“The mark of a well-appointed interior is a feeling of comfort.”
At the age of 7, Todd Richesin selected a rug for his first interior design clients, his mom and dad.
“When I was in the second grade, we went to meet with my parents’ interior designer. While they were walking around a showroom, I found a rug I thought they’d like because I knew the size and colors my mom wanted,” Richesin recalls. “When they saw it, they agreed the rug was perfect. It still sits in their home today, having survived three room conversions.” His parents, Bobby and Patricia Richesin, live in Sweetwater in the house where Todd grew up.
Richesin, 40, jokingly says that growing up he was reading Southern Accents magazine while his friends were reading Highlights. With such a passion for design, it comes as no surprise to his clients that he’s been named one of 20 designers to watch in House Beautiful magazine’s December/January issue. Richesin is listed in the “Next Wave” lineup which features designers from across the country.
“We are not one bit surprised he’s been chosen,” says Janice Tibbals, a client of Richesin. “I used to do design work and have worked with many designers over the years. To me, Todd is the best. He has exquisite design ability and good business sense, a unique combination.”
Allison Anders, another client of Richesin, recently relocated to Knoxville. “Todd transformed my house into a home simply by using existing antique furnishings and incorporating fabrics and color,” Anders says. “He’s extraordinary. Working with him has been a phenomenal experience.”
Richesin graduated from Sweetwater High School and received a business degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College and began working for a high-end furniture store following graduation. When the store shut its doors in 1999, Richesin decided to start his own business, Todd Richesin Interiors. The accolades received from House Beautiful timed perfectly with his 10th anniversary.
“I had submitted photographs and projects to the magazine in the past, but I had no idea this was coming,” says Richesin. “One day, a package arrived from New York City explaining I had been selected for the issue. I was thrilled, but at the same time, I felt like I grew up that day because it made me want to do even better work than what I’ve done in the past … so I can live up to the honor.”
Richesin works with homeowners and businesses across the United States. His style is what he dubs “classic timelessness,” although he works with clients of varying budgets and styles. Ultimately, he says no matter what the style, the goal for all homeowners should be comfort.
“The mark of a well-appointed interior is a feeling of comfort. Of course, the upholstery you sit on needs to be comfortable, but the overall feel of the room also has to be comfortable,” explains Richesin. “I achieve comfort with color, proper scale of furniture, a mixture of textures as well as old and new pieces, and the incorporation of a homeowner’s unique style.”
Richesin is an advocate for integrating personal collections into designs. “Your interests are a great way to inspire your interior, whether it’s the color scheme in your favorite porcelain or something tied to your hobby.”
Richesin believes every person deserves a beautiful place to live. “Start with what you love and go from there.”
Heather Peters is a freelance contributor to the News Sentinel.