R. Higgins Interiors

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Contemporary Western Dream

Governor's Club

Great Smoky Getaway

Blackberry Farm

A Farm in Town

Goodlettsville Estate

On Top of the World

Twelve Twelve

A Breath of Fresh Air

Belle Meade Estate

A Place to Call Home

Woodlawn Drive

A Study In Contrast

Belle Meade Boulevard

History Renewed

Natchez Trace

Governor's Club

Overview
Built: 2002
Size: 8,500 SF
Style: Western Contemporary
Scope: Over a 3-year period:
  • New construction

The client’s goal for this home was to present their collection of artwork and furnishings within an architectural style they had long admired. They envisioned a unique blend of western, contemporary and lodge aesthetics. But, it also needed to be unapologetically casual – a welcoming place where they could enjoy friends and dogs, garden in the yard, and welcome their college-age children back home throughout the year. The couple’s furniture spanned a range of styles, including everything from Victorian family pieces to mid-century upholstery and chairs. As always, Roger’s challenge was to pull it all together in a way that beautifully evokes an effortless sense of balance. Mission accomplished.

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Insights

Contemporary Western Dream

When clients have the luxury of bringing Roger into a project at the point of construction, they open the doors to a level of creative vision which isn’t always feasible when updating an older structure. 

The easygoing family who make their home here had a clear sense of who they are, and how they wanted to approach life. They imagined a casual, livable space that could balance the rugged feel of a western lodge with contemporary sensibilities. The house also needed to make sense for the couple’s children and dogs.

 

“When you’re dealing purely with natural materials, I feel like I can work in a huge range of textures, and somehow it always comes together.”

They got their wish – a modern, light-filled space that feels as if it were fashioned almost entirely of ancient wood and stone. “The natural colors provide a great background for objects, and for life itself,” says Roger. Everywhere one turns, earth tones blend effortlessly. The story here is one of raw, organic surfaces coming together in a cohesive symphony of smooth sophistication. 

Yet, as natural as everything feels, each room also offers up unexpected surprises: a powder room sink marries a clear glass bowl to a base cut from a tree trunk. The butcher block dining table rests on heavy wooden rollers made for printing antique wallpaper. In the study, a bright vintage Italian racing bicycle accents the wall behind a desk. 

And yes, it all manages to make beautiful sense.

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Blackberry Farm

Overview
Built: 2015
Size: Approx. 6,000 SF
Style: Mountain vacation home
Scope: New construction, 4 years from concept to completion

Here, Roger and Ann were able to design the entire house in concert with the Blackberry Farm building team. Roger wanted the home to provide a soft backdrop both for the stunning natural vistas outside, along with the sophisticated contemporary art collection inside.

The house is unique for a mountain home, with its mix of clean-lined upholstery and dramatic artwork juxtaposed against tones and materials more typical of its East Tennessee location. Every room features custom millwork, and texture was emphasized over color throughout. The client was based in Hong Kong throughout the process, and the antiques filling the home were sourced from across the globe.

While the home is beautiful year-round, it shines especially brightly during the holidays. It truly has become one of their favorite places. 

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Insights

Great Smoky Getaway

Nestled into one of East Tennessee’s most breathtaking landscapes, this newly constructed getaway expresses modern sensibilities using a range of natural tones and materials. Four years in the making, the final result surpassed the clients’ highest expectations.

“There are homes out here that are stunningly beautiful, but more of a lodge feel. This client wouldn’t have gone for that in a million years.”

“The setting implies a mountain/rustic feel, but that’s not their style,” says Roger. “They have a serious contemporary art collection and prefer things with a higher level of finish. The goal was to meld those things together.”

During design and construction, the home’s owners were residing in Hong Kong. Roger traveled to begin the dialogue in person, then stayed connected via weekly phone calls.

“You can see their personality throughout,” says Ann. “They gravitate toward very fancy. Shiny, lacquered, gold. But still, you’re in the mountains. Somehow you have to marry where you are with what you have, and never compete with the view. Oh, and make it all look as if achieving this was no trouble,” she laughs.

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Sketches

This house is quite unique for a mountain home. Its mix of clean-lined upholstery and dramatic artwork balances beautifully with tones and materials more typical of its East Tennessee location.

Roger Higgins Design Sketch Blackberry Farm Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Roger Higgins Design Sketch Blackberry Farm Screened Porch
Screened Porch
Roger Higgins Design Sketch Blackberry Farm Living Room
Living Room

 

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Goodlettsville Estate

Overview
Built: 1986
Size: 8,500 SF
Style: Farmhouse
Scope: Over a 3.5-year period:
  • Renovation and second-story addition
  • Millwork and architectural details added throughout home
  • New furniture/accessories
  • Updated paint colors and wall treatments

In its park-like setting in the middle of Goodlettsville, TN, this home became a new project for a young family.

