Looking back on her career path, Marcelle Guilbeau says, “I took a detour in college studying philosophy and began a career in academia but it wasn’t for me.” With an artist-slash-art collector for a mother and having long been “the friend who helped other decorate their apartments,” Marcelle finally took the plunge, enrolled in design school, and never looked back.

She says, “As a designer, I help my clients connect with their heart. I bring the ideas and resources to explore and discover what makes their heart sing. I created a method to map out one’s Soul Style to help my clients discover their unique style combination,’ (She’s also writing a book about it called The Soulful Home: A Guide for Authentic Living!) Today she shares a recently completely project that definitely is a unique style combo. 

Who was the client for this project and what were their requests for the space?
The client is a young couple who have small children in a fast growing and fun neighborhood of Nashville called Sylvan Park. This area happens to be where my studio and home are located so I know it really well and have seen it evolve dramatically in the last few years. There are lots of great restaurants, unique shops and mixed-use buildings sprouting up all over the community.

The home is a modern foursquare design and an urban infill house so it needed to blend into an established neighborhood. The couple was really aligned on their style and knew they wanted an Art Deco feel combined with Mid-Century Modern.

They wanted it to be fun, bright and also the furnishings had to be practical for their young children as well as comfortable. They wanted to have fun with the design process and embraced bold choices such as fabric color and wallpaper.

What was your inspiration?
When I met with Lawrence and Frances, they were finishing up choosing their kitchen and living room finishes and lighting for this new construction home. They had gotten really excited about some cobalt blue hex mosaic tile that they wanted to use for their kitchen backsplash. I think they may have seen another house of mine with this color palette, and they recognized I was an eclectic, who loves to help my clients to create their own style. So, they asked me if I could make it work for them. They also wanted their kitchen finishes to flow into their open plan living room, via the design of the fireplace surround. (They also needed lighting, and furniture!) So that cobalt blue hex – a favorite color of mine and theirs – was really the start of the whole conversation!

Were there any particular challenges?
These clients are in the middle of their busy careers, and raising two small children, so the budget was not huge, and everything needed to perform well and multitask for them. However, these guys don’t want to set their life aside until the babies grow up! They wanted and needed their living room to be for the “grown-ups,” and for the playroom, directly behind it, to look and feel good too. The living room is where we spent the bulk of our budget. We needed some hard-working furniture that was also timeless and classic, in a midcentury modern sort of way, building on that color palette, adding mustard yellows, teals, and soft greys.

See the home in the slideshow!