C&C Design Co.’s Catherine Ritter has an eye for design—and odds are you may have seen her work around Nashville.
The entrepreneurial interior designer and professional stager works with realtors and homeowners alike to help them create inviting spaces. It’s a skill that helps sellers find new owners for their houses and creates forever homes for those who want to stay where they are. Ritter shares how she found her calling, what makes her a successful businesswoman, and the sentimental meaning behind her company’s name.
What is staging and who utilizes the service?
Staging has become an increasingly integral part in assisting home sellers and their real estate agents as they prepare their property to appeal to the largest potential audience and sell as quickly as possible. It involves decluttering, rearranging, and furnishing a home to help buyers envision themselves in the space. Staging helps homes feel move-in-ready and intentionally designed, presenting the home in its best possible light. We utilize techniques to make a space feel brighter, larger, and more inviting, providing clients with a marketing edge to sell their properties quickly and maximize sales price.
What is your background? How did you get into staging?
I have had a passion for design since a very young age. I graduated with a degree in Interior Design, Merchandising, and Business Marketing. After working in many areas in design since high school and owning and operating numerous companies in the design and furnishings industry, I wanted to expand more into the interior design space. Prix de Solde was Nashville’s first staging company, established in 1995, and I had the opportunity to purchase the company after operating it for a few short years.
What were the early days of the job like for you?
Prix de Solde was solely reliant on residential staging in the early days. It involved a staff of myself and a few assistants, an extremely small and inadequate warehouse, and a very limited inventory. As the Nashville market grew, so did our client base, along with our staff and space. Within only two years, we had completely revised and revamped our furnishings and grew our staging capabilities from 15 homes to 50. Today we have anywhere between 50 to 75 homes furnished at once. Our warehouse has grown from 2,000 to over 20,000 square feet, and we continue to expand our staff and fleet as we evolve to meet the growing real estate needs.
Tell us about the evolution from Prix de Solde to C&C Design Co.
As Prix de Solde continued to grow, so did the needs for my expertise in interior design. As more and more people flock to Nashville, the need for design assistance and furnishings continues to expand. With Prix de Solde’s ongoing growth, I decided on rebranding to reflect a more fitting and personal name representing the most important people in my life and the biggest reason behind my daily decisions and success. Cori, my only daughter and center of my universe, and Christopher, my biggest supporter and partner in both life and business: C&C Design Co. was born. Developing a new brand representative to the people and family it encompasses puts a new meaning to the relationships and clients we care so much about.
When did you decide to expand into retail?
Having worked many years in retail, I have always had a desire to get back into the retail business. My staging company has allowed me to develop incredible relationships with numerous designer trade wholesalers over the years. With long lead times for furniture and an astounding increased need to furnish newly purchased homes, condos, and apartments, most of the inventory in our staged homes was being purchased by the new homeowners. This led to a continued need to replenish inventory. I decided to expand our 20,000-plus-square-foot warehouse to incorporate a warm and inviting retail space for clients to select high-end pieces on my shop floor and to have the ability to take it home with them. I have been able to develop a showroom featuring thousands of hand-selected items offered at below-retail pricing.
What trends are you currently incorporating into your work?
Because COVID has forced us to spend more time in our homes, homeowners and designers are driven to create rooms that reflect both the personality and calming energy of their personal spaces. We are seeing more nature-inspired design elements, including organic shapes, stone finishes, plaster, and limestone washes. Elevated outdoor furniture and arrangements have become a top priority as well as functional, yet aesthetically pleasing home offices. We are also using more textures, textiles, and wallpapers to create a layered, yet laid-back atmosphere. Colder color schemes are making their way out of style for 2022. You will start seeing warmer color palettes including browns, taupes, and terra cotta to lean toward a cozier feel.
Do you have a signature style or pieces you like to incorporate into all of your jobs?
As stagers, we are called to furnish all types of spaces. From the uber-modern to the traditional “Nashville” styled abodes, our inventory spans an array of aesthetics. However, we are most frequently working on eclectic designs, marrying the occasional homeowners’ antiques with new, modern furnishing to create a curated yet personal space. Coffee table books and greenery are two elements our team rarely goes without. Foliage never fails to complete and bring a space to life, while books help to ground and elevate surfaces.
What memorable projects have you worked on?
I have had the opportunity to work in homes ranging from 2,000 to over 20,000 square feet. The most rewarding projects are our reno properties where we get to transform a tired and outdated space to a completely updated and dialed-in design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing for its owners. “Reveal day” is why I do what I do—watching a homeowner’s reaction after seeing a space transform and selections come to life becoming what it always should have been. Home should be tranquil and inviting, a retreat for the busy lives of today’s families. To be a trusted part of the biggest design detail in a person’s life is the greatest reward.
What’s next for you and for C&C Design Co.?
C&C Design Co. does staging and design every day. Over the last few years, and with a lot of hard work, we have developed into a full-service interior design firm, staging company, and retail shop. We recently asked the question, “What if we did it all at the same time?” Introducing C&C Development as our latest venture, we are able to offer a product designed, flipped, and furnished to the public: an attainable dream home that encompasses all facets of our business. We are always looking for new ways to grow and evolve. I continue to expand on the hopes and dreams of what C&C Design Co. has and continues to become.
(1401 Poplar Ln., 931-306-9315; candcdesignco.com)