A World-Traveling Pediatric Doctor’s Extraordinarily Colorful, Lively Nashville Home

updated Jun 10, 2019

A World-Traveling Pediatric Doctor’s Extraordinarily Colorful, Lively Nashville Home

updated Jun 10, 2019
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Name: Leigh Howard
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Size: 1600 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned

Leigh grew up in a small town near Little Rock, Arkansas but moved to Nashville to further her career as a pediatric doctor (she specializes in infectious diseases and works with children in low-middle income countries to help try and stop the spread of illness). But before she settled in Nashville, Leigh spent two years living and working in Africa, specifically Zambia and Botswana. Those years living abroad influenced Leigh beyond just her career: She adopted many of the styles and colorful artifacts from her life in Africa and incorporated them into her lively home in the states.

Along with international travel, Leigh is also heavily influenced style-wise by her mom and sister. And in each room you can see these inspirations in the bright colors and meaningful treasures that dot the walls and cover the shelves. She is also a big fan of thrifting and visiting estate sales, and believes that designing on a budget forces creativity…and a way for you to step outside of the typical norms. Her home is a beautiful place full of collected items that tell the story of her life; it’s a vivacious dwelling full of art and culture that perfectly reflects an adventurous person.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colorful, vibrant, collected, fun

Inspiration: International travel, especially southern Africa. My mom, who will always be my barometer for good taste and style. And my sister, who shares those qualities and is the queen of the flea market and thrift store…and styling her finds. Designers: Jamie Meares, Justina Blakeney, Eddie Ross, Roxy Te, Judy Aldridge. And Dolly Parton.

Favorite Element: I’m on the third floor by the treetops, so it feels like a nest! Also I’m surrounded by things I love that I’ve either picked up in my travels or were gifts from people I love, so everything feels very collected and has a story.

Biggest Challenge: Most of the rooms don’t get great natural light. I tell myself that’s why I can’t keep plants alive. That and trying to keep the clutter to a minimum.

What Friends Say: Girlfriends: “Your place feels happy/vibrant/fun.” Guy friends: “You have a lot of stuff.”

Biggest Embarrassment: I probably have way too much stuff. I can’t pass up a deal, so my closets are full of art and thrift store and market finds that I’m always bringing in and out of the rotation. The kitchen and bathroom finishes could also stand an update.

Proudest DIY: I’m not much of a DIYer, but I’ll spray paint anything, and when that doesn’t work, Rub-N-Buff (one of my sister’s finds) is a game changer for thrift store finds that need a new finish.

Biggest Indulgence: Definitely art and travel. Especially art purchased while traveling! Most of my furniture is passed down or thrifted, but I just bought two chests for my bedroom that were quite a splurge.

Best Advice: There are probably tons of rules but I don’t know them, so I’d say just go for it. Create spaces that make you happy. If you love something, you’ll find a place for it and it’ll all come together. Don’t overthink it or worry too much about what goes with what. And you definitely don’t have to break the bank. To me the most interesting rooms are put together on a budget—it forces creativity!

Dream Sources: St Frank Textiles, Anthropologie, Society Social, international markets, Rose Bowl Flea Market, Neighbourgoods Market, the Nashville Flea Market (Save the Fairgrounds!) and any small town thrift store…to name a few! For art: Sally King Benedict, Frances Berry, Miles Purvis, Alexandra Valenti, Anna Kincaide, Ashley Longshore


Kitchen — Sherwin-Williams Snowbound (walls), Benjamin Moore Precocious (cabinets)
Living/dining room — Behr Emerald Lake
Foyer (stripes) — Sherwin-Williams Commodore
Hall and Master Bedroom — Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
Bedroom 2 — Sherwin-Williams color-matched (to an envelope from Paper Source)
Bedroom 3 — Benjamin Moore Black Ink and Sherwin-Williams Snowbound
Bathroom — Sherwin-Williams Alabaster

Gold mirrors – thrifted
Console table — TJ Maxx Homegoods
Rug — Surya (Rugs Direct)
Painting — Juan Guzman (from Ebay)

Sofa – Sowells Furniture (Searcy AR)
Rug – West Elm (on clearance a long time ago, discontinued)
Coffee table – thrifted
Sofa end tables – thrifted
Chair side table – Target
Wicker chair – Goodwill
Turquoise cabinet – Nadeau
Pillows — Anthropologie, Catstudio
Round mirror — Anthropologie
Art — Frances Berry (IG: @where_is_frances)

Dining table – thrifted
Dining chairs — Goodwill (fabric on end chairs: Spoonflower the artwerks)
Gold bar cart — TJ maxx
Ikat accent chair — Anthropologie
Wooden chest of drawers — Z Gallerie
Art – Frances Berry, Amanda Petro (IG: @amandapetroart)
Llama bust – Furbish

Rug — Surya (Rugs Direct)
Art — Langford Barksdale (IG: @langfordart), Nicolette Valikoski (IG: @nicolettevalikoskart), Britt Bass Turner (IG: @_brittbass), Hayley Keeton Mitchell (IG: @hayley_km), Miles Purvis Daniel (IG: @milespurvisart)
Black and gold ceramic tray — Christina Cohn (IG: @christina_cohn_ceramics)

Drawer chests – Anthropologie
Dresser – thrifted
Table at foot of bed — Anthropologie
Headboard – One Kings Lane
Side table – West Elm
White side table — thrifted
Armoire – thrifted
Ceramic plates – Karima Muyaes

Headboard – One Kings Lane
Side tables – Target
Wicker furniture – thrifted
Art — Emeline Villedary (IG: @emelinevilledary)

Bed – thrifted
Art – Frances Berry, Renee Bouchon

Art — Hayley Keeton Mitchell, Samantha Rueter

Thanks, Leigh!

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