Interior designer Teddie Garrigan is spoiled for choice when it comes to decor. The co-founder of Coco & Dash—a Henderson Avenue home decor shop and boutique interior design firm—has developed an aesthetic that is maximalist but measured, with nods to European sophistication and Southern charm.
Raised by a career Air Force father, Teddie comes by her influences naturally. She grew up traveling all over Europe, attending nine schools in 12 years. This peripatetic childhood influenced her current collection of furnishings and accessories and her outlook on the perfect interior.
“I’ve always loved anything to do with home entertaining or decorating since I was a little kid,” she recalls. “I think it is absolutely connected to the fact that I lived in Europe. Before I even knew what interiors were, architecture intrigued me and the whole idea of the history of a place. I would notice these tiny details like the marble worn away on the steps of our apartment building, and I’d kind of fantasize about it.”
So in the mid-’90s, when Teddie and her husband, Dan, decided to move from their 3,000-square-foot home in Lakewood to a high-rise apartment in Turtle Creek’s Terrace House, “scaling back” wasn’t exactly the idea. (The couple briefly left and returned in 2007 and have lived here ever since.) Aside from some books, Teddie was loathe to part with much from her worldly collection, finding creative ways to house and display treasured pieces. “We’re not minimalists,” she explains. “People either gravitate to this look, or they don’t get it at all.”
After a decade and a half in the home, Teddie took the opportunity to remodel in 2020—an undertaking that proved even more challenging given the pandemic. With the help of her daughter and business partner, Courtney, she widened doorways to bedrooms, built bookcases into walls, brought a bit of the outside in with a dreamy landscape wallpaper in the entryway, and more. Courtney was along every step of the way, helping her mother pick perfect fabrics and find the right spot for each piece.
Says Courtney, “We definitely divide and conquer. We took it on as a Coco & Dash project, just like we do anything else, but I left a lot more to her because it’s her house.”
“We really gave a lot of thought when we were reconfiguring things,” adds her mother. “We decided we wanted to get rid of our guest room since our grandkids are well past spending the night, so I turned it into a study for my husband and decided the dining room would become a morning room. We spend almost all of our time in there.”
There’s no denying the finished apartment perfectly embodies the Coco & Dash aesthetic. Treasures from all over the world line surfaces throughout, and Garrigan’s collection of decommissioned museum pieces hangs alongside her own paintings as visual focal points on the bookcases. Even the simplest chair can embody a memory. Teddie, an avowed chairaholic, has kept seating from her mother and dear family friend Winn Morton in various rooms.
“I don’t consider myself a full maximalist, but I’m not a hoarder—I don’t like clutter,” Teddie says. “Everything in this apartment has some meaning, down to the tiniest detail. It has a patina to me, and it carries energy from other people and memories and places.”
Every item in the home may spark joy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay in the same place. Even since the images accompanying this story were captured, Teddie has moved furniture, added layers, and shuffled accessories around. But, as her home continues to evolve and change, it will always remain a place where she and the people she loves can love spending time.
“You can live rich wherever you are. I don’t mean rich in money, but you can have this rich existence, and you don’t need 6,000 or 10,000 or 25,000 square feet,” muses Teddie. “In fact, I think you can live a more fulfilled life when you have literal parameters to your space, so you’re not constantly saying, ‘How do I fill this up with more stuff?’ I make my environment more conducive to the life I want to live. We’d rather be here than anyplace else in the world.”