Nashville has a new resident y’all and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Lauren Makk to the Ville. The HGTV Design Star, fell in love, got married and has officially put her stake in the ground as a Nashvillian when she moved here during the pandemic.
Sitting down to chat with Lauren, I was instantly greeted with a friendly, warm vibe. Her joyful spirit is infectious, her energy is all good vibes and her fashion game is on point. She also gives genuine transparency that was refreshing and unexpected. From her openness about her sobriety to her self-discovery that led to finding her joy within interior design.
Lauren’s Interior Design Journey
Decked out in her super cute and colorful outfit, perfectly representing her personality Lauren gave us the scoop on how she started as an Oklahoma native, with a Mom who flipped houses on the weekends. Lauren found her initial creative outlet as a graffiti artist. Lauren shares, “I was a street artist in Oklahoma growing up in Oklahoma. That was like, the thing that I thought could get me out, I was gonna sell my car and, and go to Europe and travel the world painting, whatever I could paint. And my mom was like, NO! You are going to college”.
Her first job was a model home merchandiser, focused on standard model homes in Southern California. However, 2008 changed a lot of things for Lauren when the economy started moving towards a downward slope. Once she realized she would likely be out of a job very soon, she pulled out her old sidekick phone–yes the slide one– and jumped on Craigslist to search for another job. She would find her first opportunity as an interior designer for the Trading Spaces TV Show. She decided to see what this was all about and applied. And got on the Show!
Moving to Nasvhille
After having many successes from her time on Trading Spaces, FabLife, Home Made Simple to starring on HGTV’s Design Star, Lauren made the leap from LA to Nashville during the height of the pandemic. During this time, many of the opportunities and plans she had in 2020 were put on hold or canceled, so they decided two months into the pandemic’s “wild ride” to move to Nashville. “LA had everything I needed in my 20s and 30s, but Nashville has everything my 40-year-old self needs”, Lauren gleefully reflects.
She has settled into her home in Hendersonville, TN with her husband Al and their two sons. You can find her enjoying Fifth + Broadway, as she shares, “there are all kinds of lively things down there that I enjoy. So many things to explore so I can’t even say I have one favorite thing down there.” She is also an official hot chicken fan and, yes Prince’s Hot Chicken is her go-to, of course!
Volunteering as Self-Care
Volunteerism is near to Lauren’s heart. “I try to volunteer throughout the month. It is like my own mental self-care”, Lauren shares. She is recently 1 year sober and volunteering has really helped her in this journey. “I love volunteering at Thistle Farms, plus I am into thrifting so I am able to give back to the amazing women who are a part of the program there. Thistle Farms is really a great organization to get involved with”. Oh and she also put us up on a little game, as she normally volunteers on Wednesdays at Thistle Farms. Then heads over to Bins Day at Goodwill, which is a thrifters dream for all who do it faithfully.
What’s next for Lauren in Nashville
“There’s so many possibilities and so many things I want to dive into here”, Lauren states. She has joined the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and is focusing on really immersing herself in the community. Her next dream is to start a line of custom homes and become involved in all of the development that is happening in Nashville. However, she is also focused on volunteering, activism opportunities, and voting. Lauren expressed, “I just want to be a part of this community in the best way I know how”.
Location: Germantown Inn
Photographer: Elle Danielle
To get more guides and stories of the people behind the culture and soul of Nashville, subscribe to our weekly newsletter HERE.