A Nashville Home Designed with Love

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I am on a search for classic beauty, for a kind of elegance that I don’t want to go extinct, so I’m spending a lot of time touring houses on the market around Nashville. If a listing says “stately” or “custom millwork,” I’m on the phone requesting a viewing. I got the chance to look at another one-of-a-kind home last week, and though it’s completely different from the one I fell in love with the week before, it’s a real stunner in its own right.

When I visit a new home — whether just out of curiosity or as a design project — I go searching for its individuality. I want to see the thoughtful details, big and small, that make it stand apart from all the others. Even if it isn’t done in a way that’s completely in line with my own tastes, I love and appreciate the creativity that goes into a great home.

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This particular home is perched on the top of a hill on a five-acre lot, which gives it a great view and ample sunshine. The entry court is absolutely stunning; you couldn’t ask for a more wonderful first impression for guests pulling up to the door. The décor is broadly French, but clearly designed for a home owner who wants craft and care visible in every detail. It’s full of lovely little quirks that make the interior exceptional.

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Though this house was built in 1977, the craftsmanship looks like something from a century before. Throughout the home, there are amazing exposed wood beams across the ceilings, which give the home a rustic feel and make the rooms feel very expansive. There’s also lots of wrought ironwork throughout, on staircases, railings, and balconies. The beautiful curves of the iron add so much flair to what would otherwise be ordinary features.

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Everything here is made with such thought. Something as simple as a small window — the sort of thing that some architects and designers might overlook — becomes a piece of art with a nice, wide mullion and wrought-iron hardware. And if you’re looking for a perfect place for a backyard picnic, just wander down the hill into an alcove made of stone, complete with a bubbling fountain.

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One final detail: The cornerstone of the house reads, “L’amour est la pierre angulaire de cette maison,” which translates to “Love is the cornerstone of this home.” I’m sure the family that built this was referring to their love for each other, but it’s clear from the details that the house itself was built with a lot of love.

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The next time you tour a home, pay attention to the details. You’ll start to recognize all of the little (and big) things that make a house truly unique. The next step is to bring that kind of individuality into your life and your home.

What quirks make your home one-of-kind?


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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  • Mary, I so enjoyed what you’ve written here about Margaret Ann and JoAnn’s houses. Your pics are marvelous. Thank you for the beautiful tours.