Alan and Heather Looney certainly aren’t strangers to luxury homes. As the power couple behind Nashville’s distinguished building firm, Castle Homes, their beautiful custom builds and home renovations are peppered throughout Music City, from West Meade to Green Hills and beyond. But there’s something special about one particular property they’ve built that’s located on Belle Meade’s outskirts, where Chickering Road meets Old Hickory Boulevard … they call it home. Located in an exclusive gated community called Middleton, a stone’s throw from nearby Percy Warner Park, the roughly 6,000-square-foot residence rests on a one-acre lot. The two-story stunner is set against a wooded area that backs up to the Harpeth River — a secluded sanctuary tucked in amongst the trees.

Alan’s affinity for Dutch Colonial and English Arts and Crafts-style architecture inspired the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath family abode, which boasts an open floor plan, oversized windows, and a backyard fit for entertaining. There’s even a separate pool house complete with a full bath, and all of it flows together to form a perfectly picturesque landscape. In fact, it has drawn in many a passerby. “The curb appeal is the first thing that grabs you,” says Alan. “People come into this neighborhood and park in front of the house just to look.” Additionally, Heather’s innovative and inspired design style lends itself to a tranquil interior that highlights organic tones and capitalizes on natural light. The home, which was completed in 2015, has been a longstanding dream for the successful duo, who had the lot on their radar for several years before it went on the market. “Middleton has been a unique little community,” Alan tells us. “There aren’t very many gated communities in Nashville, and it has been there for several years. We built a home there before, and we moved out a few years ago, but we loved the neighborhood and the community. We had our eyes on [that lot] for many years. Finally, when it came on the market, we were fortunate enough to buy it.” Downsizing from a larger house, the couple felt there was an opportunity to get rid of rooms they weren’t utilizing and invest in their long-term family retreat.

Looney House, white painted brick

This gorgeous, custom-built Nashville abode is a forever home for renowned Castle Homes owners Alan and Heather Looney.

Front entryway of the Looney Castle Homes house

Custom-designed features such as a gas lantern on the front door offer eye-catching exterior elements to contrast the Sherwin Williams Pure White-painted brick façade, while the custom large-scale windows from Pella’s architectural series add dimension. The limestone walkway and accent around the front entrance welcome guests in style. The front door is thick, reclaimed white oak, designed in-house at Castle Homes. Scallop detail in the glass adds character and elegance.

The Looney kitchen is a sight to behold, with a beautiful cedar ceiling that stretches into the living room, giving the space a heightened level of warmth and depth. They even used a two-layer stain technique to give the beams an aged look. “The goal was to give it an old world-meets-modern feel,” Alan says of the ambiance. “The house has a transitional feel, but you have that warmth of texture there, so it’s not too cold. There’s a sense of coziness.” The result is a ceiling that perfectly balances out the white walls. Other standout features include the Calcutta marble countertop on the island and the Walker Zanger backsplash behind the stovetop.

Kitchen island by Castle Homes

High-end appliances such as a Wolf microwave drawer, 48-inch Wolf range, eight-burner stove, and two Sub-Zero refrigerators make dinner prep a breeze.

Castle Homes kitchen with wolf range and island

A custom-made shelving unit extends down from the ceiling, backlit by the kitchen windows. To the windows’ right and left, refrigerators are made to look like cabinets for a warm and less cluttered look.

Kitchen pantry at the Looney house

The fully stocked pantry is designed for function and beauty, with plenty of shelving and storage. There’s even an overflow refrigerator for drinks and more.

Living room by Castle Homes with beamed ceiling

The extraordinary limestone mantel in the family room was designed in-house and custom-made by a stonecutter out of Texas. “There are so many features in our home from the materials that we put in it that make it so unique,” Alan tells us.

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The study with piano and sitting area

Painted in Labradorite by Sherwin Williams, the study is a welcoming room perfect for piano lessons or curling up with a good book. With a pattern designed by Castle Homes and made by Vintage Millworks, a tracery ceiling adds an intricate yet graceful touch. “I love the whole house, but that’s one of my favorite rooms,” says Alan. “I love going into that room to read and hang out. My daughter does a lot of piano lessons each week in there. It’s a really versatile room.”

