Written by Andi Agnew | Photographed by Joe Ellis

Stephannie Welsh has been a designer for as long as she can remember.

“It’s always been a part of my life,” she says. “My mother worked in the furniture business, and design is just naturally where my brain wants to go.”

The Jackson native has been transforming home and commercial interiors for over 20 years.

Welsh spent seven formative years in the early 2000s working for designers in New York City. She brought that experience back to Mississippi and feels that her time in New York helps inform her approach to design even now.

Rooms designed by Welsh look both modern and cozy at the same time. Soft, neutral tones combine with eye-catching patterns, and natural elements such as sea coral or a cow skin rug intermingle with polished glass and clear acrylic furniture. Pops of color appear in just the right places.

“I like to start with a neutral palette, then layer in color, and add clean lines and great accent pieces as I go,” she says.

Welsh was asked to design for The Blake Oxford and The Claiborne in Starkville – two retirement communities that were going for a different approach. Visitors to these communities will find that they are unlike most retirement homes – no floral wallpaper anywhere to be found.

“They wanted something more modern, clean and comfortable.” She chose fabrics, paint, lighting and décor that would create a chic, yet homey feel. The result is a stylish, updated look that appeals to a new generation of retirees.

When approaching a new project, Welsh says there is a psychology involved in getting to what the client really wants. “We start out with their expectations – whether they want to do a whole house or just a few rooms… what their budget is. I pay attention to where their eye goes and what styles they are attracted to. Sometimes they have a piece of furniture that is a family heirloom that they can’t part with, but they want an updated look. It’s really personal – this is their home.”

Welsh can work with just about any budget, as well. “I help my client figure out the best use of their budget. If we can only do a little at a time, I will give them a theme that they can work with throughout the rest of the house.”

In September 2017, Welsh and her friend and business partner, Dr. Ali Brown, opened Haven Curated Home in Canton Mart Square in Lefleur East.

“Ali encouraged me to open the store to help fill a need in Jackson with regard to design. We try to stay within a moderate price range – you can walk out with something no matter your budget – whether it’s a $10 candle or a $2,000 sofa,” she says.

In addition to providing Jacksonians with unique, quality décor, Welsh and Brown also wanted Haven to be a space to help promote local artists. A March 1 art show will feature works by Ellen Langford and Rachel Misenar. “We want to try to do something at least once each month… we have such tremendous talent here in Jackson,” Welsh says.

Haven Curated Home is located at 1491 Canton Mart Rd., Suite 10, and lots of style ideas and products can be found on Instagram: @haven.curatedhome