Richmond decorator and boutique owner, Caroline Agee, shares how she got started in design, what inspires her and what’s next for Tuckahoe Home.
Tuckahoe Home is an interior design firm and e-commerce boutique founded by Caroline Agee last year amidst the pandemic. The firm has quickly grown – Caroline has ongoing projects in several states, with a strong presence in the Southeast. We sat down with Caroline to learn more about her aesthetic, past and current design projects, and her beautifully curated shop.
Q: We’ve had so many readers ask how you came up with the name Tuckahoe Home and what it means.
A: I often get asked why my shop and design firm are named “Tuckahoe Home”! I live in an area of Richmond called Tuckahoe and my neighborhood is near Historic Tuckahoe, a gorgeous estate famed for being the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson. The Georgian architecture and gardens give me the same sense of peace that I feel on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where I grew up. I knew that I wanted to celebrate that sense of peace and honor timeless design in my business, which is how I arrived at Tuckahoe Home!
Q: Starting your own design business is a huge venture. How did you get started and decide to take the leap?
A: Design has always been a passion of mine. I grew up rearranging my bedroom on the weekends and adoring Laura Ashley floral bedding when out shopping with my mom. My love for design grew when decorating my own home with my husband. I worked as a school psychologist for about five years, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to try working in the design field. I started Tuckahoe Home in 2020 while continuing to work as a school psychologist. After a few months, I decided to make the switch to interior design and I couldn’t be happier about it. I enrolled in an online design program last year and have been lucky to learn so much through working with several design clients. Tuckahoe Home has evolved from offering only e-design to offering more comprehensive design services, as well as an e-commerce boutique. I’m excited to see how it continues to grow!
Q: How would you describe your aesthetic?
A: I love all things classic, timeless, and fresh! While I love antiques, I love introducing contemporary elements through lighting and art to provide an interesting mix of old and new. I also love color and pattern, but try to practice restraint so that my designs aren’t overly busy. I love a room that tells a story about the people who live there – seeing the art that speaks to them, the pieces that they’ve collected over time. I strive to design rooms that are elegant yet welcoming and livable, and feel comfortable to relax after a long day.
Q: What is your favorite design project you’ve done thus far?
A: My favorite project was a powder room in Brookhaven, Georgia! My client wanted the room to feel timeless, traditional, and coastal. We started by selecting a classic blue and white wallpaper called Ocean Toile by Schumacher. I added a pair of framed intaglios as wall decor which wouldn’t compete with the beautiful wallpaper. We customized a bamboo-style vanity with a quartz countertop. The rattan mirror flanked by polished nickel sconces added a fresh touch. I love the mix in this bathroom!
Q: We are always looking for new sources of inspiration. What is inspiring you the most these days?
A: I am especially inspired by art and architecture. I love impressionist art, but also contemporary, abstract art. I am constantly saving artists that I discover on instagram and enjoy collecting art for my own home. I love working with design clients to source art that brings them joy. I have also loved connecting and partnering with artists since starting Tuckahoe Home to offer their art on my website.
Another source of inspiration for me has always been classical architecture. My dad is an architect, so I grew up going to work with him and paying attention to details in buildings that he would point out to me. I suppose this is where my love for architecture came from! I love the details, symmetry, and clean lines in traditional architecture. I would love to restore a historic home one day!
Q: What have been the most popular items customers and clients have been purchasing lately from your boutique?
A: Blue and white ginger jars and candles are always popular, but lately art has been our best selling category by a landslide! Whether it’s oil landscapes, abstract paintings or Jordan Connelly’s low-country prints, artwork and paintings sell out faster than I can restock them! The silver lining is that it has challenged me to venture out and find new, inspiring artists which has been a lot of fun. I have a lot of new arrivals on the horizon that I can’t wait to add to the boutique in the coming months.
Q: We were so excited to hear about the new arrivals? Are you able to share a few of the pieces you are most looking forward to adding to your shop?
A: I’m excited to add a line of furniture in the coming months! I have plans to add seating that can be customized in select Farrow & Ball paint colors with custom upholstery in designer fabrics. You can expect blues, greens, caning, floral, and stripes! I’m hoping to make trade-only pieces more accessible to the public.
I also recently added a collection of florals in oil pastel. They are so soft and feminine and it was fun to collaborate with the artist, Christie Macey, about the colors and style of florals that I thought my customers would like.
Q: As you know, we typically aren’t always fans of trends but adore resurgences of timeless elements that are “trending.” Are there any classic elements of design that you feel like are having their rightful “moment” again?
A: I am loving chic wicker furniture and will be adding some to my shop soon! Also loving scalloped details on pieces like mirrors and occasional tables. Last but not least, I am loving white plaster light fixtures, like those designed by Julie Neill.
Q: You have so much going on between your retail shop and taking on new clients. What is next for Tuckahoe Home?
A: I am currently working on several design projects – a dining room in Naples, Florida, a multi-room project in Charleston, South Carolina, and a guest bedroom in Charlottesville, Virginia to name a few. In addition, I’ll be continually building my store inventory! I’d love to design textiles, occasional furniture, and home accessories in the future.
To learn more about Tuckahoe Home you can visit their Directory Profile HERE. If interested in collaborating on a design project, don’t hesitate to contact Caroline using the “contact” button her page. Stay tuned for a look at the upcoming custom furniture pieces and growing art collection!
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