Building the “perfect” home can be a chicken-or-the-egg scenario: Is it the stunning neighborhood that inspires a home’s beauty, or is it the gorgeous home design that increases the aesthetic value of a development? And then every so often, in a moment of residential serendipity, the two collide and exist simultaneously. Você Nashville (pronounced vo-chay) is a neighborhood that celebrates nature’s beauty — the development pays homage to the environment by utilizing specific materials, sustainable design and preservation, and gorgeous natural elements in its homes.
One such Você home is that of Chuck and Mary Mount, who moved into their custom abode last fall. The couple, with the help of Nick Dryden, owner and principal architect of Dryden Architecture and Design (DAAD), embarked on the road to building their idyllic retreat 2.5 years earlier, excited to build their very own “modern treehouse.”
“This site, like many of the sites at Você, is dynamic and tucked into the foot of a hillside and surrounded by mature growth woodlands,” says Nick. “This house is special … it is a peaceful, modern woodland retreat. We wanted to design a robust, durable and low-maintenance house that was bold but also receded into the landscape. Oversized brick, metal panels and metal roofing create the exterior envelope with natural wood representing the underside of a leaf on the overhangs. Those materials were continued to the interior as well, punctuating the fireplace in the living room, the free-standing stair and roof trusses.”
Nick, project architect Fleming Smith IV and the rest of the DAAD team knew exactly how to bridge the outdoors with the residential design — besides designing several of the Você homes, the architecture firm authored the original development design guidelines with the “intent to promote exciting contemporary architecture and design that was harmonious with the natural setting of the land.”
Chuck and Mary pushed the envelope of design, combining their love of mid-century modern with modern while continuing to pay homage to Mother Nature. Soaring ceilings, windows that stretch from floor to roofline, a tranquil pool, screened porch and the dramatic folded roof plane are just some of the seamless transitional elements.
“There are a lot of interesting angles that are softened and embellished by creative landscaping throughout the yard,” says Mary. “We have been collecting mid-century modern furniture for years — instead of buying and renovating a true mid-century modern home, we decided to build a new home. We wanted the warm feel of some of the California mid-century homes, where they are integrated into nature and you feel like you are living both indoors and outdoors.”
The couple, who left Franklin for Você’s more centralized location, worked closely with their architecture and design team to make creative use of every inch of their 4,100-square-foot retreat. Besides the four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and two offices (the couple works from home), there were some other spaces that needed ingenious solutions for outside-the-box design challenges.
Chuck, a die-hard music lover, has a gargantuan vinyl record collection that could easily overtake any design. In order to show off the couple’s love of music in a clever, beautiful way, the collection was spread across the entire house — artfully adapting storage and display into one.
“Chuck has been collecting for a very long time,” says Mary. “He ran a record store in the town where I grew up — we actually met there. We asked our architect to come up with a cool way to show his collection. He divided it up in four main areas of the house — each one is laid out differently. Our favorite is Chuck’s stairwell; we love the way the architect varied the shapes of shelves and alternated them.”
In addition to the couple’s enviable music collection, mid-century art and furniture was another deep well for the design team to show off. Paralleling standout pieces became easy with unique elements, like custom wallpaper designs. The team turned to Nashville-based art studio New Hat, which specializes in custom wall coverings, art and installations. New Hat’s custom wallpapers, located in Mary’s office, the master bedroom and the powder room, which actually incorporates the facade and elevation of the home itself into the design, have a dual purpose of morphing into its own piece of art.
The combination of music, art and, of course, nature merge to create an inspiring home that celebrates our culture and the world we live in.
Learn more about Você on their website, vocenashville.com.
This article is sponsored by Você. All photography of this nature-inspired home is by Garett Buell of StudioBuell.