Bold & Beautiful

At her Buckhead office, designer Tish Mills proves that ‘easy’ and ‘elegant’ entertaining are not mutually exclusive

For Tish Mills, design and entertaining are serious business. Both require her unerring eye for detail, yet she is mindful that fun never takes a back seat to the task at hand. “Neither my home nor office is ever stuffy,” says Mills. “I always want my guests to be themselves.”

At her Buckhead atelier, from which she runs her interior design and product design businesses, Mills often transforms her home-like office space into a chic gathering spot for intimate, impromptu gatherings. For a recent celebration to mark a milestone with her company’s new lamp line—the collection has continued to sell out at PierceMartin showrooms around the country since its debut last fall—she put together some of her favorite “small bites” for easy entertaining. With such a glamorous backdrop for getting groups together, little more was required than champagne, beautiful floral designs by her friend David Roper and easy, but elegantly crafted, hors d’oeuvres. “The gift that I learned, being a creative person, is to cook outside the lines,” she says. “Growing up, we always made recipes ‘perfectly,’ whereas I love to take traditional recipes and put my own spin on them. And although I have worked on really big, very formal parties, like the Symphony Ball, I love to entertain on a casual scale.” With that in mind, Mills always turns the focus on what’s most important—her guests, the conversation and the camaraderie. It’s an idea that seems at once effortless and elegant, a philosophy that is at the heart of Mills’ interior design work as well.


Shopping Secrets

Tish Mills shares the names and numbers on her iPhone for entertaining essentials

FLOWERS: Besides the work of my friend David Roper, I also love the designs of Michael Evans and Lush Life.

INVITES: Paper Affair and Swoozies are two that I can always count on. And if I really feel like Superwoman, I will go to Binders and make my own!

CHINA & CRYSTAL: I shop everywhere and really like searching for vintage items. Of course, there is no place like Neiman Marcus—and Robert there is a prince.

FOOD: I always cook my own.
Tish Mills, Harmonious Living by Tish Mills, (404) 814-3838,