Today, we introduce you to one of our most delightful new friends – Nan Myers of Firefly Home. We first met Nan at a Recipe for Press event; she’s one of wonderful things that’s come out of those events! And she’s got such an eye for fabulous finds, specifically ones antique in nature. When we first met Nan, there was an immediate connection – she’s a self-admitted southerner who doesn’t have a southern accent or drink sweet tea! She’s from South Georgia, so there’s some home state synergy there too. Needless to say, we’re so excited to share Nan’s Tastemaker feature with you today…
About Nan, in her own words:
At the age of 24, I opened Firefly with my dad. He was a lawyer (the Atticus type) by day, and the store’s antique buyer. I was in charge of buying everything else, as well as the day-to-day operations. I had worked retail, all my life, starting at thirteen. I was also a little strange, in that I would save my money and instead of buying beer like normal 19 year olds, I bought antiques. I always had something on “layaway.” Luckily, I had great support, strong female mentors and a little panache of my own. In January of 2013, I bought my Dad out, as he wanted to retire again, and I needed to “own” it. He is playing some mean Bridge and I feel revitalized all over again. I still love finding treasures that are unique, fairly-traded, and handmade. I love meeting new folks and greeting old customers time and time again. Firefly is a unique, eclectic treasure in what is quickly becoming a vast sea of homogeneous, big chain box stores. Firefly is about making your house a home and enhancing it with useful objects that exude character.
1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?
Southern British Colonial is my decorating style with a global nod to our travels. Southern, in the fact that I am a six generation T’villian, so lots of arrowhead collections, turtle shells, sideboards, corner cabinets, and southern art. British Colonial in that I drawn to classic Bell Jar lanterns, high ceilings, antique rugs, white walls, live plants, sky blue porches, rattan, etc. Furlow Gatewood is a huge influence on me. A few years ago we visited him in Americus. In short, I returned and painted the store and my home with white walls and gray trim.
2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?
Currently, I am working on finishing my world which includes my home, my store, and an old International Scout. My house is very charming and homey, but it is lacking a few more layers. This has been the summer of adding layers, which consist of Block and Brayer’s snake fabric for my son’s curtains, Celerie Kemble/Schumacher tortoise shell wallpaper to line the back of our raw pine bookcases, interior shutters that currently are on my living room floor (waiting for me to touch up and wax), and Apothecary’s Garden wallpaper by Trustworth Studios for my home office.
3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?
I would say growing up in the South and traveling. I find just as much value in a beaver stick, turtle shell or feather as I do in a fine oil painting. Nature has always inspired me and the South is just so in your face. The culture,landscapes,and architecture are just rooted within me. On travel, my favorite quote, by Mark Twain is this: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Traveling is two-fold. It is invigorating to me and it truly recharges my creativity and yet, travel also endears and reminds me of what is important when I am home. We are hosting an exchange student this upcoming academic year. He is from Dublin, Ireland. We are friends of his family and I am currently working on an epic trip back to Ireland, Scotland, and London for next summer when we take him home.
4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…
This is probably my favorite question ever and I have multiple dinner parties in my head. Yet at the end of the day, I just want to laugh until I cry. So with that being said, Adele, Ellen, and James Cordon. Adele and James could sing. Ellen and I would dance.
5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?
Well, a hunt board/sideboard is essential in a proper Southern home and some taxidermy is a necessary decorative accessory. I joke all the time that when my favorite cat dies that he will be “stuffed” and curled up in an eternal sleep and I will just move him around from window seat to favorite couch etc…I’m actually kind of serious. I am also actively looking for a road kill fox to do the same thing.
6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?
Nature’s design always seems to influence and dictate what I do whether in materials, artwork, fabrics, and accessories. Understanding the scale of your room is important too. Don’t do dinky. Curtains are also often overlooked. If you can afford custom curtains, then by all means do it. Curtains are probably one of the strongest design elements/ tricks because they can anchor and set a tone all by themselves. You can have an empty room, but with killer curtains and you’re kind of set for at least a good dance party. 😉
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”
From a retail perspective, I do love the summer trend of all things pineapple, the symbol for southern hospitality. I will also be sick of it soon enough. Ironically, I am WAY over mason jars, ball jars, whatever kind of jars you want to call it. However, my store is called Firefly and I have had a major light fixture over our counter for years that consist of what? You got it. Ball Jars! We like to call it our year round “fireflies”. I can’t tell how many times that fixture has been photographed and pinned. Crazy. It is one of those “eat crow” moments, where you just nod and agree that it is the best thing since sliced bread. From an interior point of view, I try to stay classic in design because frankly, it is expensive and folks need to love it for a long time. However, there are some trends that will be always be current. For example, blue and white interiors and tartan. My taste is very eclectic too, so I need the “classic bones” to convey comfort and put folks at ease.
8. How does artwork fit into your designs?
Artwork is a given. I majored in Sculpture at UGA and you will never find “commercial art” in anything I do. Big box store “insta” artwork are kind of like fake plants to me; They make me cringe. I know that sounds completely “snobby” and I don’t judge those that do. I realize that decorating or collecting art is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, it is my cup of tea (unsweet please) and I would rather spend and save money for a painting than anything else, except for a trip somewhere. The exception to this dogmatic rule is maybe a quote painting from Sugarboo kid’s space. They make me happy. Furthermore, art does not necessarily mean expensive some of my favorite art pieces have been found in junk shops, online auctions, and ebay.
9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?
I would like to say something profound, but I am afraid that the answer has to be my Instagram feed. Obsessed. Follow me 😉
10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.
I do think a formal education in understanding principles, and being able to draw interiors would be a strong foundation to starting. Then I would say, go work for an interior design firm, store, or trade industry that you admire and then work like a beaver. Lastly, turn off that phone and keep it in your purse and show up early.
Okay folks, now do you see how we developed such an affinity for Nan?!? She’s totally charming and knows her stuff. And if you didn’t laugh out loud at least twice after reading the above feature… Well, we’ll just suggest you take another gander.
In all seriousness, Nan (and her Instagram feed) are an amazing source of inspiration and we hope you connect with her and Firefly Home. You won’t be disappointed! Thanks to Nan for being such a wonderful Tastemaker for us!!