When tasked with marrying Bob Collie and Brandon Murphy’s modern and traditional tastes in their Nashville, TN, home, Brad Ramsey of Brad Ramsey Interiors rose to the challenge. And balance was key in his success. “My style is layers and balance,” Brad shares. Through his eight years immersed in the design business, he has mastered the art of this defining style, while still making room for the homeowners’ personalities. “It still feels like their home,” Brad says of the completed design.

Tucked away on Primrose Avenue, steps from Nashville’s bustling Belmont area and only a few more from the ever-growing 12South neighborhood, this home doubles as a relaxing retreat and place to entertain friends. While the interior decor has developed into something the homeowners love, the home’s front bank of windows is what initially sold them on the property. Upon walking through the front door, you are greeted by an open foyer, bookended by a small powder room (that just so happens to be outfitted in some of the loveliest wallpaper we have seen). From there, the floor plan opens up into a living area overlooked by an open kitchen and dining space. Once defined by tones of green and red, the colors are now clean and crisp. “I worked backwards from the slate tile used in the shower floor,” Brad says with a smile regarding his decision to incorporate soft blues and grays throughout the home. The colors and lines are only enhanced by the windows that overlook Primrose Avenue and allow the space to be washed with natural light.

The corner of windows was the selling point on this home! See how to marry modern and traditional design

This view from the kitchen showcases the amount of light that enters the living space via the bank of windows that frame the limestone fireplace. Bob describes the room as multipurpose. “We can sit and watch TV, but we can also open the space to visitors,” he says.

Blend modern and traditional design

The foyer welcomes guests with a flush of natural light, but the eye immediately is pulled upwards to the light fixture. The fixture was a bit of a risk for the homeowners, but it is not one that feels out of place.

Consider wallpaper in a small space

The downstairs powder room is wrapped in an elegant wallpaper that ties in the slate tones found in the remainder of the home.

This living space blends modern and traditional

Upon entering the home, your gaze travels across the room to soak in all of the details, which are highlighted by the natural light. Brad Ramsey was able to blend the couple’s modern and traditional tastes in a balanced manner. While visiting the home, we found ourselves coveting the art, “Light Vessels,” that hangs to the right of the windows. Brad found this piece at Bliss Home.

“We had acquired furniture over the past 15 years of being together and had family pieces that Brad was able to integrate into the vision,” Bob says of their starting point.

“They had a lot of traditional furniture with modern art,” Brad concurs. “We used traditional lines, as you can see with the lamps, tables and chairs, and balanced them with modern pieces.” The unique collection of furniture and trinkets creates a balanced look that works together despite their differences.

One piece both the homeowners and the designer gush over is the chaise lounge. “I would not have initially chosen that piece. I just went along with it,” Bob says of the chaise. “I am glad that Brad suggested it. It adds comfort to the room and makes the room approachable.” The chaise was custom-made based on another piece they had seen and is done in the same fabric as the couch, to create some cohesion. “I love the chaise and the moment it creates,” Brad shares.

Find a way to incorporate both modern and traditional design

Although the homeowners would not have initially chosen the chaise lounge as a piece for the space, it is now one of their favorite areas in the room!

Layer rugs to bring pattern into a space without overwhelming it

Brad chose to layer the rugs to bring pattern into the seating space without overwhelming it. “Your eye can breathe with the perimeter,” Brad says.

Update your space by simply rearranging smaller decor pieces!

“Brad arranged things in unexpected ways. He found a number of pieces that we hadn’t highlighted before,” shares Bob, who has spent many years in the technology space and was gifted this funky piece by his mother.

Don't be afraid to mix and match!

Again, you can see how Brad brought together differing pieces, textures, layers and lines to create a balanced look that represents the couple’s diverse style preferences.

Update your coffee table!

Brandon and Bob have no shortage of coffee table books and accessories. Brad was able to use the books to add interest to the coffee and side tables in the living space and layer them with additional décor items.

The color scheme from the living room flows up the stairs, into the kitchen and dining area and even into the second-floor bedroom. In the kitchen, the steel blue of the cabinets offers a pop against the butcher block countertops, and its richness is enhanced by the walnut bar stools. The built-in cabinetry that displays the couple’s china ties in the traditional, while the light fixture that sits above the table is of the modern variety. Again, traditional and modern find harmony in this space.

This kitchen marries modern and traditional design

The kitchen overlooks the living space and the open plan allows light to be carried throughout the two rooms. The color scheme is continued into the kitchen, where additional modern elements, such as this light fixture, are found.

We just adore these bar stools

The walnut bar stools offer a masculine touch and create interesting lines against the kitchen island. To the right of the island, the couple’s treasured pieces are showcased in the built-in cabinetry.

Take risks with your light fixtures

“I pushed the homeowners into the funky, fun light fixtures,” Brad says. “We took risks, but they are risks that belong.” Bob and Brandon trusted Brad’s ideas and execution and are more than pleased with the end result.

Upstairs, the master bedroom features the same paint color as the downstairs but the aesthetics differ. "The space is masculine, yet polished," Bob says of the bedroom. "It is a room you can turn into a cave but it can also be bright and inviting."

Upstairs, the master bedroom features the same paint color as the downstairs, but the aesthetics differ. “The space is masculine, yet polished,” Bob says of the bedroom. “It is a room you can turn into a cave, but it can also be bright and inviting.”

The layout of the furniture makes the space feel larger and

The layout of the furniture makes the space feel larger and makes for a functional design. In line with blending differing styles, Brad chose to make use of two different side tables. It felt a bit outside of Bob’s comfort zone but he agrees that the pieces help elevate the space in many ways.

Placing the design choices in Brad’s hands seems to have been an advantageous decision for Bob and Brandon. “We are proud of the space,” Bob says. As they should be!

Thanks to Brad for giving us the inside scoop on his design choices and Bob and Brandon for welcoming us into their home. 

Today’s images were shot by Wiff Harmer. Visit her website to see more of her photography.


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