The World is His Palette 6

Nashville interior designer Howard Wiggins is receiving international acclaim.

When he went away to college, Howard Wiggins aspired to be a veterinarian. But it wasn’t long before he called home to tell his parents he had a change of heart.

“I told my parents I wanted to do design,” says Wiggins. “They said, ‘Well, O’More is down the street.’” And with that the lifelong Brentwood resident returned to Williamson County to enroll at Franklin’s O’More College of Design.

That decision, in a very substantive way, continues to set the tone for his work as one of most acclaimed interior designers in the world. Wiggins trusts his own judgment and encourages clients to buy what they love without regard to what’s in vogue at the time.

“Trends come and go; whatever’s in style is going out of style,” he says. “It’s a pendulum swing. Don’t make your house look like a time capsule. I’ve never seen so many mistakes as I see now.”

He covers many of those mistakes in his book, What Were You Thinking? Recognizing costly mistakes that everyone makes.

Some of the more common mistakes include beginning a project without a floor plan and buying furnishings in the incorrect order.

“You have to know what you’re shopping for so it’s important to have a floor plan before you begin,” says Wiggins. “And you should buy the rug first, then upholstery followed by case goods.” He says lighting and accessories should always be purchased last and he advises clients to finish one room before starting another.

Wiggins considers himself a master at pulling out color and says he can arrange a sofa, a pair of chairs and one odd chair in 144 different ways. “How things are arranged is what makes the difference,” he says. “It’s all about striking a visual balance. When done correctly, like I do it, the room will look larger than it actually is.”

People around the world agree.