Stray Dog Designer Spotlight: Get to Know Gina Sims

Stray Dog Designer Spotlight: Get to Know Gina Sims

Posted by Della Wheeler on

After seeing an incredible room with a custom-painted Arlo chandelier on Instagram recently, we at Stray Dog have our eye on Gina Sims. Hailing from the sunny shores of California and now making waves in the vibrant landscape of the South, Gina's journey from enthusiast to esteemed designer is as captivating as her eclectic style.

Driven by a deep-seated passion for creating spaces that radiate warmth and personality, Gina's design philosophy is a fusion of her coastal upbringing and her love for Southern hospitality. With each project, she effortlessly weaves together elements of casual California chic with the timeless elegance of Southern tradition, resulting in spaces that are as inviting as they are visually stunning.

Join us as we step into Gina's world, where every room tells a story and every detail is carefully curated to reflect the unique spirit of its inhabitants.

What inspired you to fall in love with and eventually become a designer?

I think I come by it genetically. My mom and grandma always took immense pride in their homes, saving for quality and learning to sew to create the spaces they desired. Our house was always the place to be. It wasn’t fancy but it made you feel welcomed, like you were someplace special. After a couple of different careers, I was longing for a creative outlet and made the 180 degree leap to something new that was also innate.

We know you are a California native that made your way down south. When did you make the move and how has this blend of cultures affected the styles you incorporate into your work?

After I graduated college, I made the move from San Diego to follow my parents who had just moved to Nashville, TN. California is big on casual flow, natural elements like wood and sisal and plants, and the South loves a skirt on a sofa and floral fabrics. I love all of it and enjoy the blend of styles we get to do for our clients to fit their specific loves!


Growing up, what was your favorite room in the house? 

I loved our living room. It was the pass through from the rest of the house to the kitchen so it was where all the action happened. The furniture was comfortable and amenable to gathering. 

Pictured on the right: The Willow Chandelier 

What is your favorite room in your space now?  

My bedroom! Growing up I wanted to be where all the action was. Now I want to be away from the action tucked in my cozy bed! I have a green velvet bed, black and white wallpaper behind the bed, a gaudy gold mirror and architectural nightstands with plenty of storage and cool blue polka dot lamps. I love my room!

Do you have any favorite spaces you’ve created? What made them special? 

Too many to count! Last year we had a client who loved 80s design and he had just bought a cool old house that was made to play with a modern interpretation of the 80s. We played with warm woods, primary colors, geometric shapes, and modern textures and it turned out gorgeous!

Any projects you are looking forward to this year?

We are working on a hundred year old house in a historic part of Atlanta right now and the clients have an amazing art collection (such a great start) that we get to riff off of. We’re playing with the traditional moldings of the house but punching things up with abstract wallpapers, contrasting colors and even neon. It’s going to be SO cool. Stay tuned!

We love your fun use of color! What’s your favorite color to work with right now?

I am loving red! My mom decorated with lots of red growing up so I’ve historically had a hard time incorporating it in new a fresh ways that felt exciting. But NOW… we are into it. We want all the warm colors and iterations of red - brick and deep coral and wine and straight up bright bold red. The “general public” is still a little wary but we’ll get them there!

Pictured on the left: The Serena Chandelier | Right: Arlo Chandelier (custom painted)

Where do you source a lot of the beautiful pieces that you use in the spaces you create? 

We are always on the lookout for great design! We have wonderful relationships with dozens of our favorite vendors like Stray Dog (!) who show us what is new and sometimes give us the opportunity to influence the next round of production or customize for our particular projects. 

Do you have any design predictions for 2024? Give us the scoop!

I have no idea! We just follow what we love and try to be inspired by trends but not give them too much attention!

What are you digging right now? (Podcasts, books, music, movies, shows…

I’m an Armchair Expert girl so I devour all their podcasts! The  most recent book I loved was “Beneath the Scarlet Sky,” by Mark T. Sullivan,  a true story based in Italy about  a boy who eventually became a spy for the Italian resistance by signing up to serve in the Nazi regime. I could not put it down!

As far as TV, I’m loving the aesthetics of a British comedy called the “Durrells in Corfu” about an English woman who moves herself and her 4 crazy kids to Greece seeking a new life. The patina on the buildings, the sprawling vines and the 1930s fashion is gorgeous!

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled? Were you inspired by their architecture/design?

I’m going to say my favorite place to travel is one I have yet to go to! My husband and I are traveling to Spain later this year to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I am salivating over the food, the wine, and mostly the architecture we’ll be able to see. I’m especially excited about seeing Gaudi’s structures and the Moorish architecture but ask me again when I’m back! We’re signing up for all the tours and making our itinerary now so let us know what we shouldn’t miss!

What is your favorite account to follow on social media right now?

I love so many but a couple of my faves now are @home_ec_op (always and forever) and @sarahgermansamuel

Want more from Gina Sims Designs?

Follow her on instagram here. And her website is here.

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