Wesley Stanley of Hunt + Gather
Born out of a love for design and a passion for a well-collected life, Hunt + Gather focuses on creating curated spaces of any size that truly reflect the style and character of their inhabitants. Exhilarated by the “thrill of the hunt” and inspired by unique or vintage finds, Wesley Stanley’s design philosophy is grounded in thoughtful regard to an individual’s existing personal aesthetic. Whether she’s styling a client’s shelves, revamping an interior, or designing a full scale renovation, Wesley is guided by her belief that a space is far more interesting when the objects within it can tell a story through their collective mix of old and new.
Wesley resides in Nashville with her best friend and husband of 15 years, Lamar, two wild and wonderful children, Attie and Lamar, and her adorable lab puppy, Friday. Her work has been recently featured in Southern Lady Magazine.
In her words...read on to get to know Wesley Stanley!
How did you get started in Interior Design? What is your background?
I have always loved art, design, and pretty things. Long before I knew what I’d do with my Art History degree from Sewanee, I dreamt I’d work in a field where I could help people by using my creative gifts. In my twenties, I worked as an assistant to a variety of talented designers, on site and in showrooms, and I helped with purchasing for a home design retailer. However, I believe it was the decade’s worth of military moves alongside my husband that allowed me the time to hone in on my craft of transforming any space into a home. Six years ago, we finally planted roots in Nashville, Tennessee, and a year later, upon the encouragement of a dear friend, I began Hunt + Gather Design.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I’m a lover of anything unique or vintage, and I am creatively activated by a hunt. Whether it’s for my closet, my own home, or my clients’ homes, I believe layers are the key to making any house a home. They tell your story: colors that inspire you, pieces you’ve inherited, treasures you’ve found, art you’ve collected, photographs you’ve taken. Your home is a unique tapestry of you, and it should feel multi-faceted, eclectic, and unlike anyone else’s.
What do you love most about including original art in your designs?
Sometimes art is the jumping off point that sets the tone for a room, and other times it’s the icing on the cake, coming in to play once the project is nearly complete. Regardless of the order, I like to incorporate a variety of mediums and a mix of original art, both on canvas and behind glass, into a room. Without art on the walls, a house is just a place to sit, to eat, and to sleep. Art is what tells the story of the home’s inhabitants. The layers that art or decorative objects provideare the key to making any house a home.
I also think original art is one of best investments you can make for your home at any age. Unlike upholstery which can wear or even larger scale pieces of furniture that are space-specific, art can travel anywhere, be used in different rooms, or handed down to future generations. I wish my younger self could have heeded my own advice and purchased more original art. Whether small and purchased on the spot because it speaks to you, or large and thoughtfully commissioned to fulfill a specific vision, original art is something you’ll treasure always.
I love a good “before and after,”so I’d have to say my dream project is one that starts with an older home that needs reinventing and is taken down to the barest of bones and revitalized from the inside out. I recently completed a renovation project that fit this bill and it brought me such joy. It was my client’s first “real” home, the one they’d brought their first child home to, and although they had outgrown the house itself, they loved the house’s charm and the neighborhood. So, with the help of an amazing Nashville architect, we set out to keep the integrity of the house they first fell in love with, but reinvent it to reflect this new chapter of their life with growing children. In addition to creating plenty of additional square footage and reinventing some of the home’s existing spaces, we also enjoyed repurposing some of the client’s furniture and art. I am a big believer in a mix of old and new; just because you create a new home, it doesn’t mean you must start from scratch with regard to its contents. Family heirlooms, as well as art, can feel reinvented with fresh fabric and framing. One of my greatest achievements on this project was welcoming them back into their newly renovated space whose walls felt brand new but whose furnishings felt collected and truly reflective of this family.
Favorite thing about living in the south?
My favorite thing about being from the South is the sense of connectedness amongst its people. I believe this connection comes from our innate Southern desire to be friendly, hospitable, and welcoming hosts. We are taught to open our homes graciously to family, friends, and neighbors. We entertain using our special heirlooms, treasures, and recipes. But I particularly love that we also kindly welcome newcomers into the fold to share in these special traditions.