Formal Living

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

We’ve recently added several brand new projects to our newly relaunched summerhouseinteriordesign.com site! We’ve also added new photos to existing projects, like this one! Here are some of the shots we added, plus a few more lagniappe photos of the gorgeous formal living room in this Jackson home. Enjoy!

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

Formal Living in the Glenway Home via alwayssummerblog.com

We love the unique color palette in this space. This room makes us want to make a cocktail, sit down on that divine sofa, and just take in the beautiful surroundings! 🙂 Care to join us!? 😉

Great job, Lisa Palmer, for pulling this room together. It’s perfect!

See more from this stunning home here!

Continue Reading

Inspiration for Fall

Since Monday was the official first day of fall, it seemed like the perfect time to share a little autumn inspiration with y’all! The oh-so-talented Camille Parker pulled together this pretty board of inspo that you may remember seeing while flipping through the pages of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine!

Fall mood board by SummerHouse for Inspiration Mississippi

We love the warmth of this pretty mix! Don’t you?!

Come by any time and talk to a designer about helping you warm up your home for the cooler temps that we just know are around the corner! (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Thanks so much for dropping in today! Have a great one!

Continue Reading

Working From Home

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

If you work from home, or have a home office simply for keeping bills and home projects organized, why not make it beautiful?! Lisa did an incredible job of making this client’s office just as happy as it is functional! The pink, white, and gold accents make the space inviting and modern. And who wouldn’t want their workspace to be such?!

Take a look and see what you think about the space!

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

 

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Working From Home // Interior Design by Lisa Palmer at SummerHouse

Continue Reading

A Pop Of Color

A Pop Of Color - Green // Always Summer Blog

While we all love neutrals around here, a pop of color can really finish off a space! Today we are diving in to different colors that our designers have used in their projects. From vibrant green pillows to a vase of pink flowers, there are so many great ways to add a touch of color to your space. Don’t these rooms make you so happy?

GREEN

A Pop Of Color - Green // Always Summer Blog

A Pop Of Color - Green // Always Summer Blog

ORANGE

A Pop Of Color - Orange // Always Summer Blog

A Pop Of Color - Orange // Always Summer Blog

A Pop Of Color - Orange // Always Summer Blog

BLUE

A Pop Of Color - Blue // Always Summer Blog A Pop Of Color - Blue // Always Summer Blog

PINK

A Pop Of Color - Pink // Always Summer Blog

PURPLE

A Pop Of Color - Purple // Always Summer Blog

A Pop Of Color - Purple // Always Summer Blog

YELLOW

A Pop Of Color - Gold // Always Summer Blog

What is your favorite pop of color?

We hope we’ve left you inspired and ready to add some color to your space for spring!
Have a great day!

Continue Reading

Inside The Orange Box: Nontraditional Neutrals, Part 2

31
JULY
2015

You might remember seeing from our last Orange Box post about nontraditional neutrals! Today, more of our designers are getting in on the discussion! Let’s see what they have to say!

DESIGNER LINDSEY TOWNSEND

One of my favorite non-traditional neutrals is dark slate blue-greys. I love how it can really ground a space while also balancing well with many other color schemes.  It can be used within a traditional design palette or contemporary.  It is a very versatile non-traditional neutral!

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

DESIGNER CAMILLE HOLLAND

My favorite non-traditional neutral is black, it is usually thought of as an accent to white or grey neutrals, but it is amazing standing on its own as the main color in a space! It pairs great with all colors and can make any room stand out as a show stopper or can tone down a space for subtle elegance!

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

DESIGNER KATY HINES

I have really been drawn to blush tones lately!  When paired with creams and ivory, it creates a soft, sophisticated palette.  And it is a beautiful accent to darker neutrals like charcoal and taupe.  Here are a few blush accents you can find in our showroom now!

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

/ / / / /

For previous Inside The Orange Box posts, click here!

Continue Reading

Inside The Orange Box: Nontraditional Neutrals, Part 1

17
JULY
2015

In this edition of Inside The Orange Box, we’re getting our designers to share their favorite non-traditional neutrals! As much as we all love a good white, gray, or beige, we asked them to think a little beyond that. Their answers are great! Let’s get started!

DESIGNER MARY COURTNEY JOHNS

A deep teal with a bluish-gray undertone would be my first choice for a non-traditional neutral. It adds interesting contrast to any lacking space. I have this color accenting my living and bedroom!

