Skip to content

Big City Lights

Main Image
Item 1 of 40

Story by Gay Lyons. Photography by Ben Finch.

Visitors to the 2018 Knoxville Symphony League’s ShowHouse will tour 7,000 square feet on the sixth floor of The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel and Residences. The views of downtown through floor to ceiling windows give the space a big city feel and tons of sunlight. Some of the area’s most prestigious designers have executed their visions to support the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.  

Bennett Galleries and Interior Design decorated the entire Unit 604. Managing Director Robert Shipley said, “We tried to keep it clean and contemporary, taking maximum advantage of these views. We were going for a chic New York look.”

The windows, while stunning, presented some challenges.

“There is not much wall space,” said Shipley, “and we didn’t want to put any furniture in front of windows.”

Light shines through two wood carvings by Michael Ballmeister placed in front of a window. The chandelier over the dining table was created by Richard Jolley and is one of only two in existence. 

The tete a tete placed in front of windows overlooking World’s Fair Park beckons with mohair swivel chairs and wooden martini glasses. The wine racks in the kitchen were a last minute choice.

“We were going to do paintings,” said Shipley, “but these came in and were perfect. Much hipper.”

Pointing to Andrew Saftel’s “Smiling Man Returns” Shipley said, “This painting set the tone for the space. It’s a happy face, and the colors are beautiful.

In decorating Unit 600, Paul Law of Law’s Interiors and Design said, “We took this imaginary client named Olivia, a single woman in her 50’s living in Westmoreland  who wanted to move downtown. For her, we created an eclectic mix, a classic and contemporary look.”
“We paired a mid-century modern dining table with English Queen Anne chairs covered in a funky damask,” said Law. “It’s fun but very classic.”

In the dining area 18th century Queen Anne chairs were paired with a carved chest from Mexico. In the bedroom, a gilded, opulent mirror joined classically modern pieces.
In the study, a Michael Berman coffee table, an African school chair, a 1960’s piece of pottery and an African fetish sit inches from each other. An art deco desk sits across from a carved African chair. 

“We thought about doing very modern,” said Law. “Then we decided to do eclectic, softer. We tried to make it a place where it’s not just decorated; it’s soulful. It’s a place where someone would be at home.”

Jeffrey Hansen of Bill Cox Furniture, who decorated the great room in Unit 605, said “I wanted to make it cozy and livable. I wanted to focus on the view towards Knoxville Museum of Art. We were originally going to put the dining table in front of the window, but we decided to do a seating area there to take advantage of the view.” 

 “I chose to do everything neutral,” he said. “We added color with rugs and art.”

The art includes pieces ranging from framed prints and blue-green glass vases to a wooden set of jacks.

“Putting a faux fur in the middle of the living room is never a bad idea,” concluded Hansen, pointing to the textured ottoman.

In putting together the look for the master bedroom and bath in Unit 605, Jeff Heiskell, working with the Ethan Allen Design Center Design Team, said “We’re trying to introduce color. It doesn’t have to be loud.”

“We mixed the scale of items,” he said. “We used larger items with smaller ones.”  

The color and scale of the sleeping area of the bedroom contrasts with the workspace at the other end of the room.

“I conceived of this as a writer’s retreat,” he said. “We kept things very spartan and clean. It’s a very Zen look.”

Scott Bishop of Westwood Antique and Design Market designed the study/office, bathroom, powder room and hallways in Unit 605.

“I always like to do spaces that are inviting and cozy,” said Bishop. “I wanted it to look like people actually live here.”

Bishop selected some of his favorite pieces to give the rooms the look he wanted.

“The cherry table is one of a kind. I love the fabulous French painting, the scene, the blue, the goats,” he said. “The sofa is covered in the original velvet. The chairs are covered in a silk-linen blend that looks like raw silk. The coffee table is an antique Japanese writing desk.”
Bishop used chartreuse as his accent color in every room, pairing it with a variety of other hues.
Gail Gamble Reed of Gail Reed Designs said “I wanted a contemporary feel” in the bathroom and powder room she decorated in Unit 601, which will be used as an event space by the Symphony League.

“I added the bamboo to the shower because it gives the feel of ‘something going on in there,’” she said. 

The focal point in the powder room is Annalee Bohon’s hand-painted framed wall scape.
“She had the idea to do the framing,” said Reed, “which I thought was just exquisite.” 
For details about the ShowHouse tour, click here. Proceeds benefit the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel and Residences

Nick Cazana, Managing Partner of The Tennessean Personal Luxury Hotel and Residences, insists he’s “just an innkeeper.”

Cazana feels he has “a unique opportunity to offer amenities including valet parking, secure parking, room service and a workout facility. There are a lot of amenities that come with a residence that has a hotel as a partner. You can have breakfast in the Drawing Room and come back later for a cocktail.”

“I wanted to provide something no one else provides,” he continued. “We have a lot of nice hotels and a lot of nice condos in downtown Knoxville, but we saw the opportunity to provide a show stopper.” 

The Tennessean, located at 531 Henley Street, is a AAA Four Diamond-rated, 82 room and suite hotel with 12 upper-bracket residences. The residences feature floor to ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens, gas fireplaces, premium cabinetry and luxury baths.

More Stories

  • Editor's Letter

    “COVID-19 is the worst party crasher ever,” wrote Maria Cornelius in a recent post on “In Any Event,” the blog she writes for Moxley Carmichael. Maria also keeps the accompanying website, “Event Check Knox,” updated. Staying on top of events is always challenging, but hats off to Maria for the stellar job she’s doing keeping event planners and others informed these days... Read More
  • SmartBank Secures $240 Million in Loans for Small Businesses

    SmartBank has been working diligently on behalf of local small businesses in their fight to survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of mid May, the bank had processed approximately 1,700 loan applications and secured over $240 million in loan commitments through the Paycheck Protection Program... Read More
  • RCN Technologies Donates Equipment and Services

    Knoxville-based tech company RCN Technologies announced a COVID-19 community aid program by providing over $10,000 in wireless networking equipment and tech support service free to critical community organizations in healthcare, education, and public safety throughout the East Tennessee region. Read More
  • Johnson Architect Earns Merit Award

    Johnson Architecture has earned recognition for a third time for its reimagining of Marble Hall at Lakeshore Park. The East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented the company with a merit award on May 1. Read More