An Imaginative Sanctuary of Color, Culture, and Music in Nashville

An Imaginative Sanctuary of Color, Culture, and Music in Nashville

Julia Steele
Oct 6, 2017

Name: Rachel and Ryan
Location: Oak Hill — Nashville, Tennessee
Size: 3,500 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

Umbrellas hang from the ceiling and there's an entire wall of speakers in the front sitting room. The moment you enter Rachel and Ryan's house, you're swept up into their colorful and eclectic world. Avid travelers, they have pieces from the Southwest mixed with pieces picked up in Asia combined with items from a street fair in Mexico...and somehow they manage to seamlessly fit all of these treasures together in a bright and colorful living space that is full of life, serenity, and a little bit of rock and roll.

Rachel is a stylist who runs her own Etsy shop called The Punk Trunk. Ryan is a student and former music industry professional who is influenced by music and travel. They have morphed their two styles together while incorporating pieces from family members and thrift shop finds. Each piece has significance to the couple, which makes their home full of travel stories about magical places they have journeyed to as a duo.

Rachel's best advice is to have fun with your space and don't think too much. She and Ryan have definitely had fun creating a vibrant home where they can recharge for the next big adventure.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: An imaginative sanctuary of color and cultures!

Inspiration: Our home is a mixture of the two of us and the little details that make us who we are. We are inspired by each other so our home is an extension of us and our time together. We pick up pieces on our travels that remind us of where we've been and places we would like to go.

Favorite Element: It is hard to pick a favorite but we would have to say the speaker wall in our living room! The wall consists of old speakers, boom boxes, suitcases and books that are fit together to create what we call the speaker wall. Instead of having a traditional dining room, we have this unconventional sitting room right when you walk in the front door. We can listen to music through the speaker wall and it's an all-around inspiring room for us to spend time in. The wall was created by Boom Case.

Biggest Challenge: Our home has an open concept. Every room is open to one another on the main floor where we spend most of our time. It was a challenge to create that cozy feel when none of the rooms were closed off. We love cozy corners and warmth so it was a challenge to bring everything together to create one big cozy floor. We tried to create this coziness through warm rugs that tie into each other in each room, through the umbrellas in the hallway that bring your eyes down instead of up to the tall ceilings, and pillows and table runners that create a cohesiveness throughout our space. These little details helped us create that warmth we were looking for!

What Friends Say: They would say that it is a little bit of rock and roll mixed with serenity and most importantly a collaboration of our imaginations!

Biggest Embarrassment: We left town for a few days and had a friend house/dog sit. Our dogs are our furry children and to get back at us for leaving them behind they dug through the dry wall and quite literally carved a perfect heart shape in the wall. They just wanted to remind us that they hated us for leaving them and they will destroy the house if we do it again. It was the last time we split our family up — they now stay in hotels with us.

Proudest DIY: We've done quite a few DIY projects but our most favorite was using Stikwood to spice up two walls in our offices. Stikwood was a great way for us to create texture on a blank wall and have fun with a project that we could do ourselves. Stikwood is simple to use; it is barnwood that has sticky strips on the back and you can cut the wood to fit whatever it is that you are working on — it doesn't necessarily have to be a wall! It took us about three full days to complete and now the walls add a spunkiness that wasn't there before.

Biggest Indulgence: The 1767 Designs art pieces are definitely focal points of our home and our biggest indulgences. The craftsmanship and pure imagination that goes into their work inspired us from the beginning. We knew we had to work with them and it was so lovely doing so! Our headboard was the first piece we knew we wanted to create when we moved in and it is still the staple of our home. It's fun, colorful and makes us feel like "us" when we come into our room. Our bedroom is our sanctuary so we indulged in a headboard that we could place everything around.

Best Advice: Don't think too much! It is so easy to think that you have to have one style that fits your entire home. We say, go for all of it! If you love patterns and prints but are worried that it's going to clash with a clean modern style that you jive with work them in together. Clean lines and color are doable especially when the color is the accent in pillows, rugs, curtains, etc. Have fun with your home and make it a representation of your inner being. Walk in your front door and get swept up by everything you created.

