One look at Chad James’s comfortably elegant interiors and it’s no surprise to learn that the Traditional Home New Trad interior designer hails the Sweet Home state of Alabama. For Chad, who heads up the Nashville-based Chad James Group, comfort and luxury are not the mutually exclusive entities they may seem, but rather stylish accomplices. In fact, the designer couples them up almost any chance he gets, generating spaces that feel cozy and kick-back-worthy, yet marvelously sophisticated. Chad’s style begs to be emulated, and so we’re thrilled that he’s hosting an exclusive sale on Chairish, and answering all of our need-to-know questions, including his favorite thing about designing with vintage, his go-to small space decorating trick, and where he goes to eat, dine, and kick back in Nashville!
Of all the items you’re selling, is there anything that was hard to part with?
Honestly, there’s not. I don’t allow myself to get attached to “things.” Early in my career, I learned that you have to buy what you love and then pass those beauties onto others so that they can also enjoy them. However, there are some really special items in this collection. Many of which have great travel stories and happy moments with friends attached to them.
What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
I enjoy the ease of knowing the items on Chairish are of quality, and I love being able to navigate the sight with ease. As a non-tech fella, I find it very approachable.
Item you’re currently coveting on Chairish?
I believe when I was about 7 years old in Sunday School, Mrs. Jane Lawler taught me that I wasn’t to “covet.” 😉 But there are a few things that I’m looking to purchase from Elizabeth Turner Design and Nick Olsen.
Favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
It’s important to live life collected. By doing so, you create beautiful spaces to enjoy.
Favorite way to add drama to a room?
Hmm, I tend to run from drama… but I would say, let your art be the belle of the ball!
Favorite source for design inspiration?
Travel, travel, travel. And this doesn’t mean you have to go to some far-off land. I find that it’s important to get out and witness life, and in doing so you’ll find things that inspire you and your designs.
Favorite paint color?
This changes…but currently, I’m in a very warm, cozy place in life and I’ve always been drawn to dark colors, so right now, it’s PPG Porter Paint’s Belle Meade Green. Think of it as the darkest green in a magnolia tree, or green just before it turns black.
Favorite pattern (and how you love to use it)?
I’m a plaid guy at heart. I believe it comes from the 1978 plaid sofa my parents had when I was a little Chad. I love to show clients who say, “Oh, I’m not a plaid person,” how it can be used tastefully. I use it very subtly in our projects.
Favorite color combo (and where you use it)?
My all-time favorite color combination can be found during springtime in Tennessee: redbud blooms (which are bright purple), mixed with the bright green oak tree bloom, the bright, blue spring sky, the dull color of tree bark, and a hint of dark green from the evergreen trees. I love bringing the outdoors inside.
Favorite design elements to mix together?
This really is one of CJG design’s strong suits. I love mixing light and dark elements, plushness and texture, and a tall back chair with a low sofa. These mixes truly balance a room.
Favorite way to work a bit of vintage into a room?
Every space needs something vintage or old. I usually go to case goods to achieve this in our designs. There’s nothing better than an old table.
Favorite small space decorating trick?
Pretend you are dropping the space in a big bucket of paint and paint EVERYTHING the same color.
Is there a particular design element or style that you’re really into right now?
Currently, I’m extremely drawn to warm colors and darker wood. We’ve been in a very bright moment for the past few years, and it’s time to return to the feeling of being hugged when you walk into a space.
I love mixing light and dark elements, plushness and texture, and a tall back chair with a low sofa. These mixes truly balance a room.
Favorite travel destination?
For that cozy Southern getaway it’s Blackberry Farm. Beyond that, my favorite U.S. city to travel to is most anywhere in California. Outside the U.S.? Lake Como, Italy
Favorite hotel to check in to?
Hotel Matilda, San Miguel, Mexico
Favorite thank you/hostess gift?
Graeters, the best ice-cream sandwiches in the world. I send these a couple of days after an event. My friends and clients have come to expect them!
Favorite saying or quote?
Life always gives us what we need, right in the moment we need it.
Favorite entertaining essential?
Cloth napkins. Even if its pizza with friends. Always cloth!
This just isn’t fair….. I have so many! Julian Opie, Jason Martin, Butch Anthony are just a few.
Favorite thing to collect?
You probably won’t believe this, but architectural Lego sets.
Your City: Nashville
Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends?
Favorite local culture hub?
The Frist or The Kroger in Germantown
Favorite local activity?
Living in a city where Music runs wild. I love the seemingly unlimited possibilities when it comes to live music.
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground?
The Nashville Flea Market and Gas Lamp I & II
Lead photo by Alyssa Rosenheck