Designer, Mark W. Perrett, said that “Doctors save lives by constructing a healthy life, Designers save lives by constructing a life worth living.” Melissa Lewis, owner of Found Interiors, has a heart for people and an eye for design. This talented lady moved to Nashville from Arizona 10 years ago. She has blessed so many with her friendship and touched many hearts by helping make houses into homes!
Melissa has loved design since she was a young girl playing in her dollhouse with leopard print furniture. Her love as a child grew into a hobby as an adult. As she gained confidence she took a leap of faith and has now turned her passion into a career. Walking into her home you immediately appreciate the stunning elegance. There is a mix of old and new collections, a clean design, and the fragrant smell of her Volcano candle. Her design is best described as a French inspired shabby chic. Her light fixtures wowed me in every room especially her stunning New Orleans lanterns above her dining room table. As she gave a tour of her home she had stories for many pieces which I couldn’t help but sense her passion for design and her love for the pieces in her home.
When Melissa first came to Nashville 10 years ago she says “the people at ‘the flea’ (Nashville Flea Market) were my first friends when I moved here.” Around 2010, she applied at ReDo Home and Design by sending pictures of her home and letting them know she did not have a design degree. ReDo saw her talent and hired her full time as designer and in retail sales. In 2012, she went on her own starting Found Interiors and since then has built her client base by word of mouth, retaining clients and growing business from there. She says she has always strived to be honest, fair and as helpful as can be.
Design for Melissa is helping people find that spark inside them that gets them excited, reminds them of something, or allows them share their heart through pieces in their home. It may be through helping a client build a house from the ground up and filling it with all the items that help them make a house a sanctuary, design a room for a couple waiting for the arrival of a child, or find that one unique piece that someone wants to top off a room. She loves having a budget, getting creative with it and enjoys the hunt. Melissa recalled “when I had my first big project around four years ago barn wood was just evolving and my client was building a new home. My client loved flea market finds so we would collect items like aged desks or old lockers”. Melissa says design is like psychology. She has helped clients through building a home, helping those that have suffered from flooding, divorcees, growing families and client’s children that are getting their first apartment. Melissa separates herself from others with her deep love for people and she says “every client becomes a friend”.
Melissa serves high profile clients all around Music City but her love for Haiti is what keeps her balanced. Speaking of Haiti and the people she has met during her time in Neply brings a joyful smile to her face. Author, Pascal Mercier, wrote “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” Haiti trips for her family began several years ago through a friendship with the Wilson Family, founders of My Life Speaks. Melissa says “our sons were friends and my sons heart was calling him to go to Haiti when he was 13” and since then they have been going to Haiti to serve. Haiti’s Creole French influence has inspired her in so many ways bringing herself “full circle” at times. She has been able to incorporate cat eye patterns and bright colors back here in Nashville for a clients adopted child from Haiti. When Melissa cannot be in Haiti she is working in Music City. She likes staying involved in philanthropic events by donating her time and giving back through creating tablescapes for events like Best Buddies Gala, My Life Speaks, and Grace Christian Academy. These are the things that Melissa gives credit to keeping herself balanced.
Design is more than just picking fabrics and furniture- it is a love. Melissa is proof that if you love something then do not be intimidated to put yourself out there and try! She loves to share her tips and one was “know your style then decorating gets easier and helps allow pieces to flow and have a vibe throughout”. If I learned one thing from Melissa it is to keep yourself balanced in every aspect of life. Evaluate what is working and what is too much. A quote from Tiny Devotions said it well “Balance comes in the moments when you stand up for the life you truly want for yourself, by making choices that align with that”.
Design Tip: Pick things you love but don’t go overboard with the expensive items; pay less for trendy items plus reuse what you have.