Tori Alexander’s design philosophy is building interiors that are also livable. “I design every space with the assumption that adults will spill red wine and children will spill juice…that being said, it can still be beautiful,” she explains. Tori also understands that the critical design details are what make a house a home. In addition, she possesses an extensive understanding of architecture after honing her design skills at a boutique architecture firm after college. Whether it’s drafting in CAD, bringing spaces up to code, or hand cutting and laying tile herself, Tori’s architectural knowledge manifests itself in everything that she designs. Her design firm, Alexander Interiors, was launched in 2012 and today is based in Tori’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. I am delighted to welcome Tori Alexander to The Glam Pad today for a Style Profile Q&A!
Q: How do you describe your style?
A: Timeless and classic. We want our spaces to feel equally beautiful and approachable. We work with lots of families and rarely source anything that can’t stand a little wear. Every space, every home, is so different, and we love capturing the best of the natural energy of a home and emphasizing it. We find that this is when our clients are happiest and we see the best final product.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to become an interior designer?
A: It never occurred to me until I got to college, where I loved designing my dorm room and the sorority house. It was a natural next step for me to change my major to design.
Q: Please tell me about your e-design services and how this works.
A: E-design is a way for in town or out of town clients who don’t need our full design service to furnish a space. We work with e-design clients much the same way we do our full-service clients in the sense that we ask lots of questions on the front end, “tour” their existing space (usually via FaceTime), and provide a complete design within their budget. We are finding this area of our business has grown significantly over the last 18 months.
Q: What are five classic design elements/furnishings every home needs?
A: Proper Space Planning & Function – it is amazing how much the right furniture scale and layout will impact the way you live in a space. This is where we really win over the husbands! Men are very interested in the layout and functionality of a space. Once we show the best use of the space, the husbands are on board. Our favorite “thank yous” are when our clients reach out after install and talk about how grateful they are that we installed a stain resistant rug, a sofa that repels red wine, or a counter stool seat that can be wiped clean.
Fabric – We start our designs with one statement fabric that brings joy to the client. Most spaces I design will include a floral, a stripe, and a check. That’s my magic combination for a happy space.
Patina – things with age and depth, antiques, rich wood tones and aged finishes. A beautiful antique piece really brings a space together.
Warmth – especially in a kitchen, we find that the most comfortable and beautiful spaces are those with extra elements that bring in warmth. Our friend Stephanie Sabbe, also here in Nashville, does this really well. We love rattan, wicker, aged copper, tongue and groove, and pleated lampshades to achieve warmth. We are very selective with bringing anything shiny into a space.
Sentimental items – heirlooms, pictures, etc. Items that bring a sense of love and tradition into your space. This is what makes a house a home!
Q: Do you have any signature fabrics, colors, patterns, linens, furnishings, etc. you enjoy including in your designs?
A: There are so many fabulous fabrics out there. One of the joys of this profession, and the way I stay creatively inspired, is to pull in new fabrics for almost each project. I can’t say no to a good stripe, check, or beautiful dimensional print. We love a floral that feels grounded. Green is our little secret weapon. Green is generally pleasing to the eye and can be so sophisticated. And of course blue and white! Another little design secret? Smaller rooms are the most comfortable! And usually the most fun to design.
Q: What are five luxuries you couldn’t live without?
A: Trashy reality TV, cheap Mexican food and a Diet Coke, planning trips I can’t afford, jalapeño infused tequila, and seasonal coffee creamer 🙂 (peppermint mocha in winter and coconut cream in summer….it is like being on the beach)
Q: Do you have any favorite “movie homes” and how have they inspired you?
A: I would like to rephrase the question to ask which reality star’s home is my favorite….and everyone knows the answer is Queen Patricia Altschul 🙂
Q: How does living in Nashville/the South inspire your work?
A: I was born and raised here in Nashville, so the south is embedded into my aesthetic. We have so many wonderful old homes here and I’ve had so much experience working with quirky design elements in a renovation or room furnishing. We love incorporating more traditional elements with a fresh feel. We love exploring and drawing inspiration from other southern cities. Some of my favorites are Birmingham, Charleston, Fairhope, and New Orleans.
Q: When you aren’t busy designing, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
A: I have three little girls and a wonderful husband, and I love spending time with my family.
Q: What does the future hold for Alexander Interiors?
A: We are growing! We are taking on more whole-home projects that are fun and interesting. Our clients are the absolute best. We love what we do and are grateful for another day of doing it! …Or, I might retire, we’ll keep you posted! 🙂
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: There are so many talented and kind designers in this field. I truly support so many of my friends and colleagues and I’m grateful for their incredible work. Instagram has really changed the way our design community interacts and I love drawing inspiration from the beautiful spaces posted there.