The client purchased it as a high-end builder spec house, then turned to Roger to adapt it to their vision. The goal was to create a comfortable haven, well-suited to hosting lots of children, friends, family and a multitude of dogs. We enlarged the floor plan, adding personal details and millwork throughout. Nearly all of the home’s furnishings were selected or designed by Roger. The result fits the family’s casual lifestyle perfectly.

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Insights

A Farm in Town

Nestled in the rolling landscape of middle Tennessee, this home offers the rare combination of proximity to civilization along with acres of breathing room. But while the outdoor space stretches nearly as far as the eye can see, this young family required more living space indoors. Roger’s solution included a second-story addition, but also a remarkable transformation: the existing garage has been turned into a cozy den alongside an airy, casual entry/mudroom. 

“The upstairs layout wasn’t ideal for door placement, so we had a cabinet façade made. You actually walk through the cabinet into a hidden hallway.”

The new upstairs landing serves as a children’s play area, complete with fireplace. Several bedrooms radiate out from this central hub; two of them can be accessed only by walking through a concealed doorway cleverly disguised as a large sea-green wardrobe.

Downstairs, the family entrance room features hand-formed Saltillo tile and a large walnut daybed. The daybed, designed by Roger specifically for this space, offers handy storage for dog leashes, scarves, mittens and other essential accoutrements of modern family life. Extensive custom millwork adds old-world charm to this newly redefined space.

Hardwood flooring and a gorgeous wall of dark bookcases create a cozy, classic ambiance for the new den. The wool upholstery adorning the walls was matched to the color of the swimming pool just outside. 

The new addition integrates perfectly with the original house, at the same time taking everything to a new level of livability.

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Twelve Twelve

Overview
Built: 2014
Size: 1,973 SF
Style: Condominium penthouse
Scope: Comprehensive design, approx. 6 months

This project was done for the son of an existing client. He essentially arrived in Nashville with nothing but his suitcase and a vision. He wanted the space to feel comfortable and inviting, yet still masculine. Roger accomplished this through skillful use of contrast – by incorporating new pieces alongside old ones, the sensibility of patina and age help us appreciate items which are polished and new.

Upholstered walls, architectural fragments, updated lighting and a mix of new upholstery quickly elevated this space far beyond the typical glassy high-rise.

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Insights

On Top of the World

Often, a family’s connection with Roger spans more than a single generation. If you’re fortunate enough to have spent a childhood comfortably ensconced in a Roger Higgins design, it’s understandable that you want to carry the tradition forward when establishing your own home. This penthouse suite, high atop Nashville’s stylish Twelve Twelve tower, provides a perfect case in point.

“I’d already done his mother and father’s house. Predictably, he was an absolute joy to work with.”

“I met with this client just three times,” Roger notes. “Once when he hired me, again to give him a sense of what I was seeing, and a third time as he moved in. At that point, we had everything completely ready for him to just walk in and live.” 

No detail is too small, none too insignificant, to escape his keen eye. By the time this penthouse’s owner stepped into his new home, Roger’s team had made certain that every pillow, towel, plate and fork was perfectly in place.

A completed project such as this one may look deceptively simple. But there is magic in the approach to texture, achieved through artful, intentional layering that is more easily felt than seen. Just try moving a few pieces around, or taking an element or two out of the tableau, and the inherent perfection of Roger’s vision quickly becomes obvious.

The right thing finds its way to the right place – always.

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Sketches

This condominium penthouse boasts one of downtown Nashville’s most breathtaking views. Upholstered walls, architectural fragments, updated lighting and upholstery quickly elevated this space far beyond the typical glassy high-rise.

Roger Higgins Design Sketch Twelve Twelve Kitchen Island View
Kitchen Island

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Belle Meade Estate

Overview
Built: 1981
Size: 4,800 SF
Style: Cape Cod
Scope: Over a 10-year period:
  • New furniture
  • construction of an addition
  • updated paint and finishes throughout


Located near Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, this stately Nashville residence contained a lifetime’s worth of accumulation. Our client had a combination of treasures collected from travels, family heirlooms and gifts from her children. The collection of photographs and artwork was also extensive. From photographs and artwork to furniture, nearly every item held strong sentimental value. But the sheer volume of it all was becoming a challenge. Roger was called in to edit, rearrange and repurpose everything to make the home feel comfortable but not overwhelming. After adding millwork details and a new sunporch, we updated paint and finishes throughout the home. The refreshed space provided a wonderful environment for a fresh take on the sprawling collection. Old favorites have taken on new life, creating the perfect space for hosting gatherings of friends and family.

