If you’ve ever traveled to classic coastal towns like St. Augustine or Rosemary Beach in Florida, you’ve likely gawked at the gorgeous homes inspired by Dutch West Indies architecture. Well, today, you don’t have to go far to peek at an equally compelling design, as we journey through a charming Nashville, TN, residence designed by Michael Ward and Tyler LeMarinel of Allard Ward Architects, LLC. This neotraditional home, with a large exterior wall that shrouds the entryway, has garnered lots of local attention for pushing the boundaries of conventional design. Today, Tyler reveals what informed his design process and how he managed to blend modern and classical elements for a cohesive finish. The result is sheer bliss.
We were thrilled to be welcomed into this modern, rustic oasis, which is padded by gorgeous landscaping by Gavin Duke of Page|Duke Landscape Architects. (SB Note: The exterior of the house was painted in Wash Basin by Ralph Lauren)
The exterior wall framing the courtyard is perhaps one of the most provocative aspects of the design. It offers privacy by separating the front door and large dining room windows from the main drive. It also brings a sense of intimacy to the residence.
The courtyard receives lots of sunlight, allowing potted plants to flourish. It’s a great place to receive and entertain guests.
Decorated with dark stained wood supports, the front door is certainly a bold insertion in the predominately white design. Large gas lanterns are a charming detail.
After being dazzled by the walled entry and sunny courtyard, we were welcomed inside to the ground floor, which constitutes the majority of the living space. Tyler notes that symmetry plays a large part in the organization of this design, a principle that is echoed throughout each room.
The den is large, open and bright. Tyler lets the large windows act as a focal point of the room, by placing the furniture in a symmetrical arrangement. Mixing white walls and white furniture doesn’t have to feel stark. The key is to introduce texture through various fabrics and finishes.
We could have lingered all day in this kitchen, which is arguably the most traditional room in the house. Tyler has introduced contemporary elements, like oversized, light fixtures, to keep the overall feel hip and casual.
Symmetry pervades this house. The kitchen connects seamlessly to the den, allowing dining and relaxation to be mutually dependent.
The breakfast nook is cozy, but bright. The overhanging spherical light adds a modern edge, while patterned pillows keep the look comfortable.
The dining room is one of the most dynamic portions of the house. It breaks away from the white palette by introducing a bold gray to the walls. The white upholstered chairs keep it visually anchored to the rest of the house.
Unique lighting fixtures act as the focal point in many of the rooms. This mod appendage fits beautifully over the oblong table and has a poetic relationship with the tall orchid beneath.
Though easily overlooked, this hallway is one of our favorite spaces on the first floor. The built-in bench is a perfect spot to perch with a good book and cup of tea. The hallway also serves as the bilateral axis between the den and dining room, directing our gaze to the staircase.
Tyler strategically manipulated the width of the staircase to create an interesting focal point at the end of the hallway. The narrow steps are surrounded by white wood paneling, which harkens the quaint aesthetics of East Hampton homes.
Tucked in the corner of the first floor of the house is an adorable reading room. Dressed with both traditional and contemporary accents, the room has just enough furniture to feel spacious, but welcome repose.
The second floor is comprised primarily of bedrooms and a large entertainment room. Each space on the top floor was composed just as strategically as those on the bottom floor. Several of the rooms are arranged symmetrically, but they don’t feel contrived. The key to designing a comfortable interior, notes Tyler, is to balance your modern and traditional elements, so that the space feels flexible, not stiff.
The staircase culminates at this landing where our view is met with another cool light fixture that intersects the window.
Even the children’s rooms are arranged symmetrically around a central window. The twin beds have traditional headboards, but the desk and fiberglass chair add a contemporary edge.
A stunning home indeed! Thank you to Tyler and the homeowners for taking us behind the scenes of this inspired design. Click here to learn more about Allard Ward Architects.
And thanks to Wiff Harmer for the gorgeous photography featured in today’s article!