Around the Area Design Inspiration: Knoxville, TN
Travel down iconic Gay Street and into nearby Market Square for design ideas you can use in your own urban dwelling, from exposed brick to beautiful chandeliers.
A Moment in Time
The bar at Babalu Tapas and Tacos is chic and rustic—and gets an A+ for smart storage. The look starts with a DIY element: simple unpainted crate shelving backed with chicken wire that shows off whatever cool contents you’d like to display. Stainless steel racks for glassware hang underneath. Go all the way to the ceiling with your poster collection—those shown here are for local bands and events—and you’ve officially got yourself a vibe.
Festival of Lights
Chandeliers aren’t just for grandma’s dining room anymore—and if you have enough space to show off a group of mismatched chandeliers, go nuts and experiment. Local eatery Five Bar has an immense chandelier collection inside its cavernous space. At home, aim for a more rustic or industrial backdrop if your lighting fixtures are ornate and you want a hip look—otherwise you may actually end up with grandma’s dining room or a saloon.
If your city garden is tiny but you’re hankering for some cool shade, a columnar tree—also known as a "fastigiate" tree—may be just the focal point you’re looking for. These 'Slender Silhouette' sweetgums in front of Knoxville’s Andrew Johnson Building fit the bill. They grow quite tall, but usually not more than about five feet wide, making them a great choice for urban garden design. Fun fact: this building was once a hotel, and is famous for being the last place country star Hank Williams stayed before he died.
Do the Math
Chivo Taqueria is a farm-to-table taco and tequila joint with décor that fuses rustic and industrial. The bold pendant lighting shown here was sourced from Mexico by Calloway’s Lamp & Shade in Knoxville , but if you’re trying to recreate a similar look at home and can’t find just the right fixtures, try retailers that specialize in furnishings for Spanish or Southwestern-style homes—or, for a slightly different twist, search for antique church lighting at vintage shops.
Country Meets City
Made to Order Patina
All Over the Map
Coming up with a great focal point for the master bedroom can be a challenge, but this trick should spark your creativity. The Tennessean, a new upscale hotel in downtown Knoxville, uses a giant close-up of a local vintage map as pop art to show off a supple leather headboard.
Keep it Simple
Krutch Park near Knoxville’s Market Square district is a shady, inviting garden that employs a solid principle of design for small urban spaces: stick to a simple palette. The tiny park uses broad sweeps of just a few plant types for a calming effect: azaleas, hydrangeas, and cherry laurels are prominent.