Master bedroom with four-poster bed

A four-poster bed by Theodore Alexander is the focal point in the master bedroom.

Stairwell to second floor at Alan and Heather Looney's home

Six-inch white oak flooring runs throughout the entire house, made even richer in color by a unique staining process. This handsome staircase leads to the second floor, which features two children’s bedrooms, a guest room, the media room and a golf simulator.

Alan and Heather Looney's dining room

A massive, antique mirrored piece leans up against the wall in the dining room and breakfast area, opening up the space and accenting the dining room light fixture by Fortuny. “Somehow, a mirror always makes a room feel even bigger,” says Alan.

open floor plan by Castle Homes, with hallway and stairwell

“It’s a very open concept,” Alan says of the interior design done by his wife, Heather, in collaboration with their dear friend, designer Rozanne Jackson, of The Iron Gate. “We wanted to make sure we brought in a lot of natural light,” he adds.

Powder bath by Castle Homes

This powder bath boasts intricate tiles, a custom-made vanity designed in-house, and an ornate light by Fortuny.

An outdoor covered porch at the Looney's house in Forest Hills

An outdoor covered patio offers the ideal entertaining space for friends and family.

Covered porch by Castle Homes, lit up during twilight

At dusk, ornate lanterns cast a decorative glow over the patio space, which also includes a dining table and a living area with a fireplace.

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Exterior view of Alan and Heather Looney's home

The Looney’s home boasts an exquisitely styled landscape, designed by Gavin Duke at Page | Duke Landscape Architects.

Exterior of the Looney home, poolside

Bush-hammered limestone surrounding the pool decking makes for clean lines and a beautiful presentation.

Guest house at Looney residence, by pool

A standalone structure serves as the Looney’s pool house and home gym. “We have an amazing pool house that has workout equipment,” says Alan, “but somebody could actually use it as a bedroom if they wanted to because it has a full bath. It could be a mini guest house. In the morning, when we’re working out, we can see the sunrise coming up and the natural light coming in all the windows. The view of the pool is really awesome.”

Diving board at Looney house pool

This contemporary diving board is a wonderful accent for the pristine pool.

Gate with bronze cannonball closure

“When you have a swimming pool, you have to have a gate,” Alan explains. “You have to have self-closing hinges for building codes.” Alan and Heather opted to go the old-school route with standard solid brass hinges, adding a cannonball gate closure to give their side door a unique and striking design element that’s functional and low-maintenance.

Espalier pear tree in the Looney's back yard

In the backyard, an espaliered pear tree offsets the white-painted brick wall.

Garage with rain chains by Castle Homes

Rain chains hang down from the garage gutters, offering a more appealing solution for drainage. “There’s such a big overhang on that garage that if you put a regular downspout on, it has to sweep back towards the house, and it’s not very attractive,” says Alan. “So, we put rain chains in. They go down and collect into a pebble-filled pot that has a drain underneath.”

“When we’re home, we don’t want to go anywhere else,” Alan tells us gratefully. With COVID preventing the Looney family from their typical travel schedule, they are fortunate to have a home that offers a peaceful year-round oasis. “The way the house was designed makes it a great retreat,” Alan explains. “Especially this past year, we’ve come to really appreciate it even more — not traveling much and being at home.” A multi-purpose room that ties into the laundry room is designated for school and office work, which gives the Looney family ample space for both working from home and remote learning. “We have two computers set up so the kids can do their schoolwork and Zoom classes,” Alan says. “It’s right next to the kitchen, so they’re not off somewhere upstairs hiding out on the computer.” In fact, the home was designed to keep the whole family engaged, with televisions and computers strategically placed to capitalize on family time together. “We don’t like the idea of electronic devices being in the bedrooms,”  Alan says, adding that the upstairs media room was also installed with the idea of family connection in mind. “We have a big screen hanging up, and we do that on Friday nights,” he shares. “We also have a golf simulator.” Though Alan and Heather have built several homes together over the years, he admits this one was the most challenging. “I guess that’s because the kids were older,” he muses. “We were trying to keep them in mind for the long term, and we want it to be a home they can come back to when they get out of college. It’s a nice little sanctuary for us.” A sanctuary, indeed.

All images by Reed Brown Photography.

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