the fabulous (and kind) Mara Miller

Incredible family portrait by C&C client, Annie Leibovitz
Truly one of my favorite rooms of all time, created by Carrier and Company for actress, Jessica Chastain
C&C as seen in House Beautiful
This office by Carrier and Co mixes furniture styles and textures…and the layers!
fabulous mix of pattern and texture, interior by Carrier and Company
two more images from Jessica Chastain’s home in NYC by C&C
Who knew a kitchen could be so sexy?! Interior by Carrier and Company
warm and earthy color palette perfected by Carrier and Company
jewel tones in this space take you back in time. Home of Jessica Chastain by Carrier and Company
perfect artwork chosen for this space by Carrier and Company

I’ve spent the better part of the last 3 days gazing at beautiful objects and listening to talented tastemakers talk about all things “Cultivated Style” at this year’s Antique and Garden Show.

tabletop vignette by Carrier and Company

The show officially ends today (Sunday 2/5) at 4pm, but I was fortunate to spend a few minutes yesterday chatting with Mara Miller, half of the dynamic husband-wide team that is Carrier and Company.  We talked about all things life, design, and business.

I could literally share a hundred photos from their gorgeous portfolio!  (See for yourself here !) But I will simply include a few of my very favorites to whet your appetite;)

Charming sitting area in a collected and creative bedroom design

Mara met her husband and business partner , Jessie Carrier, in college at FIT.  The two have been making design history ever since.  Jessie and Mara are parents of two young children, ages 6 and 11 and live in NYC.  So I was particularly interested in how her days work, how she schedules, and how she keeps her designs fresh.  Luckily, I found that she wasn’t “that much of a planner” which made me feel a little better about my chaotic days.  However, she obviously gets most days right, as she has created an admirable design firm with an impressive list of celebrity clients with beautiful homes throughout the country.  The two make an incredible partnership.

When creating a home,  Mara explained how she talked with clients about determining budget and timeline.  I appreciated how she spoke about addressing areas that can often be overlooked, like a hallway or a back entrance.  “Everything has to make sense together,” Mara said, so it makes no sense to leave a space unfinished.  She mentioned how a hallway may became the link that brings all the spaces together, and that small spaces shouldn’t be ignored as an integral part of the whole home.

It was so interesting to hear the things about her business that are identical to mine and as well as the processes that are completely different.

Since she and Jessie have children, Mara mentioned that they get many clients that are creating homes for a young families.  Attention to details that make the home liveable as well as what is an appropriate place to invest as well as save.  Carrier and Company is careful that each home has both longevity and style.  Mara and Jessie really listen to what that particular client needs and wants them to create.

Carrier and Company works with clients starting with a clean slate as well as those in need of major updates and edits.   Mara and I agreed that sometimes the most fun place to start shopping is in our clients’ current homes.

As a designer, I know the time it takes to find the perfect piece to rest on a console table or the “right” lamp for a bedside table; so as I look at their beautiful portfolio, I truly appreciate the time and attention given to each space.  The rooms are curated, edited, and incredibly inviting.

Another thing I really love about Carrier and Company interiors is that the homes look comfortable, layered, and real.  There is nothing stuffy or formulaic about the spaces, but they are each unique and beautiful as is Mara herself.

And they have a GORGEOUS coffee table book, Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors.  Buy your copy here.)

xo, jc

portfolio photos via www.carrierandcompany.com

family portrait via ladolcevitablog.com


Antique & Garden Show 2017 is almost here!

I can’t wait until February 3rd when the Antique & Garden show opens at Music City Center here in Nashville.  It’s one of my absolute favorite events to attend.  It offers great fun at the Bourbon Party and serious design-awe-inspiring lectures from the top designers, event planners, and landscape architects.

This year will be no exception.  Mary McDonald, known for her time on Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, uses bold patterns and luxe fabrics in her beautiful and dramatic designs.  She also has a fabric line with Schumacher, as well as lamps through Robert Abbey.  Hopefully she’ll share some of her secrets of how to be so fabulous…

Interior by Mary McDonald. Photos via www.marymcdonal.com
Interiors by Mary McDonald. Photos via www.marymcdonald.com
glam ws 3
Interiors by Mary McDonald. Photos via www.marymcdonald.com
banef 2
Interiors by Mary McDonald. Photos via www.marymcdonald.com
leopard ws 1
Interiors by Mary McDonald. Photos via www.marymcdonald.com

Who hasn’t pored over the Velvet and Linen blog?! The softness and subtlety of interiors by Brooke Gianetti  and her architect husband, Steve Gianetti are show-stopping studies in neutrals, texture, and patina.  In fact, they have written two wonderful books, Patina Style and Patina Farm, sharing many of their projects and perspective.  Their portfolio has such unity and uniqueness, which I find to be the most challenging combination- and one that I continually strive for.  And honestly, I just love that they are married and work together so beautifully.

