One of my favorite things to do is to go to neighborhood home tours all around the Greater Nashville area. They are often annual events in historic districts where you are able to see both excellently preserved architecture and brave, bold remodels for today’s generation.
My own house was on our neighborhood tour 10 years ago. When this was publicized, it led to the discovery of more of my home’s history. The original owner’s adult grandchildren contacted us. They had never seen the 1939 stone cottage their grandfather had built. We had a wonderful little “family reunion” with them, and they graciously shared all they knew of its past and the legacy of their grandfather.
Attending the Crieve Hall Tour of Homes this year brought yet another discovery about my own home, which I’ll tell you all about a little later on!
The majority of the homes in my sprawling neighborhood were built in the 1950s and 1960s in the style of the classic mid-century ranch. Our home is one of the older properties that existed before all the ranch homes were built in this area. Most of the homes on the tours are creative renovations and expansions of these ranches. They are wonderful inspirations for anyone wishing to renovate or update their own similar homes.
Most have been recently updated by couples and young families, and I spied many 2019 decorating trends in their renovations. Like this graphic wallpaper along two walls of the entry of one of the neighborhood’s ranch homes:
I swear, it looks like tile in person. I just had to touch it, to feel the grout lines – but I still wasn’t sure. Lo and behold, it was actually textured wallpaper! You’ll also notice a few other 2019 decorating trends in this home, like white walls and interior doors painted out a COLOR:
Darkly painted walls in offices and libraries were popular, like this navy home office:
and this library where the built-ins, walls, trim, and ceiling are all painted out dark gray:
Black windows on both interiors and exteriors is a big 2019 decorating trend, like on this mid-century modern ranch:
Since so many of the homes have recently renovated bathrooms (no more pink and green tiled bathrooms, sadly), there are many 2019 decorating trends that do not surprise me at all. Lots of light and bright quartz countertops:
gold bathroom fixtures and hardware:
all-glass showers and lots of subway tile:
I saved the best house for last – the historic house I have always been curious about and have always wanted to see inside!
I learned that this house was built in 1835, making it one of the oldest surviving homes in Nashville! The newel post was carved from a tree on the property:
After 115 years in the same family, the home was purchased in 1950 by a prominent Nashville attorney. He then installed knotty pine paneling, as well as copper plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and air, and sheetrock.
The house is now occupied by its third owner in 184 years, and is currently on the market for sale. You can see more of the home here.
This house is now surrounded by its own little neighborhood with many 20-year-old, two story homes in the center of the mostly ranch-style homes that populate the larger sprawling neighborhood. These 20-year-old houses are tightly nestled around the large historic home, which is frankly such an odd view when gazing out the big old windows on the second floor . . .
A few houses down is a clearing with a short fence around it – what I had always heard was a horse cemetery. My younger daughter and I went to look at the gravestones after we toured the house:
While horses’ graves are around the edges of the small cemetery, in the middle we found a handful of markers that reveals it to actually be the family cemetery of the original homeowners!
The original property extended for hundreds of acres, right up to the road named after its first owner. Which just happens to be the road our own home faces. Which means that our home sits on what was once the edge of this home’s property, and that the original owner of our home must have purchased the land from this home’s original owner!
I had no idea that attending this home tour would lead to stumbling upon all this enlightening information, and I am so grateful for it! Yet another reason I would never trade living in an old home with history than a new one with walk-in closets and huge bathrooms – but that’s just me. Are you a new house or old house kind of person?
Love these houses — particularly the first one! so well done!
That blue on the staircase wall of the older home is lovely — any clue about the name?
btw, Tennessee became a state in 1796!
Hmmm, interesting – that is definitely what the brochure said, but a quick google search confirms you are correct. It said that it’s recorded in Book One at the Nashville Registrar of Deeds and was a land grant from the governor of North Carolina to the Hill family. I’ll try to check on the accuracy of those details! As for the paint color, I’m better with that than with history – and I’d say that blue is a pretty close match to Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue! 🙂
Love that newel post! I like old homes, but don’t like the problems that come with them. We have renovated a few older ones. Our latest home is brand new, but people think it’s an older one that was renovated – works for me!
That’s nice that you have a new home that obviously has elements that suggest longevity and character! 🙂
Hi Kristie! I think I’m an old, renovated house kind of person. I would keep some of the unique characteristics from the original home, but I would definitely make it useful for today’s living. and no pink or green bathroom tile!
We still have our green and black tile in the main bathroom of our house. The upstairs bath was hobbled together over the years and had little original elements to save, so we reworked that one in such a way as to suggest that it could have been original although it clearly isn’t. Although a *small part* of me would like to have a fresh, new bathroom downstairs, we just don’t have the heart to rip out all the original elements!
I love older homes that have been lovingly renovated and restored back to life. I especially love learning about their history. I live in a 1950’s ranch that used to have a pool. A friend who grew up in our neighborhood told me he remembers when his dad was so excited to meet Jimmy Hoffa at a pool party down the street …. that pool party happened at our house. How cool is that?
Oh wow, Leisha! That’s definitely a slice of history!
I am absolutely an old house person. We bought a 1934 two-story brick home 28 months ago. It needed a new roof, new kitchen, all new wiring (knob and tube), A/C installed, structural issues fixed and completely new plumbing. We did most of the work ourselves or in-family. We are re-finishing the original floors next week. Coming close to when we can finally move in!
Oh wow, Ruth, that sounds wonderful! I bet it’s an amazing house. 🙂
Thanks for taking us along on the tour. I love the first home, the style, those built-in bookcases and how well a few 2019 decorating trends fit perfectly into the home’s overall design.
This is so cool, Kristie!! When I saw your beautiful stone home amongst the more modern subdivision homes, I wondered how many acres the property originally sat on. It’s fascinating that there is such a rich history in such a developed area. I am so happy to see the inside of Crieve Hall through the link as well as what you posted. I love the architectural details. I can’t help but think of the staging changes you might make, however!! It’d be sold next week!!
Thanks, Linda! Our property was originally 11 acres. A builder purchased it in the early 1960s and built a bunch of ranch homes around it, keeping 1.5 acres with the home. His family lived here 20 years and kept it pretty intact. I had no idea that our property was originally part of that of the original owner of the house we toured last week!