The 1950’s gave us some darn groovy things:  poodle skirts, silly putty, drive-in movies, Elvis’s rockin’ pelvis and Barbie dolls.  The 50’s gave us some important life changing things too:  the polio vaccine, the Cold War, Harry Truman and the states of Hawaii and Alaska.

Another hallmark of this decade was the ranch-style house. Designed to accommodate servicemen returning from World War II and their soon-to-be baby boomer offspring, ranch homes seem to have been as proliferate as the babies they housed. A practical solution to growing housing needs, they sprang up everywhere. But today, many ranch home owners find themselves tied up in a love-hate relationship with their house. Though the ranch style offers a ton of light and huge spaces, the architecture often presents formidable challenges when it comes to renovating, forcing owners to tear down and start over to meet their design needs.

The 1950’s also marks the decade when Joelle and Brant Phillips’ house was built. What you are about to see is the total transformation of their Green Hills ranch-style home, which has been renovated to provide them a personal refuge from the busy lives they both lead as corporate attorneys.

All photography in today’s post was done by the wonderful Wiff Harmer

Joelle and Brant Phillips’ home in Green Hills

The side view of the house with its arches and garden entrance

Enter Van Pond of Van Pond Architecture and Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp of R. Higgins Interiors. Just like a well-oiled machine, the team worked laboriously to incorporate all  aspects of Joelle and Brant’s vision of their dream home.

Some thoughts from Van Pond:

“This project was an aggressive re-envisioning of a 1950’s single-story ranch-style home. A key piece to the strategy was, in fact, the existing organization of the house. The owners and I came to the project to enlarge the home with an understanding that there were major components of the existing plan which were delightful – and we worked to capitalize on them. A case in point was the proportion and interior-to-exterior relationship of the living room. In this location the house was, and remains, one room deep with great transparency and views to both the front and rear of the property. Additionally, the room was well-proportioned, and this really led the renovation and addition plans in terms of its gracious, but not too-large presence. That’s what we worked toward with the rest of the plan – aiding and abetting that room and carrying its influence into the whole project.”


Here’s what Joelle had to say about their work:

“Any renovation project involves a lot of careful planning. We were so fortunate to find Van Pond and Ann Shipp. Together, we thought not just about how the new spaces would look, but also about how Brant and I wanted to live in those spaces. I knew, for example, that I wanted a kitchen where I had room to cook with my mother and Brant’s mother at the same time. I knew I wanted a room all three of my nieces  — who love being together — could share for overnight stays. I knew I wanted to see all my father’s books on the shelves. Thinking about how we wanted to live in the rooms helped us to talk with Ann and Van about how to plan the space. I’m always so happy, now, when I see us using the rooms the way we contemplated them back at the planning stage.”


The end result of the Phillips’ home can be captured in one, succinct word: stunning.


Multiple sitting areas and dual ottomans by Lee Industries give this room incredible panache.

The living room reflects the Phillips’ love of a classical design style, integrating many different fabric patterns and textures. Notice how lovely the English antiques are, creating elegance and comfort.

The vintage light fixture and antique desk add an old world feel to this study.

The small study off the main floors houses family photographs and favorite books. The stately desk was found at Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, always a great outing to make with Roger and Ann.

What a spectacular view of the main floor.


The above shot of the main hallway gives you a gorgeous view of the repetitive arches found throughout the house. If you are not familiar with Van Pond’s work, know this: he is one of the best architects in Nashville.

The kitchen, with its contrasting cabinets and natural wood flooring, creates a feel of sophistication and simplicity. The walnut counter top and customized backsplash add an interesting element to this practical kitchen.


The window treatment is Breda, a fabric from Robert Allen. The vintage light fixture adds to the charming breakfast nook.

The pleated window treatment and Schumacher wallpaper make the upstairs landing simply dreamy.

The upper landing presents a calm resting spot with its natural lighting and built in window seat and cabinetry.

The vintage light fixture was rewired to add ambiance to the master bedroom.

Natural light, warm hues and subtle patterns makes the master bedroom one of the most cherished rooms in the house.

Joelle loves wallpaper. Here in the master, it’s Bell Flower by Schumacher.

Once again, notice the use of arches throughout the house. The ceiling, painted ever so subtly, provides a wonderful contrast to the wallpaper and trim color.

The Phillips enjoying gin-gin mules at the Carlyle. (Lucky dogs!)

Thank you, Joelle and Brant, for opening up your home to our StyleBlueprint readers. It’s simply breathtaking, and a place we know you will enjoy living in for years and years to come.