By Emily Griffin
Photography by Daniel C. White and Social House Photography
From California to Tennessee, interior designer Tanya Hembree has been creating spaces for clients across the country, and her unique palate of “vibes” has brought her success everywhere she goes.
Originally a SoCal girl, Hembree has lived in four different states – California, Texas, Colorado and Tennessee – and the experiences she’s had designing spaces in these diverse areas has helped her curate styles appropriate for each one.
“There are some styles that co-exist throughout the country, but overall things in Colorado are much more casual, less modern,” Hembree says. “In Austin, you start to see a little bit more edge. Obviously places like New York and Florida have their own vibes, too.”
While she’s willing to offer any style to her clients, she has her own favorite styles. Right now, she’s partial to the current glam trend, which is on full display in her downtown Franklin shop, Onyx & Alabaster.
“Rich colors, black walls, I want all of that,” Hembree says. “I love the dramatics of glam.”
Hembree has been in the Nashville area for the past six and a half years building her company, Tanya Hembree Design, in Franklin. She has recently worked on spaces as varied as condos in the Gulch to beach homes in Destin, Florida.
Getting to know her clients is one of her favorite parts of her job. Hembree’s first mission when taking on a new space is to get a feel for who the space is for and how she can fit their needs and reflect their style.
“Home is where life happens and where love happens so, to me, creating an environment that reflects them is ideal, and the space that they fill, they can thrive in,” Hembree says.
She’s also had plenty of experience with helping newlywed couples, or moving families who need to downsize or even blend their different styles together.
“I feel like a family or marriage counselor sometimes,” Hembree says. “I find that often when people are moving from one home to the next or if they’ve been recently married, they’re trying to figure out what they should and shouldn’t keep. It’s so funny because people’s styles can totally change within a few years and the couple will have completely different opinions from one another.”
Hembree appreciates how personal a home is, and that her clients are willing to welcome her in. So giving them the best possible space that fits their lifestyle, with opportunities to relax when they come home from work and places to entertain when they invite friends over.
“I love people,” Hembree says. “I love to make a difference in people’s lives, whether that’s through conversation or whether it’s through design or through encouragement. I just think that living a life of purpose is what matters, and that every opportunity is an opportunity to love somebody or lift them up.”
Take a peek inside Onyx & Alabaster