Interior designers often act as design counselors, blending a husband and wife’s preferences into one cohesive look. For this custom home in Nashville, the merger was a big success, perhaps because of the mix of styles. “This was one of the hardest homes to put together,” says designer Connie Vernich. “The challenge was trying to make both homeowners, Caroline and Brandon, happy. Brandon loves clean, symmetrical lines and wanted a modern house, whereas Caroline wanted a soft, livable home for the kids, with light blues, soft pastel colors and a beach-traditional feel.”
It helped that Brandon Jenkins is a builder himself, owner of Grove Park Construction, and is used to adding custom touches. Connie and the Jenkins’ have worked together on two previous houses, so their good relationship made the collaboration process go faster and smoother.
This custom new house is in the hills of south Nashville.
Stained herringbone floors and wood ceiling beams soften all the black and white in the foyer. Modern Chippendale-style lacquered cabinets by Bungalow5 with matching accessories add symmetry to the hallway.
Twenty-foot-tall ceilings distinguish the open living room. “Most of the doors and windows in the main area of the home are steel, but there are some wood windows throughout that have been painted the steel color to continue the look,” says the designer.
“The Zak and Fox striped fabric on the pillows and draperies in the living room could come across as harsh if not for the soft gray-blue velvet that pulls the whole room together,” says Connie.
The breakfast room table and wood chairs are from Gabby. “We loved the rounded backs of the chairs that are a modern twist on the traditional French Provincial chair,” says the designer. The ends of the table are flanked by modern slipcovered lace up chairs.
The custom black and brass hood in the kitchen is the focal point of the room. Its high lacquer finish provides a modern luxurious shine against the painted brick wall. The Visual Comfort light pendants in brass and brass-acrylic bar stools add shine and warmth.
This new house makes a strong first impression with a crisp black and white exterior — painted brick with metal accents to distinguish it. “The architect, Champ W. Webb, created a home that’s a modern contemporary update on a Cape Cod Colonial,” says Connie. “It has beautiful steel front doors — also called store-front windows — and modern steel windows in the front of the home.”
Connie continued the black and white motif on the inside but didn’t want the interiors to be cold. Light oak floors and wood beams brought in the character of aged wood to the mix throughout the first floor. “Other ways we warmed up the client’s existing neutral furniture was through the soft-colored leather in the study sofa and leather-bound books,” says the designer. “We also incorporated brass hardware and lighting, which adds such a pretty glow and warmth throughout the space.” Caroline got her beachy look through blue velvet chairs and pillows and a sisal rug in the living room, as well as the blue and white master bedroom with wood-plank ceilings and plenty of feminine touches.
“My favorite room in the house is the study,” Connie shares. “We painted the walls a dark charcoal gray instead of black, and I absolutely love the contrasts in this room.” The tufted leather sofa is flanked by two off-white swivel chairs, a striped metered ottoman and pops of brass.
Dark walls distinguish this sophisticated study. “I’m not a fan of black walls, which can seem harsh,” says Connie. “Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore is a great color than can come off as black but much more livable.” A Clarke & Clarke fabric on the ottoman pulls together the colors of white, “whiskey” brown and charcoal. A mirror nestled in the built-in bookcases adds reflective light and opens up the space.
A rolling ladder (in chic black, no less) outfits the organized pantry in a prettier way than a mundane step stool.
“This powder room is everyone’s favorite,” says Connie. “We designed a custom wood shelf that houses a beautiful shallow ceramic bowl. The back wall is tiled in a very textured limestone mosaic. The mirror is intentionally small but functional, and the hanging brass light pendants have tiny sparkles of light. Walls are painted a dramatic dark taupe.”
A velvet blue-gray headboard grounds the master bedroom, and sets the tone for its soft, dreamy vibe. Velvet trim was added to the off-white linen draperies and pillows.
“This bathroom is WOW,” says the designer. “We started with the black and white patterned tile from Kenny & Company, which is stunning and was the inspiration for the room.”
Master bath vanities are in the Iron Ore color used elsewhere in the house.
Soft white and gold sheer draperies frame the tub area, further accented by the modern brass light fixture.
A fully stocked wine room offers an impressive place for entertaining.
The basement whiskey bar uses dark woods for a masculine feeling.
The bunk room, with its navy and white color scheme, is an ode to the homeowners’ favorite place: the beach.
In the end, Connie feels like she deftly combined bold and subtle, light and dark, edgy and feminine, plus showed how to warm up the ever-popular industrial look. “The result is a traditional yet tailored home featuring warm wood tones, vivid metals and inviting textures,” she says. “It was definitely a balancing act of opposing aesthetics.”
Thanks to Paige Rumore Photography for today’s beautiful photos!
Interior design: Connie Vernich Interiors
Builder: Grove Park Construction
Architect: Champ W. Webb
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