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

DESIGNER ELISH PHARES

I have many, especially as trends fluctuate, but one of my favorite non-traditional neutrals is olive green. It translates as a neutral and is a beautiful compliment to so many bold colors that often need a balancing force. Olive green pairs well with gold/amber, blush, eggplant, navy, soft blue, etc…

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

DESIGNER TODD PRINCE

I choose amethyst as my non-traditional neutral because it works so well with so many colors that I personally love, like light or dark gray, olive green, or white. Amethyst is one of those colors that has a gray undertone to it, but it’s so so so flexible. It works particularly well with green!

SummerHouse designers' favorite nontraditional neutrals // www.alwayssummerblog.com

More non-traditional neutrals coming your way with the next Inside The Orange Box!

Have a great weekend and thanks so much for stopping by! Don’t forget that you can enter to win some GREAT prizes (including something from us!) by entering this super simple contest! Just click here!

Continue Reading

Web Store Wish List: The Sky Is The Limit

19
MAY
2015

Our web store wish list today is all about the color blue! And since it’s been a little gray around here lately with lots of clouds and rain, we find ourselves wishing for some blue skies!

Shop all of this (plus so much more) at www.summerhousestyle.com. And follow the links below to get to these specific items!

The Sky Is The Limit - Web Store Wish List // shop all of this at www.summerhousestyle.com

Clockwise from top right:

The Joy Of Decorating // $50
Abstract Landscape by Austin James // $195
Exeter Chair // $2256 (ON SALE!)
Light San Marco Pillow // $180
Agate Bookends // $140
Culloden Pebbled Aquamarine Table Lamp // $620
Turqouise Snakeskin Box // $290

See something you love? It can be yours! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by- have a great rest of the day!

Continue Reading

Keen on Green

17
MARCH
2015

Since today is all about the color green, we thought that was as good an excuse as any to share with you some of our favorite web store items in nature’s favorite hue! Plus– we have some gorgeous projects centered around the color that deserve to be celebrated. Especially today!

Here’s what we’ve had our web-browsing eyes on lately…

The Green Scene // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Shop these items from the top left, clockwise!
“Oak” by Lauren Barksdale // $3100
Pearl Chair // $1626
Style by Kate Spade book // $20
Office (Rosemary and Eucalyptus) Candle // $59
Fittleworth Table Lamp // $590
Hedges Candle // $65

And here are some lovely interiors to inspire you today…

The Green Scene // Interiors that feature nature's favorite hue by SummerHouse designers // www.alwayssummerblog.com

The Green Scene // Interiors that feature nature's favorite hue by SummerHouse designers // www.alwayssummerblog.com

The Green Scene // Interiors that feature nature's favorite hue by SummerHouse designers // www.alwayssummerblog.com

The Green Scene // Interiors that feature nature's favorite hue by SummerHouse designers // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Have a happy St. Paddy’s Day! Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to wear your green!

Continue Reading

The SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace

06
NOVEMBER
2014

‘Tis the season for Mistletoe Marketplace, Jackson’s official kickoff to the holiday season! As we have done the past several years, SummerHouse designed one of the entrances to the shopping part of the event, and it turned out beautifully!! Lisa and Marty, the brains behind the operation, went in the direction of a woman’s study with a beautiful, soft color palette. It’s always quite a rush getting our bay ready to go, but always a lot of fun. When you’re ordering pieces from market (which was just a couple of weeks ago!), having custom pieces made, and obsessing over the tiny details, like pencil color (seriously!), like designers do, it’s quite a feat getting everything finished in time! But there’s nothing like a hard deadline to get things happening! 😉

Here are some snapshots of our space… We hope you’ll stop by and take a look if you get to go to Mistletoe this year!

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

SummerHouse Bay at Mistletoe Marketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

We also got to do the Corporate Sponsor Lounge! Here are a few pics of that…

Corporate Sponsor Lounge at Mistletoe MArketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Corporate Sponsor Lounge at Mistletoe MArketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Corporate Sponsor Lounge at Mistletoe MArketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Corporate Sponsor Lounge at Mistletoe MArketplace // www.alwayssummerblog.com

What do you think? Do you have a favorite element?

For the first time this year, it’s time to say Happy Holidays and Merry (early) Christmas!)