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Insights

A Breath of Fresh Air

For many of Roger’s clients, the decision to engage him represents something of a family legacy. The owner of this home worked with Roger on a previous house, as have her parents and multiple siblings. The goal this time around was to edit down a large collection, adding in whatever was required to bring a focused vision to the newly-acquired space. 

“There’s a definite personality here now. It looks like someone really lives here.”

Even though she does have some formal pieces, the homeowner’s lifestyle is decidedly casual. So to cultivate a more relaxed environment, Roger suggested recovering numerous pieces in simple, down-to-earth canvas. “It wasn’t expensive,” Roger remembers. “But it didn’t need to be. We just bought it and made a bunch of white slipcovers to calm everything down a bit.”

He also reframed artwork to achieve a more refined sense of scale and proportion, creating new groupings as he went. Unique hand-rubbed finishes on walls – and even on some ceilings – tie everything together, though each individual room clearly speaks with its own voice. 

One of the biggest challenges on this project? An impossibly long and narrow living room. Ultimately, the solution for taming this unwieldy space proved deceptively simple – one strategically-placed dining table to create two well-defined seating groups. The long expanse now feels natural and balanced, and actually gained versatility in the bargain.

Proving, once again, that the best inspirations are often those that feel so natural as to never be noticed.

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Woodlawn Drive

Overview
Built: 1971
Size: 4,700 SF
Style: American Colonial
Scope: Over a 7-year period:
  • Kitchen remodel
  • All baths remodeled
  • Refinished floors
  • Upholstered over existing paneling
  • Complete decoration and furnishing

Roger describes their previous home as simply classic architecture on a beautiful wooded lot.

His favorite part of the home were the walls in the entry that he on a whim decided to hand paint one evening to look like wallpaper he had seen. He loved the unexpected chartreuse green draperies in the dining room, and he was able to incorporate antiques and his findings throughout the house over the duration of their time in this home

They couldn’t completely renovate it all at once, so they started with refinishing the floors, remodeling the kitchen, and one by one redoing all of the bathrooms. One room in particular had horrible existing paneling, so they upholstered the walls over top of it and it became one of the coziest rooms in the house.

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Insights

When taking in the work of any designer whose taste you appreciate, it’s only natural to imagine how that designer’s own home might look and feel. These photographs offer a glimpse into the private world of Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp, long-time partners both in business and in life. Located in one of Nashville’s most beloved older neighborhoods, this property on Woodlawn Avenue was the couple’s personal residence until they moved to their current home.

“Honestly, it was a very traditional house that we just put all of our stuff in. Just a collection of things that happen during your life.”

Here, every piece seems to have a story: a sofa purchased for the Governor’s Club opening showhouse. The acrylic coffee table Roger stumbled across at a yard sale while still in college. An ornate four-panel screen the couple purchased while vacationing in Florida.

Even today, Roger and Ann are in perpetual shopping mode, ready for the unexpected treasure that may be lurking around the next corner. “Roger always can tell you the story behind each piece, in crazy detail,” Ann marvels. “If it was something you could just order out of a catalog, he wouldn’t remember it at all. But if it has some sort of life to it, he remembers it.”

But of course there was more to it than simply finding new ways to arrange a lifetime’s worth of accumulation – much more, as it turned out. “The den had some really hideous cheap paneling,” Roger recalls. “Rather than pull it out and drywall, we used fabric and upholstered over padding. So it absorbs sound, and makes the room feel way more cozy than paneling ever could.”

As is often the case, the kitchen ended up becoming one of the largest challenges. The design was so hopelessly dated, with everything rendered in shades avocado, that the decision to start over from scratch wasn’t even an issue for discussion. The result? An inviting, light-filled space that feels elegantly up-to-date while resonating perfectly with the home’s traditional essence.

Which leads straight back to Roger and Ann’s cardinal rule: of course do what’s right for the client, but also do what’s right for the house.

