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In light of the second home craze that continues to sweep the nation, more and more Nashville residents are looking outside of Music City proper for land that offers solace and a place to renew the spirit. Dreams of a wooded escape are what led one Nashville couple to Overton Retreat, an exclusive gated community in McMinnville, Tennessee.

On the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, surrounded by a lake and forest, the upscale mountaintop homes of Long Mountain are less than two hours from Nashville, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Caney Fork River, and less than 40 minutes from beautiful Fall Creek Falls. It’s easy to wax poetic about the area as a whole, but we were eager for an inside look at some of the local homes, which boast everything from custom lighting to nature-inspired finishes. This Interior Anthology-designed home is a prime example — the perfect marriage of a cabin in the woods and modern sensibility.

A great room featuring a Tennessee fieldstone fireplace.

Hunter green accents, locally sourced Tennessee fieldstone, and columns with natural bark inlays create a magical, woodsy oasis in McMinnville.

The craftsman-style residence stands at over 7,000 square feet, with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The interior of this majestic home perfectly fits this year’s popular biophilic design trend, which is apparent in everything from the woven rhododendron handrails to the colossal stone fireplace. With its soaring ceilings and nature-driven design, the house is a nod to the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park.

“We always planned for it to be a very rustic mountain home,” says Interior Anthology owner Jennefer Guthrie. “We never really steered away from our initial concept, though some things evolved.” Among the ideas that evolved is the interior elevator with a secret access door, which serves as a reminder that although the home may be in a somewhat remote location, it’s far from primitive. In fact, it’s chock full of carefully curated features and subtle design details.

“I shopped for years to find the decor, art, and accessories,” Jennefer tells us. “We would travel to Asheville quite frequently, and I would see something and say, ‘We’ll put that in the mountain house.’ I was involved with picking the exterior stone to the doorknobs, so we did a huge amount of procurement for this project.”

A kitchen island with four custom stools in front of a rustic kitchen backsplash.

In the kitchen, custom stools bring in a branch and twig theme, while a curved island softens the space. “When you have a curve, you get more elbow room with the people you’re sitting around,” says Jennefer. “My clients spend a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen, so having a lot of room for people to spread out was essential.”

A rustic kitchen stove backsplash

Lacking ample space for art in the kitchen and dining room areas, Jennefer came up with the idea of incorporating art into a backsplash. “We came across this huge pottery collective in Philadelphia,” she tells us. “They custom-made this scene for us. When you turn the corner and come into the house, that’s the first thing you see.”

A dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a custom light fixture.

Jennefer’s client fell in love with a light fixture she found through an online vintage furniture site, but it was missing the globes. It also happened to be the wrong size for the space. “I did some heavy-duty digging, and I found the guy who makes them,” explains Jennefer. “He recreated the chandelier for us, and the globes are wire and crystal.” Floor-to-ceiling windows complete the look, bringing in tons of natural light, while smaller rectangular windows are a nod to the home’s craftsman style.

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The master bedroom at a rustic Overton Retreat home.

The largest bedroom in the home, the owner’s bedroom offers ample space and a sunset view.

The master bath offers a curved shower and birch tree wallpaper.

“When we started planning her bathroom, my client knew she wanted a curved shower,” says Jennefer, “and she wanted stone everywhere. She wanted to feel like she was out in the woods, walking into a rustic retreat.” Birch tree-adorned wallpaper beautifies the remainder of the space.

A grand home deserves a grand entryway, and this one is no exception. With a foyer that boasts an overhead catwalk and leads to an expansive great room with a stunning Tennessee fieldstone fireplace, there are plenty of eye-catching details to snag your attention — including columns with bark inlay and rhododendron railings, both sourced from Asheville, NC.

“The fireplace mantel is a piece of reclaimed wood from Littlebranch Farm,” Jennefer tells us. “We went to his shop and looked through slab after slab until we found the edge profile we wanted. The stone on the fireplace is very local. I would say that the quarry it came out of is maybe 15 miles away!” To add warmth and depth, Jennefer’s husband Rick sourced an art piece from Emily Leonard, which maintains a place of honor above the fireplace.

The Great Room at the Overton Retreat includes a custom light fixture and Tennessee fieldstone fireplace.

“The light fixture is from Wish Designs,” says Jennefer of the handmade masterpiece that hangs above the great room. “It’s six feet by six feet. It’s huge!”

The entryway of the Overton Retreat home, leading into the great room, with a catwalk overhead.

