Designer believes every room needs texture

Designer Cristi Holcombe creates spaces that are as unique as the clients who live and work in them.

The designer: Holcombe grew up on a horse farm in small town Alabama and showed horses until she was 17. After graduating from East Tennessee State University with a degree in interior merchandising, she moved to Atlanta. Initially, Holcombe set her sights on store and set design, but apprenticed under a residential designer, fell in love with it and switched her focus. She later managed design for Lodgian Inc. and its 40-plus hotels across the country. She also planned and executed design concepts for several award-winning communities at Beazer Homes before starting her own firm.

The company: Cristi Holcombe Interiors started in 2009. The Atlanta-based, full-service design firm offers design services for residential homes and light commercial projects, often from construction to the finishing details.

Big break: In 2011, she joined Chip Wade on his HGTV show, “Elbow Room.” She worked as a production designer behind the scenes and an on-camera design coordinator while running her design business. “It was great exposure, and I loved the fast-paced environment of TV reality. “

Claim to fame: Spent three seasons on HGTV. Earlier this year, Holcombe was recognized as Best Interior Designer by Perimeter North Lifestyle Magazine.

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Every room needs: Texture.

Design pet peeves: Overuse of anything … gray, planked walls, barn wood or too much of anything in general.

Current design obsession: The color jade.

New (or re-emerging) designs I like: Brass and pecky cypress wood.

… and looks I am glad to see go: Most arabesque patterns, subway tile and cool grays.

Unusual request: A client requested that their new build home be designed exactly like their old home that had been renovated 15 years earlier.

Fun (or unusual) spaces: Just completed a home in Peachtree Corners with an indoor, high school regulation-size basketball court.

Biggest designs mistake I made: More than once I’ve assumed something special to a client was being replaced when it wasn’t. Over the years I’ve learned to be more tactful. I now ask: “what stays and what goes.”

… and mistake homeowners make: Overdoing it. Sometimes people don’t know how to edit. But less is more, most of the time.


- Blogs/or websites: Pinterest; Studio-McGee; StyleBlueprint; and The Every Girl.

- Magazines: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, House Beautiful, Veranda, Southern Living.

- Instagram: Designers such as Kate Marker, Brook Wagner and Amy Morris.

- Atlanta area home/design stores: Stanton Home Furnishings; Redefined Home Boutique; Bungalow Classic; and Scott Antique Market.

- Places unexpected finds: Kudzu; Queen of Hearts; and other booth-style antique shops.

- Recent project (s): Just finished two residential homes in Johns Creek and Peachtree Corners. Now working on two new build construction projects in Berkeley Lake.

- Up next: Next year she will be working two, multi-family projects in Sarasota and Tampa, Fla.

Find Cristi Holcombe at:

· Website:

· Facebook: cristi holcombe interiors

· Instagram: cristiholcombe

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