The Ace Around Town – “Tastemaker Series” :: Julie Couch




It rained harder than I’ve ever heard it last night in Georgia. I fully expected Noah’s Ark to float past our house, and wouldn’t have been surprised if our street turned into a shipping channel. A flotilla of vessels floating past Casa B. In fact, it was one of those nights that I was thankful that I didn’t succumb to true rural southern architecture and buy a house with a tin roof. However, it was the perfect night to put the finishing touches on this post, and introduce you to our latest “Taste-maker”. Did you think we stopped? Not a chance. Now that school is back in session, my “Tastemakers” are back creating great design. Combine that with the fact that I just can’t decide who to feature (because there are so many fabulous designers in the South), and you have a stalled series. Making decisions is not one of my strong suits, in fact before I walk out the door most days I will have changed my shoes a few times (or my outfit). Don’t even get me started about our living room, which goes through a full transformation at least once a month if not a complete change in the floor plan (Mr. B. thought he walked into the wrong house last week).

Fabulous design doesn’t happen overnight, although some designers are so talented that they probably could. Such is the case with my latest “Taste-maker.” Since I spend countless hours immersed in design, I first became aware of Julie when I stumbled upon an interior that she designed which featured occasional chairs in the most heavenly shade of blue, the seat-back in a Quatrefoil design. The image ended up on my Pinterest board, and Julie’s name in a mental note of someone I should watch. So when I started the Series mid-summer, there was no hesitation to include her, if she would agree (we were honoured when she did). Once you look at the pictures, I can imagine collective nods of appreciation throughout the ranks of my followers. Although, she and I never met and only corresponded via e-mail, I can imagine she eludes southern charm combined an obvious eye for the chic and stylish and you have a winning combination. Her interiors may hint at the traditional, but the result shows a flair for creating that sometimes elusive timeless feel, one she tailors precisely to the client’s wants and needs. A true talent who was born with a discerning eye that often escapes many in the industry. It marks the difference between the designer and decorator. There is no mistaking the sheer raw talent in our sixth “Tastemaker,” Designer-Julie Couch. So without further ado, and with a drumroll-I would like to introduce you to the latest subject of “The Ace Around Town Series.”

logoforinterviewsWhat made you chose design as your profession? Was there a defining moment?

JC- Even in High School I knew design was what I wanted to do. I went around in circles, had a sales job after college, and then returned to design school in my mid-twenties when I realized I just couldn’t be happier doing anything else.

logoforinterviewsYou run a successful design firm in Nashville, what advice would you give to someone else in the business who is just starting out?

JC- Simply do good work! Take any design job that comes your way. My first design job was for my best friend’s mom and paid $20. per hour. I was thrilled to do it, and did my best. I knew that to be a great designer I needed experience. So my advice would be to swallow your pride and do the work!

logoforinterviewsWhat designer (s) inspire you?

JC- I LOVE Windsor Smith, Nate Berkus, and Bobby McAlpine. Each are absolutely genius in their own right.

logoforinterviews Favorite design style? 

JC- If I have to choose just one style, I would choose minimal, impactful pieces that include lots of white upholstery, natural wood, and iron accents. Meaningful fine art is a must for any home.

logoforinterviewsHow would you describe your design aesthetic?


logoforinterviews What is your favourite piece of furniture in your home?

JC- A custom campaign style bed I had made almost a decade ago for my master bedroom. I never tire of the classic and graceful lines.

logoforinterviewsWhere will we see you in five years?

JC- Hopefully I’ll have more sweet babies and a few signature lines including lighting, rugs, and furniture collections.

logoforinterviews What is a little known fact about you, that you can share with my readers?

JC- My favorite time of the day is before 7AM while I’m cooking scrambled eggs for my little boy-Gus. All while he sips coconut milk and dances to the radio…

logoforinterviewsThanks so much, Julie and quite frankly if you designed my home, I would be dancing every day too…

Now are you ready? Because here are some portfolio pictures that need no further words…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

The perfect blend of pattern and the lamp…well…I DIE. 


