Employee Spotlight: Macy Davenport

Member of ESa’s interior design team and Nashville native Macy Davenport sat down with us to discuss her journey into the world of interior design, what inspires her and why she calls ESa home.

What is your role at ESa, and what is a typical day?

I work as a member of the interior design team and each day is unique in terms of specific tasks, but you can usually find me working on multi-family related projects. My current focus is working as part of the hospitality design team designing some of the many multi-family projects that are adding to the Nashville skyline as we speak. Some of my responsibilities include selecting finishes, creating mood boards, developing presentations, rendering development in Enscape and drawing in Revit.

How did you first learn of ESa?

I grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee and saw so much potential in Nashville before I left for college. When I finished college, I was looking for a place to work and applied to a few other cities, but Nashville stayed at the top of my list. I thought it would be cool to be a part of the monumental growth that was happening here.

The first time I learned of ESa was during an internship I had while in college. One of my coworkers there had previously worked at ESa and she spoke very highly of the firm, and I was interested. But at the time, I was early on in my education and was not looking for jobs quite yet.

Then, during my senior year at Auburn University, I took a hospitality design class and one of the precedents for my project was the Dream Hotel in Nashville, the architecture of which was designed by ESa. The combination of all the wonderful things I had heard about the firm, its location in the heart of Nashville and the impressive portfolio that I had studied drew me to ESa and I have been here since.
What is it that makes ESa so unique?

No one expects their first year out of college to find the perfect job or position, but at ESa I really do feel like I have found something special. There are really two things I think differentiate ESa and that is the firm’s approach to design and its culture.

In relation to design, I am constantly being reminded by my mentors that listening to clients and coworkers is so important. If we are not listening and understanding the client and project team, we are not going to be successful in delivering on the vision for the project. Each project is unique, and each client deserves our full attention since it is their vision we are bringing to life. This listening-first approach is unique and something that is the core of the way things operate at ESa.

The culture of ESa is so warm and welcoming. From the first day I arrived, I could tell that everyone was here to help everyone else. The people are friendly, and kind and I literally feel as though I could go up to anyone here and ask them to help me with something and they would do their best to deliver. I feel comfortable and appreciated here.

What inspired you to pursue a career in interior design?

My mom has always been very creative, and my dad is an engineer so you could say I have equal parts of them both! I’ve always been someone who uses both sides of my brain equally, right, and left, so design seemed like the perfect option as far as blending creativity and logic. Growing up I always had an eye for design and loved redesigning my room, rearranging things and asking my mom if I could repaint it. I loved going to unique spaces as a kid and would notice things like art and furniture and would point this out to my parents.

I knew design was what I was interested in but was not focused on interior design initially. I started at Auburn as an architecture major, and one day during my first semester, an interior architect came in to speak with our class, and I realized it better fit my personality and goals. I loved how they were describing it as creating spaces and experiences that provide safety, comfort and beauty.

I was in love, and the next day had a meeting with my advisor and switched my official major to interior design and haven’t looked back since.

What is it that motivates you?

I am motivated by success. Now, that means something different to everyone. How I define success is the constant learning and challenging of myself to grow and be a better person. I often frame this as when I look back in a year’s time what do I want to see? Would I be proud of the decisions I am making in the moment? How much growth do I want to see? Success to me means consistent learning and trying to be a better person overall.

What was your first job?

My first job was at Primrose School in Brentwood. It’s a little daycare that teaches infants all the way up to kindergarten. I’m happy it was one of my first jobs because nothing prepares you for the patience you need and develop when working with children. I mean this in the best way possible, kids often don’t know any better. It was a valuable experience to learn major communication skills for working with the kids, other teachers, and parents.

Speaking of, how would you describe your job to a room of kindergartners?

I thought about this a lot, and I know when I was little, I had no idea what an interior designer was! I would tell them that I make the inside of buildings safe and beautiful places. I would also show them things in the classroom that an interior designer would have had input in bringing to life. This way they would have a relatable example of the sort of work we do.

What skill do you think everyone should learn?

I think everyone should work to build resiliency. I have found that, while I have only been in the field for about a year now, problem solving is a skill you need every single day. Taking challenges head-on while not being discouraged is key. You can’t let little challenges keep you down because it will stall you in the next phase.

It is always best to find solutions to challenges, address them and move on. There are going to be challenges and unexpected things every single day, that’s the nature of design and really life in general. Building resiliency in the face of challenges can reduce stress and allow you the breathing room to move on from difficulties and succeed in the next phase.

What are some emerging industry trends you have noticed?

As far as overall schemes go, warmer tones, as opposed to cooler tones, are becoming very popular. I’ve also noticed a lot of designers in the field playing with more contrast and bolder colors instead of keeping everything neutral. Brass is making a huge comeback as opposed to gold, which has been very popular for the past few years.

One of my favorite trends that have returned are wood grain cabinets, which provide so much depth and authenticity to a space.

What has been your favorite project to work on?

I don’t really have a favorite project yet because I’ve enjoyed each one I’ve been a part of. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on multiple projects at various design phases throughout my first year. It has helped me learn a tremendous amount. A few projects that will always be very special to me are 125 11th Avenue in Nashville and 10th and Clark in Nashville. These are multifamily projects I’ve had the privilege of working on, and they will always be very important to me as they are the foundation of my interior design career.

When not on the clock, how to you spend your free time?

I love to exercise, it’s my therapy! I love how it completely clears my head and helps me sleep better! I’ve recently gotten into running long distance as of last fall, and I’m excited to run my first half marathon race this October. I enjoy having personal goals outside of work that help me grow in ways other than design.

If you were not an interior designer, what career would you have pursued instead?

If I wasn’t an interior designer, I would love to work in fashion merchandise or graphic design. I love doing anything in the arts, especially when it includes collaborating with other people.

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