The view is certainly spectacular, but so is the detailed approach to the interior design. Rhododendron branch railings from Mountain Laurel Handrail twist their way across the catwalk, which leads from one section of the upstairs level to another. Reclaimed barn wood offers an inset on the hickory floor that leads to the great room.

Front entry with stairwell and ornate wooden bench.

“I was at an antique store [Winchester Antique Mall in Franklin, TN], and it was sitting there,” Jennefer says of this ornate bench. “I screamed and immediately told someone that I would take it.” Though the bench lived in her client’s closet at her primary Franklin residence for a while, it now assumes its rightful place in the front entry of the Overton Retreat home.

A hall table with a mirror flanked by twig sconces.

Thoughtfully curated collections, such as this one in the front hall, are spread throughout the house to create attention-grabbing vignettes.

The two-story house boasts quite a few guest rooms, but the standout is a serene, light-filled space that’s fondly referred to as the “Couple’s Suite.” The walls are painted a moody blue to offset the four-poster birch bed from La Lune Collection, and a chandelier from Troy Lighting adds a sophisticated touch. A Navajo-inspired rug from Ralph Lauren provides texture to the space, while an original oil painting by local artist Jason A. Saunders lends a touch of color.

Other notable upstairs spaces include a wine and snack bar, an exercise area, and a billiard room where guests can entertain and be entertained. Additionally, the home boasts around 2,200 square feet of decking from which to observe the stellar views, with both a sunporch and a master suite deck upstairs.

A white birch guest bed with plaid pillows.

This gorgeous white birch bed from La Lune Collection lends a feeling of rustic elegance.

Bathroom with ornate mirror in front of a vintage-inspired window.

“The way the bathroom is laid out, there was no other wall option for the vanity other than the wall with the window,” explains Jennefer. “I was in London visiting a friend, and I went to some of the antique stores down Portobello Road. One of them had an antique table mirror. I took a photo of it and asked my custom furniture guy, ‘Can you build me this? I need it to be four times the size.'” Set in front of a vintage-inspired window, the mirror offers a glimpse of the guest room behind it. Pendant light fixtures made from mica offer a boutique lighting application.

A bunk room with faux antler light fixture.

One of several guest rooms, this space features two sets of custom-made bunks by La Lune Collection. A light fixture of faux antlers adds a fun touch.

Bunk room bathroom with stag wallpaper and a white animal mirror.

Adjacent to the bunk room, this bathroom showcases a whimsical wallcovering from Kravet and a mirror from Pottery Barn Kids.

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Billiard room with pool table.

An upstairs bonus room-turned-billiard room offers a place to shoot pool and relax.

A wet bar with rustic cabinets and wine storage.

Next to the bonus room, the snack and wine bar provides ample space for bottle storage and cocktail accoutrements. “The backsplash tile for the wine bar is from Stone Peak Ceramics in Crossville, Tennessee,” says Jennefer.

Overton Retreat office with book shelves and a desk.

“Our client is what he likes to call semi-retired,” says Jennefer, “so an office was definitely on his list.” If you must work while on retreat, this handsome oasis is the perfect place to do so.

Jennefer feels the most unique piece she procured for the massive residence is the powder room sink, pictured below. “Littlebranch Farms is a local reclaimed wood place, and they sourced the big tree trunk vanity base for us,” she says.

She also mentions the handmade birch panels from former upstate New York shop Arden Creek and the expert tilework from Karen Amies of MacMillan Amies Studio in Alberta, Canada. “She specifically handmade the floor tiles with the colors we wanted,” she tells us. “There are acorns and all sorts of things. We worked on the layout and how to fit the tree trunk on top; we didn’t want gorgeous handmade tiles underneath something where you can’t see them! The whole house has custom things everywhere, but I think that powder room is the most special.”

Powder room with a tree trunk sink base.

With a mirror from Anthropologie, birch panels, and a custom stump vanity from Littlebranch Farm, this powder room might be one of the most intriguing rooms in the house.

A screened-in porch at the Overton Retreat.

The screened-in porch is a special place to curl up, with a fireplace and views that wow no matter the season. “When we found the furniture pieces, they were covered in antelope or deer hide,” says Jennefer, “so we recovered those. They were the right size and the right look, but we had to fix the fabric.”

Porch swing with decorative pillows.

This wonderful custom porch swing from La Lune Collection offers a tranquil spot to recline with a cup of coffee and a book.

Are you daydreaming of your own second home yet? Thanks to Interior Anthology, we know this family will be enjoying their woodsy retreat for many years to come!

Thank you to Reid Rolls for the beautiful photos.


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