral palette of charcoal grey, white and walnut. The versatile bones of the design allow for freedom when it comes to accessorising and adding finishing touches.
The striped alcoves are reminiscent of the iconic Henri Bendel shopping bag.
The bar area is well-stocked and ready for guests to help themselves. The antique brass sink is not only super handy, it’s stunning.
A lacquered console table by pre-postmodernist designer Karl Springer anchors a gallery wall and creates a useful drop-zone in the entryway.
A simple sofa design was recovered in rose gold-coloured velvet fabric. Behind it, clever storage was built-in to the staircase to house the musical couple’s turntable and vinyl collection.
Unusual use of tile has become a Pierce & Ward signature, and in her own home, Louisa used two types of hexagonal tiling on her fireplace.
Again, it seems Louisa looked at a small space and thought “Why only have one design when I can have two?!”. And so, two patterns of vintage wallpaper were ordered from eBay and hung in the hallway. Few can carry it off quite like Pierce & Ward.
The sharp geometrical architecture of the guesthouse is softened with a round light pendant and cloud-like sheepskin rug.
Every nook and cranny is an opportunity for a charming arrangement.
An Indian brass tray was hung as artwork above the bed and is contrasted alongside monochrome line drawings.
After seeing this shot, I realised just how much I need an Indian monochromatic bone-inlay stool in my life. So now I want to go to India.
An eclectic selection of trinket dishes and cigar boxes is perfect for containing bedside essentials without them looking too cluttered. Well, the bad kind of cluttered at least!
How to do mismatched bedding: Make sure it’s well-matched mismatched. How do you know if it’s suitably well-matched? Oh, it’s like love. You just know.
A Moroccan carved wood screen is the perfect window solution for bathroom privacy.