For a couple looking for a second home, this antebellum-style farmhouse offered a getaway that elicits a sense of serenity. Found in Fairview, TN, a town about 45 minutes outside of Nashville, the property attracted owners Toni and Jim Turner at first glance. Drawn to the site as a compass needle is drawn to point north, the couple purchased the estate and fittingly named it “True North.”
A journey through the property creates an illusion of entering a resort. The drive through manicured acres, which were designed by Page|Duke Landscape Architects, lands you at the estate. Designer Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors was awestruck upon seeing the several hundred acres for the first time. Roger is responsible for making the house a place in which the Turners could relax, feel at home, and entertain friends and family. With few preconceived ideas of how they wanted the home to look, Roger calls the Turners the ideal clients, and with their blessing, he focused on creating a timeless appeal. “When you think of a Middle Tennessee farm, you want it to be comfortable and relaxing with great views. This is what we were hoping to communicate,” Roger says of the inspiration.
A sense of calm, which the homeowners and their guests instinctively respond to, can be found not only in the lush greenery, but also inside the home. After stepping through the columns, visitors are greeted with a design concept that celebrates comfortable living. Despite formal living areas and design dictated by antique pieces, generous scale seating and chairs offer ample options to land and put up your feet. The home was move-in ready when purchased, but Roger did not want it to feel like new construction. That drove his decision to create a concept that made it look as if furnishings had been accumulated over time and made the home feel as if it was occupied by a family and had been for some time.
The curation of pieces came from Roger’s love of and experience with antique sales, consignment stores and markets. “I think nothing is off limits. Sometimes, those unexpected shopping places are where you find the unusual pieces that make a statement,” Roger shares. A few noteworthy finds are the plaster rose window found through an antique dealer in Georgia, the glazed terra-cotta horse head that hangs over the television and the old Italian mirror that lives in the dining room. Although this is not Roger’s first time curating a collection of pieces for someone else, there were a few pieces of art he found himself struggling to part with. Regardless of his difficulty watching these pieces go, he knew they were ideal for the space.
From the foyer, you find the living room on the right and the dining room on the left. Straight ahead is a family room with a kitchen to its left. Behind the family room sits the screened porch with a breakfast room and the far side of the kitchen to the left of the porch. The hall to the right of the family room takes you to the master bedroom and bathroom.
On the second floor, there are four guest bedrooms with separate baths. There is also a “hospitality room” for guests to gather and engage.
Another interesting design element is the use of wallpaper. “I used wallpaper in the bathrooms and in a couple of places, such as the bar area,” Roger tells us. “Wallpaper is an instant way to add personality to a space — it is not just a paint color, but it is a style. It immediately represents more of a person than paint color can.” The personality of the homeowners can be found in the wallpaper and décor.
The converted attic houses a bedroom, bath, washer/dryer and small kitchen. In a house that is otherwise traditional, the third floor design comes as a bit of a surprise, which is what the homeowner wanted. Roger credits Gavin Duke as an influence and help with the layout of the wood and the floor plan. This unexpected aesthetic of the space is enhanced by the double chimney, designed by Roger and Gavin, and the sweeping views of the property.
This Tennessee farmhouse suits the Turners’ personalities and the rural setting. It reflects the reality of a modern, lived-in space that celebrates function, form and design, and it’s definitely a place they can relax and feel at home.
REGIONAL RESOURCES (a listing of some, not all, of the wonderful vendors):
- B. Berger Fabrics (Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX)
- Bella Linea (Nashville, TN)
- Charlotte Terrell (Nashville, TN)
- Chelsea Textiles (Atlanta, GA; High Point, NC)
- Duralee Fabrics (Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX)
- F. Schumacher (Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX)
- Herndon & Merry (Nashville, TN)
- Interlude Home (AmericasMart Atlanta, GA)
- Lee Industries (Conover, NC)
- Myers Flooring (Nashville, TN)
- Nashville Flea Market (Nashville, TN)
- Robert Allen (Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA)
- Scott Antique Markets
- Steven Postans Antiques (Sarasota, FL)
- Summer Classics (Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC)
- Visual Comfort (Houston, TX)
- Woodstock Vintage Lumber (Nashville, TN)
- Zoffany (Atlanta, GA)
Thank you to Shannon Fontaine Photography for the lovely visuals, to Toni and Jim Turner for welcoming us into their home and to Roger Higgins of R. Higgins Interiors for sharing insight into his design.
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