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Interior Designer Leah Atkins | Highly Personal Design With a Touch of Southern Comfort

photography courtesy of LEAH ATKINS DESIGN

Leah Atkins Design

Even at just eight years old, Leah Atkins saw her future as an interior designer.

When Leah Atkins was in the second grade, she was already considering a career as an interior designer, but it was a high school interior design elective class that made her decision easy.

“I excelled in the class,” Atkins says. “It confirmed that path that I wanted to take.”

Following her passion, she went on to earn a four-year degree in interior design from Carson-Newman University.

“I told myself that the last thing I wanted to do was end up working at a furniture store, and, of course, there were no jobs at the time, so I ended up working at a baby and kid’s furniture store,” Atkins says. “Just a few months into working there, I met a client who was very interested in the fact that I had a degree in interior design. I did their nursery for them, and then they wanted their master bedroom done.”

Leah Atkins

Her very first client happened to be a lawyer, who helped her set up her own interior design business. Atkins quit her job at the furniture store after just eight months, transitioning into a full-time business owner and interior designer for Atlanta-based Leah Atkins Design

Now, eight years later, her bustling interior design firm serves discerning clients in the greater Atlanta, Nashville and Florida areas, as well as other parts of the United States on a project-by-project basis. She works in her full-service firm with one other designer, Kaila Nelson, to provide customized design services to fit each client’s individual needs and style. 

Atkins biggest inspiration when starting a project? For her, It’s all about the artwork.

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Leah Atkins Interiors

“Art is a big inspiration for me, that’s always a good starting point and seeing different artist’s works always gets me thinking creatively,” Aktins says.

Because the interior designer is based in the South, Atkins incorporates a level of southern hospitality into each project, while also embracing a variety of design styles.

“I’m working on a project now that I absolutely love, it’s very grand millennial style with a lot of wallpaper throughout the house,” Aktins says. “It’s a historical home and so it’s great being able to bring out that character through this space. I actually love wallpaper, mixing patterns and collage walls.”

“Many of my clients are traditionalists, but they also want something highly personal,” she explains. “It’s more than just the ICONIC pillars, the graceful front porches and the formal dining rooms with the great chandeliers. I help my clients really get at what makes them happy.”

Leah Atkins Interiors

“I’ve been seeing so much of the grand millennial design style that is the opposite of the minimalism we’ve been seeing, so funny that it’s becoming so popular, but there is something about it that if it feels so much more welcoming, more like a home,” she added.

In contrast, another project the Atlanta interior designer is working on is all about funky prints.

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“There’s quite a few projects that I’m working on right now and one of them is a main house and a lake house with the same client and we’re using a lot of animal prints, which is something that was definitely sort of outside my comfort zone in the beginning,” Atkins says. “But now I’m in love with animal prints and it’s such a fun space and a fun client to work with.”

“Using animal prints really gives you the ability to go traditional and contemporary within the same space, and there’s a way that you need to use the animal print to make them appear classy and not tacky,” she says.

Leah Atkins Interiors

For each project, Atkins has a goal of designing something that is unquestionably unique and highly personal to each individual client.

“Many of my clients are traditionalists, but they also want something highly personal,” she explains. “It’s more than just the ICONIC pillars, the graceful front porches and the formal dining rooms with the great chandeliers. I help my clients really get at what makes them happy.”

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