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Perched on the highest floors of the city’s tallest residential high-rise, a two-story penthouse boasts the best bird’s-eye views of the city, plus more than 4,000 square feet of living space, 23-foot ceilings, and an enviable urban design.

The developer of downtown’s first high-rise apartment building, first condominium tower, and tallest residential high-rise (505 Nashville), Tony Giarratana claimed the top two floors of the latter as his personal residence to showcase the caliber of style attainable in this setting. To achieve that level of design and craftsmanship, Tony turned to Trace Ventures, a local, high-quality design-build construction and remodeling firm. Reflecting on the project that was completed last March, Trace Ventures President Mark Holliday says, “This was the opportunity of a lifetime for us — of course, because Tony is very well-known in the city, but also because we had never worked in a high-rise, so this was a new experience and the team nailed it.” Today, designing and building out luxury condo units is a company mainstay.

Working with Chicago-based Frank Ponterio for the interior design, Trace Ventures created a contemporary residence that is inviting for the homeowners and their many guests. The goal of the design, from Mark’s perspective, was creating something modern, yet relaxed and comfortable.

Trace Ventures has made a name for itself as an award-winning design and build firm and is credited with thoughtful remodeling and expanding single-family homes in Nashville’s signature neighborhoods. Now, the company is also considered a go-to resource for high-rise condo build-outs such as this sleek abode for Tony Giarratana at the very top of 505 Nashville.

Natural wood (eucalyptus and European oak), refined-but-comfortable furniture and textured wallcoverings warm up black steel finishes and floor-to-ceiling windows. In the foyer, which is wrapped in a cashmere-wool blend wallcovering, you are introduced to the well-appointed, polished aesthetic of the penthouse; from there, the apartment opens up into an open floor plan that overlooks the city. “Naturally, the windows are a focal point, but as you enter the home, you’ll see a statement light fixture that grabs your attention,” explains Mark. A 200-year-old dining table and wrought-iron fixtures above it also stand out.

Inspired by the homeowner’s love of entertaining, the designer incorporated multiple seating areas and injected intimate spaces within the voluminous first floor. Beyond the grand piano lives another living room marked by built-in steel shelving. The blackened steel continues up the stairway and into the upstairs office. And although “the steelwork came with such incredible difficulty, plus a huge amount of effort and tact to bring the designer’s concept to life,” it is an irreplaceable element of the design.

The same level of craftsmanship and design was applied to the kitchen with top-notch finishes: high-gloss eucalyptus wood imported from Italy, ladder and rail system, a 48-inch custom range hood in brushed stainless steel with polished metal strapping, chevron glass mosaic backsplash, custom sink, and quartzite slab on the island and perimeter countertops. Did we mention that all of the floors are heated?

Herringbone flooring marks the entryway, a moody spot that introduces exquisite elements of design, such as the built-in stone shelf, custom trim work, well-chosen art and an eye-catching light fixture.

Just off the entry, a first-floor powder room received a-list treatment. Looking straight ahead, you’ll see a floating marble vanity, below is diamond-pattern marble mosaic flooring, and above hangs an art-like light fixture that mimics the painting in the entryway.

An open floor plan occupies the first floor of the two-story penthouse. The elegant, yet inviting design doesn’t compete with the expansive views of the city that work as a natural focal point in the space. Again, look up to see a light fixture that will make your jaw drop.

From this angle, you can see the entire first floor, which is divided into separate seating areas to inspire intimate conversation. Plus, notice the outdoor balcony for unobstructed views of Broadway and all of downtown Nashville.

Above the built-in steel fireplace that required thoughtful planning by the Trace Ventures team, photographs taken by the homeowners give nod to their beloved horses that live in Franklin at the homeowner’s full-time residence.

The kitchen is of utmost importance in a penthouse used primarily for entertaining. An inventive design approach resulted in a mix of high-gloss eucalyptus and white paneling paired with a stainless steel custom range hood.

The balancing act between polished and comfortable is evident in upstairs spaces, as well. Views of the Batman building in the master bedroom, honed marble flooring in a geometric pattern and the glass cube-like steam shower in the master bathroom, and a smart application of textured wallpaper and eucalyptus, leather and steel in the office keep the look of the penthouse feeling refined. “No expense was spared to create a comfortable, personal oasis reflecting understated elegance with touches of warmth,” says Mark. When your penthouse overlooks the city from such great heights, you need a design and craftsmanship that parallel the breathtaking views.

The doors of such impressive stature are less-noticed elements of the design, but here, in the master bedroom, the door is on full display — as are the views of the city.

Geometric tiles play tricks on the mind and give the master bathroom flooring a 3D-like feel. When the drapes are open the windows shed light on the fine finishes throughout the space, including the marble flooring.

Various textures work together in this office design. The space sits just-off the mezzanine and flaunts a millwork desk with leather inserts, steel finishes and built-ins in the same high-gloss flamed eucalyptus found in the kitchen. A television is recessed in the wall, which is outfitted in a textured wallpaper.

According to Mark, “when you start with a block of concrete, it seems incredible and impossible to turn it into something as spectacular as this.”

And spectacular it is!

Learn more about Trace Ventures and peruse its portfolio at traceventures.com.

This article is sponsored by Trace Ventures. All photography provided by Frank Ponterio.