Gen Sohr of Pencil + Paper Co.

Meet Gen! She is the creative mastermind behind Pencil + Paper Co. based in Nashville, Tennessee. Gen is a lover of all things color and pattern, and her daily Instagram shopping finds keep our closets stocked. Learn all about Gen below!

Give us a brief history of your career. You have worn so many hats over the years! What have been some of the highlights?

I have definitely worn many hats but have loved every second of it! Here is the Cliffs Notes version: I grew up in Coral Gables, Florida. At 21, I moved to San Francisco to help roll out the Old Navy concept for Gap brands, working in visual merchandising. Ultimately, I became VP of Creative Services and Visual Merchandising with Victoria Secret (lived in Columbus and NYC) before landing in Nashville with my husband Benjamin in 2003. We launched a brief retail business which led to the creation of Pencil + Paper Co in 2012! I manage a team that is focused on creating a lifestyle brand through product design, brand collaborations (we launched our collection with Anthropologie earlier this year and have some more very exciting collabs coming soon!), and social connection through P+P Creative Club. We cannot wait to host our first Creative Club event July 16-18th in Charleston, and we're already counting down the days until we can connect with this amazing community of women in person!

Tell us all about Pencil + Paper Co. and how it has evolved into what it is today!
As the brand has grown and evolved so has our team! I can't stress enough how important it is to have the right people in place and strong leadership. We continue to try new things and evolve brand strategy based on long term goals. We have edited out more of the service-based offerings (residential interiors) to focus on our lifestyle brand goals. We continue to evolve, based on long term growth, what our audience wants, and what feels right for the brand. I think the visual thread that runs through everything that we do is our love of color and pattern and design that brings joy. We are always thinking about what connects our community of smart, passionate, and creative women and have loved using our P+P Creative Club Happy Mail box  to share our favorite things and brands with our audience on an ongoing basis.

What's one piece of advice you have for someone starting their own venture?
Dare to begin! Start your dream job or company ASAP. Time passes far too quickly, so find a community that pushes you to reach your goals! For us, that community has been the women we have connected with through Creative Club.

Lounge Area

Photography by Jessica Amerson

Photography by Jessica Amerson

You are a true lover of color + pattern. Whether it’s through your wardrobe or your home, you always bring the bright and cheery hues! What are your favorite colors at the moment? What about favorite prints?
We always love a classic red, white, and blue color palette, especially for the summer! And of course, we can never get enough pattern! (Ikat, stripes, ginghams, florals)

Gen Sohr of Pencil + Paper Co

Photography by Jessica Amerson

You have a knack for finding the coolest vintage pieces!
How do you know when you’ve found a diamond in the rough?
If a vintage piece speaks to you, it's meant to be yours… Buy what you love and you will always find a home for it!

Any tips for vintage hunting?
I love to shop flea markets in any city that we travel to, and I’m completely addicted to late night Etsy vintage treasure hunts!

Favorite treasure you’ve found recently?
The most charming colorful vintage demitasse set from Italy!

Guest Bedroom

Photography by Jessica Amerson

You recently refreshed your guest bedroom using the Monarch Crown Bed. Walk us through your design process!

You know that we can't resist color, pattern, and vintage treasures... so of course any room design for us typically starts with a few pieces that we have fallen in love with, and then we build the rest of the room around them. 

I picked up this pretty chinoiserie cabinet in the prettiest shade of yellow and knew that it would find a spot somewhere in our home. Then, I happened to stumble upon this amazing, super sized vintage yellow lamp, and voila a color palette was born! 

Next, I painted the room Soar Blue by Sherwin Williams on a total whim without sampling the paint color first (which typically I don't recommend), but sometimes you’re in a rush to get something checked off your list and you take a chance.

I fell in love with the whimsical scallops of the Monarch Crown Bed and instantly knew this would complete the space! I chose to use this pretty, Como, Robin's Egg because even if I ultimately repaint the walls or wallpaper them- I know that a blue linen has so much versatility, and we will love it for years to come!

Finally, we added  the perfect touch of texture and nod to the islands with this relaxed sisal rug from Shop Rush House (and you know we love to support female owned businesses). 

I’m a big believer that rooms are never finished and continue to evolve over time, so stay tuned on our Instagram to see this room transform with lots of more fun layers and vintage treasures!

Photography by Jessica Amerson


Favorite place you’ve ever traveled: Anywhere in Italy and Harbour Island.

Favorite wall paint color? Brand? Farrow and Ball, Pink Ground and would love to use Breakfast Room Green.

Favorite inspiring accounts to follow on Instagram? Jordan Ferney, Born on Fifth, Mark D. Sikes, Sarah Flint

TV Show you are binging? Call the Midwife

Item on your bedside table you can't live without? Fresh flowers

Monarch Crown Bed in Como, Robin's Egg with Simply White Legs


Deco 20x20 Pillow in Como, Rockstar with Luxe Velvet, Prussian Blue piping and Golden Nugget embroidery

Thank you, Gen!


Want more inspiration? Check out these designer spotlights: Maggie Dillon , MA Allen, Windy O'Connor