Antiques and Garden Show Nashville
Backstage with Nathan Turner
The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville is the most distinguished and popular production of its kind in the United States. Now in its 27th year, the weekend event was held at the Music City Center, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Nashville’s legendary Broadway. The event includes a beautiful, spacious show floor filled with antique and horticulture dealers, parties and design lectures. I got the chance to briefly sit down with one of the panel speakers, famed interior designer Nathan Turner. Over the years, Nathan has merged his passions of design, travel and food into a successful career. His sharp eye for distinct pieces contribute to his Americana design that is striking and easy to digest for any household decorator. His writings, parties and designs have been featured in Vogue, Elle Décor, the NY Times and Food & Wine. He is the special projects editor at Architectural Digest and contributing editor at C Magazine.
Nathan explained to me why quality is better than quantity, why it doesn’t take a lot of money to cultivate a style within your home, and why Southerners are the most gracious of hosts.
GG: You were able to live abroad in France and Italy in your 20s. How did those early years impact your designs in ways that can still be seen today?
What appealed to me most about the people of Italy and France was their devotion to living a quality life. That doesn’t mean you have to be rich to do so and I started to notice that simple families all had nice things but they had a very small amount of them. Like everyone had one great suit, they ate very well and a nice table was very important to them. It really inspired me to bring that home, incorporate it into my future work and show people that you don’t have to have a pack of dough to live well.
GG: If you had to narrow it down, what is your favorite room in your home?
It’s always my bedroom. I’m not even a sofa person, I go home and I get in bed. People think I’m a weird invalid, like an old lady that wants to be in bed with a tray and some dogs. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom, I think that it should be a place where you turn off. I try to talk my clients into it.
GG: What is a cultural aspect of the South that you enjoy?
The concept of living well. I think out of anywhere in the States, Southerners embrace that the most. They understand what it means to open one’s home and graciously entertain them. They know what it means to be respectful.
GG: What trends in interior home design do you predict will be on the rise in the next five years?
I think that interior design goes along with what is happening in the world, culturally, politically. We’re coming out of a time where everyone has been more conservative so I’m curious to see if people are going to be more vigorous with their design. We’ve been in a place where people do not want to show what they’re doing as much, so maybe it will tilt the other way.
GG: Do you currently have a favorite wine you would recommend?
I just did a cooking class in Sicily and I’ve been loving Sicilian wines, which haven’t been easy to find. I’ve enjoyed digging into those, they’re really bold. You need to look in a specialty wine shop for one of those but it is definitely worth it!