Southern Style Now Design Festival: Meet the Showhouse Designers!

The first Southern Style Now Design Festival is underway in New Orleans and the highly anticipated, first-ever Traditional Home Design Showhouse in the Crescent City will be open for tours beginning May 19 through June 22. Crossville is proud to be the exclusive tile supplier for this exciting inaugural event and we can’t wait to see the results of many weeks of dedicated work by more than 20 talented designers, all with Southern roots. Here’s an introduction to the designers and firms who have incorporated Crossville tiles in the design of their rooms in the historic St. Charles Avenue mansion.

Lisa Mende
Lisa Mende/Lisa Mende Design
Founder and principal of the Charlotte-based firm Lisa Mende Design, Lisa Mende is a nationally acclaimed residential interior designer and avid design blogger with a vibrant social media presence. Lisa was named by Charlotte Living Magazine as one of Charlotte’s Top 10 Interior Designers, has been a three-time High Point Market Style Spotter, an ambassador for the La Cienegia Legends Event, and was chosen by Veronika Miller of Modenus to be on the teams of Blogtour London, Blogtour Vegas and Blogtour Frankfurt for Ambiente’.

Lisa was chosen by Traditional Home to transform the guest cottage living room and kitchenette of the Southern Style Now showhouse. Lisa has incorporated tiles in her guest kitchen design from our Speakeasy collection, as well as brand new collection that will debut in the fall. Additionally, Lisa will participate in “The Fifth Wall” panel discussion on May 21 as part of the Southern Style Now Festival’s celebration of Southern design. We’re looking forward to seeing Lisa’s vast talents on display, as well as hearing her contributions at the panel discussion.

Chad Graci
Chad Graci/Graci Interiors, LLC
New Orleans native and principal of Graci Interiors LLC, Chad Graci returned to his home town in 2009 after living and working in Los Angeles, New York City, and abroad, to build a business in the city that he loves. With a bachelor of Architecture degree and over 10 years of experience with leading designers, Chad has honed a signature style, a “traditional, glamorously approachable” look, that often combines high style antiques and vintage finds alongside modern pieces to create a rich, collected look.

Traditional Home selected Chad to renovate the master bath and dressing room with his characteristic approach to interior design that appreciates and understands the interplay between furniture, fabrics, accessories and a solid architectural framework. Chad used several selections from our Yin & Yang natural stone collection in his design.



betsey hazard
Betsey Nixon Hazard/Shaun Smith Home
Betsey Nixon Hazard is the senior designer at Shaun Smith Home , a full service design firm, lifestyle brand and shopping destination on historic Magazine Street. Betsey is a New Orleans native who returned to her beloved hometown in 2010 after spending ten years in New York City, attending the New York School of Interior Design and then soaking in the city’s artistic atmosphere. Soon after returning home, Betsey crossed paths with Shaun Smith and was instantly attracted to his sense of style (Shaun is known for a look that “appears more collected than decorated”). Betsy and Shaun work together to discover their clients’ individual styles and the result is a decor that respects the client’s sensibility and exhibits the unmistakable “Shaun Smith Style.”

Traditional Home chose Betsey to make over the guest cottage bathroom at the historic St. Charles Avenue property. Betsey selected an array of tile designs from our Color by Numbers, Yin &Yang, and Savoy collections for her bathroom design.

Olasky & Sinsteden
Maximilian P. Sinsteden, Catherine Olasky/Olasky & Sinsteden
Co-founders of Olasky & Sinsteden, Maximilian P. Sinsteden and Catherine Olasky both came from the New York design world: Catherine spent five years working in NYC for Bunny Williams, and Max worked first with David Easton Inc., and then Charlotte Moss, where he also helped oversee the creation of her famed Upper East Side store. Eventually, both designers were working in London (Catherine was at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, and Max was working on a project at the Victoria and Albert Museum) where the two re-connected and joined forces to form their present firm. The chic comrades, who are known for taking an “old-school, detail-oriented approach to design,” ( have offices in New York, London and Houston.

Traditional Home chose Olasky & Sinsteden to redesign a bathroom in the main house. They incorporated tiles from our Yin & Yang and Modern Mythology collections in their design vision.


Laura Burleson -Andrew Howard
Andrew Howard, Laura Burlson/ James Michael Howard Inc.
Florida designers Andrew Howard and Laura Burleson have teamed up with the design firm of James Michael Howard, Inc. of Jacksonville to take on one of the bathroom renovations at the Southern Style Now showhouse. Jim Howard opened his own interiors firm, James Michael Howard, Inc., in 1988, after twelve years of working with various design firms. The designer is known for the ability to seamlessly blend traditional styles with modern sensibilities to achieve a relaxed yet comfortable elegance. Jim Howard scours the globe continuously searching for both antique and new objects, and his lucky clients receive the bounty of his endless travels and experience.

Andrew Howard happens to be Jim Howard’s son, but Andrew is a talented decorator in his own right, with a unique style of his own. Andrew believes that passion is key in design, and says, “I’m lucky to feel more and more passionate about what I do each day.”

Laura Burleson is an award winning designer specializing in luxury architectural design. Laura is based in Tallahassee but works all over the United States, bringing a tremendous amount of passion to each project and each client.

Laura and Andrew have incorporated our Laminam porcelain tiles panels and tiles from our Yin & Yang natural stone collection into their design for the main house bathroom.

Michel Smith Boyd
Michel Boyd/Michel Smith Boyd Interiors
The principal designer and owner of Michel Smith Boyd Interiors in Atlanta, Michel Boyd is a trend-setter with a luxury aesthetic that leaves no detail overlooked. Michel’s work is never pretentious and always inspired, with thoughtfully designed spaces rich with texture and infused with fresh color palettes. In an Atlanta Magazine interview , Michel stated, “ I don’t want everything to look like I live there. I want a person’s home to look like the best version of themselves.” That’s an excellent design philosophy!

Traditional home chose Michel Boyd to infuse the 1895 Victorian mansion’s study with with his inspired style. His design vision specified our Yin & Yang natural stone collection in Black Dragon.

Denise McGaha

Denise McGaha/Denise McGaha Interiors
Dallas designer Denise McGaha, principal and owner of Denise McGaha Interiors , delivers fashionable, diverse, and adventurous designs for clients who live on the fast track, specializing in turn-key, concierge-level service delivered in 90 days or less.

A decade of marketing for luxury retailer Neiman Marcus provided Denise with invaluable experience when she opened her own firm. With a sophisticated methodology and solid business acumen, Denise McGaha is consistently ahead of the curve, not just influencing interior fashion, but often dictating it.

Traditional Home selected Denise McGaha recreate the powder room of the design house with her sophisticated design style. She integrated our Modern Mythology in Negro oriental into the flooring for her design.


James FarmerJames Farmer/James Farmer Design
James Farmer is the owner of James Farmer Designs , a full service interior design firm in Perry, Georgia. James Farmer Designs’ interiors combine the rich traditions of the past with the sensibilities of contemporary life. Effortless elegance, comfort and harmony are the hallmarks of this Southern firm.

James, a Southerner, born and bred, is a professional garden, floral and interior designer; cook; author and lifestyle expert. Additionally, James is editor-at-large for Southern Living, and is author of several best-selling books.

James was chosen by Traditional Home to redesign the kitchen of the historic mansion – a job we’re sure he is perfectly suited for! James used tiles from our Savoy in glossy white for this kitchen remodel.

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