published Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Interior designer strives for comfort in his own home

When an interior decorator buys a new home, does its decor become a showcase of the latest trends or a retreat that incorporates all the designer’s favorite things?

For Tim Bryant, it’s the latter.

“I’ve got a vast array of items I like in here,” said Bryant, owner of Tim Bryant Interiors. “The colors are warm, friendly and inviting. I want friends to feel like they can come over and put their feet up.”

Bryant missed that hospitality while living in a hotel for a year following a house fire in 2009. He and Brad Parks, a machinist at McKee, purchased their new townhouse in Rossville last year, then immediately started ripping out and remodeling what was even then a shell with a concrete floor.

The result makes a statement about the impact of rich color and contrasting textures. He mixes glass with heavy furnishings for the illusion of light and added space.

Bryant’s design dispels the myth that color makes rooms look smaller.

Here are some of his tips for using bold color in small spaces:

n Wide-plank maple flooring with a black finish was installed throughout the house, except the baths, to give a continuous line and the illusion of a larger plane.

“When you change floor coverings, it chops up space, breaks up that long line,” Bryant said.

n He used pops of color to accent neutrals.

A lush lavender bedspread is first to draw the eye in the black-and-white master bedroom. It lightens the black-on-black flocked wallpaper and contrasts the white leather headboard.

n Color is used in a monochromatic sense, but not the sole use of one shade.

As guests enter the townhome, they find the continuous use of orange gives the illusion of extra space in the living room and adjoining dining area. But on closer inspection, it’s several shades of the color that blend well.

A textured copper wallpaper flows from the entry foyer into the living area. The wallcovering in the dining nook is beige with an orange repeating damask pattern made of crushed glass.

Drapes are chocolate brown stripe with a copper sheen. They are edged in a fringe Bryant created out of beads made of semiprecious stones (carnelian, citrine).

A nubby linen sofa with nailhead trim is flanked by chairs and an ottoman in a patterned chenille. Rows of throw pillows in varying textures add visual interest.

“I wanted different textures that blend — silk to embroidered to rhinestones,” Bryant said. “I’m big on mixing. I want a well-traveled look, pieces that have been repurposed.”

An example of that repurposed look is a walnut sideboard along the dining area wall, which was made in France of reclaimed lumber.

“Everything now is ‘use whatever you like and blend it with what you’ve got,’ ” he said.

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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