Nina Nash & Jared Hughes – Mathews Furniture + Design Atlanta, GA
Interview with Nina Nash & Jared Hughes of Mathews Furniture + Design
Introducing the third in our summer series of Designer Spotlights focusing on the group of top design experts who will be featured this July at AmericasMart’s Vignette Exhibition…Nina Nash & Jared Hughes! As the design team that represents Mathews, Nina & Jared represent an unstoppable creative team. Jared’s background in floral design and interest in global textiles brings high style and flair to their projects, while Nina is an enthusiastic designer with true natural talent and an eye for space and color. REstyleSOURCE recently chatted with this dynamic duo, in a brief Q&A which will not only give our readers some background on their “retail meets design” philosophy, but also what they can expect to see from the pair’s Designer Vignette at AmericasMart Atlanta in July 2016…
What does ‘retail meets design’ mean to you?
Nina: “Retail meets design” means having a retail store that is designed as such that aesthetically represents the company’s overall look and feel that appeals to its customers while properly portraying what is being sold. When a retail environment puts extra attention into the design, it shows, and in turn will contribute to the positive outlook of the business and generate more sales.
Jared: “Retail meets design” means having the ability to showcase the product you are placing in your clients’ homes. It is always easier to show people something in person than convince them via fabric swatches and photography. It also provides the client with the opportunity to see your ability and aesthetic through the visuals and set up of your retail space.
Which came first for you, retail or design?
Jared: I worked for a company that did events, floral and interior design that also had a retail space. So I guess both at the same time.
Nina: For me, all things design just naturally started at a young age; I was always the creative one who loved art and fashion truly in all stages of my life, one way or another. Formally, I have dual degrees in Graphic Design and Fine Art, but I have to say I really fell in love with the world of interior design from my experience working with a high end furniture retailer for the past 10 years.
Photos c/o Mathews Furniture + Design
What inspires your creativity?
Nina: As a designer, I feel I am constantly evolving and getting inspiration from new things I see and encounter. For me, rather than a specific person, I would have to say that my approach comes from things all around me every day, mostly in the forms of architecture, fashion, nature, art and experiences from my travels. You can definitely spot certain elements that are always present in my designs like clean lines, gorgeous art and unique fabrics that are beautiful but livable. I love it when my spaces come alive with a personality and tell a story of sorts and hopefully my work inspires someone!
Jared: Colors and fabrics always get the ball rolling for me, followed by shape and a sense of history balanced with modern. I’m always inspired by the work of Mary McDonald, Michael S. Smith and Robert Brown.
Jared’s Favorite Quote…”You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé.”
Photos c/o Mathews Furniture + Design
Designer Notes: Inspiration
Nina & Jared: We are still heavily inspired by tribal and global textiles, sculpture and art but we wanted to go deeper and explore that further with a darker, moodier feel. For this vignette we were inspired by the ‘Silk Road’ which is the trade route that connected the Asian continent to Europe, and so nuances from China, Thailand, India, the Middle East and Northern Africa can be felt.
Which vendors and products did you go with to create this look? Which pieces are your favorites, and why?
Nina: There are so many pieces we found and fell in love with so it was tough but some vendors that really worked for us with this look were Gabby (see their “Rosa” chandelier selection, at left), Noir, Studio|A, Palecek, Legends of Asia, Arteriors, Century, Avala International and Made Goods. Of course with the new addition of ANTIQUES now at AmericasMart, we also found some original pieces with beautiful patina that we really admired.
Must-See AmericasMart Showrooms?
Noir | Made Goods | Modern History | Studio|A
Nina: There are so many amazing showrooms, and with the additions of new and hot lines there I always find exactly what I need at AmericasMart Atlanta!
Designer Tips On Shopping the Market?
Jared: Hydrate and just keep going all around, don’t jump around to only showrooms you are familiar with, you don’t know why you might miss! Always scope out the temporaries, they’re full of new lines, unique options and up & coming products.
Nina: I’ve been attending Home Markets for about 10 years now so I definitely have learned a thing or two….
1) Make sure your phone is charged and take lots of pictures…which also means bring your phone charger! Having your phone die in the middle of an inspiring moment is the absolute worst. Afterwards, I always want to go back and look at my Market finds and discoveries, so documenting that with photos is crucial.
2) Wear cute but appropriate shoes. You still can be stylish, however, wear something comfortable or bring an extra pair for the late afternoon or evening events to change into.
3) Make appointments with your big vendors. If you know you are going to be spending time and purchasing a decent amount in a showroom, make an appointment with your rep so that they can give you the attention you need.
4) Plan ahead. I make a list of the showrooms that I plan on visiting and schedule them grouped together based on location. This avoids a lot of running back and forth and also prevents you from forgetting about showrooms since have a list to go by.
5) Always allow extra time to go into the new places and discover lines you maybe didn’t know about prior to Market. I always make a point to find something new, so make sure you have enough time to explore!
Mathews Furniture + Design
REstyleSOURCE Loves Local
REstyleSOURCE is all about ‘loving local’—from designers and manufacturers right down to local brick & mortar shops and eateries! What are some of your favorite local shops and restaurants to visit when you’re in Atlanta?
Nina: I’m lucky to live and work in Atlanta so I have access to all the fabulousness that is Atlanta, year-round. Anyone visiting Atlanta should experience The Beltline and all the cool local shops and restaurants on it, that’s one of my favorite things to do in the city.
Jared: Having been a former head floral designer, I am very picky about flowers, but Lush Life does the most amazing job with arrangements, orchids and unique plants. I am also always impressed by Robert Brown’s store Townhouse, which is full of amazing art and unique accessories. I also love Sid Mashburn for clothes and shoes and any Ford Fry restaurant for a great meal in a beautiful setting. Pizza at Ammazza (shownn at left) in the Fourth Ward is a hands-down, can’t-miss stop!
Photo c/o Mathews Furniture + Design
Favorite Tips for Stylish Entertaining?
Jared: Flowers and live plants, everywhere and always, and just keep stacking the blue and white porcelain in. Don’t be afraid to use the good china or the silver, it was made to be enjoyed. Don’t skimp on the alcohol and when entertaining, always have extra of everything…just in case
Nina: Entertaining stresses me out, so I need to keep things simple. I have “go-to”s like a beautiful cheese plate including fruit, nuts & other accoutrements, then I add some good wine and champagne to that. I usually use white appetizer plates and napkins as well as all white serving plates, which to me looks sophisticated. I also always do assorted colorful macarons which are always a hit.Last thing is always light some candles and dim the lights and boom: insta-chic!
Photo c/o Mathews Furniture + Design
Up Close & Personal with the Designers
Coffee or Tea? N: Coffee with soy or coconut milk; J: Tea, sweet and over ice with lemon / Salty or Sweet? N: Sweet probably; J: Salty / Beach or Mountains? N: I love the fresh, crisp air in the mountains but there’s something about the ocean I crave; J: Mountains / City or Country? N: I feel much more relaxed in the country; J: Both / Cats or Dogs? N: Dogs, specifically dachshunds!; J: Dogs
Text or Phone Call? N: Text; J: I like a phone call, it cuts out the lag time / Night Owl or Early Riser? N: I’m getting too old to be a night owl, I like to start the day early and get more in; J: Night owl / Read the Book or See the Movie? N: I do both if I really like the story; J: Read the book / Kindle or Hardcover? N: Kindle; J: Hardcover / Luxury Hotel or Camping Trip? N: Hands down luxury hotel all day, every day; J: Both / Home Cooked Meal or Fancy Restaurant? N: If my mother is cooking, then homemade, other than that…take me out!; J: Depends on the company and the day of the week.