Design for the Life Cycle


MORNING (8:30 am - 10:00 am)

Soho House, 500 Houston St, Nashville, TN 37203

LECTURE // Finding Empathy in the Design Process

Hosted by Barbara Vail, Julie Sellers & Elizabeth Williams

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Attendees will listen in on how a client’s life influences the duality of the design choices they embark upon.

As an interior design firm, Barbara Vail Design works with a variety of people in all phases of life. The constant thread throughout each project is empathizing with the client.

This panel conversation will touch on interior design projects that were created during different stages of a client’s life with sensitivity and collaboration – from new beginnings after loss and life’s unexpected events to designing for who we might grow into.

Attendees will hear about a Nashville Airbnb project for Julie Sellers of Ellevated Outcomes that aimed to tell the story of the client’s past and her aspirational future. Attendees will also hear from Elizabeth Williams of New Hat Projects on how design can dive deeper into the clients’ background, past memories and future life stages.

Coffee + tea will be served


Barbara Vail

Combining a science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics with one in Residential Interiors at Boston Architectural College sharpened Barbara’s belief in the power of spaces to enhance our wellness. She is highly attentive to the impact environments have on the mindset, health, and path forward of their residents. Growing up with an auctioneer for a father taught her that everything has a story and Barbara’s passion for vintage sourcing and throwing pottery allows her to introduce unique, soulful pieces to the spaces she creates.

Julie Sellers

After a bold move from Europe to the US, Julie Sellers founded Ellevated Outcomes to offer a new service for creative entrepreneurs: customized business strategy and advice that will change the trajectory of their businesses and lives. After years spent developing her personal business strategy, 2017 presented the perfect opportunity to take action. Julie packed up her family and moved to Nashville: the ideal place to build a company that married Julie’s love of business and unique international experience with a longing to work with creative entrepreneurs.

Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth is the co-founder and Creative Director of New Hat Projects, a surface design studio specializing in original artwork for custom wallcovering, fabric, tile & architectural finishes. New Hat transforms spaces for brands, designers and homeowners who want something they can’t find anywhere else.