By: Tanya Hembree
If you’re interested in Nashville or already living here you likely know someone moving or decorating their home. With a sizzling hot real estate market where escalating offers are superfluous in the greater Nashville area, the desire to create a home that has style is more than prevalent. This hot market has people scrambling to up-grade their homes in many ways. I often get asked how to create a space that has style, Nashville style. Creating a Nashville-style home is not too difficult if you include just the right elements. Here are a few quick tips and ideas to pull off your own Nashville style with ease:
Nashville Breathes Music. Like oxygen for a body, Nashville lives and breathes music. In the same, a Nashville style home, would not be such without a little bit of music in its style. Most any Nashville style home has an element of music by way of a leaning guitar or a sheet of music framed on the wall. An element of music comes in many options and could include an instrument or two, music themed artwork, or an antique player of sorts. Incorporating guitars, music hatch print posters, or even an iconic pic of Johnny Cash (or your favorite country music star). I’ve recently procured a condo in the Gulch that had this cool Nashville vibe. I used elements of music through the artwork above the beds and also included some concert photographs of Taylor Swift and Vince Gill, both legends around town.
Cherish History. Nashville’s history runs deep from Civil War battle grounds to long time music history. Nashville does not run short on history and neither do the finds. Add rare antiques, burnished woods, or vintage finds to any room to help create a charming vibe to compliment any music element. The Nashville flea market is a wonderful place to start! Currently a monthly event, be sure to scour the unique offerings of a plethora of vendors. Flea markets, antique stores, thrift stores, and garage sales are the best places to explore. They display great finds like old crates, classical posters, and antique furniture. Even glass bottles or old signs can really add an original feel to your space, not to mention they can often be awesome conversation starters!
Local is Where it’s At. The Nashville art scene is affluent when it comes to local artists. From Centennial Park to downtown Franklin, local art is spread wide and available regularly. Like musicians, Nashville offers an abundance of local artisans, crafting their own special pieces of art in all styles. There is so much artistic talent prevalent in this city, that you could not be more on target, than to include a featured, local art piece to create that “Nashville” look. The options are vast and can come in almost any price point.
Bring in Artisans. In addition to artists, Nashville boasts of amazing artisans. From custom furniture to custom lighting and everything in between, there is no lack of creativity. Woodworkers and furniture makers are not hard to come by. Incorporating a few bits of history and custom pieces can make any space feel like a home. Things like frames, light fixtures, and headboards are fun areas to begin exploring the perfect mix of old and new. Bringing in an Artisan or two can really create a tasteful space that has style and unique, one-of-a-kind charm. In the Gulch project mentioned earlier, I had custom lighting created by one of my favorite local artisans. They included barn wood details that perfectly complimented my other pieces for this space. In addition to that I also had the Nashville skyline featured above the sofa made by a local artisan. So even small touches of woodwork can really make a big impact.
Barn wood Baby. Although Nashville boasts of its urban vibe and industrial style, the combination of worn barn wood couldn’t speak louder when it comes to Nashville charm. The Tennessee hills and countryside are loaded with barns; worn and ready for its new purpose. The beauty of barn wood, is it’s a re-used story being told through design. Each piece carries secrets, memories, and stories that may never be heard in words. However, each piece tells its story visually with all of its worn crevices and distressed grooves. From open shelving to iron pipe framed displays, barn wood has found its way into the most charming Nashville neighborhoods. Although barn wood crosses many of the elements we’re talking about, it’s even often made into furnishings like headboards, side tables and especially dining tables. The must-have for a true Nashville styled home is a worn, barn wood dining table that’s rich in history and creates an unforgettable original feel.
Color Says It All. When it comes to color and Nashville, the palette is wide. The aged, worn colors of years past that often emerge in old hatch print posters would certainly be the color scheme to start with. I must say though, a true Nashville style often looks more complete when claiming a more colorful color palette. However, if you have a more modern and transitional style you may consider a faded gray for your walls. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and Requisite Gray can pull off that urban tone on tone neutral backdrop for those pops of color or faded hue.
Urban Chic. One might ask, urban chic? I know it’s almost an oxymoron, but a touch of urban really can add a bit of Nashville style. I’m not sure if it’s the old downtown buildings, beautiful architecture or the endless refurbished factories; whatever inspiration you find, that chic style of urban is derived from the heart of Nashville. From east Nashville to 12 South and everything in between the chic-ness urban and industrial can be found peering in the classiest of spaces to the grungiest of styles. Urban chic, in my interpretation of design, is a blend of beautiful fabrics, concrete, and a bit of worn identity. I know it can be an odd combination to say the least, but incorporating simply beautiful fabrics like linens and worn cottons, alongside a distressed wooden accent or a textured pillow could really pull off that urban chic Nashville look.
However you decide to pull your Nashville look off, you’re sure to really pull it together well incorporating five to seven of these elements. As you can see some of these elements can be multi-categorized, but I think you get the jest of what it takes to bring a bit of that cool, city style to your home. Whether you’re in an apartment, renting a home, or buying, any of these will be a wonderful backdrop for a true Nashville style.
Tanya Hembree, a California native and interior designer with a design firm located in downtown Franklin, combines interior design and purpose with what she calls Generous Living + Inspired Design. Emerging as one of Nashville's more premier designers, she has claim to several properties along the 30A coast and throughout Middle Tennessee. Wife to pro-audio designer Dan Hembree of Crimson Audio, LLC and the mother of three thriving teens, her and her family call Franklin home.
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