Why Lindsey Coral Harper is Our Latest Interior Designer Crush

You may have seen her work on the cover of House Beautiful, or in Southern Living, but did you know this gorgeous redhead is “one of us”? Lindsey Coral Harper grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta, but she channels her Southern sensibility into high-style projects through her New York City office. We love her bold, fun style … find out all about our latest crush.

Georgia girl at heart, Lindsey Coral Harper | Image: Kelly Stuart

What was your childhood like growing up in Cartersville, Georgia? Did that town full of historic houses influence your love of interior design?

Cartersville is a beautiful town, and my mom lives in the historical district, which is my favorite part. We always lived in old houses, and we always lived with antiques and furniture that had been passed down. That was just a normal part of my daily surroundings. My mother can sew, and she was always working on something. So I grew up with that thinking — things were always being recovered and redone.

How did you get from Georgia to New York City?

I was a design major at the University of Georgia, and we had to have an internship the last 10 weeks at the end of our last semester. I spent the previous summer abroad in London and was really set on getting an internship in NYC. So, I mailed my resume to any design-related company I found in any shelter magazine. Suzanne Varney with Carleton V Ltd. called me back! I flew up the following week, started working and I never left.

This is a floor-to-ceiling study that had very traditional bones, recalls Lindsey. “Because this room was so small, I lacquered everything — the bookcases and all the trim — in the same really bold mulberry color,” she says. Image: Erica George Dines

In the same library, Lindsey used mid-century and non-traditional items in a very traditional setting. Image: Erica George Dines

Lindsey’s love of tortoise anything included this Schumacher wallpaper in a powder room. “I found this vintage rattan mirror, which I fell in love with,” she says. “And we custom-made these sinks with acrylic legs and brass fittings. They’re so great for small spaces because the acrylic legs are chic yet they don’t visually take up much space.” Image: Laurey Glenn Photography

“This is a bedroom in a beach house, and the rattan bed and chair made everyone swoon,” Lindsey says. The yellow palm wallpaper mixed with the rattan was a clever combination. Image: Laurey Glenn Photography

Lindsey loves everything in this Southern Living Idea House bathroom – from the rattan disco ball light fixture to the pair of large bamboo mirrors and that vintage bench shape. Image: Laurey Glenn Photography

Would you say that you insert some Southern style into projects done up there, and are New Yorkers intrigued by your background? Conversely, what might you adapt from NYC into designs in the South?

I think people in New York are perplexed that I still have an accent! Being Southern is just a big part of who I am, and my style and work is a combination of being a Southerner in NYC. I love to create a comfortable and layered atmosphere and bring in antiques and set a beautiful table, which is all very Southern or the result of being brought up in the South. However, I do prefer bold color, and I like mixing in modern art and modern lighting and an unexpected piece of furniture here and there. I think living in New York and working for a great decorator really honed my eye, which helps me create a sophisticated and layered interior. I also have a propensity to mix high and low, and maybe that is a result of being a Southerner in New York – I don’t want any room to be too intimidating.

You are amazing with color and particularly mixing bold colors together. What are some of your favorite colors, color combinations and tips on going big with color? Are there any colors you aren’t a fan of?

Thank you! I really like to see the unexpected color combinations. I love chartreuse and “Prussian blue.” I like aubergine or magenta and acid yellow/green. I prefer to find a beautiful print and use the more obscure colors in it. You don’t always have to use the most obvious of colors when you are working with a print.

I probably don’t use pink in the most obvious way. I like it, but I don’t use it that often. Same with red. I love red, but a little goes a long way. Red and pink — now that is a beautiful color combination.

“I love this wallpaper of the clementines paired with that fun green Oomph mirror,” says Lindsey. “Vintage art and accessories give this bathroom so much personality.” Image: Laurey Glenn Photography

Lindsey Coral Harper

In this Charlotte, NC, bedroom, the ceilings were low, so the room was very flat, the designer recalls. By adding wainscoting, ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet and painting the floors mainly white, the room now has a whole new life. Image: Francesco Lagnese

Navy grasscloth on the vaulted ceiling keeps this room cool and cozy. Image: Francesco Lagnese

“I’m not sure which I love more — the window treatments, the wall color or the fireside chairs,” says Lindsey. “This is a formal living room, but I like that it is still inviting.” Image: Francesco Lagnese

“We lacquered the wainscot and hung a paper stripe in this mudroom,” says Lindsey. “It’s really a beautiful color blue, and the shine is pretty incredible.” Image: Francesco Lagnese

What are some of your favorite sources for home furnishings back home in Atlanta?

I think there are some great sources in Atlanta! When I’m there I try to stop in at William Word for antiques, I like The Stalls Bennett Street Antique Market, and I love painted furniture so I stop by Fabulous Things, Ltd.! I will pop into Mrs. Howard and into art galleries like Anne Irwin. I love a great vintage store like Antiques and Beyond for the odd accessories that add a bit of personality.

What one thing is in every Lindsey Coral Harper project?

Probably color and pattern. Definitely wallpaper. Something geometric. An animal object of some sort.

You recently got married (congratulations on that!). How will you merge your husband’s style with yours?

Hmmm … not sure how much merging it is – more me only offering a few options. Fortunately, he happens to like my style. When we moved him out of Charleston, I’m pretty sure I convinced him to give a lot of it away!

Who is your design crush and why?

I love Miles Redd! He has a nice over-the-top whimsical flair that is always fun to see.

This large bedroom with a lot of windows could handle a nice dose of color on the walls, the designer says. She then had fun layering geometric patterns everywhere. Image: Ngoc Minh Ngo

“It’s amazing what one fabric full of color and pattern can do for an all-white kitchen,” says Lindsey. “We made the valance out of the print, but we just ran it in the opposite way.” Image: Ngoc Minh Ngo

“This is where my non-traditional take on traditional kicks in,” says Lindsey. “It took me months to convince the homeowners that the original brown hardwood floors were nice but super boring. We painted the floors dead last, and it makes such a huge impact! I love a painted floor!” Image: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Existing art — the big coral piece on the wall — inspired pillow fabrics and the entire palette for this room.

Image: Ngoc Minh Ngo

My most challenging might have been the Southern Living Idea House we just wrapped up. It was on Bald Head Island, North Carolina, which you could only get to by ferry. We built a house with the magazine from the ground up in about six months. It was a really fun project, and I love the finished result, but logistically it was challenging. However, who doesn’t love a challenge?!

Any design trends you’d like to see go away? Any you’d like to return?

I think we have all had our fair share of every interior revolving around the color gray! I am happy to see warm tones return.

Thank you, Lindsey, for chatting with us. To learn more about Lindsey and to see more of her work, visit lchinteriors.com.