Interior designer Sarah Bartholomew knows how to create a buzzed-about room. Take the foyer of her Nashville home, which mixes blue-and-white chinoiserie, cheetah print, and batik wallpaper, to name just a few elements. Design lovers went into a frenzy when Sarah’s home was published in Southern Living in 2016, earning endless re-grams from those who couldn’t get over its expert layers and bold-on-bold choices. But for this design pro and mother of four, it’s all about balancing elegance with ease and practicality. To get her enviable style secrets, we recently sat down with Sarah for a round of Playing Favorites, and got the lowdown on everything from her wicker obsession (seriously, check out her Chairish faves!) to where she gets her Nashville vintage fix.
What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
It’s a go-to online source for original, vintage pieces you cannot find anywhere else.
Is there any particular product category where Chairish is your go-to?
Wicker! There are always so many options to look through, and I always think vintage wicker is prettier than new!
Favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
When there is a mix of old and new, it gives a room’s décor some depth, which is essential to creating a timeless interior.
Favorite way to add drama to a room?
Color and layering pattern. Often the two go hand-in-hand, but either one used alone offers a touch of drama as well.
Favorite source for design inspiration?
My collection of books.
Favorite paint color?
Benjamin Moore’s Simply White or anything by Farrow & Ball.
Favorite pattern (and how you love to use it)?
Stripes! I love to mix different scales, as well as run them horizontally.
Favorite design rule to break?
Are there any rules left to break? Or maybe, less is more, because sometimes more is really more!
Favorite color combo?
Blue and white
Favorite way to mix high and low?
I like to use high-end, special fabrics for pillows or accent pieces with lower-end, more reasonably priced upholstery. Using more expensive fabrics in smaller applications is the perfect way to mix high and low.
Favorite way to work a bit of vintage into a room?
Wicker! I love to layer natural texture into a room.
I always think vintage wicker is prettier than new!
Favorite beauty/grooming product?
Cle de Peau Concealer. People ask how I do it, and the secret is this under-eye concealer and a good cup of coffee!
Favorite travel destination?
New York City for the weekend—Paris for a long inspiration trip—and the Bahamas for a beach getaway.
Favorite weekend activity?
Cozying up with my kids.
Favorite morning beverage (and how you take it)?
Coffee with steamed milk—and not limited to just the morning, either! I love coffee any time of the day!
Favorite way to treat yourself?
Signing off work and enjoying family and friends—that or taking some time to myself.
Favorite thank you/hostess gift?
Favorite adult beverage?
Vodka soda with a twist of lime
Favorite entertaining essential?
A great playlist
Cy Twombly, Josef Albers, Mark Rothko, Robert Mangold, Ellsworth Kelly, Picasso and Agnes Martin
Favorite TV show?
Favorite thing to collect?
Coffee table books
Local Favorites: Nashville, TN
Favorite local culture hub?
Cheekwood, which are our botanical gardens and a Nashville treasure.
Favorite local attraction?
Belle Meade Boulevard. It has some of the most beautiful all-American homes!
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground?
Gas Lamp Antiques is our one Nashville spot for vintage and antique.
One “must do” thing in Nashville?
A quick stop at the honky ‘tonks on Broadway. While touristy, there is nothing else like it!
Lead photo by David Hillegas