Nashville’s newest designer takes the stage to help inject some soul into your space

By Hollie Deese

Tennessee’s longest-running home event, the 36th Nashville Home Show, heads back to the Music City Center September 6-8 with TLC’s “Trading Spaces” designer Laurie Smith as the headliner.

Smith, one of design television’s first stars, will be giving a visual walkthrough of two of her own personal renovation stories while at the show There will be plenty of dramatic before and after reveals, but also practical advice than goes beyond just buying all new furniture and art.

“This is how I invest in pieces that I am passionate about,” she says.

It will also showcase how she walks through the design process, realizing what a house was intended to be even after years of different owners coming in and making changes.

“Looking at what the house, almost like peeling away the layers of an onion, and really embracing what the house is intended to be, and celebrating that, and freeing it – really getting into the authenticity of the home,” Smith says.

Smith will even walk audience members through understanding the bones of their home, evaluating the space and determining furniture layout. But all with a vision in mind.

“One thing I’ve always done on Trading Spaces and I translate it into every room I do, I try to get them to find their inspiration,” Smith says. “And this step is really the soulful part of the design process, in my opinion, because it’s discovering a piece, maybe it’s a piece of art or a certain textile, and use it as their touchstone. I’m so interested in people, and what motivates and inspires them.”

The design-focused event will feature more than 200 inspiring home industry experts, a Made In America on-site market, pet plaza and delicious cooking demos from Food Network’s Yachecia Holston, “Master Chef” Season 8, top 5 finalist, and “Chopped” finalist. The Bitter Socialite, Trace Barnett, who also competed in “The Next Food Network Star” and “Comeback Kitchen,” will also be presenting.

On the main inspirations stage, created by EClan Design and ReFresh Home, guests will find advice from area interior designers, easy green living tips and a home experts panel.

“For 36 years, this event has provided the opportunity to find great resources for home improvement and repair projects,” says Eric Udler, event producer. “The Nashville Home Show is a great afternoon of family fun while helping home enthusiasts shop, save and compare under one roof including kitchen and bath inspiration.”