Traditional Furnishings Can Be Fun and Edgy Too! The Traditionalist with A Dose of Whimsy, Todd Richesin

OK, so very traditional furniture is not normally my thing.   I think I have an aversion because if it is not done right it can tend to come off stuffy and the space does not seem warm and inviting.  I had to include Todd Richesin of Todd Richesin Interiors from Knoxville, Tennessee because he makes his designs fun and fresh while working in mainly period estates.  The room above is too cool for words.  I love the bobbin chair with that funky bright fabric which circle pattern imitates the turning in the frame of the chair.  If I had to choose between a skirt on a sofa and a stick in the eye I would normally choose the stick, but the flirty fringe on that vivid blue sofa makes me smile.  He is channeling the traditional sense and folk art approach of the country homes by Cullman & Kravis and Diamond Baratta’s use of bold color choices in this space.

Sometimes more is more.   The neutral color and geometric patterns created by the walls make a crucial base to allow all these whimsical patterns and colors to work.  If the walls were fabric covered in an intricate pattern or Tartan or Toile your head would explode because there would be no place to rest your eyes.  It is Todd’s give and take that makes this such a successful room.  Not to mention the quality of the furniture.  I love the chunky turned legs on the green farm coffee table, and the beautiful sideboard in the back adds a serious touch.

This is a different project that has a higher focus on texture than pops of color.  The  use of many natural materials add such a wonderful layering quality to the space.   I adore this slate fireplace, and the pale yellow thin rug to make the darker colors pop.   Todd did a wonderful job of finding a case piece that works in that tight space. The glass doors on that piece paired with the landscape over top relate to the window and brighten up that corner without throwing a bright colored into the mix.  He knows when to add a pop, and when to brighten an area subtly.  I love me a patriotic pillow and this one is gorgeous.  I mean how lovely is that over-scaled pillow on that beautiful small rush seat chair?

I love this dining room.  I so enjoy the use of these natural wicker chairs at the dining table.  It makes it look so comfortable but it does not feel too informal for an entertaining space.  His pairing that, with the Windsor chairs at the ends is so smart with that gorgeous farm table. It is so lovely how all the textures play off each other in the space, and the room is grounded with another layer of texture based in the sisal rug.  This room is very approachable for how traditional in sensibility it is.   When there is not too much color in a space it is important for the textures to make your eye travel and to notice all the details.  I absolutely adore this!!

Todd Richesin knows how to add a hint of whimsy and a touch of the unexpected to make his spaces interesting.  Todd has two retail antique shops in Tennessee.  He owns Bobby Todd Antiques with co-owner Bobby Brown and also recently opened retail space called Upstairs above his interiors studio in Knoxville.

12/14/2011 2 Comments


  • Todd on 12/21/2011 03:48PM said:

    Thanks ladies for this wonderful and unexpected artlcle about my work. I really appreciate your enthusiasm. Yes, traditional can be fun! I am getting more calls for a little more modern edge on things, and have a couple of new projects that will be photographed in the next six months. They will add a new depth to the work that I do, so stay in touch and I will share them. Again many thanks, and my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and New Year. Sincerely, Todd Richesin

  • Missy on 01/24/2012 04:04AM said:

    I am lucky enough to live just a couple of blocks from Upstairs! You should have seen it at Christmas!!!

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