Jessica Davis from JL Design

As a 25 year old, I never have a problem coming up with ideas or finding things I wanted for my dream home. But right now John and I live an an apartment that has kinda ugly brown carpet, faded tan faux-granite on all our counters, and hardly any windows. Since, for now, this apartment is as good as it gets, we have devoted ourselves to making this little junky place the cutest it can possibly be. And let me tell you, if you are in my situation, Jessica’s advice will be a big help to you!


I had the wonderful opportunity to talk last week with local interior designer Jessica Davis and get to know a little bit more about her background and her style! Jessica started JL Design in 2005 after pursuing her passion that started at a young age for interior design. She went to Watkins College of Art and Design after studying fine art for two years and deciding interior design was her calling. On her website she says, “I wanted to be a part of something that would allow me to work closely with people and enrich their lives through design. For me, Interior Design is defined by functional and unique creativity, tailored to each individual.” 

Fireplace and wood

I love her desire to make beautiful design fit for everyone and got the opportunity to speak to her about her best design tips for people living in small homes, apartments, or even dorms. She was so personable and helpful and I think you will all be able to take something away from her advice!

Here’s her biggest tips for design in small spaces:

What are the biggest design challenges you see (especially with the younger crowd):

The biggest thing people need is help figuring our what they need. They usually come to me knowing they need help of some sort and need to be talked through what exactly they might be looking for. I then help them figure out what they need to change etc. taking everything into account (like what they have emotional attachments to etc.).

What are your design suggestions for if you live in a space with limitations?

Paint (if you can) makes the biggest difference! Drapery treatment - make sure you bring your curtains all the way up to the ceiling to make the space feel bigger). Rugs, even if you have carpet, are great because they help you define certain areas without taking up more space. Rugs are also great for really open spaces that need to have areas a little more defined. 

Notice how much of a difference these rugs make in defining the living room and dining area? 

Notice how much of a difference these rugs make in defining the living room and dining area? 

What are your favorite things to put on blank walls?

Art, collages, black and white family photos, wallpaper and even stripes (painted). These elements can add a unique creative style without taking up room.


What pieces give you the most bang for your buck in a smaller home?

Small scale sectionals- contrary to what you might think, they actually help define the space and make it look bigger! These are a great investment since you can bring them along to your next space. Large mirrors and collages are also great!

 Pro tip: ALWAYS measure and look at the scale of your sectional compared to the room!

Favorite part of town to buy a house right now?

East Nashville

How do you like to add décor without feeling like you’ve cluttered the space?

Add visual elements that don’t take up physical space. Focus on things that serve dual functions. Examples might be hooks on your wall, an ottoman with storage, things on the wall etc.


Where are your favorite places to buy things in Nashville or online?

Cool Stuff Weird Things (on Charlotte), Spritz Furniture (it’s a huge showroom and one stop shop), Way Fair, All Modern, Gilt, 1st Dibs, and Etsy.

Overall small space advice?

In small spaces, using a light color pallet always helps things feel more roomy and open. Using small pops of color is a great way to incorporate fun design and make it easy to change the look of the room for cheap! 

I love the fun pop of color she added with the pillow and blanket!

I love the fun pop of color she added with the pillow and blanket!

I hope this helped you guys as much as it helped me! Go check out Jessica’s website for more examples of her amazing style- I’m just going to be here re-decorating my apartment!

I would love to know your thoughts or any tips you’ve learn for decorating your space!