Design & Décor, Living with Style, Travel Notes

48 Hours with Sarah Bartholomew in Nashville

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An invitation to Nashville, Tennessee for a girl’s three-day get away has given me the opportunity to touch base with two talented designers that I first met in Newport this summer, Gen Sohr and Sarah Batholomew. Given their years in the “Music City,” I couldn’t wait for their take on this multi-facted southern city. And just for fun, a Q&A that reveals their personal side, with an emphasis on design, interspersed among their Nashville must dos. Gen weighed in last week and today I’m introducing Sarah. 

A Nashville-based interior design firm, Sarah Bartholomew Design has been nationally recognized for a signature, fresh take on classic sensibility. Known for interiors that balance beauty and function, layer color and pattern and embody both elegance and practicality, the firm’s goal for each project is to create timeless, livable spaces that the owners can call home.

Photo Credit: Tec Petaja

Born and raised in Virginia, Sarah Bartholomew’s love for classical architecture is inherent to her roots. She attended the University of Virginia founded by Thomas Jefferson who Sarah considers her ultimate inspiration and America’s first interior designer.

Founded in 2010 and a 2016 House Beautiful Next Wave Designer, Sarah Bartholomew Design has been featured in House Beautiful, Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens. Sarah is currently working on projects across the United States from Nashville to Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

Where to Stay

Germantown Inn
An under-the-radar bed-and-breakfast that is quirky, cute and cozy, while The Thompson is the latest boutique hotel in town with a stylish, urban look and cool vibe. Though it can be busy, the rooftop bar, L.A. Jackson, has a great cocktail and a perfect view of downtown.

Photo Credit: Trust Development

When traveling, I’ve been most inspired by… nature, art and architecture.
One way I stay original is to… always be authentic.
Whenever I travel I come back with ideas.


Le Sel
Gallic cuisine and craft cocktails are on the menu at this two-level supra chic bistro. My  go-to spot for a girls’ dinner or date night.

City House
A buzzing Italian spot serving pizza, pasta and house made sausage using Southern ingredients.

I save/collect… shelter magazines.
Something that other people worry about but I don’t is… keeping my possessions in perfect condition.
You’ll never see me… following trends.


One of Nashville’s finest and most unique home goods store, located in Green Hills.

Feeling lucky? This treasure hunter’s paradise gets in last call pieces from Moda Operandi and Bergdorfs—it can be a total hit-or-miss but if you are there at the right time, you can score some great finds that are steals!

One-stop shopping for unique and luxurious home accessories, tabletop and gifts.

I’m never too busy to… spend time with my kids.
My greatest indulgence… coffee, coffee and more coffee.
My day is not complete without… when not traveling, hugs from my kids.


Take a stroll through Percy Warner
A beautiful park with great walking paths, and getting there is half the fun…driving from downtown out Belle Meade Boulevard with all its gorgeous homes.

Photo Credit: Malcolm MacGregor Photography

Catch a show at the Ryman
This 19th-Century-church-turned-concert-venue, nicknamed “The Mother Church,” is a Nashville institution and a memorable live music experience.

Photo Credit: Steve Minor

The best design advice I ever received came from… I met Albert Hadley early in my career and when I told him I did a little decorating, his reply was, “never call anything you do ‘little’.”

Don’t Miss

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
The gardens are so memorable and the recently-renovated Cheekwood Mansion is quintessential classic American architecture. Absolutely worth the trip!

Photo Credit: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

More from the Designer

The top city for design is… Paris.
The movies with the most beautiful rooms are… The Talented Mr. Ripley, Purple Noon, High Society, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday.
With design, the most common mistake is… getting the wrong scale.
The most versatile color is… blue.
My secret design trick is… paint it white.

Thank you, Sarah, I adored every minute of my time in your Nashville!

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “48 Hours with Sarah Bartholomew in Nashville

  1. Hi Betty,
    Is the Dufour wallpaper at top of the page original or a reproduction and is it in a home or for sale? My parents had that exact paper in the original at their house in Providence. They restored it and it still hangs there in the dining room. It is very rare as the Dufour factory burnt down and all was lost.

    1. Hi Rip, what a coincidence!! This image is from the entry hall of the Hermitage in Nashville, Andrew Jackson’s home. It is original and was put up in 1837 approximately. The condition is remarkable!

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