Tucked along a quaint road in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, TN, this small cottage was born anew by the transformative wand of interior designer extraordinaire Julie Couch. Ideal for a small family, this sensible home makes the most of its space through a clever interplay of neutral fabrics, metallic accessories and spontaneous pops of color. Julie brings the perfect balance of Nantucket charm and modern glamour into a smart space that is both romantic and sophisticated. Take a look at the impressive results of this thoughtful design.
When working with a small space, it’s crucial to maximize natural light. Julie didn’t change the size of the windows, but simply framed them with sheer curtains to let ample light flow through. She also kept the colors of the living room predominantly neutral, capitalizing on grays, beiges, whites and the occasional pale pink or deep blue. The fabrics on the furniture vary between linens and plush velvets, creating a collage of laid-back materials and rich finishes. In addition to feminine vases of flowers and pieces of abstract art, Julie also introduced an eclectic range of accents from cool metal serving trays to vintage picture frames and books, and wooden and marble tables. By carefully layering modern and antique pieces, Julie creates a space that is polished, but not stiff.
Leading off of the living room is the dining room, which is connected to the kitchen. A large, minimalist wooden table sits at its center with an oversize, modern shade hanging overhead. A white, upholstered bench, perfect for two, crowns the head of the table, lending the space a feminine undertone. The decor in this room is kept simple and clean, as it’s primarily a room to sit comfortably, dine and converse without superfluous adornment. A small, rolling bar, topped with flowers, elegant barware and a bottle of spirits, adds just the right amount of texture and color.
A small kitchen may not sound ideal for a family with children, but if it’s designed efficiently, it can actually work well as shared space. Julie kept the cabinetry, countertops and walls white to reflect light around the room. Patterned blue blinds add a pop of color without interfering with the rest of the design. The counter atop the bar is incredibly spacious, an ideal surface to prep food or serve it to eager eaters seated on the other side. The stainless steel appliances are state-of-the-art, and while they lend a modern, industrial edge to the space, they don’t dominate the provincial features like the wooden table and stools and the upholstered bench.
The home was arranged to include two children’s rooms on the main floor, one for a boy and the other for a girl. Julie chose to paint the walls of the boy’s room a soft gray, which is an easy color that transitions with age. By adding colorful geometric blankets, pillows and ottomans, she brings pattern and texture into the room, thereby keeping it fresh and youthful.
The upstairs is comprised of a small hallway and the master bedroom and bath. Julie decorated the hallway to feel like an intimate nook where you could curl up with a good read. Decorated with vintage photographs and beautiful coffee table books, this unassuming landing is one of the best illustrations of what can be done with small, peripheral spaces. Keeping the accents rich in tone and texture, Julie endows this space with a distinct heirloom quality.
The master bedroom is also quaint, but equally deserving of design praise. Dressed in clean whites, it is a totally relaxing room. It feels soft and welcoming, thanks in large part to the abundance of plush fabrics, a cozy rug and a neatly upholstered headboard, which anchors the space. Julie kept the accessories fairly minimal to create openness and, more importantly, tranquility. Two identical lamps and nightstands flank the bed, providing a much-welcomed symmetry to the design.
In the basement of the home, Julie created a totally usable and hip rec room that includes a mudroom lined with cubbies. Painted a deep gray-green and outfitted with wicker baskets, these cubbies are ideal for storing totes, jackets, scarves and all of the sporting equipment that inevitably makes its way to the kitchen table or the foot of the stairs. A small oriental rug is the finishing touch to this well-curated entrance.
Proof of the efficacy of smart design, this charming cottage is sensible and surprisingly spacious. With the perfect balance of feminine and modern features, it is a place to feel welcomed and inspired. Julie Couch, time and time again, resurrects a house in need of warmth and light, generating a timeless space in which a family can grow and prosper.
Today’s beautiful photography by Alyssa Rosenheck Photography, LLC
A special thanks to Julie and the homeowners for sharing this gorgeous house with us today. To see more of Julie’s work, click here.