Interiors by Gianetti Home. Photos via www.gianettihome.com
Interiors by Gianetti Home. Photos via www.gianettihome.com
Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 6.39.27 PM
Interiors by Gianetti Home. Photos via www.gianettihome.com
Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 6.39.00 PM
Interiors by Gianetti Home. Photos via www.gianettihome.com
Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 6.39.17 PM
Interiors by Gianetti Home. Photos via www.gianettihome.com

The keynote speaker is no other than the FABULOUS Nate Berkus! Who isn’t loved Nate since his debut on the Oprah Winfrey show.  He seems genuinely kind  and creates the most inviting and collected interiors.  Each home is unique, but they are all layered, thoughtful, and perfectly balanced.  I bought my ticket to hear him speak the same day I heard the announcement.  I can’t wait to gaze at those gorgeous photos and hear his perspective on creating such perfectly “undecorated” spaces.

Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com
Interiors by Nate Berkus. Photo via www.nateberkus.com

Join me there!! All the info you need is here!


See you there! xo julie

julie couch master bedroom Nashville Flipped episode 9

Nashville Flipped – Farmhouse Refresh – Episode 9

Working on the 1880s farmhouse just outside Nashville in Episode 9 for Nashville Flipped was one of my favorite homes. The first time I saw the place, it was literally a few boards and some remaining framing from the original home. 

Driving up to the site, it still had beauty and charm, but apparently nothing on the inside had been maintained over the years.  Complete disrepair throughout the interior and front porch forced show host and flipper Troy Shafer to take the home down to the studs and build it back as if it had been loved and cared for over the years.  

nashville flipped episode 9 farmhouse refresh exterior before
nashville flipped episode 9 exterior before- photo courtesy of Scripps and DIY Network

Since it sits on a pretty piece of property in a more rural area, I wanted to keep the exterior paint palette light, almost white. We painted it Sherwin Williams #7012 “Creamy.” Historically, most country homes had very little color and simple paint palettes unlike the more urban homes we worked on that called for brighter and bolder exterior paint!  

julie couch sherwin williams creamy exterior
exterior painted in sherwin williams “creamy”- photo courtesy of Scripps and DIY Network

Color Palette

We did want a fun “pop,” of color, so we chose a vibrant teal, Sherwin Williams #6942 “Splashy” for the exterior doors.

Colors used are one of the most common questions.  The interior color palette was SW “Iron Ore” for the dark doors, SW “Snowbound” for the trim and tones of grays and greens throughout the home for a cohesive, open feel.  I also used dark bronze tones in all the lighting to give it an overall casual and welcoming feel.

julie couch sherwin williams iron ore doors and sherwin williams anonymous walls
photo courtesy of Scripps and DIY Network

 My Favorite Addition – Concrete Counters

The concrete countertop in the bath was my favorite addition.  Made by Santana Matlock, Abstrakt Concrete, it gave the home a unique, modern, yet rustic look.  It was just right for the farmhouse feel we wanted to achieve. 

Santana Matlock- Abstrakt Concrete
custom concrete vanity by Santana Matlock- Abstrakt Concrete- photo courtesy of Scripps and DIY Network

I’m in the process of building my own home (completed in June!!) and I commissioned Santana to make several pieces for me including a pedestal sink base and a floating vanity. He is also doing a countertop similar to the one we made on the show for my husband Mark’s bath vanity. Here is a video on Santana and his work. 


Home Staging

For the staging of the home, I used a rustic farm table and neutral color palette with oatmeal linens and white so the architectural features and wood tones really stand out.  

julie couch master bedroom Nashville Flipped episode 9
a neutral color palette with oatmeal linens was used in the master bedroom- photo courtesy of Scripps and DIY Network

Shopping at the Factory at Franklin is always so much fun, and I was lucky to have knowledgeable shop owners helping me find just the right gorgeous old doors at City Farmhouse and a pretty Relik lantern for the home foyer. Used on staging day, the pretty, original art was loaned to us by Ron York, York and Friends Fine Art, a fabulous gallery in Nashville.

On another note, today is the last day to bid on my Everything But the House auction. CLICK HERE to place your bid.