Continue Reading

Master Bedroom Masterpiece

08
SEPTEMBER
2014

SummerHouse Interior Designer Elish Phares takes us inside the master bedroom of one of her clients to remind us of just how beautiful simple design can be! We love the tight color palette, clean lines, and all of the natural light! Elish tells us a little bit about what all went into this design!

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

What did your client say she wanted in this room and what were you working with?

For this room, we pretty much had a fresh start in there! The only thing we worked with was her bed, which she had already purchased from SummerHouse. I got to start basically from scratch in there. We selected paint colors together, which is when I learned that her favorite color in any shape or form is blue. So I knew I needed to include several shades of blue! I had already redone her living room, and her master is right off of her living, so I wanted it to be different but I wanted it to still flow off of her living.

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

She wanted it to be calm and soothing. I think she and her husband really like to read, so we made a little reading nook for her over in the corner. A big debate for them was whether or not they wanted to keep a TV in the bedroom, but we eventually decided not to, so we ended up with a lot of room for book storage. They can also use their night stands for storage!

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

Tell us more about working with this client!

She is great to work with! I knew the design would have to involve blue because that’s her favorite. She likes pretty things, but we have to be somewhat practical- we couldn’t do anything too crazy- because her dogs get on everything. Her dogs sleep on the foot of the bed so the bedding, except for the shams and decorative pillow, is washable.

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

We were trying to create a balance between the bed she already had, which is actually kind of green, and that blue. So that was kinda where the color palette came from. And she’s not overly girly. So that’s why the lamps are a little bit rustic. She’s kind of drawn to reclaimed things sometimes! It ended up being a really nice mix.

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

Shades of Blue // Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Elish Phares // www.alwaysssummerblog.com

How long have you and this client been working together?

We have been working together for about a year now! She’s made several house updates throughout my time working with her. She’s updated finishes, redone her kitchen, redone her floors, painted…. So we are kind of doing interiors as we are going through some of her home updates.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Thanks Elish! So soothing and relaxing… Keep up the good work! 🙂

Continue Reading

A Favorite Of Ours

19
JUNE
2014

Marty recently revamped the showroom floor, and this grouping (which you may remember seeing a similar version of in this blog post!) is just one of our favorites! It’s so pretty and colorful without being too much, and we love the color, pattern, and fun new art! Most of these furniture pieces are by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair!

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

SummerHouse in Ridgeland MS // www.summerhousestyle.com

Thanks, Suzanne, for all the lovely inspiration!

We hope y’all have an inspiring weekend!

Continue Reading

Walking The Line

21
MAY
2014

Designer Todd Prince was recently tasked with helping a long-time SummerHouse client with his new office! The client wanted his office to sort of walk the line between upscale corporate and residential, so when you see these photos, you might not feel like you’re looking at someone’s workspace! Todd did a great job of meshing hospitable comfort with business-friendly design.

We’ll let Todd tell you a little about what went into the design of this beautiful space!

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

“He wanted this to feel very residential. Not officey. He wanted guests to his office to feel as if they were coming into their home when they came into the space. We decided to go very rich and warm in color. We went with a very dark kind of slate blue wall and we did that throughout the entire space. We used brown leathers, deep gray linens, metal accents, and used modern art to make it feel very residential.

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

We wanted to try to accommodate as many people as possible, so in his office, we did a sofa and two chairs. In the conference room, we did a table with six chairs and then two sofas, so he could accommodate as many as 12 people in that room.

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

We did the horn chair covered in hide for a pop of interest when you walk in the door because he did want it to feel very hip while also teetering the line between office and residential. We chose fabrics and leathers that would wear well over time and we accessorized as minimally as possible.

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

On the casegood pieces we went a little more old world with worn finishes. We did a Club Cu piece for the bar, which is great because it has plenty of storage. In the conference room he did the big John Richard Adrianna Buffet over which he hung a big TV because the buffet could contain all the components.

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

We gave him lamp lighting in his office to give him good light, but he was lucky to have an office with two walls of windows. Lots of natural light always makes a space feel comfortable.

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

We tried to go as residential as we could while also making it as upscale corporate as we could. We kinda tried to walk that line and I really like how it turned out!”

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

Walking the Line Between Corporate and Cozy // by Designer Todd Prince // SummerHouse

When we asked the client how he liked the end result, he said, “It was the best experience. I love SummerHouse and I love working with Todd. I could not be more pleased with how things turned out!”

Great job, Todd! We agree that it turned out absolutely beautifully!!

