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Faudree-Inspired Design in a Sunroom

A Nashville designer pays homage to Charles Faudree's Continental, collected style

Written by Amy Elbert
  • Michael Partenio

    Chatting with Charles Faudree was like bumping into a rock star for Nashville interior designer Eric Ross. “I’ve followed his work in magazines, read all his books, been to his showhouse rooms, and heard him speak,” Ross says. “He’s always been an inspiration to me.” One of Ross’s most cherished memories is when he and his wife, Ruthann, ran into Faudree last year at a restaurant in Cashiers, North Carolina, just a few months before the iconic designer passed away.

    That summer, Ross was working with a longtime client and fellow Faudree fan, Debbie Jacobs, on a sunroom addition to her family’s home in Brentwood, Tennessee. “Debbie loves Charles Faudree’s designs and that Continental, collected look,” Ross says.

    After Faudree’s death in November, Ross remembered a quote credited to the Tulsa-based designer. “He said something like, ‘My greatest hope is that when I’m gone, people will remember I created something beautiful.’  ” Those words resonate with Ross. “That is really what you hope for as a designer—that you create beauty in someone’s world,” he says.

    A paisley fabric from Charles Faudree’s collection for Stroheim was fashioned into a table skirt, draperies, and throw pillows in this sunroom.

    Photography: Michael Partenio
    Produced by Stacy Kunstel

    Interior design: Eric Ross, Eric Ross Interiors, 220 Lewisburg Ave., Franklin, TN 37064; 615/472-8236,  

  • Michael Partenio

    Joyful Tribute

    As the project evolved, it was clear to Ross and Debbie that this could be a joyful tribute to their favorite designer. They had already chosen fabrics from one of Faudree’s collections, including a tapestry-like blue-and-green paisley and a delicate acorn-and-oak-leaf sheer. 

  • Michael Partenio

    Inpsired Rug

    A blue-and-green, dianthus-flower-motif area rug that Ross had purchased earlier (just waiting for the right client) happened to be sitting on his work table as he laid out the Faudree fabric samples for the room.

    “It was perfect. It was just like it had been waiting for this project,” he says. The Soumak rug’s flat weave keeps the room casual, too. “I like that it’s both a geometric and a floral,” he adds. 

  • Michael Partenio

    Color Variations

    Ross wasn’t rigid about exact color matches either, insisting that slight color variations add depth to a room. “Some clients want to match every thread, but the genius is when you’re off just a bit.” 

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    All About the Mix

    Guided by an oft-quoted line from Faudree, “It’s about the mix, not the match,” Ross artfully layered patterns and textures, using stripes on a cane-frame settee, a trellis pattern on a tufted sofa, a delicate trailing acorn wallcovering, and a funky kiwi tiger stripe on a bobbin chair. “I like mixing patterns, bringing in antiques—a collected look so things appear to have been acquired over time.”

    In Faudree style, Ross chose two different sofa styles. “I didn’t want them to match,” he says. And he made sure they were long enough for Debbie’s husband, Joey, to lie down to watch TV.

    The acorn-and-oak-leaf sheer window panels and the wallcovering are from Charles Faudree’s collection for Stroheim.

    Wallpaper (“Trailing Acorns”/Truffle #6334606); drapery, tablecloth, and pillow on wood-backed sofa (“Sebastian”/Pear and Aqua #6340001); sheer drapery (“Acorn Sheer”/Aquastone #6339003): Charles Faudree for Stroheim,
    Drapery trim (“Mirmande”/Moss #2759904 ); tablecloth trim (“Manon”/La Mer #2759005): Fabricut,
    Drapery hardware (finials, in Parchment; rods, 21/4-inch traverse set in Parchment): United Supply Co.,
    Mantel (“Mont Richard” with shelf, custom hearth, French Historic Collection): Francois & Co.,
    Chandelier (“Regina Andrew Antique Rusted-Arm 6-Light Chandelier” #405-586): Candelabra,
    Area rug (“Wild Flower” #55051): Niba Rugs,
    Tufted sofa (“Kendall” #7708-578); sofa fabric (“Bowen”/Sand #W74342): Thibaut,
    Medallion pillows on sofa (“Barton”/Mineral with flange in “Fishbone”/Moss, discontinued); zebra pillows (“Stanley”/Kiwi, colorway discontinued): Wesley Hall,
    Coffee tables (“Kiawah Tray Tables” #SB122): Somerset Bay Home,
    Blue-and-white table lamp (#55002-L): Oriental Danny Inc.,
    Candlesticks on coffee table: owner’s collection.
    Turned wood armchair (#746); chair fabric (“Stanley”/Kiwi, colorway discontinued): Wesley Hall,
    Wood-backed sofa (#uph-sofwoo-14A, discontinued): Caracole,
    Settee fabric (“Nicobar”/Blue, Green #15460-72, John Robshaw Collection): Duralee,
    Side table beside sofa (“Biedermeier Table in Knotty Pecan” #PE-625KP): Port Eliot,
    Lamp on side table (#LP5596, discontinued): Park Hill Collection,
    Art over mantel (by Joe Knapp): Eric Ross Interiors,
    Pair of gold vases on mantel: Nest Highlands, no longer in business.
    Art over doorway: owner’s collection.
    Small rocking chair by mantel: owner’s collection.

