A Household Word for Graceful Living

MidSouth Living May/June 2003

Photographed by Thibobault Jensen and William Minarich

Press Photo Press Photo Press Photo

William R. Eubanks’ name is synonymous with refined, classic interior design, and it has been a lifetime in the making. At the mention of his name comes to mind a very comfortable and livable vision of sumptuous fabrics of silk and damask, period antiques of Great Britain and the Continent, rich jewel-tone colors, gilt mirrors, Flemish tapestries, French ormolu, Old Masters’ paintings, plush draperies and wall hangings, finest porcelains, and Aubussons and Oushaks. Young people want Eubanks’ look, and serious collectors demand it.

Bill Eubanks knew early in life that an artful arrangement and presentation of one’s surroundings affects one’s emotion and mind. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Memphis. While still in school, he acquired some of the clients who helped make his name a household word for graceful living. In 1976, he opened his own design firm in Memphis. With name recognition from word-of-mouth reputation and national advertising, Eubanks’ client list expanded across the country in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. His New York office opened in the mid-1990s, and in 2001, Eubanks opened his Palm Beach showroom.

As Bill Eubanks’ business has grown, he has stayed true to the basic design principles of pleasing combinations of color, texture, classic furniture, and objets d’art. His hobbies enhance his keen eye for design. From his love of garden design and nature, he has gained an appreciation for broad design concepts, the natural flow of rooms, the importance of comfort, and the value of living greenery in interiors. His love of opera, which has long made him a veteran of European and Metropolitan opera, has instilled in him a sense of drama and grandeur. Extensive travel for business and pleasure has exposed him to exotic and familiar world cultures, art, and artifacts. Eubanks’ love of reading has influenced him in the importance of creating oases of reflection and solitude for his clients so inclined.

And perhaps Eubanks’ greatest gift, his love of people, makes him sought after by everyone he knows. He knows no strangers, whether he is with new clients or old friends. He is a bon vivant, a wit, and a fascinating person. Roll all of this together and add Eubanks’ nonstop energy, and you have quite a powerhouse of talent and fun.

While Eubanks has clients currently in areas as dispersed as New York, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Lima, South Beach, Versailles, Kansas City, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Croix, Palm Springs, Sea Island, and Washington, D.C., his fidelity to Memphis is unchanging.

“Memphis has been wonderful to me. This is where I wanted to start my business; this is home,” he says. “I am really excited about what is happening in Memphis now. I love the growth: the new buildings, the new homes, and the new faces! The revitalization of downtown is key to a progressive city.”

Some of Eubanks’ clients have homes in several cities, and some clients have a one-room studio apartment. He plunges in with single focus on all of his new design projects, regardless of the size or scope. While many of his clients want Eubanks’ signature luxurious look of Old Masters, damask, silk tassels, and tapestries, there are others who come to him for a different look of minimalist, clean, crisp lines. Eubanks believes that good design lies in the specific choices for each element, not in the total number of elements. In other words, if you want a simple beach condominium, Eubanks would advise choosing just as wisely the few items you would use there as you would for the many items in an antique-filled formal living room. Good taste is about making good decisions, not necessarily having unlimited means.