Pennyweight blogger Elise Joseph effortlessly merges modern style with laid-back Southern living.
photographs by LAURE JOLIET
written by SARAH COFFEY
“I may be minimalist, but I’m not going to pass up something I’m in love with.” Joseph styles her home with whatever’s currently caught her eye, like this Fort Standard catch-all. To keep clutter under control, she does a clean-out every few months.
STANDING BOWLS by Fort Standard from $84wilderlife.com GRANT MIRROR IN WHITE by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. $125schoolhouseelectric.com ISAAC PLUG-IN SCONCE by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. $264schoolhouseelectric.com
Born and raised in Nashville, Elise Joseph is a Southern girl at heart. “I’ve lived other places,” she says, “but Nashville always pulls me back. There’s something special about the community here.” Joseph and her husband Daniel Brigham—a musician—moved into their 1915 apartment after their honeymoon last year. Always on the lookout for new Nashville designers, Joseph commissioned her dining table from local woodworker Christian Fecht, buys small-batch ceramics at Germantown store Wilder, shops for candles at East Nashville’s Two Sun, sources custom lamps at Southern Lights Electric and loves Masaya in Edgehill for their teak chairs with handwoven seats. “I’m drawn to beautiful things, but I also buy with purpose,” she says. “I look for objects that tell a story.”
“I try to appeal to all the senses,” says Joseph. “I’m a big texture person: I love layering leather, silk and linen. And I’m a sucker for lighting (on dimmers, of course). My friend Adam Gatchel at Southern Lights Electric made my living room light fixture—I love it.”
DINING CHAIRS Roadhouse Black Leather Dining Chair by CB2 $249cb2.com DINING TABLE The “Elise” Dining Table by Fecht Design and Elise Joseph from $1750 www.fechtdesign.com SANNA LEATHER CHAIR by Room & Board$1,199 roomand board.com METAL HOOP STAND by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. $129 schoolhouseelectric.com
HANDMADE DRIFTWOOD WALL HANGING by Tara Poynter
BESTÅ BURS TV UNIT by Ikea $249ikea.com ASYMMETRICAL CANDLE HOLDER by Lukas Peet $30 umbrashift.com ORBIT PLUS TURNTABLE by U-Turn Audio $309 uturnaudio.com
HAND BLOCK PRINT by Madeleine Barreto etsy.com
“MY MIND IS SO CLUTTERED THAT I NEED THE BEDROOM TO BE REALLY SIMPLE AND SERENE. NO PHONES, NO LAPTOPS.”
MID-CENTURY DAYBED in Acorn by West Elm $899 westelm.com THE DIAGONAL PILLOW (on daybed) by Minna minna-goods.com LA BRISA THROW (on daybed) by The Citizenry $155 the-citizenry.com NATURAL FLAX BELGIAN SHEET SET by West Elm from $44 westelm.com
MID-CENTURY 6-DRAWER DRESSER by West Elm $999 westelm.com CLARUS BRASS DISPLAY BOXES by Crate & Barrel (On dresser) from $59.95 crateandbarrel.com
“I don’t plan my outfits,” says Joseph, “so an uncluttered closet helps me wake up and dress for the day. I might think: OK, today, I’m going to wear a neutral outfit and accessorize with a hat, red lipstick and heels, plus a leather bag. Being organized makes it a lot easier.”
AURA DELUXE PLATFORM BED by Motif Design $370overstock.com MID-CENTURY NIGHTSTAND by West Elm $299 each westelm.com TRIANGLE WEDGE CORNER MIRROR by Wilder $750 wilderlife.com ART POTTERY VASE by West Elm $89 westelm.com STONEWASHED BELGIAN LINEN BEDDING by Restoration Hardware from $69restorationhardware.com BRYANT LAMP by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. $375schoolhouseelectric.com TURKISH KILIM RUG PILLOW COVER from ebay.com
Since founding the Pennyweight blog in 2009, Joseph has earned international attention for her laid-back luxe style. “I gravitate to easy pieces that I can layer and dress up with a pair of heels. Right now I’m obsessed with Nashville designer Elizabeth Suzann. She has a machine-washable silk shirt that’s practical and not-too-precious—I can even throw it in the dryer.” For someone who makes a living styling, shopping and blogging, Joseph’s home is surprisingly spare. Her secret? “I don’t hold on too tightly to anything. My space is such an extension of my life, and I need it to be peaceful—especially my bedroom. We keep the walls neutral, bring in fresh flowers, candles for the smell, dim the lights and keep it really cozy. I’m always in front of a screen, so I need one room that’s a safe zone from that. I’d go to bed checking my email if I didn’t have an old-fashioned alarm clock.”
ELISE JOSEPH’S GUIDE TO NASHVILLE
With her own store in the works, Joseph envisions a home for independent fashion and accessory designers with a focus on Nashville talent. Here are a few of her current favorites.
I’m obsessed with her clothes. She makes luxurious, easy silks and linens in sculptural shapes. Plus, a lot of her pieces are machine washable.
She’s from New Zealand and does silk, cotton and wool womenswear in Nashville. Fashion is what really inspires me, so it’s cool to see designers coming here.
Ivy and Josh Elrod recently opened this amazing design shop. I love their furniture, small-batch ceramics, incense, jewelry and artwork.
Masaya & Co
One of the founders lived in Nicaragua and became involved with a community of weavers. They make sustainably sourced Nicaraguan teak chairs with handwoven seats.
This is the Stumptown of the Southeast. They do amazing coffee and they just started serving food— I’m a fan of their avocado toast.
Throughout her home, Joseph used white with gray undertones to offset the natural wood floors and the apartment’s “earthy vibe.” “I keep the basics neutral,” Joseph says, “and I add splashes of color with ceramics, plants, flowers and a few blooming branches.”
Joseph and Brigham spend their Sundays sleeping in and staying offline. “I cook at home a lot during the week,” she says, “so on the weekends we have brunch with friends. Right now we’re obsessed with Revelator Coffee—it’s the Stumptown of the Southeast.” They also love listening to music, and their record rotations have inspired playlists for Joseph’s blog. “My husband’s ability to match music to a mood is amazing. We switch things up seasonally. Summer for us is all about upbeat music. We’ve got a few records on repeat: artists with a little rhythm like Sage, Quilt and Miike Snow.” Whether styling an outfit, building a playlist or designing a home, Joseph knows how to make a mix with intention. It all adds up to a deceptively simple blend of high and low, vintage and modern, store-bought and storied. “A home is always evolving,” she says. “My best advice is to be intentional but open. Let it happen naturally.”