  • Michael Partenio

    Perfect Blend

    Topping the room is a coffered ceiling of pecky cypress that Ross designed in a sunburst pattern. A chandelier from Regina Andrew Design hangs at the center of the ceiling and adds a sense of whimsy. 

    “Debbie really wanted this to be a room where both she and her husband could hang out together. She didn’t want it to be too feminine,” he says. “The natural wood creates a sense of masculinity, but then the ceiling pattern is more floral, so that bridges the two—masculine and feminine.” (Another Faudree design lesson well learned.)

  • Michael Partenio

    Playful Pillows

    Patterns in Wesley Hall fabrics play together happily. 

  • Michael Partenio

    Desk Area

    The 18x28-foot space is large for a sunroom. “We added more depth to get more furniture in,” Ross says with a laugh. (A decision Faudree would have applauded!) With walls of windows and a Pennsylvania stone floor, the room feels like an original old porch that has been enclosed.

    As a nod to Joey Jacobs’s cattle operation, the back of the Wesley Hall desk chair is covered with cowhide. The interior seat is a green leather. 

    Desk (“English Handpainted Writing Table” #PC-8053PT): Port Eliot,
    Lamp on desk (discontinued): Imax Worldwide Home,
    Candlesticks on desk; green wood chair beside desk; throw on chair: owner’s collection.
    Desk chair (#912); chair hide, back (“Serengetti”/Cappuccino); chair leather, front and seat (“Highball”/Sherwood): Wesley Hall,
    Small table by window (“Gothic Telephone Table” #380002, discontinued): Chelsea House,
    Stool beside Gothic table (#26904, discontinued): Sarreid Ltd.,

  • Michael Partenio


    An antique-looking Hooker Furniture mirror adds whimsy.

    Desk (“French Serpentine Console, Olde Timber” #OP-PEL037): Port Eliot,
    Lamps on desk (“Column Lamp” #LP5597): Park Hill Collection,
    Mirror (“Rhapsody Carved Mirror” #5075-50001): Hooker Furniture,
    Accessories on desk: owner’s collection.

  • Michael Partenio

    Stately Stag

    Debbie Jacobs loves to collect, so Ross incorporated many of her collectibles throughout the room. 

    Deer statue: owner’s collection. 

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    Cozy Corner Table

    A round table and a pair of upholstered Wesley Hall chairs snuggle into a corner for a sunny breakfast spot.

    The Jacobses enjoy the room daily, Ross says, but he and Debbie know it is more than a lovely, livable space. This is a tribute to a charming gentleman, an inspiring teacher, and their all-time favorite designer.

    Pair of chairs  (#942); fabric on outside and back (“Fishbone”/Moss, discontinued): Wesley Hall,
    Fabric on seat and inside arms (“Claremont Embroidery”/Chartreuse #65741): Schumacher,
    Table between chairs (“St. Germain Bistro Table” #27840): Sarreid Ltd.,
    Table lamp (“Egret Lamp” #60135-L): Oriental Danny Inc.,
    Landscape painting; shell box; horsehead sculpture: owner’s collection.
    Barrel bench (#YF9883): Park Hill Collection,

  • Michael Partenio

    Back exterior

    The sunroom steps out to the backyard. 

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    Homeowner Debbie Jacobs and interior designer Eric Ross. 

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    Special Autograph

    Designer Eric Ross presented Debbie Jacobs with a book signed by Faudree. 

  • Design Legend Charles Faudree

    Toiles play with plaids, and masculine stripes cavort with lavish English florals in the always gracious and charming rooms designed by Charles Faudree, who passed away November 27, 2013, at the age of 75. The Tulsa-based designer (a Southern gentleman through and through) had a gift for the mix-, layering colors and patterns to create rooms that our readers—and editors!—found irresistible. Traditional Home has published 13 of his projects since 1990, three of which landed on the cover. Faudree described his style best: “An elegantly eclectic environment that is at once French and English, formal and casual, feminine and masculine.” In addition to his thriving design practice, Faudree owned a store, designed wallcoverings and fabrics, wrote five books on design, and led design tours of his beloved French countryside. 

    Click here to take a look at our tribute to Faudree's work.