Continue Reading

Green Scene

17
MARCH
2014

Happy St. Patrick’s day to you! In honor of the color du jour, we’ve decided to celebrate a few of our favorite spaces that make beautiful use of the color green! From a simple pop of one of mother nature’s favorite hues to shameless saturation, these seven spaces display green absolutely perfectly!

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Seven spaces that celebrate nature's favorite hue: #green // SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

When it comes to the color of growth and prosperity, which shade would you say is your favorite?

Continue Reading

New From Studio Bon!

12
NOVEMBER
2013

We have some exciting posts to bring you later this week recapping a super fun staff party we had over the weekend, Christmas plans, and some beautiful projects by our talented design staff! But since those aren’t ready yet, we wanted to show you a few new intros we’re kind of going crazy over right now…. 🙂

One of our favorite fabric lines, Studio Bon, has come out with some new patterns that we’re just in love with! (And not only do they offer fabrics, but wallcoverings too!!)

The goldy tones get us in the holiday mood for some reason, and the patterns are so fun and different (which Stuio Bon is always good at introducing!)

SUMMERHOUSE LOVES STUDIO BON!

Studio Bon Love // SummerHouse

We could see the wallcovering in a powder room or as an accent wall, and the fabrics would be great for headboards, pillow, or anything in between!

Do you love these as much as we do?!

Continue Reading

Event Recap!

14
OCTOBER
2013

Last week’s Lauren Lachance event was SO MUCH FUN! We all had a blast and really enjoyed getting to know Lauren and her husband Eduardo just a little better!

The showroom was filled with their BEAUTIFUL work, which we and our guests enjoyed taking in over the course of the day! Here are a few snapshots from the day!

Lauren Lachance at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

Lauren Lachance Trunk Show // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS Lauren Lachance Trunk Show // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

We were excited to see several pieces go home with clients! And we’re even more excited that we still have several beauties still hanging in the showroom. If you missed the event, it’s not too late to come and get familiar with some lovely pressings from The Lauren Lachance Collection!

A huge thanks to Lauren and Eduardo for voyaging from Texas to share their talents with us!

We truly had the best day with them!

Continue Reading

A Visit To View

16
AUGUST
2013

View Gallery, our fantastic neighbor just a few doors down from our shop, has some of the most incredible art right now! From calming and serene to bold and exciting, owner Phyllis Geary has got some great art representing her insanely talented artists.

A few of those artists that our staff have been particularly taken with lately are Kim Duease, Sarah Haas Otts, and Anne McLeod. Each artist’s style is refreshing and unique!

Sarah Haas Otts

Otts grew up on the gulf coast and is inspired not only by her natural surroundings, but by motherhood! Her style is vibrant, abstract, and absolutely gorgeous!

VIEW GALLERY ART

by Sarah Haas Otts // View Gallery

by Sarah Haas Otts // View Gallery

by Sarah Haas Otts // View Gallery

Anne McLeod

Whether acrylic on canvas or watercolor on paper, McLeod’s landscapes evoke a feeling of longing for a time and place captured by the New Orleans artist’s colorful interpretations of the world as she sees it.

By Anne McLeod // View Gallery

By Anne McLeod // View Gallery

By Anne McLeod // View Gallery

Kim Duease

Kim, a Jackson are native,  uses an intense process and a lovely mix of media to create her encaustics. Though beeswax and purified resin are her main “tools,” so to speak, she also incorporates watercolor, pastel, and other various media to make her art. She finishes each piece with the palm of her hand to create a unique sheen. We were particularly taken with these teeny little masterpieces!

By Kim Duease // View Gallery

By Kim Duease // View Gallery

Here are a few more great shots from one of our latest visits!

View Gallery // Ridgeland, MS

View Gallery // Ridgeland, MS

View Gallery // Ridgeland, MS

Of course this is only a small sample of what all View Gallery has to show! It would be well worth your time to dip in and take a look around! 🙂 Do you see any art that speaks to you? We want to know!

Continue Reading

The SummerHouse Lookbook on Tumblr

30
JULY
2013

Ladies and gentlemen… We are very pleased to announce that we now have a presence on Tumblr!

The SummerHouse Lookbook is now LIVE and ready for your viewing pleasure!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tumblr, it’s basically a site for photo collecting. We’re constantly inspired by each other, things we see on Pinterest, photos we see on our favorite sites, and snaps of our very own projects and showroom. We thought this page would be the perfect place to collect all of these beautiful images, which will hopefully end up inspiring you!

SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

We’ll be updating the SummerHouse Lookbook regularly, so stop by often! We hope you love it!

Continue Reading

Chatting With Natalie Ray

03
JULY
2013

NATALIE RAY AT SUMMERHOUSEArtist Natalie Ray, whose artwork adorns the walls of the SummerHouse showroom, took a minute to answer a few questions for us, despite the crazy busy summer schedule she’s juggling right now!

We loved getting a closer look into the life and inspirations of one of our favorite artists!

1) For those who don’t know you as well, give us a quick little “Natalie in a nutshell!”

I was born in Jackson and have lived here ever since. My parents, Jim and Linda Burwell, are both pretty eccentric/artsy people. As restaurateurs in the Belhaven area, they had many “artist” friends. They began taking my sisters and me to events like the Chimneyville Crafts Festival (by the MS Craftman’s Guild) at a very young age to see the works of their artist friends. Even as a young child, I was amazed by it all (glass, wood, metal, etc.).

I went to Millsaps College where I majored in Business Administration and minored in Art. I always thought I would paint “when I got old,” so I went into the technology sector after college and ended up over Operations of a local software development company. As many tech companies of that time,
the company was very short-lived. While I was looking for another job, I painted a few paintings. A friend asked if she could commission me to paint a painting for her husband for their anniversary. After that another friend asked, then another. I decided to give it a shot and officially opened my
business, Natalie Ray Designs, in 2001. In addition to painting, I teach private art lessons and camps to children.

My husband, Rand (also from Jackson), and I have been married for 18 years and have three awesome children: Bracken, Greyton and Ainsley. They are my everything 🙂 If I am not painting/teaching art, I am at a Basketball game, Soccer Game, Riding Lesson or some type of kid event.

By artist Natalie Ray // SummerHouse

2) How long have you been painting?

Although I began drawing at a very young age, I did not pick up a paintbrush until I took my first painting course at Millsaps. I was hooked at day one and have painted ever since.

3) What is your favorite medium?

My favorite medium is acrylic (especially on masonite… I love the way it soaks up the paint so quickly). I’ve tried using oils, but I am too impatient to wait for the drying time. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am pretty ADD so I need to see results pretty quickly or I get bored (ha!) I also use charcoals, and watercolor quite a bit in my work.

By artist Natalie Ray // SummerHouse

4) Can you recall the first or most momentous experience that inspired you to really express yourself on canvas?

When I was in college, my art professor asked us to create a painting from something that inspired us. As I was walking back to my dorm, I saw an empty classroom with all the desks in rows. There were these big windows against one wall and several of the desks were off-center (from students leaving and knocking into them). I just had to paint it. I put my own “twist” on it by painting each of the desks a different (bright) color. There was something about showing the extraordinary in the ordinary that struck me. I still come back to that theory when I paint today. There is really so much extraordinary in the ordinary that people often miss.

5) What is the strangest request for a commission piece you’ve ever gotten?

Ok.. I really can’t think of a strange request… is that weird?? One of the greatest requests I have gotten, however, was from a friend whose 6th/7th grade son wanted a painting of the guitars/highway signs at the Crossroads in Clarksdale. As a fan of Robert Johnson (and the Blues in general), I thought it was about the coolest thing ever and was so much fun to paint!!

By artist Natalie Ray // SummerHouse

6) What is your favorite aspect of being an artist?

I thrive on change. Really. I hear people say that change makes them nervous. I am the exact opposite. I get nervous when things stay the same for too long. I love that I literally learn something new every day as an artist. You have to make yourself vulnerable as an artist and try new things. You have to put yourself out there. It’s kind of scary sometimes, but it is so rewarding when someone tells you how much one of your pieces means to them.

7) What else can you share with us?!

A bit of information that is probably not important to anyone other than myself… In addition to being an artist, I am a HUGE music lover. The Beatles will always be my absolute favorite (reminds me of my childhood.. Mom and Dad had The White Album when I was young.. how cool is that??!!), but I love a little bit of everything- blues, jazz, alternative, funk… really into Americana/Folk these days. I do my best work (in my opinion) when I have my music playing.

Thank you so much Natalie!! Be sure to stop by the showroom next time you’re in the area to see her work with your own eyes — We feel sure you’ll leave inspired (and possibly in possession of a new piece of art!)

Continue Reading