If you have even a mild interest in Southern interior design, you’ve likely heard the name Lori Paranjape tossed around a time or two. Known for her impeccable taste and thoughtful details, the Nashville-based designer — and founder of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors — has had a hand in projects ranging from one coast to the other. Her client roster includes professional athletes, recording artists, young entrepreneurs, and corporate magnates. You can find one of her recent projects just outside of Memphis — a two-story stunner in Germantown, TN, that boasts everything from a gorgeous pool house and a dedicated dog zone to the prettiest laundry room you’ve ever laid eyes on.
A newly constructed residence with six bedrooms, seven full baths, and two powder rooms, the 10,000-square-foot beauty boasts ample space for both entertaining and everyday family living. The latter, it turns out, was the inspiration for the home’s design and layout, with a significant emphasis on clean interiors that stray from more traditional, sometimes-fussy styles that often accompany such a grand home. Take a peek!
When Lori received an inquiry from a pair of longtime admirers of her work, she knew the project was special. “We were well aligned,” she says of their immediate connection. “They had been following me for some time and felt the work I did was well-suited for what they were hoping to accomplish.” Young and energetic, the couple offered plenty of design motivation, too. “They’re a super cool family and have four precious kids,” Lori tells us. “They are undoubtedly the inspiration for everything that we did.”
With a clean and casual aesthetic in mind, Lori worked with Memphis architect David Anderson, builder Albertine Company, and Marley Slutz of Fields Landscape Architecture to create the family’s dream home.
“The design brief from them was that they wanted a clean, fresh style, but they wanted their house to be comfortable, livable, and casual,” says Lori of the clients’ vision. “Any time I tried to sneak in anything a little formal, that was the only time we ever got pushback. For example, they wanted to make sure the dining room wasn’t fancy. They wanted it to be relaxing. Beyond that, they were exceptionally trusting.”
That level of trust between designer and client paid off. Two and a half years after their initial design inquiry, the family moved into their new residence — a thoughtfully crafted masterpiece that’s picture-perfect and practical.
The home’s kitchen is captivating, with neutral cabinetry providing the ideal backdrop for a tremendous 60-inch range imported from France and a locally fabricated hood with polished gold trim. Slabs of marble were used to create a textured, natural stone backsplash, while bulletproof quartz provides durable countertops to stand up to an active family. Oversized solid brass hardware lends elegance to the clean-faced cabinets. On either end of the kitchen, vintage French doors with oval glass and original hardware are standout features that close off the main living space from the pantry and scullery.
Nearby, a breakfast nook swims in natural light, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook their backyard sanctuary. “They wanted a casual place to sit down together for breakfast,” Lori tells us. “The view is unbelievable and looks out onto their private oasis in the backyard.” Opting against a more formal chandelier, Lori chose a fixture with a more straightforward style. “We wanted the room to have a vibe to it and feel like a sunny little nook,” she says.
The homeowners’ affinity for entertaining inspired a wet bar, which serves as a contrasting transitional space from the kitchen and scullery, and also offers a moody zone to break up the bright and airy rooms surrounding it. “It’s the most formal area in the house,” Lori tells us, “but I love having this one spot of drama and darkness with that gorgeous window!” Black cabinetry, black grasscloth, and a dark stone backsplash make for a wonderfully bold bar area.
Located on the first floor, the primary suite includes a master bathroom, office, and his-and-hers closets. Multiple seating areas in the main bedroom add warmth and a place to curl up with a good book. Meanwhile, the master bathroom boasts a custom tile display that features brass inlays, creating an eye-catching pattern.
His-and-hers closets give the homeowners separate enclaves for their wardrobe and accessories. In particular, the “hers” side is simply enchanting, with a feminine overhead fixture from Arteriors as well as Farrow & Ball’s “Calamine” shade on the custom cabinetry. “It’s one of my favorites,” says Lori of the delicate pink hue. “I’ve used this on several closets because I can’t help myself! It’s so flattering and such a universally great color.”
As young girls are wont to do, the homeowners’ daughters had wonderfully expressive opinions about their future bedroom. “The girls wanted a very feminine, playful space,” says Lori, “and they wanted to share a room, so we didn’t do individual bedrooms. We went full-on girly, with floral wallpaper and pink cabinetry in the adjacent doll room. We made it layered and sweet and timeless.” The result is a lovely room fit for princesses, with a colorful, character-filled aesthetic. “It was such a fun palette to work with,” says Lori.
Similarly, the family playroom is vibrant, energetic, and ready to host hours of entertainment for years to come. “It’s a hardworking playroom,” Lori laughs, adding, “There are different stations, including TV gaming and craft stations. We purposely kept open floor space so they can play, and there’s a nice, big closet, so they have a better shot at staying organized with four kids.”
“I feel like we swung for the fences with the amount of space devoted to what we call the back of house,” Lori tells us. “To us, that’s all of the ways that a family will load and unload as they enter and exit their house. It’s the pathway between the kitchen and the garage door.” For this particular project, Lori worked closely with David, the architect, to design a space that hosts a family powder room, planning office, dog room complete with built-in dog crates, and laundry room. That section of the house, which is approximately 400 square feet, is easily distinguished by a change in flooring — the wood transitions to thin brick, which offers a heartier foundation for heavy foot traffic.
The entire “back of house” offers a well-thought-out design with practicality in spades, but the laundry room truly stands out. While most laundry rooms simply serve as a spot in which to wash, dry, fold, and stash, this one exceeds mere form and function. Four machines accommodate several laundry loads at once, and generous countertop space means plenty of room to fold and stack. Large lockers feature doors with the children’s initials, and two closets offer sizable storage options.
“Four kids make some laundry!” exclaims Lori. “So, we gave them lots and lots of cabinetry. There are machines on each end of the room and a folding surface. On the other side of the island, there are openings for each family member to slide in all of their laundry. That way, it doesn’t sit on the floor.”
Additionally, a screened-in porch makes an ideal spot to enjoy the sunshine, watch the rainfall, or cozy up in the winter, thanks to Lori’s attention to detail. “We did drapery so they can enjoy it for a few more seasons,” she says. “There was also a little edit during construction because they really wanted outdoor dining in there — not just in the pool house — so David drew an addition with a dining table.”
And, as if the home’s interiors weren’t impressive enough, the exterior is equally attention-grabbing with impeccable landscaping and a pool house that offers a backyard retreat. The pool house boasts a full kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and even shuffleboard!
Lori has nothing but wonderful things to say about the project, adding, “The builder and architect were amazing. The clients were really open to making the house beautiful, functional, and casual. As long as everyone was working toward that same goal, they were happy and amenable to our suggestions. If I could clone them, that would be incredible! We’re actually working on their beach house now.”
Given how incredible the Germantown home is, we can only imagine what they have to look forward to with a beach house!
Special thanks to Aimée Mazzenga for the beautiful photography.
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