If you are looking for some help with interior design I’d love to talk to you. I have several different options for how we can work together on my Design Services page. Or, please fill out the form below and we will get with you to schedule a consult.

schedule consultation

TROY SHAFER and JULIE COUCH Nashville Flipped

Nashville Flipped- Behind the Scenes on Episodes 6 & 7

I’m excited to share with you the “behind the scenes” of Nashville Flipped episodes 6 & 7. Don’t forget to tune in tonight for the last two episodes of the season at 9 p.m. CST on DIY Network. Here we go:

Nashville Flipped Episode 6- Minimal Madison Mansion

In this episode we tackled a really small house in Madison- only 1164 square feet. It was thought to be one of the first “spec” homes in the area since it was built at a time businesses were just starting to open in Madison.

After Exterior of Nashville Flipped episode 6- Julie Couch Interiors
photo courtesy of HGTV and DIY Network

Since we didn’t know the history of the family who had originally owned the home we decided to create an All-American cottage style for this home. Because we were short on square footage on the inside we decided to make the outdoor space become another living space. We maximized the backyard and increased the potential for parties and entertaining large groups or families.

Nashville Flipped Episode 6 home exterior
photo courtesy of HGTV & DIY Network

Though I’m not one to work from a theme, I think that the subtle nods to the red, white, and blue were just enough to give the little home big personality and charm.

Nashville Flipped Episode 7- Germantown Gem

This home near Germantown was the first home on the entire street to be renovated- and there was a sign in the window that condemned it as “uninhabitable.” The crazy marble design on the front of the house was something I’ve never seen, and multiple walls had been added over time, creating tight and confusing spaces. “Bad features, bad lighting, bad everything.”

Troy always opens up rooms as much as possible to create flow and larger livings spaces- which is invaluable to modern buyers.

TROY SHAFER and JULIE COUCH Nashville Flipped
Troy Shafer and Julie Couch photo courtesy of HGTV & DIY Network

I really love the sentimental touches we added like the wallcovering we had reproduced for the parlor. Entering through the heavy wood door into that parlor truly feels like stepping back in time. I added modern white chairs and brass accents to update the look.

Most people love the charm of an old house, but truly want the functionality and amenities of a new home, so I’m happy we kept the charm of these two “makeovers,” but gave future homeowners the bright, open, and beautiful spaces they are looking for!

Don’t forget to watch the last two episodes of this season tonight at 9 p.m. CST on DIY Network.

If you’d like to schedule a design consult, I’d love to hear from you. Please fill out the form below and we will get you on the calendar.

schedule consultation

Julie Couch and Troy Shafer- Nashville Flipped

Nashville Flipped Episodes #3 and #4: Weaving Home History Into Design

Every historical house in the city has a story to tell says Nashville Flipped host Troy Dean Shafer; and, if the home in episode four could talk, our ears would be burning! 

Julie Couch and Troy Shafer- Nashville Flipped
Julie Couch and Troy Shafer- Nashville Flipped

Nashville Flipped Episode #3

First, episode three was the renovation of a 1920s Craftsman Style Bungalow in South Nashville near a railroad freight yard. Troy did a brilliant job of adding Craftsman touches to the interior including the built-ins flanking the fireplace that look original.

Two tips you could try in your own home from this episode were the refurbishing of the old clawfoot tub and create a character piece which complements a home’s history. 

I worked with a tub refinisher, Southern Bath Systems, to reglaze the tub and painted it to match the room’s tile.  I may never have another white tub!

As an homage to the railroad history of the home, I worked with my friends Brandon and Katie Eller, Hunter + Gatherer Society, on the custom kitchen island with railroad tiles as the legs – so brilliant! We have become such great friends since we started working together on these special projects. They also make custom furniture and design sets for T.V. shows, commercials, movies and photo shoots. And, they recently got married! 

Honor your home’s history and you can’t go wrong.

Nashville Flipped Episode #4

In episode four, described as a 1926 Minimal Traditional, to me the home was a little hybrid Craftsman Tudor and desperately needed a charming front door to help set the tone for Troy’s incredible remodel. nashville flipped episode 4

One of my go-to sources in Nashville is Preservation Station where we found a round door with great hardware. nashville flipped episode 4 living room with rounded door

I also stopped by the Nashville Flea Market.  Held the fourth weekend of every month, we needed to find a few character pieces and came away with great fireplace andirons and a garden bench. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit.  It was key for me in staying on budget!nashville flipped episode 4 flea market find

Whether your home is old or new, take the extra time to find those character pieces which reflect a bit of its journey.  

Tune in Wednesdays to the DIY Network to Nashville Flipped. You’ll find inspiration and tips for your own home renovation project. I’ll also be live Tweeting at @JCouchInteriors so come join the conversation with your questions or comments!

If you’d like more information on booking an interior design consultation, please check out my Interior Design Services page.