I’m going to tell you a secret. I live a double life. In addition to helping my husband run Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes, I also have my own PR and Marketing Firm. My business partner, Nancy and I specialize in working with “home related” businesses. Sometimes, like this week , my worlds come together in beautiful and exciting ways. Nancy, has done PR for Castle Homes, the builder of this year’s only Southern Living Idea House, for many years. As a matter of fact, Nancy has been organizing these types of premier home tours in Nashville for over 15 years. She is the “go to gal” to get the word out about these events. She helped organize a Design Blogger sneak peek of the Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel and I managed to make the invite list. Imagine that. Since I am a DIE HARD blog reader from way back, I not so casually suggested that some of my favorite bloggers get an invite too 🙂 As much as I LOOVED the opportunity to get a sneak peek of this house, I also adored getting to hang out with amazing writers like Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Kristie from The Decorologist, Linsey from LLH Designs Blog, Jamie from Blonde Mom Blog and Brandy from Chateau a GOGO.
The house is located in White’s Creek on the property of Fontanel, the out-door concert venue and former home of Country Music legend Barbara Mandrell. Upon walking up from the parking lot, I was struck with how perfectly this farmhouse style home was situated into the landscape. The retaining pond with a fountain and perfectly landscaped gardens were drawing me into the property with open arms.
The social media geek in me immediately noticed Southern Living’s Weekend Project Gardens contest. I stopped to photograph several of the beautiful gardens landscaped by Page/Duke Landscape Architects and posted them to Instagram with the hashtag #SLPlants hoping to win some Southern Living Plants.
Beautiful! #SLPlants #SLIdeaHouse by @bellatucker
The sprawling estate consists of a series of buildings: the main house, a guest house, two “bunkies”- his and her apartments- plus a garage with an apartment. The buildings are arranged in a U shape, creating a private courtyard and the perfect place for gathering and entertaining.
The Design Blogger Sneak Peek tour was hosted by Lindsay Bierman, editor of Southern Living Magazine and interior designer of the Idea House, Phoebe Howard along with Castle Homes Production Manager, Brett Wright. It started with a gathering on the porch in front of this gorgeous chevron patterned 2-inch thick mahogany door. I was able to catch this quick Instagram video of Lindsay’s introduction. That’s Phoebe Howard beside him.
Lindsay Bierman @southern_living editor #SLIdeaHouse by @bellatucker
What a treat to get the behind the scenes scoop on how this all came together straight from the mouths of the DREAM TEAM. The home was inspired by a 150 year-old Middle Tennessee farmhouse in Leipers Fork, and designed with guests in mind, on a cozy, comfortable scale. The decor is inviting with its warm, neutral palette and use of reclaimed wood beams and antiques. Reclaimed lumber is used in the kitchen and main living room. The sliding kitchen doors were harvested from a barn in Louden, TN built in the 1900’s and the beams in the living rom came from a barn near Winchester which once served as a livestock and sale barn. We were only able to take photos of the exterior and the guest house until they debut the home for Southern Living’s August issue, so you will have to wait until then to see the interiors OR check out their sneak peek Pinterest board.
Phoebe Howard’s interior design was flawless. She told of her color palette inspiration of greens and blues in the main rooms coming from her first flight into Nashville. Looking out the windows of the airplane, she was struck by the beauty of Tennessee with all of its lush green pastures and rolling hills combined with the beautiful blue skies. She also shared that as part of her design process she created a fictitious couple who would live in this home. A hard-working rugged farmer and his petite blond wife with refined taste. It was a rustic meets refined design plan. The combination of the reclaimed lumber and vintage beams paired with rows of windows draped in soft patterned fabric intermixed with carefully chosen and placed antiques and upholstered furniture was beautifully executed.
Although there was not any decorative painting in the house, Phoebe did make some bold color choices. I was thrilled to see the kitchen cabinets were painted in a bold color, Sherwin Williams, Pewter Green -SW6208 with lovely frosted white glass knobs. This photo is from the Southern Living Sneak Peak Board on Pinterest.
She also chose red as a ceiling color in the guest house. A departure, she said from her usual design aesthetic. Phoebe also told a story of how she wanted to include a patterned painted floor on the back porch, but her idea was nixed due to the large volumes of foot traffic expected through the house over the next year. She told me that her go-to decorative painter is Bob Christian, a painting ROCK STAR. Here is some of his work in one of Phoebe’s projects. (via Cote’de Texas)
Phoebe also said she was going to check out our website. No pressure here.
Here are a few more photos of the house.
The house is open for tours Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. until December 29th. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After December 29th, the property will reopen as a luxury boutique hotel.
Please check out my blogger friends’ Southern Living Idea House Design Blogger’s Sneak Peak recaps.
At the close of the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch and signed copies of The Joy of Decorating by Phoebe Howard and Coming Home- The Southern Vernacular House by James Lowell Strickland and Partners of Historical Concepts the architects of the Idea House. What a fantastic end to an amazing event. Thank you Southern Living and Castle Homes and oh yeah, Nancy for including me in the Design Blogger’s Sneak Peek.
P.S. I forgot to let you know that Bella Tucker provided several decorative paint finishes in the 2011 Southern Living Showcase Home built by Castle Homes. You can check out our work in that house HERE.