Tyler Pennington spent many childhood years admiring a nearby ranch home that evoked images of the New England coast. Years later, that house went on the market, and an adult Tyler bought it from the original owners and modified the design to fit his family’s needs while preserving the architecture he first fell in love with. “I have lived in the area my whole life and always admired the home,” explains the Brentwood, TN, native. “Many houses in the area built in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s lack the architectural pizazz, but this home is neat and a little different from most because of the stone and cedar siding and detached garage. The original owner built the house in 1973 and raised his family there, so it is really special for him to see me make it my own and have a place to raise my kids.”
In outfitting the home for his family of five, Tyler sought to maintain the original form while upgrading the house with an updated floor plan, resulting in rooms that fit the decades-old bones but are still suitable for a modern lifestyle.
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The light-filled main floor is divided into a living area, dining area and kitchen. The living area features a wonderful wall of doors and a two-story ceiling, and the design reads masculine-meets-modern with warm accent colors that pop against a white backdrop.
Paying respect to the home’s original structure, Tyler reused any available materials. The stone fireplace was recreated from the stone of the home’s original fireplace. Flanked by two armoires, the fireplace creates a warm contrast to the cozy, white sofa.
The primary objective was brightening the kitchen. A large center island anchors the space, but the most interesting design details live in the tile backsplash, the range and the polished limestone hood. Light fixtures with brass shades interrupt the all-white design.
Although there isn’t much color variation in the kitchen, the different materials (quartz countertops, tile backsplash, stone hood and polished nickel finishes) create an intriguing design.
Located off the main entry and across from the kitchen, the dining room holds a reclaimed wood table with an industrial base surrounded by brass-foot chairs that meet somewhere between traditional and modern and upholstered end chairs that soften the space. A modern light fixture chosen by Sara Ray Interior Design mimics the clean lines of the walls.
Antique, wood-carved lamps and a mirror that celebrates Tyler’s love for hunting complete this vignette. To the right, take note of the windows recreated with the original “x” pattern.
A simple design introduces character to the first-floor powder room.
As the owner of White Pines Building Group, Tyler handled much of the work himself. However, he did enlist help from architect Champ Webb of C.W. Design and architect Andrew King of AK Designs for the second-story addition and exterior elements. For the interior design, he turned to Sara Ray Interior Design to design a home “that had a current look without taking the interiors too modern or trendy.” After reconfiguring the space and adding a second story, attention was given to selecting finishes and furnishings that reflect Tyler’s aesthetic while accommodating the wear-and-tear of three young children. “His style is a classic, traditional look with clean lines and modern touches,” explains Sara Ray. When it came to furnishings, the designer focused on fabric that can withstand daily use and easily be washed. Vintage rugs were another smart addition because they can handle heavy traffic and regular cleanings.
Antique and antique-looking pieces pair well with modern elements for a timeless and balanced design that errs on the side of masculine. Two armoires frame the fireplace in the living area; antique wood-carved lamps sit atop a chest in the dining room, vintage rugs are found on all three floors, and antique-looking furniture and finishings offset the more modern selections. “I love design that is historically relevant and well-made materials that, whether old or new, will still look nice in 30 years,” Tyler says. Confident that he could maintain the architecture he first fell in love with and simultaneously improve the interiors, Tyler made his childhood dream home a reality.
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With the original design serving as the foundation of the redesign, Tyler incorporated natural materials that were true to the home and the area while intentionally joining the old with the new. Although the interior was gutted, original materials and aspects of the design were preserved and reused and others were recreated. For example, Tyler points to the new poplar molding found in the entryway and dining room, the hardwood floors milled in Leiper’s Fork, and the windows designed to mimic the original grid pattern. Perhaps the most extensive project was the relocation of the original fireplace. The limestone removed from the original fireplace was salvaged and relocated to its current spot in the central living space. The new fireplace stretches two stories and acts as a focal point of the first-floor design.
Carrying masculine colors into the bedroom creates a cohesive design throughout the first floor. Sara Ray smartly introduces soft textures through the throw, rug and drapery.
The chandelier acts as an unexpected feminine feature in the bathroom and hangs directly over the tub, itself an unusual shape and style.
Instead of adding white cabinetry to create a monochromatic design, natural wood creates more depth and texture.
Rarely do we celebrate the stairs as a favorite feature in the home, but the juxtaposition of the chandelier, railings, moldings and stone fireplace is undeniably beautiful. From this corner of the house, the combination of styles and textures is on full display.
The oldest daughter gave Sara input for her room design, resulting in a colorful and cool space that reflects her personality.
As someone who gravitates towards pinks and frills, the youngest daughter got a design more appropriate for her. Both sisters have one wallpapered wall that suits their style.
Sara has a knack for selecting paint colors in muted hues that feel neutral and soothing. Although this bathroom is pink, it is not overwhelmingly girly. Our favorite feature? The penny tile flooring. Although the deer-head mirrors are a nice tie-in to the rest of the home’s design.
The middle child, who shares his father’s love for hunting, opted for an antelope wallpaper. Again, muted colors work together to create an approachable design. Don’t overlook the vintage brass deer head on the right wall.
His bathroom features a fun sink and light fixtures that are ageless.
The second floor has a guest bedroom, the kids’ bedrooms, a playroom and a study area, while the third floor features a sleeping nook designed for younger guests. Sara designed bunk-style beds to offer privacy for young sleepers without blocking the views and natural light. Next door, a playroom has a slide that carries you from the third-floor playroom to the second-floor playroom.
Tyler was thoughtful with the new design elements he incorporated into the home’s exterior, including the cedar roof, updated stonework, and custom corbels.
The home renovated by Tyler Pennington of White Pines Building Group and Sara Ray Interior Design will continue to be admired by passersby for years to come.
All photos by Gieves Anderson Photography.
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