Ten years ago April Tomlin made the decision to pursue her passion in interior design full time. Since then, she has attracted a roster of A-list clientele from the music and sports industries with her texturized and distinctive style. Using organic and raw materials juxtaposed with a clean and simple palette, April is redefining Southern design. You ladies probably know her best because she was the creative mastermind behind Shop Living With Landyn – she genuinely brought my dream to life and I am so thankful we had the chance to work together!
What have you been up to during this time?
I have two little girls – What’s even more crazy right now is this homeschool situation. I am just blown away that people with older kids have to homeschool their children. Thank goodness my girls are young enough where I am not teaching them math. So pretty much the second day of quarantine, everyone went home, we have a couple moms on our team. Honestly, we were moving so fast in our business and I was feeling a little bit out of control – but
I don’t think I realized how much I was missing with my kids, I will say that I am trying to stay positive because when life does start transitioning back I will miss my kids. You just gotta come out and find peace with what you’re dealing with. I have not worn any form of makeup and I just wanted to reset my face and I feel like its working.
So how did you get started with April Tomlin Interiors?
It started pretty young for me, I was raised with a single mom and 3 kids, we didn’t have much. When was 8 and she came home from work one day and me and my siblings would have moved her furniture and painted our living room – and she is the best thing and she worked so hard. I was doing set design for a company, I started doing homes at night on my free time and then fast forward and then it was all word of mouth. I get asked all the time “How did you do this?” and I always say “I worked my ass off”. A designer also has to know about construction, etc. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and the first three years, I was terrible – it’s so funny. It’s just practice, working your way up.
A lot of people do want to start their company and if I have any advice, I would say the sooner the better. You can really do anything.
Everyone is refreshing their space right now – What room would you recommend to start with?
You know, I’ve thought a lot about this. I’ve been watching my habits around my house, you know I don’t hire a designer. One of the best things that I’ve done since quarantine is going to every room and edit each room. Throw it away, donate it, etc. That is one of the easiest and FREE things that you can do. I have found things that I didn’t even know I had – even if it’s extra shampoo. My garage is full of stuff to give away, but yes that’s first. Start with editing – fill in the gap later.
All About Paint Color –
Paint can make the statement, but often times it’s the background. As a designer – it’s so hard to design around grey. Some things turn things yellow – I buy a couch and a piece of art it’s hard with grey walls. It’s much easier to design around white. A lot of people ask my what white do I use? Trim is the most costly thing to paint – I use pure white, Sherman Williams. But if you’re painting your walls white, you need to figure out exactly what your trim is and paint it that color.
If You’re Trying to Make Plays at Your House
+ neutral furniture (don’t get the floral sofa- it’s too hectic)
+ big pieces of art (thing 46 X 50) make that big art play, you can go to Minted or make it yourself
+ You gotta check out Copper Paints in Nashville, ask for ATI (it’s our own paint the we created),
+ Coffee Table Books, Concrete Bowl, a candle – it’s that simple (we get a lot of our coffee table books from Amazon)
What are the keys pieces we’re going to spend our money on – where is your investment?
Seating definitely – One Kings Lane is awesome, they sell last season pieces and these tend to be a little high quality. It’s also really important that you have homey lighting, more lamps, etc. The last thing I would spend money on is decor: go to CB2, Target, One Kings Lane, Crate + Barrel, Wayfair, etc. Don’t spend $500 on a bowl.
I would love to know, a few things that I have trouble with that I would love your help on is scale. Are there any rules to go with scale?
From our kitchen counter to the bottom of our pendant – 30-36 inches is that it should be. Drop everything lower and get it in your eye line, the lower it goes the more dramatic it is.
Art – I don’t like lining up with the door frame, I love regular eye level art, not something you have to look up at.
Dining Room Table – All the same chair or mix match?
I love keeping it the same
Do you like mixing metals?
Yes, I’m not a huge chrome fan, brushed nickel is actually making a comeback. I love living brasses. Unless you’re going to do an all brass look just try to do brass in one place.
Rugs, how should my furniture sit?
I like when all my furniture is on the rugs. I love Myers in Nashville – I get rugs cut and I measured it to my space, I really like small band. I even like to layer my rugs too.
Is there a more natural element – bringing the outside in
The easiest thing you can do is branches, even from your yard. I like when you look at things for things to calm you down – not spike you up. I like when I go into my house for everything to be calm. I’m drawn to woods and I love white oak. My entire new house, the entire interior is white oak, I love woods and popping a metal over top. That’s just my personal style. For me I always buy textured blankets or pillows, it’s an easy way to add an organic feel to your home. I love sand colored over grey.
Let’s talk about Pillows
I love Etsy for pillows, they have amazing sources for them. I like 24″ and 26″ pillows – use an insert above it. If I buy a 26″ pillow, then I buy a 28″ inch insert. We love a big pillow, and if you’re looking at a couch – I’ll use two of the same and one accent. On a bed, I love big large (Pom Pom Bed Pillows) I either go flat lay pillows or I go really large pillow. I also always use multiple throws at the end of my bed.
Tell me about tile
I love switching up the way that the subway tile lays and also changing up the width of the grout. I also use schlutter as the grout and band it together. I like keeping the same grout color as my tile. You want to make sure that you use a power grout so the color does not turn.
We love World Market for outdoor furniture and they’re having an awesome sale right now!
a few of my favorite quotes from the live
what is it that really fuels me and what can I do with my life moving forward
less is definitely more
do everything bigger, bigger throws, bigger art, bigger table runners
if you are handy you can make it on your home
ALL THE CONCRETE THINGS
ADD SOME TEXTURE
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
I loved this Live! Took so many notes. I am doing a backsplash in my kitchen, but can’t find the Power Grout brand she recommended (the one that doesn’t turn color) anywhere in Nashville. Anyone able find it?