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Designer Spotlight - Liz Williams

By day Liz Williams is a force on the Atlanta Interior Design scene completing project after beautiful project.  By night she lives in the Springlake neighborhood of  Buckhead with her husband Taylor, a financial planner and keeps ultra-busy with their three children- Reagan (almost 13), Candler (10), and Nolan (5).   She took a few minutes with us to answer some questions about her daytime gig...
Okay, it seems most designers need to have a credo or design philosophy in their back pocket to dish out on a moment’s notice so go ahead—lay it on me!  
We approach each project individually, listening to our clients and translating their design wants and needs into beautiful and functional rooms.
You designed a beautiful Master Bedroom at the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles 2010 Christmas House on the 41st floor of the Mansion on Peachtree.  (Cue applause).  Do you approach a residence like that differently than say, an English Tudor style home in Buckhead?
Doing a show house room is so different from working with a client and having feedback from them. I  bounced ideas off of Bowdre (my assistant), as well as good friend and designer Gretchen Edwards. I started with a fabric I had always loved but had never used before and the stunning iron canopy bed.  After that things fell into place, including the 2 beautiful rugs from Sullivan Fine Rugs!
Do you see show houses as venues to display your talents and look or a cause for experimentation?
It is definitely a place to display your talents. The room should be representational of my work, so not too much experimentation! It is an opportunity to use (borrow) and showcase items that may not be in every client's budget. The challenge is to make the room feel "real". We worked hard to make it appear like the art had been collected over time and that we had a perfect mix of old and new elements.
Are there any other designers in Atlanta or at large that you admire or even try to emulate at times?
Of course I admire Carter Kay and her beautiful work, as she was my mentor!  I love the work of Jackye Lanham and Suzanne Kasler here in Atlanta. Elsewhere, I have always been a fan of Charleston's Amelia Handegan and her attention to detail. Other designers whose work I revere are Bunny Williams, Victoria Hagan, and Miles Redd (he was a schoolmate of mine here in Atlanta and has hit the big time in NYC- so exciting and such fabulous work!).
What are the advantages of being an industry veteran at a relatively young age?  (I take liberty in asking this question and using the word “relatively” because we are in similar age/experience brackets :) 
I have been in the design world for 17 years. Working for Carter for 5 years really gave me a great head start in this industry. Now that I have had my own business since 1998, I have worked on many different types of projects- families growing and needing larger spaces, empty nesters down-sizing, beach houses, mountain houses and my favorite- historic renovation/restoration. I have had a good bit of repeat customers over the years and have been fortunate to do home after home for them. Being a mom of three has also helped me in designing homes for more white sofas!!!
Any particular color(s) you want to implement in your design schemes more this year?
In the past couple of years I have tended to go towards cooler shades- green and blues.  I still love them, but I would like to implement warmer tones.  Orange is a favorite- I have it in my own home, but I know it is not for everybody!
What challenges do you most often face in designing a beautiful home in 2011 that maybe were not as much of an issue in say, 1999?
 The downturn in the economy has spurred some creativity with design budgets. We want our clients to get the most bang for their buck.  While we still encourage investments in art, rugs, and antiques; we may go with a less expensive drapery fabric and splurge on the trim or reinvent a piece of furniture a client already owns by painting it or upholstering it.
Can you point to a particular area in which the design industry improved significantly during that same time frame?
Nowadays you can get almost anything made custom for your clients.  This used to be a luxury/expense, but now it is much more affordable. Rugs, carpet, iron furniture, upholstered pieces, etc.  Many companies are willing to make exactly what you want for a reasonable price. 
How long has Bowdre George worked with you?
Bowdre has worked with me for almost 5 years! She is a great asset and handles so much for me.  She works so well with our clients and vendors.
She assures me that interior design is all glamour and accolades and chocolate truffles—is this really true?
Unfortunately not! While there is a little bit of glamour, there is a lot of schlepping things around!

For all the glamour, truffles and schlepping call Liz Williams Interiors @ (404)816-9868