“Southern style is all about honoring the past while embracing design trends of today … that’s more important now than ever,” explains interior designer Tori Alexander, owner of Alexander Interiors . A Nashville native, Alexander’s design aesthetic has evolved in tandem with the rapidly growing city she still calls home. Preserving classic Southern elegance with a transitional twist, Alexander designs for a new generation of stylish Southerners.
This July, Alexander traveled to Atlanta for one of the summer’s hottest interior design events: the International Home Furnishings Market hosted by AmericasMart Atlanta. Never missing an opportunity to explore our exciting new introductions, Alexander joined us for a special appointment in the Gabby showroom. “As the line continues to grow, Gabby does an excellent job staying on trend and evolving with the ever-changing design world,” she says.
Today, Tori Alexander shares her take on modern Southern style, simple autumn upgrades, and the profound impact motherhood has made on her design viewpoint.
Gabby: Atlanta Market is always a whirlwind of inspiration. Now that you’ve had time to reflect on the show, what are a few of the top trends that you noticed?
TA: Lots of natural materials in unique applications. For example, I love seeing woven rattan pieces and teak root pieces making such a comeback. We continue to see lots of brass, and warm metallic finishes. One huge trend, with lighting in particular, is white plaster in a matte finish. I love to use it to modernize a more traditional space.
Gabby: Southern style is incredibly distinct, yet ever-changing. How would you define Southern style in 2018?
TA: I think we will continue to see lively florals and patterns, but refined by tone—making them a bit more practical. Or, the continuation of traditional floral and botanical textiles, but limited to a one or two color palette. As always, the Southern classic of blue and white will continue to reign but is being refreshed with pops of bold reds.
Gabby: Autumn is nearly here! How do you update your interior & exterior spaces for fall?
TA: Pillows are always a nice thing to change out with the seasons…especially on our screened porch. I’m also guilty of spending way too much money on heirloom pumpkins and mums for my front porch. I have a white house so pumpkins and mums are an easy way to add pops of color in the transition to Fall.
Market Musings: Where to Stay, Shop, & Dine in Atlanta
Stay | This market, I stayed with another designer and dear friend at the Ritz Carlton, which is walking distance to AmericasMart.
Shop | In addition to visiting market, our other destinations were ADAC and antique shopping (my favorite antique store in the world is Interiors Market in Buckhead). And of course, no trip to Atlanta is complete without a visit to Scott’s Antique Market.
Dine | As far as dining goes, I’m embarrassed to say that we’re usually too worn from Market to think about restaurants, so we opt for room service and lots of wine!
Gabby: Has motherhood changed your design perspective?
TA: I love this question because yes, being a mother has a huge influence on my design aesthetic and the recommendations I make to clients. I assume that every piece of furniture will be met with crushed goldfish, crayolas, and spilled red wine. I pride myself on creating beautiful designs that are livable which means comfort and durability are non-negotiable.
Gabby: What are your non-negotiables for liveable, family friendly interiors?
TA: Excellent quality upholstery and floor coverings that can provide comfort while withstanding heavy daily use. I cannot stress enough the importance of effective space planning when designing a family home. It’s key to meeting individual needs and maximizing space. Comfort and approachability; a home is where your memories are made and where your family should be able to gather together without worrying about spills or messing up the furniture.
Product Hunt: 5 Designer Favorites
Drawn to organic materials and understated palettes, designer Tori Alexander found many fresh favorites in our Summer 2018 new introductions. These five designs top Alexander’s current Gabby wishlist.
1. I absolutely love the Coralee Dining Chair and Coralee Barstool. I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use either one! I love the lines and combining the two tone rattan and upholstered cushion.
2. My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw the color combination of the Jane Chest. That fresh powdery blue, gold hardware, and a light natural weave is the perfect combo!