If “Flip or Flop” is your favorite show or you find yourself quoting Joanna Gaines daily — this one’s for you. Yep, that’s right. We’re talking about home renovations. We connected with the experts on design “musts” + where to start, so you can put those DIY projects down and get a kickstart on your summer visions.
✨ Perfect pairings
We sat down with Lori Paranjape of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors — a luxury design firm based here in Nashville. Her work has been featured in PEOPLE + Architectural Digest, and she’s spreading her knowledge coast to coast.
Q: What design elements are you currently seeing in Nashville?
I think there are things we see that start to kind of evolve. Something I’m seeing a little bit in homes that’s evolving is a step away from white painted brick. It’s certainly something I’m starting to see a move away from on our design table right now. I would say having a cozy place for TV, instead of always having one giant space that’s open, is also popular. Also, maybe more neutral flooring. Not necessarily on the gray side and not back to the old version of kind of orangey red floors, but a bit more neutral. We definitely have more of an investment in lighting the house because it makes such an impact.
Q: How are you seeing those things implemented in different style homes?
I think all of the things that we mentioned are sort of cross styles. If someone has a really contemporary house, then I think the trend of painting them is evolving — whether it’s contemporary or traditional (same goes for the flooring, and the same goes for the utility in a pantry). I do think they move across styles. A white painted house in a contemporary style is probably longer lasting because contemporary sort of lends itself to being a white painted structure. So there are some subtle differences among the different styles of architecture.
Q: Are they fads or here to stay?
I think anything that could be a fad is probably something that should be avoided entirely, especially anything related to your home — unless it’s something that’s easily changed. So, if you just love the latest release of a new fabric, then you can tell us. That’s such an easy change. If there’s anything structural, you should probably not participate (the color of the floors, the color of the exteriors, the layout of the house) as it relates to the usability of the house, those are things that that don’t disappear in a puff of smoke — they have a much longer shelf life.
Q: How do you go about picking pieces that will feel less like a trend and more like a design element you can grow with?
We’re always looking for classic pieces, like familiar frames and really iconic styles. Each individual families’ style is represented in detail and in accents. We can do those in ways that are subtle, but really impactful, and don’t have to be part of the larger purchased items.
Q: What’s your design “must” for every home?
I think every home should have personalization. Every home should be very representative of the family who lives inside of it. So while we design products for a bunch of different families, when people walk into each family’s home, they’re like, ‘Oh, this looks just like you.’ That is where the magic is.
Q: How can someone start? Think: The basics that will quickly elevate a space.
I think good lighting is a good trick for telling the story of high quality, classic, and timeliness. Lighting is a really good way to do that without saying much. Then we really like the investment of really well-made, comfortable furniture that you use every day. If it’s an accent chair, maybe you don’t have to spend as much. But if you sit on it and cuddle up on it, then it should be comfortable, durable, and long-lasting.
Q: What design elements should you not take shortcuts with?
We like to encourage clients to splurge on items that they use and touch on a regular basis. Some of those things would be faucets in the bathroom and kitchen. They touch them every day, so it’s a great thing to have invested in because you get so much use and enjoyment out of it. Plus, a really durable, comfortable sofa where the family is going to gather. That’s a great thing to invest in. Now, should they spend their budgets on completely customized cabinets for secondary bathrooms? Only if they really want to. It’s not a bad spot to kind of cut back if you can.
Q: Do you have any advice particularly for the summer months of renovations?
I think with homes, fashion, and everything else that you should buy what you love. This summer if what you’re feeling is spending more time outside or you want to be inside because it’s too hot, then you should invest in those spaces where you’re spending all of your time. That’s where you’re living your life and that space should be the most beautiful and the most representative of you and your family.
But before you can start elevating your space with your unique flair + personal touches, you need to start with strong bare bones.