Nina (Nash) Long is an Atlanta-based interior designer who loves historic preservation, antiques, and timeless decor with a generous dose of bold color and a sprinkle of modern touches. Her business partner is Don Easterling, and together they strike the perfect balance creating interiors that are not only beautiful but meaningful and comfortable. I have been a huge fan of their work ever since seeing this 1911 Neel Reid home they respectfully brought back to life. Today, The Glam Pad is delighted to welcome Nina for a Q&A and an in-depth glimpse into her exquisite portfolio. Welcome, Nina!
Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in interior design, and what did your career path look like?
A: I’ve always been a creative person, when I was younger, I was a big artist so I thought I wanted to be a painter when I grew up! I was voted ‘Most Artistic’ in High School and ended up getting a dual degree in Graphic Design and Fine Art. Interior Design wasn’t something that appealed to me in school for some reason but I ended up taking a job as a design assistant after college and then the rest was history. I think it all goes hand in hand for sure and my learned skills with scale and proportions as well as my natural abilities for color and patterns really made for me to be able to excel in Interior Design.
Q: How do you define your style and how has it evolved over the years?
A: As far as Interior Design, my style is a constant slow evolution. I was very transitional when I first started then as I got more experienced and older, I was really able to settle in to what I loved and what my true aesthetic is which has grown to be more classic and traditional but with a fresh spin. I think a good designer can truly do any style though because not all our clients are into the same look so you need to be able to take what they like and help them to define that and, in the end, the results will be a perfect portrayal whether it’s glamorous and modern or English country house and florally.
Q: Tell me about the design process of Easterling & Long and how you and Don work together.
A: Don and I have worked together for over 10 years, it’s probably up to 15 at this point! I lost count. I started off as his assistant and he has really taught me everything about Interior Design. We hit it off so well that years later we felt a partnership was more in line as our relationship and projects grew. Our office is based out of Mathews Design Group attached to the retail store Mathews Furniture + Design in Buckhead. We really have a one-of-a-kind, unique set up and it’s awesome, our clients know where to find us and we have access to hundreds of amazing furniture, art, lighting and accessory vendors through there. Mathews has been an Atlanta staple for over 40 years so there’s an accountant, delivery scheduler, their own warehouse and an order entry person so we don’t have to worry about doing any of that ourselves and have so much freedom that we can totally focus on the design aspect and our clients. It’s fun because in addition to our own projects, we do the buying for the retail showroom so we know all the fabulous lines like the back of our hands have such a deep knowledge of the furniture world, the ins and outs manufacturing and production process so that has been very beneficial for us and our clients. We are lucky to have been able to travel all over the world through this position and visit factories and design studios from Mexico City to Vietnam.
Q: How do you ensure that your designs stand the test of time?
A: We aren’t into trends and usually advise against them. If a client really wants something though we will try to make it work but a little goes a long way-everything doesn’t have to have such an impact, there needs to be balance. If you are going to invest in expensive pieces, the big-ticket items need to be timeless and we can weave in something fun on smaller items that can be changed out later on like throw pillows, lamps or little accent tables.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Grandmillennial movement?
A: I actually really like it! I think sprinkled in it can be very pretty. I love a ruffle and a floral so I’m all for it but I certainly wouldn’t recommend a whole house done top to bottom in that because I think it could possibly become tired in a few years.
Q: Has Covid had an impact on your business? On the way your clients live?
A: Well 2020 and 2021 have been record years for us and there’s no showing of slowing down anytime soon. Don and I have always been busy but this is another level, we have a waiting list right now. I feel bad having people wait months for us but that’s the only was we can fit everyone in and still be able to properly do our jobs with our existing clients. People are spending more time at home and it’s a good thing!
Q: Do you have any favorite go-to paints, wallpapers , linens, artists, etc.?
A: We definitely have our go to’s! Farrow & Ball has the best paint colors hands down, we also have been using a lot of wallpaper the past few years, some of our favorites are Degournay and the Iksel collection with Schumacher. Waterworks is also our go to for plumbing and tile because the designs and finishes are so good and the quality is amazing.
Q: What are 5 everyday luxuries you could not live without?
A: A hot bath with Epsom salts, essential oils and a face mask, Starbucks coffee with almond milk, beautiful window treatments in my favorite fabrics, crisp fancy bedding that makes me feel like I’m in a hotel and last but not least the smell of my baby Collier! I don’t know if it’s his baby laundry detergent or what but something about a sweet baby smell is better than anything else, it needs to be bottled!
Q: When you aren’t busy designing, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: This plays well off the previous question-I love more then anything in the world spending time with family and our new baby. Weekend nights at home by the fire or walking around the neighborhood with my husband and little Collier is what completes my life and fills my heart and soul to the brim.
Thank you, Nina, for joining us today! We are huge fans of your work!
Don and Nina’s projects have been featured in top tier publications including Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Atlanta Magazine Home, Luxe Interiors & Design, Modern Luxury Interiors, Southern Home, House Beautiful and more. In addition to their design work with Mathews Design Group they also serve as buyers and creative directors for the high-end retail home shop Mathews Furniture + Design, scouting the globe for the newest and best of the best.
For ongoing inspiration, please follow @ninamarienash on Instagram.