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antiques shows
Behind the scenes with Nashville Antiques & Garden Show chair
Jan 28, 2016

Designers will descend on Nashville over Presidents’ Day weekend (February 12-14), for the Antiques & Garden Show. Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and chief creative officer of Goop, will headline the keynote program in a discussion with designer Windsor Smith about personal design. 



Images from last year's show; courtesy Peyton Hoge

The Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville is the largest of its kind in the U.S., welcoming more than 150 antiques and horticultural vendors, along with up to 12,000 visitors. Event co-chair Amy Liz Riddick shared her take on this year’s show with EAL:

Which programs and vendors are you most excited for at this year’s show?
That is a difficult question to answer, because we are genuinely excited about all of the guests and events that we have lined up, as well as our fabulous dealers! It is obviously a thrill to welcome Gwyneth Paltrow and Windsor Smith to the show. But outside of our Keynote Program, it is incredibly exciting to have two garden lecturers coming from Europe— Shane Connolly, the royal florist who did floral designs for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding, is coming from London, and Louis Benech, who most recently completed a garden renovation at Versailles, is joining us from Paris. It’s wonderful to have an international flair this year, and the influence of that will be reflected in some of the gardens on the show floor.

For those who are not familiar with the show, in addition to 150-plus incredible antiques and horticultural dealers, we will have four spectacular gardens come to life on the show floor. And speaking of dealers, our dealer booths sold out almost instantly this year, and we have an incredible lineup of dealers coming once again, with something for everyone who wants to shop the show.

Another guest that we are particularly excited for is Bunny Williams, our honorary chair. She will be joining us for a lecture with Brian McCarthy and special guest David Kleinberg. It is always a treat to hear Bunny speak, and she is longtime supporter of the show. But we are especially excited for Brian McCarthy and David Kleinberg to join her on-stage, as they reflect on the legendary design firm Parish-Hadley, which is featured in Bunny and Brian’s new book The Parish-Hadley Tree of Life. Albert Hadley had such a long history with the show—it seems very appropriate for Bunny to return to Nashville and honor him with a discussion on Parish-Hadley.

What are some of the highlights we can expect from the Gwyneth Paltrow/Windsor Smith discussion?
I think Gwyneth Paltrow and Windsor Smith’s discussion is not to be missed. What an incredible opportunity to hear exclusive insights on their design collaboration firsthand! I don’t think many people realize the origin of their friendship, which was the result of Gwyneth purchasing the Veranda House of Windsor showhouse, which Windsor Smith developed back in 2011. It is a stunning property, and Gwyneth mentions the experience in her foreword to Windsor Smith’s most recent book, Homefront: Design for Modern Living.

Apparently, their friendship blossomed as Gwyneth worked with Windsor on the house, and that relationship helped to shape her design sensibilities. As the founder and chief creative officer of Goop, Gwyneth obviously has her own sense of style, and we look forward to hearing her personal insights as well—but I think it will be particularly exciting to see images of her design collaboration with Windsor.

And of course, we all hope to pick up some new ideas to bring back to our own homes, right? Speaking of bringing things home, we are thrilled to offer our guests the opportunity to purchase and have books signed by Gwyneth and/or Windsor after the lecture.

What’s new on tap this year, and what are some of your returning personal favorites?
Each year we host our annual Preview Party on Thursday night to kick off the show and give our guests a “first look.” This year’s theme is “Landscape of Design,” and we can’t wait to share the 2016 show space and our interpretation of that theme at the Preview Party.

It’s always an exciting night, and this year, we are especially thrilled to have Clinton Smith, editor in chief of Veranda, joining us for a book signing the new Veranda book The Romance of Flowers. In addition, on Friday night, we will host the third annual Bourbon Party on the show floor. This event is going to be bigger and better than ever, with a “bourbon, bluegrass & barbecue” theme, and a special book signing of the new Garden & Gun cookbook with SVP and editor in chief David DiBenedetto. The event is already getting a lot of buzz, and we know it’s going to be a really fun night!

We always love to welcome new faces to the show, and this year’s Design Panel will give us an opportunity to do that. Windsor Smith, who is new to the show, will be joining us for our Design Panel as well, along with Mark D. Sikes, who is also new to the show. Actually, Mark as been to the show, but this is his first time as a speaker, and we know he is going to be fabulous.

As for returning favorites, Suzanne Rheinstein and Brian Murphy are also participating in the Design Panel, and they are longtime show supporters and guests. In fact, Suzanne is on our National Advisory Committee, and we always love to welcome her back to Nashville.

This year’s Design Panel will discuss “the new traditional” and what that means in terms of layering the new with the old. As an antique show, we always love to hear about incorporating antiques into fresh spaces. Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence lifestyle blog will moderate the discussion, which will include images from each of the designers. It’s a great group, and it will definitely make for a fun conversation.


Amy Liz Riddick

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