Behind the Scenes with Rathbuns’ Watch List Designer Lisa Palmer, SUMMERHOUSE
Sponsored post by ADAC.

In preparation for Saturday’s Rathbuns’ Watch List event with ADAC and The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, featured Mississippi designer, Lisa Palmer, gives us a behind-the-scenes look into the process of putting together her moody yet striking vignette she will share with Chef John Lasater – a fellow deep south native.

Lisa Palmer, founder and owner of SummerHouse, a design firm and retail store nestled in the historic Fondren district of Jackson, Mississippi, has built a reputation in the Southeast for designing surroundings with a timeless appeal, filled with clean lined modern furnishings as well as time worn antiques. It is this combination of styles that makes her spaces feel less “decorated” and more personalized.

Long-time followers of Lisa’s work, the team at ADAC was overjoyed to have her join this year’s exciting Watch List event that features a collection of designers that they have had their eye on. As Lisa and her team take you through her design process and give you a glimpse of what is to come Saturday night, it’s easy to see why all eyes are on this deep south design darling!

Tell us about your thought process behind the design of the space.
I wanted this to be a true collaboration of design and cuisine so I connected with my chef first. He and I are both from the Deep South. I am from Mississippi and Chef Lasater is from Tennessee. After speaking to him I realized how much our upbringing and geography have affected our careers and how southern culture and its way of life has deeply rooted our aesthetic.

So, after drawing the space and making initial sketches to scale, I decided on the “feel” of the space and made the trip to Atlanta and ADAC to find the right pieces, fabrics, and accessories to achieve my design.

I knew originally that I wanted to use a large scale format photograph from Houston, Texas’ Karen Sachar. I selected the one entitled “I Got This.” To me, the child in the photograph imbues attitude, determination, and grit. She spoke to me, and was my muse and the impetus that started my design process.


What are your favorite pieces (from ADAC) that are being incorporated into the design?
I brought 2 people from the SummerHouse team with me to Atlanta to scout out furnishings from the showrooms. The first piece I chose was a 96” Dennis and Leen dining table from the Jerry Pair showroom. I knew I wanted to incorporate antiques or antique reproductions and Dennis and Leen do reproduction finishes beautifully. The shape reminded me of an elegant farm table with a take on barley twist legs.

Why do you love shopping at ADAC?
The showrooms are GORGEOUS! Everyone who works in the showrooms is super nice, brilliant about their product knowledge and willing to help in any way. It really is a one-stop-shop for fabric, wallcovering, one of a kind furnishings and lighting. I also love being able to see fabric samples in such large scale as opposed to my library in my office in which my samples are much smaller. It doesn’t hurt also that the cafe is fabulously delicious!

What do you hope for people to feel/think when they first see the space?
Chef Lasater is the Nashville King of Hot Chicken. His haute cuisine take on his signature style and my take on modern, refined southern style should make people feel relaxed, but intrigued. I am hoping the Karen Sachar photograph will stop people in their tracks.

Give us the #1 reason why you’re excited about working with Chef John Lasater?
When I learned my chef was from Nashville, I was immediately excited. I have two sons who live in Nashville, I am there all the time and love the city. He is known in Nashville for creating Nashville Hot Chicken with his restaurant Hattie B’s. There is a line out of the door every day! Nashville hot chicken has become a mainstay throughout the south. I, myself, have a weak palate. (sigh) However, my boys and my husband LOVE his chicken!! I was so happy to be paired with another southerner.

Anything else you want to add?
I want to thank the team at ADAC as well as the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. I especially want to thank all of the showrooms that participated in helping me create my design space!

Thank you to Lisa Palmer and her amazing SummerHouse team for this special sneak peek into her design process and Watch List vignette. We can’t wait to unveil the designs and taste the chef’s creations this Saturday night at the event! Tickets on sale now at: https://atlfoodandwinefestival.com/project/rathbuns-watch-list/ (Please Note: Tickets will not be available at the door.)

To learn more about the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) please visit www.adacatlanta.com or stop by the center Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM, at 351 Peachtree Hills Avenue, Atlanta Georgia 30305. ADAC is open the public.

About ADAC: ADAC is a community-focused, nationally-recognized leader in the world of interior design and home fashion, built over 50 years ago by renowned architect and developer John Portman. For a half-century it has served as the essential one-stop shopping resource for interior designers, architects, and builders. The ADAC campus consists of 550,000 square feet with over 60 showrooms offering 1,200 of the industry’s finest product lines including furniture, fabric, rugs, lighting, accessories, floor and wall coverings, antiques, fine art and framing, kitchens, bath, tile and stone, and home theater products. In addition, signature industry presentations, celebrity and media events, educational programs and networking opportunities held throughout the year make ADAC truly a one-of-a-kind, design destination. To learn more, visit www.adacatlanta.com.

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