A family of five from San Diego, the Jones family recently relocated to Nashville and sought out the services of the fabulous Julie Couch. Amy Jones shares, “My sister, a Nashville ‘native’ of 12 years, told us that Julie Couch was the decorator to call … and we were not disappointed!”
The family wanted a home that was the enviable balance of elegant, relaxed and livable. Drawn to a neutral color palette with touches of soft blue and a little green, the couple worked with Julie to make the home in Brentwood, designed by residential designer Jack Herr and built by Grove Park Construction, a respite for their family.
The home was completely built out and move-in ready when they purchased it. The family had previously spent a significant amount of time on a remodel at home, and this time they wanted to find a house that was ideal for their family without any renovations required. That left Julie a clean, blank slate to decorate. With a shorter timeline requested, the entire home was installed in eight months – the kids’ rooms in just four! Julie tells us, “For me, the most challenging aspect was the kids’ rooms. I usually try not to go with a theme, but they each really had ideas of what they wanted. And anytime you know you can make someone happy, you go with that!”
Julie was able to create a special space for the adults, too. An entire family of avid readers, with more books than Julie had ever encountered with any other client, special consideration went into cozy spots to curl up with a captivating read. In the master bedroom, a neutral nook with a comfortable grey couch, two swivel chairs and two ottomans for kicking back or balancing a cup of coffee, begs for relaxation. Julie says she was especially excited about this part of the home because she knew it would be practical for the couple. She says, “With the luxury of the size of this room, everything is really human-scale, making it truly inviting and useful. They have an adult living room, which as the kids get older and take over the family room, will be a nice retreat.”
The large scale throughout the home was both challenging and exciting when it came to the design. Many of the rooms called for larger custom furniture sized to be both proportional to the room and its furniture counterparts. The clients wanted no clutter and a clean aesthetic, which meant it was important to have the exact right piece in the exact right size. In the entry, one of the especially large areas in the home, Julie had the 96-inch console table built and found a mirror that was 72 inches wide. Julie mentions, “It’s hard to get a feel for it from a picture, but when you walk through, you can feel just how massive the space is. We did a simple vignette, not too formal or intimidating because the scale was so large.”
For the homeowners, Amy and Kyle, it was an understated elegance they were after. Having worked with many families, Julie understands the importance of balancing style and beauty with function and durability, and she was able to implement it into each area of the family spaces. Sticking to that neutral color palette, the family room, casual dining area and kitchen flow together seamlessly. The family room is where they spend most of their time, so it houses a super deep sofa and plenty of lamps for more reading. Adjacent to the family room is a large farm table for breakfast and casual dining and a big island with barstools in the kitchen. “When I was there, the kids were sitting at the bar doing homework after school,” she says. “Everything in there is durable, nothing fragile.” It’s a practical, peaceful space.
“My favorite room in the home, though, is the dining room,” Julie tells us. “They have their entire family over for a meal every single Sunday, so I know this area will be utilized.” Julie selected a custom armoire for extra dishes and a credenza that’s even taller and longer than usual with more surface area for entertaining. “I feel like that’s such a beautiful space to be the backdrop of family gatherings and parties,” Julie says.
Throughout the home, Julie is able to marry practical and pretty. She says, “I am unapologetic about things being pretty. It can also be pretty and also be totally functional. I think successful design can be both – it doesn’t have to be just one or the other.”
And the homeowners certainly agree. Emphatically they tell us, “Julie helped us create a space that is beautiful without being boastful, sophisticated but not stuffy. She captured the understated-elegance we were hoping to achieve … the kind of house where our friends, and their kids, can feel at ease. Julie created a home where we are equally comfortable hosting a ladies luncheon or a party for a dozen 12-year-old boys. Most importantly, for our very tight-knit family, we wanted our home to be a refuge from the world. We wanted our space to be a sanctuary. Julie and her team did a fabulous job bringing the vision of our dream home to life.”
All photography by Kristen Mayfield.
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