Dream Sources: On a tranquil street in Santa Fe sits the Inn at the Five Graces. The Inn was designed by Ira and Sylvia Seret and it is an explosion of color. Their attention to detail from the Suzani curtains to the intricate tiling work in the bathtub makes you feel like you immediately stepped into another world. The layers and layers of rugs that they have collected over their lifetime and the custom work they put into every piece, like the lapis sinks, makes the experience very personal. They have opened up their world to visitors and it is nothing short of inspiring. We are so lucky to have some of their fabrics displayed in our home! A constant reminder of our time in Santa Fe and our exposure to a family that loves color just as much — or maybe even more than we do. Ira Seret shared something that stuck with us and we couldn't agree more, "Color keeps you young."


Umbrellas — Malabar Coastal, Los Angeles
Rugs — Mix between vintage passed down from my family, Silk Road Rugs, and Bohemian Rugs (Both Etsy stores).
Bench — Seret and Sons, Santa Fe
Chest — Chinese Art Center, Singapore
Guitar — Blueberry Guitars, Bali

Speaker Wall — Boom Case
Chest — Chinese Art Center, Singapore
Suzani Chairs — Name Design Studio
Rug — Unique Rug Store
Screen — Malabar Coastal, Los Angeles
Mannequin — Southeastern Salvage, Nashville

Sofas — Restoration Hardware
Rug — Vintage, passed down from my grandfather
Pillows — Nadeau, World Market
Chest — Discoveries, Louisville
Singing Bowls — Mr Cheong, Singapore
Masks — Street Markets in Mexico, Himalayan Vision NYC, Discoveries, Louisville.
Shelf Trinkets — Books, vintage copper lamps, Mexican skulls, scarves from Himalayan Vision in NYC, and a mixture of little knick-knacks we've collected over time and passed down from our families!

Sierpinski Triangle Mirror — 1767 Designs
Sofa — Name Design Studio
Pillows — Loft of Asheville, TJ Maxx
Dyed Yellow Rug — Unique Rug Store
Plants — Hewitt Garden Center
Kitchen Table & Chairs — Karmal Skillington
Light Blue Bench — Karmal Skillington, Nashville
Placemats + Hanging Chilis — The Chili Shop, Santa Fe
Kitchen Rug and runner — Silk Road Rugs, Antiques Man

Headboard — 1767 Designs, Nashville
Pillows — Swanky Seats, Loft of Asheville, TJ Maxx
Moroccan Wedding Blanket — Sunny Home Story
Plants — Gardens of Babylon and Hewitt Garden Center
Mirror — Mix Furniture Design, Los Angeles
Rugs — Unique Rug Store, Silk Road Rugs
Chaise — Name Design Studio, Turkey
Bench — 1767 Designs, Nashville
Side Tables — Nadeau, Nashville
TV Stand/Bar — Malabar Coastal, Los Angeles
Laundry Hamper — 10,000 Villages
Corner Table — Pre to Post Modern, Nashville
Lava Lamps ——Ryan's online shopping addiction

Plants — Hewitt Garden Center
Rug — Bohemian Rug Store (Etsy—we LOVE them!)
Accent Table — Kirklands

Rug under the sofa — Seret and Sons, Santa Fe
Sofa — Element20 (Etsy)
Plants — Hewitt Garden Center
Amps — Fender, 65, Victoria
Desk — Mix Furniture
Chalk Board — Amazon
Wall Pictures — Antique Maps and Prints
Hanging Rug — Handmade by Lucy Fatt, Monument Valley

Tapestry — Seret and Sons, Santa Fe
Sofa — Name Design Studio
Diner Work Table — Pre to Post Modern, Nashville
Red Stool — 8th Avenue of the Arts, Nashville
Desk — Nashville Flea Market
Coffee Table — Made by my dad when he was in 10th grade!
Rugs — Bohemian Rug Store, Antiques Man, Silk Road Rugs
Desk Chair — TJ Maxx

Thanks, Rachel, Ryan, Nia and Ruby!

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