A Classic, Rustic Mix in an Art-Filled Nashville Home

A Classic, Rustic Mix in an Art-Filled Nashville Home

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Julia Steele
Oct 27, 2016

Name: Mimi and Harper
Location: Nashville, Tennesee
Size: 2,300 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 5 1/2 years

Mimi is a Nashville native who grew up in the city limits and on a farm outside of town. She now lives in her own house — a space that manages to be simultaneously calm, comfortable, vibrant and eclectic. Her love for art is visible in every room of the house via gallery walls or stand-alone pieces, and her equal emphasis on family heirlooms and antiques demonstrates a passion for history. Mimi has worked hard to cultivate a space that is inviting for folks to pop over or stay a while.

Mimi purchased this house and has put a lot of time and heart into making it her own. She jokes that the entire house is DIY. She was very hands on in the renovations and assisted in everything from installing countertops to laying tile in the guest bathroom. Mimi built the mirror in her dining room using old shims. She wanted an outdoor daybed porch swing — so she built one! With her hands on approach and do it yourself attitude, the home feels authentically hers.

Her home is filled with heirlooms and antiques that have been in her family for generations. The walls are filled with artwork made by friends and family and surfaces are curated with personal knickknacks that add charm and intrigue to the home. Mimi is very proud of the space she has made and for good reason — her home is full of life and energy.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Traditional with an eclectic, rustic mix. I love to go to estate sales and flea markets and make something my own. Simple projects can have a big impact, like recovering an old chair or using reclaimed wood for a tabletop. I like abundance — a word my friend's mom uses a lot when talking about her house. Instead of clean and simple, I prefer knickknacks and gallery walls at every turn. Everything in my house has a story. My mom was an artist with very eclectic taste, and I inherited a lot of her art and antiques. I have tried to mix my flea market finds and more present-day purchases with her pieces in hopes of creating comfortable and welcoming spaces.

Inspiration: My friend Celeste Reed's home in Cherokee Park. Every time I go to her house I try to absorb her positive vibes and style by osmosis. She effortlessly incorporates classic, comfortable, and unique design elements to create spaces with universal appeal. My good friend Gracie Wachtler is a local interior designer who I admire as well. She is my trusted go-to advisor when I am stumped by a design challenge.

Favorite Element: I cannot think of just one, but I love that the house is symmetrical. Thankfully I have lots of large windows, which allow for natural light. This makes the house feel open and welcoming. My friends joke that my house has a revolving door, and I would have to agree. I love that they feel comfortable popping in. The house has established rooms and does not adhere to the more open format design we are seeing lots of today. I think the house flows well from room to room and still feels quite open. Being built in the 1930s, it is solidly constructed and of modest size, two features I much appreciate.

Biggest Challenge: Over cluttering. I have inherited so many little "treasures" from my grandparents, parents and friends, and I have to restrain myself from putting them all out!

What Friends Say: I think they think of my house as a welcoming cozy cottage with good energy. I love to host parties of any kind — big or small, birthday or baby shower. My mom's house was a place for my sister, brother, and I to constantly entertain and hang with friends, and I think we all inherited that gene from her.



Biggest Embarrassment: Used to be the backyard — it's better now, but I would say that it is still what I would like to work on the most.

Proudest DIY: The entire house? I'm kidding, but I have done quite a lot myself and the DIY list feels pretty endless. Looking back — I could have outsourced more and done it professionally the first time. My daybed porch swing is my most recent DIY — I've always wanted one and felt inspired enough to do it myself a few weeks ago. I also wanted a sunburst mirror and couldn't find anything I loved, so I took a bunch of shims and constructed one.

Biggest Indulgence: What I would have indulged on, I have DIY-ed. Custom daybed swings and sunburst mirrors are hard to find! I did do custom window treatments throughout the house that I've been really happy with.

Best Advice: Buy right once. Turning carpeted areas hardwood = game changer

Dream Sources: My friends. They have been very inspiring and done a phenomenal job helping make my house feel like a home.

Thanks, Mimi and Harper!


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