Perhaps because most Blackberry houses are not primary residences, Bell says his on-site clients are usually ready to have fun with their interiors. “The unique beauty of what we provide our clients is the feeling they get when they stay as a guest at Blackberry—but they get to keep it forever,” Bell explains. “We reproduce the Farm or Mountain for them with their spin. We call it the ‘Blackberry state of mind.’”
Engaging regional talent is important to the design team. Bell hires local East Tennessee artisans and makers when he can, from visual artists and furniture makers to ironworkers and cabinetmakers. “We have a millworker here who’s as good as someone in New York or Los Angeles,” he notes at one point.
One project that used several local makers was the Farm home of Shai and Kate Waisman, who worked with the in-house design team. The NYC-based couple first came to Blackberry Farm in 2007 as guests and quickly fell in love with its aesthetic. Eventually, they decided to build a vacation home for them and their twin daughters.