Published: December 2014

I don’t know about you, but the first time I enter a home that I simply adore, I get this warm and tingly feeling … almost like goosebumps. And then, I want to know ALL about everything that inspired the designer to make his or her decisions. The process fascinates me. Many times, the designer and homeowner are two different people, but every now and then, they are one and the same. Colleen Locke, of Trot, is one such talented soul. Over the years, she has renovated six houses, most recently in the tony neighborhood of Green Hills in Nashville, TN. Today, we get to tour her modern-vintage home, which is all decked out for Christmas, and talk with Colleen about how she followed her passion into an interior design career.

Homeowner Colleen Locke at her vintage, modern home with her sweet Newfoundland, Shia.

Homeowner Colleen Locke at her Nashville home with her sweet Newfoundland, Shia.

Colleen’s first home was more than 150 years old and needed some serious renovating. From there, the design bug set in and a career in design, sourcing and collaborating was born. She also owned a retail store in Ohio, which you may have seen in the “What’s Hot” section of Elle Decor. The store, Trot Home, was seriously cool and the space was fabulous. Along the way, her homes have landed in some of our favorite decor magazines, including Lonny and Domino. Now that Colleen and her family have moved to Nashville, her business sense isn’t devoted to retail sales and sourcing for her store, but to helping friends and clients create their special space and assisting designers from all over find the perfect piece. You see, Colleen has a knack for tracking down fabulous 20th-century items that create the design dance of modern and vintage, which is lovely to behold.

With this love of mixing modern and vintage, we knew that Colleen’s house would be stunning at Christmas, and sure enough, it is. We sent Wiff Harmer of Wiff Harmer Photography to capture this beautiful home.

Just inside the front door, you are greeted by modern art in bright colors. Notice all the moldings, which were added as part of the renovation of this vintage, modern home.

Just inside the front door, you are greeted by modern art in bright colors. Notice all the moldings, which were added as part of the renovation.

Fresh greenery, red bows and felted garland make for nostalgic Christmas decor.

Fresh greenery, red bows and a felted garland make for nostalgic Christmas decor.

Trees, trees, trees! You don't have to deck out each tree with ornaments ... the ornaments in the living room/study are found in bowls and make great pops of color.

Trees, trees, trees! You don’t have to deck out each tree with ornaments … the ornaments in the living room/study are found in bowls and make great pops of color.

This retro mirror adds such a fun element to the room. Add the moose antlers (decorated with silver ornaments) and you have a neutral display with high impact.

This retro mirror adds such a fun element to the room. Add the moose antlers (decorated with silver ornaments), and you have a neutral display with high impact.

A nice view to work from, huh?! Notice the Domino? That has this same house, pre-Christmas decor, inside.

A nice view to work from, huh?! Notice the “Domino” magazine? That issue from July 2014 has this same house, pre-Christmas decor, inside.

More trees peeking up here! And, notice the garland strung across the far wall of art. From this view, you can also see that the silver Christmas tree highlighted a few photos back is actually on a coffee table. Don't be afraid to completely redo your coffee tables this time of year with festive fun.

More trees peeking up here! And, notice the garland strung across the far wall of art. From this view, you can also see that the silver Christmas tree highlighted a few photos back is actually on a coffee table. Don’t be afraid to completely redo your coffee tables this time of year with festive fun.

Colleen Locke Christmas House Nashville StyleBlueprint 14

Have kids that love sports? Always have a soccer ball floating around? Give it a home that will make everyone smile! Notice the fab lighting as well.

Leland Cypress trees and pretty logs flank the fireplace. Note the added garland connecting the logs! And, how fun is the added pop of color from the modern art?

Leland Cypress trees and pretty logs flank the fireplace. Note the added garland connecting the logs! And, how fun is the added pop of color from the modern art?

If there is one thing that you take away from today, note that fresh greens and garland will take your house a long way down the road to holiday perfection!

If there is one thing that you take away from today, note that fresh greens and garlands will take your house a long way down the road to holiday perfection! This bookcase is found in Colleen’s dining room.

Colleen likes to add to her holiday decor each year. This year's finds include these reindeer placed on top of fresh greens on the dining room table. Note the tree in the corner. You can never have too many Christmas trees! Did you notice the fun upholstered chair at the end of the table? There is a matching one at the other end, both wing-backed and recovered in a modern butterfly fabric from Shumaker.

Colleen likes to add to her holiday decor each year. This year’s finds include these reindeer placed on top of fresh greens on the dining room table. Note the tree in the corner. You can never have too many Christmas trees! Did you notice the fun upholstered chair at the end of the table? There is a matching one at the other end, both wing-backed and recovered in a modern butterfly fabric from Schumacher.

The kitchen. Could you just hang out here all day?! The brass hardware, the tile with dark grout, the Calcutta Gold marble ... it's lovely.

The kitchen … could you just hang out here all day?! The brass hardware, the tile with dark grout, the Calcutta Gold marble … it’s lovely.

That oven. That oven. That oven. Swoon.

That oven! That oven! That oven! Swoon.

The breakfast room is right off the kitchen. The holiday addition of boxwood wreaths and poinsettias makes for perfection. Note the white tree as well!

The breakfast room is right off the kitchen. The holiday addition of boxwood wreaths and poinsettias makes for perfection. Note the white tree as well!

The big tree is found in the family room and Colleen says she like the vintage-inspired, colored lights. Garland, fresh greens and candles make up the bulk of the Christmas decor.

The big tree is found in the family room, and Colleen says she likes the vintage-inspired colored lights. Garlands, fresh greens and candles make up the bulk of the Christmas decor in this room.

This fireplace decked out for Christmas is beautiful.

This fireplace decked out for Christmas is beautiful.

A sweet creche is found on side table.

A sweet creche is found on the side table.

Not all wreaths in the house are made from boxwood! And, look at the little garland strings and pinecones!

Not all wreaths in the house are made from boxwood. And look at the little garland strings and pinecones!

Just like in the living room, the family room has a bowl of vintage ornaments for a splash of color.

Just like in the living room, the family room has a bowl of vintage ornaments for a splash of color.

The powder room is drenched in color, a striking juxtaposition in a house otherwise filled with white walls. The vintage tree adds just the right amount of Christmas cheer.

The powder room is drenched in color, a striking juxtaposition in a house otherwise filled with white walls. The vintage tree adds just the right amount of Christmas cheer.

After seeing the house, I couldn’t help but wonder what Colleen’s family’s Christmas traditions were. Here are three keepers:

  1. Her three children, all in their late teens and early 20s, still receive new pjs on Christmas Eve, a tradition passed down from her mother.
  2. Christmas Eve dinner is fondue.
  3. Christmas morning always includes freshly made donuts!

Between the fondue and the donuts, Colleen laughs that a lot of oil is used in her home on Christmas! And, her sweet dog, Chaya, was born on Christmas Eve. Her kids named the Newfoundland, and her Hebrew name means “full of life.” I think Colleen’s whole home is full of life, so this name is telling!

Shia, "full of life," gives us a goodbye greeting.

Chaya, meaning “full of life,” bids us farewell.

Thank you, Colleen for letting us into your home today. Special thanks to Wiff Harmer for the gorgeous photos.