Meet Our Judges

We are thrilled to introduce our renowned panel of judges for the Nashville Design Collective Awards.



claudia afshar

Claudia Afshar, principal and founder of Claudia Afshar Design, is a globally recognized high-end
interior designer, specializing in unique and refined environments across residential, commercial,
hospitality and product design. Her rise to prominence has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle
Decor, Dezeen, and numerous other publications, highlighting the impactful and distinct nature of her
and her studio's designs. She has been celebrated for recent projects including her award nominated
rug collection with Mehraban Rugs and textured multi-surface Dekton ‘UKIYO’ collection with
Cosentino. With projects worldwide, Claudia creates extraordinary environments that redefine
understated luxury. From lavish residences to boutique hotels, her creative eye and attention to detail
shine through. With international acclaim and industry awards, Claudia Afshar Design is trusted by
A list celebrities, high- profile individuals and bespoke luxury brands.


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Denise mcgaha

Denise McGaha Interiors is a dynamic, client-driven design firm reinventing traditional style for over two decades. A creative force, Denise’s current projects range from a penthouse pied-a-terre to a sprawling family estate and a dreamy, lakeside retreat.

Denise’s unique design perspective is grounded in a love of the earth and dressed up by a flair for color and pattern. Her enduring designs range from sanctuary-like respites to invigorating family spaces, always delivering style, comfort, and a foundation for a well-lived life.

Denise’s knack for balancing style and luxury with real-life solutions has become a signature. Modern-day lifestyles call for versatile spaces that work equally well for formal gatherings as well as a relaxing Saturday with family. Entertaining is a big part of Denise’s life, and a reality for many of her clients. She and her husband, Scott, share a love of hosting friends and family, and place great value in making memories at home.

Maintaining a well-rounded approach to living has been ingrained in Denise since childhood. Growing up in Texas, Denise was heavily influenced by her wonderful grandmother, Anna. “She was a bookkeeper, an excellent cook, gardener, seamstress, hostess, traveler, collector, an impeccable dresser. I thought that’s what a woman was supposed to be—everything!” Denise collaborates with clients on so much beyond interiors, consulting on landscaping, tabletop, holiday entertaining, custom monograms and home scents, all with business savvy and a deep respect for telling each client’s story.

Over the years, Denise’s stunning interiors have caught the attention of prestigious media outlets both nationally and regionally, including Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Luxe, and D Home, where she was named one of Dallas’ Best Designers of 2023. Denise was also awarded the prestigious Interior Designer award by the ARTS Awards in 2018. She is regularly tapped by the industry as an influencer, with a robust, devoted social media following. Denise has a growing stable of product collections, with more exciting announcements soon.


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jeffrey Dungan

"Trends come and go, but elegance and timelessness are never out of style...."  


Jeffrey Dungan’s creative work can be seen in his native South, recognized for his clean and modern approach to traditional vernaculars and classical architecture. A resonant Southern voice in the world of architecture, he approaches his work with the heart of a warrior poet.  He brings passion, authenticity and endless childlike enthusiasm to each undertaking- loving the creative process and just as much, the people he works with. Eloquent and affable, his words resonate with a calm power, the same visceral emotions elicited by his architecture and interiors.  Much like his work- the outside and inside merge into beautiful creations of thoughtfulness, intellect and spirituality.


Jeffrey has been honored with numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, as well as the 2017 Southeast Architect of the Year by Veranda magazine and ADAC. The Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art named him a Shutze fellow in 2015, and the Rocky Mountain chapter awarded him a Jacques Benedict award in 2023. In 2018 and 2019 he received the prestigious Palladio Award, the only national award for classical architecture.


Recognized for his custom private residences and boutique public projects throughout North and Central America- his work has been featured in many books, as well as Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Garden & Gun, Food & Wine, Forbes, and House Beautiful, as well as in his own book, The Nature of Home, in 2018 published by Rizzoli, International.

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barry dixon

Inspired by acres of lush Virginia countryside, Barry Dixon is known for a distinct aesthetic that blends Western styles with global influences from a childhood spent abroad in India, Pakistan, Korea, New Caledonia and South Africa. With projects spanning the world, Dixon imagines interiors that infuse artifacts and antiques with present-day motifs – all while preserving the history and personality of the home’s owners and their treasures.


His exclusive, curated collections include furniture, lighting and accessories for Arteriors; showroom design and products for Fortuny; fabrics, trims and wallcoverings for Vervain; upholstery for Tomlinson; and The Naturals Color Collection by Barry Dixon for C2 Paint. In 2023, Dixon launched his 6th collection with Arteriors while also developing a new line of furniture and lighting with Iatesta Studio. This year, Dixon will unveil a new, bespoke fabric and trim collection with Vervain.

Dixon’s work is featured regularly in design trade magazines, global social media accounts, Instagram Lives, reels, blogs and beyond. His projects are also featured in several books including Barry Dixon Interiors, Barry Dixon Inspirations, Farrow & Ball: The Art of Color, Fortuny Interiors and many others. Dixon is currently working on his third book and will be featured in a publication devoted to Gracie Studio.


Dixon lives and works in his 1907 Edwardian estate, Elway Hall, located on nearly 300 acres of farmland in the heart of Fauquier County, Virginia’s horse country. His partner, Will Thomas of TTR Sotheby’s, and his precious wire fox terrier, Dinah, are his constant Elway companions."

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