"My Grandmother, in particular, made a mark on me." Chenault Van Winkle James says. "She exposed me to so many amazing things, and over the years it elevated my eye.” That same appreciation for legacy marks her signature design style; a smart blend of traditional and modern built on a stalwart belief in making new uses for old things. She is a steward for history, rooting her interior projects first in what has sentimental value, then propelling the timeless into something that feels altogether new. James was named a Traditional Home “Rising Star” and one of Southern Living’s “Best New Southern Tastemakers”. She currently resides in her hometown of Louisville with her husband Ed and their two children, where she is also the co-founder of Pappy & Co with her triplet sisters.
A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., Katherine was working in the U.S. Senate when a switch to the design world presented itself. "The part of my day I was most looking forward to was working with the Architect of the Capitol's office to decorate the Senator's office." When a friend revealed that her design firm was looking for a design assistant Katherine decided to shift her focus to creativity full-time. A Louisville native, she moved home in the fall of 2015 with her husband and baby on the way. "Soon after, a family friend from Georgia connected me to Chenault," says Katherine. "It's been magic ever since." Citing Carolina Irving as one of her most influential design muses, Katherine's style reflects a similar fondness for color and layering for a classically collected combination.
Lovingly referred to by her team as the "office Mom," Heather keeps Chenault James Interiors organized and efficient. "I make sure everyone is on track." she says, "Taking care of the details means the designers have space in their heads to be creative." In addition to the team she takes care of so well at work, she and her wife have new twins of their own on the way!
While Katie has always been interested in design, with a degree in Psychology, it was not the profession she initially pursued. "As I was looking to pivot my career, Chenault presented me with a great opportunity to learn the design trade in 2014," Katie says. "So I moved to Georgia and eventually, back home to Louisville and never looked back." But that is far from the beginning of their connection. "Chenault's grandparents and mine lived across the street from each other. And my dad used to work for her grandfather in the whiskey business. So we go way back!" Katie's style reflects that same affection for history and roots. " I love finding really good bones and working from there, making it fresh. It's that mix of new and old that keeps me so interested."