There’s something beautiful about the fact that this Nashville home was the first project Jeremy Clark took on after starting his firm. Before Jeremy transformed this apartment into a wonderfully fresh yet traditional space, it was the home of the late Albert Hadley’s sister, Betsy. Hadley had brought his iconic designs to this home, and they remained untouched for decades—until Jeremy walked in the door.
“Honestly, it was just the coolest thing to walk through,” he says.
Cool as it was to the designer, he knew the home was in need of a major refresh. The client wanted to open up the space and Jeremy wanted to ensure the place was as functional for his 72-year-old client as possible. He enlisted the help of general contractor Pamela Leonard to get it all done. Walls went down. The kitchen was gutted. The two bathrooms were completely updated. Shelving and storage were finagled. Throughout it all, Jeremy was focused on balancing high design with everyday living.
The high-design aspect came from a color palette rife with texture and tone-on-tone pattern. “She wanted it to be neutral and airy,” says Jeremy. But as a lover of color, he had one prerequisite: “I didn’t want it to be boring.” With Benjamin Moore’s Dove White as a base, Jeremy layered and layered. “If there was a pattern, I said, ‘Let’s use it,’” says Jeremy. Wallpaper, like Farrow & Ball’s Tented Stripe, makes a huge impact throughout the house. He also lucked into a museum-worthy art collection that added a fresh take on some more-traditional aspects of his design.
Jeremy infused subtle nods to the history of the place in his design. “Anyone who studies design knows that Albert Hadley is the pinnacle of interior design,” he says. The custom banquette covering in the kitchen by Peter Fasano matches the room’s former wallpaper. Jeremy reimagined Albert Hadley’s well-documented love of painted floors with the help of Atlanta-based decorative artist Hayden Gregg in the dining room. The light in the dining room, part of the Christopher Spitzmiller for Visual Comfort Signature Collection, is a replica of a custom light Albert used in many projects.
Albert Hadley’s legacy, in many ways, is centered on his patronage of young designers who have since become household names. Along with Mario Buatta and Sister Parish, he was truly a dean of American design for decades. The three of them inspired generations to work as interior designers, and Jeremy is one of many who find inspiration in their collective catalog of work. He is, though, one of the few who got to work so closely with an original project. “It was the best kind of pressure,” he says.