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Serene, chic, Southern style…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Simply divine dining…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Put it in neutral…


Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

Cheerful & oh so chic…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

This is THE picture that I first saw and when I fell in love with Julie’s designs…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I know the “devil is in the details,” and Julie does it so well…


 Photo courtesy/ Julie Couch

I had to include a photo of Julie’s favorite piece of furniture. This stunning custom bed with a John Robshaw block print.

If you are visiting or reside in Nashville, and want to see her curated collection of merchandise visit her new shop at 1205 Linden Ave., they are open 10-5 Wednesday-Saturday. More of Julie’s fabulous portfolio can be seen at and you can visit her blog at

This week we’ll be sharing our personal all access tour of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2014 decorated by Lindsay Pumpa. As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more design inspiration.

Until tomorrow,



 P.S. Pardon our dust as our blog is under construction. Some of our blog features are not fully operational (our apologies). We are excited for a whole new look and new features coming in October…so until then we’ll still be posting five days a week.

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IKEA :: The “Ace” Picks The Good Stuff

As a design blogger I receive a lot of inquiries to review products, we may do some but we don’t do a lot. It’s a highly selective process, and if I do one, I feel obligated to do all. So when IKEA sent me an early preview catalog to look at, it sat on my desk for a little while (a few weeks that turned into a few months). I’m not an IKEA girl, although I will say that I know several high-end designers who have used some of the product, and the result has been flawless. I let you in on a secret- Ikea is a designer’s shortcut. Yes, some of the biggest names who have access to some of the fanciest stuff will mix in a little IKEA. I am a big fan of mixing high-end and low-end, so after hearing a little buzz in the design community about some of the new product introductions at IKEA, I did a little “browsing”…and I was fairly impressed. I know I can be a hard sell but after touring many custom design studios my reservations were mixed with a little old fashioned design snobbery. So this is where the “eating humble pie”moment happens. There is something about IKEA that frankly tugs at you a little, the store is downright cheerful. Since we do have a store in Atlanta, I have gone there on the rare occasion when designing kid spaces at the behest of my clients. Frankly, it’s a little on the fun side; a kid in a candy store moment combined with brilliant marketing (plus they have mouth-watering Swedish meatballs in the cafeteria). There are seemingly endless possibilities in mirrors, case-goods, rugs & accessories, even lighting. Oops..I forgot to mention that the chandeliers in my daughter’s bedroom came from the eponymous Swedish retailer, and they look pretty good. A secret that most designers won’t share is that given the opportunity we have and will use IKEA. In fact, I once saw a world-renowned designer in the frames section with her entourage in tow (she had 3 shopping carts full of RIBBA frames), and I literally tripped over a display in the store when I saw her. It was partially because she was in IKEA, and also just because I have a design crush.

So I thought I give my readers a short-cut to the good stuff, some of my picks that I have used (frames in the dozens) and others that I think have possibilities, one of the newest introductions is the storage from the PS2014 Urban Collection, the options are endless, and in a mudroom it’s virtually foolproof. On a side note:  I had a personal tour of the HGTV Urban Oasis Dream House in Atlanta yesterday, and it was fabulous. I have all fingers and toes crossed that I would be the lucky winner of this luxurious residence decorated by HGTV’s Lindsay Pumpa, who is great fun by the way. I’ll have several posts next week dedicated to some really great design and fabulous furnishings by AllModern. As part of the press, its always an incredible honour to see behind the scenes and share the design vision and personal photos with my readers. You’ll see the space firsthand before the show airs on HGTV mid-Sept.





Of course if you want to see the PS 2014 storage units in action, I’ve included a photo (below) showcasing this versatile grouping in action. Don’t you think the GADDIS baskets above are pretty swanky? I’m going to get a few for my office in black because I love them that much…


The PS2014 Storage from IKEA… 

and I’d like to end on a little design wisdom from Albert Hadley that I love, it’s all about mixing high-end with low-end. Even Albert did it.


Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday with another fabulous “Southern-Tastemaker”-Julie Couch…

Until then,



As always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more design inspiration. Do you want “The Ace of Space Blog” delivered directly to your mailbox? Then subscribe today. (Our links in the sidebar).

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My Top Ten Most Pinned Images :: Fan Favorites

This is too good not to share. Although, I did pinky promise not to reveal his real name…I met with a designer (it has to do with architectural plans) over the weekend. SO enter, a big burly, former football player who oozed testosterone. He is even on a hockey team. We talked about design, the industry, blogs, and after looking at some of his spectacular designs, we started talking kitchens. Then he showed me a kitchen he just finished (this dude has some mad skills)…complete with rhinestone encrusted drawer pulls. Okay, he just looks tough. Then I thought cool, I could totally use another BFF, you know the guys who will totally be your plus one, and your significant others will never, ever have to worry. I started thinking about events that I had to attend and how much fun that would be to bring him along as my plus one.  Then he shared with me that he always wanted to be a fashion designer. I was dying. We are totally separated at birth (sans the physical stature). I have found my other “husband.” Plus he was funny (bonus). I was thinking cocktail events, he could totally hang out with me at industry functions. He was the answer to every female designers prayers.  Then I asked him, in front of my husband, in front of his assistant, “Hey do you want to go to an industry event with me next week.” All eyes have now turned to me. His face turned red, I mean Farrow & Ball-”Eating Room Red.” My husband looked like I had totally jumped headfirst into a pit of snakes. Me-”Hey if your busy, I totally understand. I have my friend Tom I can take.” – The silence was uncomfortable, painfully. My husband had “the” look on his face, the same one he had when I asked one of his former bosses wives if she was pregnant (she wasn’t). The designer- “My wife might have a problem with that. Did you think I wasn’t straight?” SAY what? Can I get a drink over here please? “Well…yes…” The sound of that ear-splitting laugh was deafening, hey I did mention he had a sense of humor right? The moral of this story-never assume. Anything.

So while I was out committing social “faux pas,” I received an e-mail from a follower who asked me what some of my favourite Pinterest Pins are. Well, there are many, but then I thought why not let the fans decide based on Re-pins. So here they are my “My Top Ten Repins.” Some surprised me, and others I couldn’t agree with more…and here are the results.

 The Ace's Top 10 Most Pinned Images

 Drum roll please…


 From the Belair Hotel in California, my followers loved this image because of the wallpaper, and quite frankly I saw the writing on the wall too..


 via Domino Magazine

Was it the gilt ceiling paint, or the blue and green color scheme? Or both? Coming in at #2 this dining space made my followers green with envy.



Evidently, people love Hermes saddles….or at least the horse.


 Image originally pinned from

 One thing I know for sure is this- people really connect with horses. So do I. In fact, I have an entire Pinboard devoted to our equine friends-titled “Equestriana.” 


Photo/ Courtesy Vicki Gladle

This was one that surprised me, an image of a design I did for a teenage client. There were other elements in the room that were not photographed and I suppose as designers we always have regrets. Although, I would like to thank all those who where inspired enough to pin it.



Basements are challenging to design, but not so with this space. It resonated with hundreds of people.



From the graphic patterned floor to the orchid colored ceiling painted. What’s not to love?



This bathroom inspired many to hit the Repin button, from the stand alone tub, wooden shelves and painted brick walls. 



Rustic design is going through an evolution, but this interior will always have that timeless quality, which is obviously appealing to many.

repins10Designer/ Steven Gambrel

I think everything Steven Gambrel does is stunning, and apparently so so hundreds of others…

For more design inspiration follow ‘The Ace of Space Blog,” on Pinterest. You can visit us here:

P.S. If there is a topic that you would like to know more about that we haven’t written about, convo us. You just might inspire a feature.

Until next time,


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