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Belle Meade Boulevard

Overview
Built: 1922
Size: 9,600 SF
Style: Mediterranean
Scope: Over a 10-year period:
  • Renovated kitchen
  • updated paint colors and finishes throughout
  • retained some existing furniture but replaced and furnished many rooms throughout over a three-year period

 

This classic Belle Meade 1920's Mediterranean style house had survived multiple renovations and additions before our client purchased it. In its previous life, this home was oriented for large-scale parties, with spaces designed to accommodate a full staff. But priorities change over time. So Roger opened up the small kitchen, updating it to achieve a more approachable, family-friendly feel. After all, their kitchen is where this family spend the most time together. We updated paint colors throughout, refurbishing and upholstering much of the existing furniture. An assortment of newly-aquired antiques and accessories were mixed in, helping to complete a classic, timeless picture.

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Insights

When this long-time client moved household to a comparatively smaller Belle Meade property, she hoped to bring along as much of her existing furniture as possible. Another goal was to retain as much of the current décor as was practical. But the previous owner had embraced an overall look somewhat evocative of an art gallery. It was now time to steer in a more traditional, welcoming direction.

 

“The homeowner loves a cool, water-inspired color palette. So we did lots of soft blues and greens, which I find really restful.”

 

One of Roger’s guiding principals is contrast, and this home provides a beautiful case study. “It’s always important to mix in a variety of textures and materials,” Roger explains. The entry hall features rustic stone consoles alongside shimmering drapes and hand-painted wallpaper, to cite just one example. 

Of course, contrasting colors also play a key role. Throughout the home, pale blues, greens and neutrals set off the darker wood antiques perfectly, making everything shine just a bit more. Sisal rugs and subtle gray-blue ceilings add threads of continuity, helping create an environment that is inviting, relaxing and eminently livable. 

Roger approaches each room like a painting, adding touches of visual interest as he works toward the elusive balance that defines his work. In the end, it all comes down to the details. “I tend to use a lot of pillows, which everyone appreciates,” he says. “But a well-chosen throw is another nice way to add what I call elegant clutter, without taking up space.”

And as with a great painting, those final touches make all the difference. 

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

Natchez Trace

Overview
Built: 1821
Size: Approx. 7,500 SF
Style: Federal, with a later addition
Scope: Ongoing project
  • Modernized historic home
  • Updated finishes
  • New upholstery and lighting
  • Dining room (formerly a more recent kitchen) paneled with walnut, antique mirror and chandeliers
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Furnishing of interior rooms

A historic property in Williamson County filled with a young family and a desire to entertain, Roger and Ann transformed the main living spaces of this home into a colorful representation of this family’s personality.

The 1821 home’s original kitchen is now an extension of the screened porch that was added to connect the two existing structures. An addition was added to the left hand side of the property to mirror the right, to hold the new kitchen that was large enough for this family and their guests.

This client had a bountiful amount of great antiques, and you can see them used in each room of the home. Timeless patterns, antiques, and southern style make this a timeless property. 

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Insights

History Renewed

Several chapters in the story of this timeworn 1850s farmhouse had already been written when Roger was called in to provide an extreme makeover. The most recent renovation had occurred during the 1970s; to say there was plenty of unrealized potential would be an understatement. The property also included an original log cabin, which was to be part of the project.

“An old house is never a job you really finish – you just work on it one piece at a time.”

When Roger and team arrived, the original kitchen was still standing, but it sat apart from the main house. The clients already had numerous traditional furniture pieces, most of which they wanted to retain. Many were family heirlooms with clear sentimental ties. Having them recovered breathed new life into old treasures, helping them fit comfortably among the pieces Roger brought in to achieve a homier feel.

Another challenge? The wallpaper. “The entry hall had this amazing hand-painted wallpaper,” Roger remembers. “It was definitely too good to take down. But still, it was just shockingly yellow. Our solution was to have it glazed, which toned it down just enough to make it softer and more subtle.” The final result now graces the front cover of Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup.

The extensive renovation included a large new kitchen addition, which predictably has become a center of the family’s home life. “The kitchen is a really big room. But they entertain all the time. Now they can put out a giant buffet on the kitchen island, entertain 150 guests, no problem,” says Ann.

The third-floor attic now enjoys new life as a bunk room and playroom for the couple’s three children. The log cabin serves as a music room, occasionally accommodating overnight guests as well. A spacious screened porch was added to connect the house proper to the original kitchen, now used as a fitness room.

A home as old as this one may never truly be done. But for now, it provides everything this active family could ask for.

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Sketches

This historic Williamson County property already had loads of timeless southern charm. The client owns a large collection of great antiques; Roger was able to integrate them seamlessly into each room’s design.

Roger Higgins Design Sketch Natchez Trace Living Room
Living Room
Roger Higgins Design Sketch Natchez Trace Boys Bedroom
Boys Room

 

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros

© R.Higgins Interiors | Website by MojoMediaPros