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The island provides a large workspace with plenty of storage.

Featured Article

Spring Into A New Look

Designs and décor to make your home functional and fabulous

When Connie Long was 12, she asked her father if she could redesign her bedroom. He showed her how to move the door to another spot and repair the open wall left behind. She then tore out the closets and drew up plans so her uncle could make her built-ins. Once that was done, she picked out the paint and carpets and made her own draperies. So, you could say interior design is in her blood.

Obtaining her degree as an interior designer from Watkins College of Art, Design and Film gave her a strong foundation to go along with her innate flair for design. Before opening her own business, Connie Long Interiors, in 1997, she spent over 16 years in the drapery and fabric business. She has also remodeled many of her own homes over the years as she and her husband moved from place to place.

Today, Connie has many clients in the middle Tennessee area and focuses mainly on the remodeling and renovating of kitchens and bathrooms; however, she can handle any room in a house. This includes working on everything from new construction, remodels and renovation of an older home. And her skills are diverse - she can make larger homes safer and more accessible for seniors, while making smaller homes work for growing families.

She helps homeowners determine if they need to rearrange a space or knock down walls, and can also draw up all the necessary plans. And she doesn’t stop there. Connie helps her clients select all of the finishes that go into the room or space, such as flooring, wall coverings, paint, countertops, sinks, faucets, and lights.

In terms of furniture, Connie will measure and lay out a plan for new furniture or for existing furniture that can be repurposed. This will help determine what size items will comfortably fit into the space. She will also accompany her clients to pick out the pieces or even purchase them herself.

Connie said it’s important to know the person, to know what they’re looking for, and what will make them happy. “When people ask me what my style is, I tell them that my style is their style while I’m working for them.”

Besides her wealth of experience, Connie prides herself on her attention to detail and looks to do something that’s new or different each time. Her goal is to give everyone their own individual look.

“I get referrals, and referrals come from people that I’ve already worked for.  I don’t want them going into their friend’s house and seeing the same design in that home,” she said.

A kitchen she recently worked on was for a previous client. “I had already worked with this client and had known her for a really long time,” said Connie. “I knew she was an art fanatic and liked whimsical art and bright, bright colors.”

When she brought the homeowner the finishes and colors she thought would work well, the client immediately loved them and didn’t need to see anything else.

The kitchen itself was so badly designed that the owner could not open the oven door and the refrigerator door at the same time. Walls had to be knocked down, and an island was added, which gave her client a big countertop to work on. It also added a place where family and friends could gather around to eat or sit and have a chat. It’s both a functional and fun space.

“All of those accessories that are in there are all things she had that I knew would work. That’s why I gave her the open shelves,” said Connie.

Connie also added a new built-in microwave, and a modern range and hood. Since the refrigerator was new, they built around that and the wine refrigerator the client wanted to keep. Everything, from top to bottom, was completed in October 2019.

Connie said the rooms people most often want remodeled are kitchens and bathrooms; updating these also adds value to the home. Many houses are built by contractors, whom she explained often use contractor grade supplies such as particle wood cabinets in the kitchens and they don’t take into account adequate countertops or storage.

“I interview people to find out what their needs are first, because they all have a list of things they’re needing out of their homes,” said Connie. “Whether it’s storage or more lighting, or a new kitchen, I start looking for ideas so I can share those,” she said.

They then discuss the plan and narrow it down to fit what’s in their budget. Once the designs are complete, she draws out the plans for the contractors and subcontractors and does site visits to make sure things are being done properly. She wants her clients’ homes to be beautiful, usable and safe.

Connie is a registered interior designer in the state of Tennessee, which requires her to take 24 continuing education units (CEU) every two years, with 13 of those related to health, safety and welfare. She’s also a professional member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and has to complete CEU credits for them as well.

For more information about Connie Long Interiors and to see pictures of recent designs, go to connielonginteriors.com/gallery/.

  • The island provides a large workspace with plenty of storage.
  • The red sink ties into the red cabinets and other items in the kitchen.
  • Red cabinets add a pop of color and brightness.