We’re back with a new guest tastemaker for some quick-fire questions and a mini-curation of some fab Chairish finds!
This week, we’re talking to Nashville-based Robin Rains, an interior designer who takes all the elements of what makes a room great very seriously. From color to texture to lighting, Robin aims to encapsulate the essence of her client’s soul within their homes. Using mainly wood, metal, and stone materials, she creates rejuvenating and intentionally curated spaces.
In decorating truly personal homes, she employs treasured family heirlooms and antique and vintage finds—many of which she finds abroad. She travels regularly to France, Belgium, and Spain to hunt for unexpected pieces. These European treasures (available on her Chairish page!) make her interiors feel one-of-a-kind. Read on for Robin’s takes on sourcing antiques, the Southern interior, and how to make a big difference using lighting.
You’re known for your use of European antiques. How do you find these pieces and what kind of impact do they have in a home?
I have been traveling to Europe for over 20 years, sourcing and curating collections. I know the right pieces to bring back with me the moment I lay eyes on them. My travels have greatly impacted my design and my finds help shape the feeling of home I try to create for my clients. The depth of character, history, and wear in found pieces are what makes our client’s homes feel truly unique. Antiques and vintage pieces are special enough to stand on their own, yet play into the bigger story of home in a harmonious blend.
How would you describe the quintessential Nashvillian interior aesthetic?
The South is all about passing things down through generations, so I find there is a distinct touch of warmth and familiarity to Southern style. We like things that serve a purpose or speak to a feeling of tangibility. Being home to so many artists, Nashville also brings a unique sense of playfulness to Southern interiors. There’s a fearless sensibility and rugged and refined mix of bold choices that Nashville uniquely carries.
What is the coolest vintage piece in your house?
The coolest items are the ones that link a past to your own personal narrative. The two items that give me the greatest sense of joy in my home are a humble wooden bowl and woven stool from my grandparents. Seeing the wear on both and imagining how they were used by those before me give a sense of connection to my family. I love finding ways to incorporate heirlooms into my clients home for this same reason.
What is the most outstanding design element you’ve ever incorporated into a space?
I feel lighting plays a big impact in making a space feel outstanding and impactful. I strive to use fixtures that play in contrast to the space around it. The juxtaposition of modern fixtures in a traditional setting can move older pieces into a more contemporary period, while older, more ornate lighting in a modern home helps provide a sense of warmth. This balance of old and new in lighting can make all the difference in a home.
Do you collect anything?
I can never turn away from tortoise shell boxes!