Podcast, Episode 94: designer Tori Alexander

Tori Alexander takes a fresh approach to traditional design with each of her projects. She joins the show to talk today about her Nashville based business, Alexander Interiors, along with how she got started in the industry. Tori discusses how she maintains a liveable, polished and elegant look with her clients, and how design should amplify the energy of the space. She also talks with us about her favorite one of a kind pieces, items to transform a room, paint tips, wall decor, and dropping the ego in design. 

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Her background and how she started her business in California when a neighbor asked for her help
  • She tells us a story about a dining table she bought off Craigslit
  • Why it’s important to invest in upholstery but to find deals and one of a kind pieces on Craigslist
  • Find one place to start and work from there
  • Why Tori loves Ballard but why she never shies away from mixing high and low
  • Why you should consider the energy of your home before choosing the design
  • “The magic happen just beyond the point of comfort”
  • Why Tori loves green and blue
  • Why you shouldn’t necessarily consider art when decorating your room
  • We talk about scale for that dreaded empty space over the back of the sofa
  • Some of Tori’s favorite affordable sources for art
  • Why window treatments can help you solve issues like window placement and scale

Decorating Dilemmas:

Hi! Love the podcast so much! Hoping you can help me with my entry/front living room. I have a rug question, and a design question.
Rug question: The front door opens directly into the room, and I’m unsure if a rug should stretch from the fireplace to the wall across from it and have the chairs sit on the rug, since you will have to walk between the fireplace and the chairs to move through the room. Should I have one large rug for the room and maybe a smaller rug just for the chairs and table with the lamp? Should the rug extend from the wall with the front door, all the way to the wall with the back doors? This leads to my next question…

Should the front living room and the kitchen be decorated as if they are all one big room? there is a beam on the ceiling that divides the two. I am planning on finding an antique armoire to store my dishes in instead of the open bookcase, should that stay to the left of the beam to be in the kitchen space, or can it extend past the beam to the right? The kitchen gets much more light than the living room because the only windows in the living room are in the door and the small stained glass window. How can I tie the two rooms together? The lighting really makes the front room feel separated from the kitchen. 

Lastly, I feel like the walls are lined with small tables and some are antiques so I want to keep them, but maybe I should move them around? Any tips are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all of your help! Love y’all!

First, we can tell that the pieces are meaningful and have energy, and you have some great bones already to the space! Tori’s suggestion is to cover as much of the area between the front door and the back patio doors using a neutral synthetic rug. Make sure it is durable, since it’s a high traffic area. A great idea to tie the two rooms together would be to get a 2 x 3 rug and put it in front of the front door. Yes, the chairs need to come off the wall so you know there is a space to sit inside the room. Getting three vignettes would let your eyes rest, and give more comfort and softness to the room. A bamboo shade installed on the door would be an easy project for you, and cover the window pane about ½ – 1 inch on each side. What Tori feels this space truly needs is a bit more living.

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.