Historic Home Tour Highlights

I’m a big fan of historic home tours.  Here in Nashville, there are about a dozen annual tours of historic neighborhoods.  I hit as many as I can.  My current favorite is a tour of a high-end historic neighborhood off West End Avenue.  Recently, my daughter and I spent a Saturday appreciating the architecture and soaking up decorating inspiration. Tudor Revival in Whitland Neighborhood

I took pics with my cell phone, which takes crappy pictures.  I apologize upfront for the quality of the pictures, but the ideas are worth the sometimes-fuzzy photography.

Colorful Rustic Decor in Sunroom The funnest home on the tour is a kid-friendly wonderland of color and artistic expression.   The lady of the house is NOT afraid of color, and NOT afraid of taking chances.  And that pays off bigtime – what an original and confident family home.  I am reminded of artist Carl Larsson’s Swedish home, a kind of creative rustic colorama.

The living room walls have randomly-spaced vertical stripes in two tones of warm yellow paint.  The homeowners mounted an old painted kitchen cabinet on the wall right inside the front door.  Reminds me of a check-in desk in an old country bed and breakfast.  Love that old-timey screen door! Swedish Style Rustic Painted Living Room with old screen door

It takes creativity and confidence to line the wall going up your stairs with these colorfully-painted frames.  What a fun family photo gallery.  I dare you to walk up the stairs without smiling.  It can’t be done!

Colored Painted Frames in Photo Gallery Up the Stairs

Tufted Headboard Pink and Green Bedroom I love this fabulous girly bedroom.  The huge tufted headboard is gorgeous.  And I’m impressed with anyone who is confident enough to install hot pink shag carpet!

Here’s another view of that room.  What a darling tufted chair and ottoman.  Love the bold fabric combinations.

Girly Pink and Green Bedroom with tufted headboard

Vintage Style Girls Room

Here’s a lovely child’s room.  Bright blue walls and forest green shag carpet!  Isn’t that old reclaimed door delightful?  It had been sanded to reveal multiple layers of different paint colors, just adding to its charm.

Why not paint your bunkbeds dark pink?  And check out the birdhouse chandelier.

Pink and Green Bunkbed Room Painted Chandelier

Little Girl Room Pink Bunkbeds Green Walls See how momma hung pretty dresses on the wall?  What a great way to stretch the use of those “wear them once” portrait dresses.  Similar dollhouse bookcases are available at Pottery Barn Kids and Target.  The Capiz pink disc non-light chandelier is from Pottery Barn Teen.

Even the dining room is colorful and fun.  A distressed dresser fills in as a sideboard, topped with a fancy silver tea set.  Love the artwork, don’t you?

Casual Dining Room with Green Walls, Modern Country

Colorful bedroom with quilt collection in glassfront cabinet, Modern Country This is the master bedroom.  Very inviting and cozy.  I bet those kids pile up on this bed with their parents on Saturday mornings.   Such an interesting green glass-front cabinet filled with a colorful quilt and blanket collection.  There’s obvious glare on the artwork, but it’s a painting of orange koi in a pond.  Very fun and unexpected.

We should move on to rooms in other houses!  Here’s a vibrant green dining room.  I just loved the symmetrical grouping on and above the sideboard.  The pair of lamps add such a nice glow.  You just can’t get that with an overhead light. Green Dining Room Sideboard Symmetrical Grouping

Photo Gallery Picture Grouping I know this is terribly blurry, but I had to show you this photo gallery in a den.  All black and white, with a mix of gold and black frames.  This homeowner started with the large oval piece in the middle, then worked out from there.  Nicely done.

I really liked how this homeowner used a padded folded screen to extend the headboard on this lovely bed.  It really helps make this bed the focal point of the room and feel more elegant.  The symmetry of the pairs of side tables and matching lamps help, too. Padded Screen Headboard Shabby Chic Bedroom

Sconces in Glamorous Modern Bathroom This bathroom has such a elegance to it.  Pale green walls, marble countertops, classic chrome fixtures.  But it’s those two sconces with the rectangular shades that take this bathroom to another level.   Feels like a fancy hotel.

Even a small master bedroom can feel rich and sophisticated using classic color combination like browns and blues.  A dresser acts as a bedside table.  The bedding looks luxurious with the puffy comforter folded down at the end of the bed. Classic Traditional Bedroom - Blues and Browns

Craftsman Fireplace Living Room, Arts and Crafts, Mission Style

I was blown away by this home – a meticulously restored and improved Craftsman-Style masterpiece.  Lots of lustrous wood trim, coffered ceilings, elaborate built-ins, and the beautiful fireplace.  Art pottery graces the mantel.  That furniture piece on the right is a large and luscious divan/daybed for afternoon naps by the fire.  Can I move in?

This Craftsman home is brimming with William Morris reproduction wallpaper.  This is not your ordinary wallpaper.  The walls in each of the rooms on the main floor are works of art.  Check out the old servants’ buzzer. Arts and Crafts William Morris

French Country Guest Bedroom Twin Beds French country more your style?  Look at this lovely, Frenchy guest bedroom.  Perfectly symmetrical twin beds, fluffy coverlets folded at the end, padded headboards, and simple benches at the end of each.  Of course I love the dainty crystal chandelier, but the ornate crystal sconce hanging unexpectedly between the beds takes my breath away!

What a lovely indoor/outdoor space.  The iron furniture and concrete architectural fragments say “outside,” while the hanging light fixture, sideboard, and large window-pane mirror say “inside.” Screened Porch Outdoor Room Oversized Lantern Fixture

Azure Blue Child's Bedroom Cork Board Wall I love this child’s bedroom.  The azure blue walls, the antique bed, the exposed brick chimney are charming.  I really like how they filled the space between the chimney and corner with a full-length cork board.  Functional and decorative, it adds reality to this almost perfect room.  There are similar ruffle pillows available at Pier 1.

Although not my own style, this piece of modern art really caught my eye in the last home we toured.   It’s a surrealistic painting with part of a French chair protruding from it.   Definitely a conversation piece.  The homeowners make it stand out by positioning it at the end of a hallway and lighting it so that it is a focal point that draws you down the hallway. Modern Art Piece Protruding Chair

Hope you liked the tour.  I hope this encourages you to check out neighborhood home tours in your area!



  1. Andrea

    that repro wallpaper is incredible.

    is that indoor/outdoor space screened in or glassed in?

  2. kristiebarnett

    Andrea, I think it’s Bradbury and Bradbury that do the repro William Morris wallpaper – it’s likely block-printed. The porch is screened in – it was added onto the home.

  3. LaJuana Gill

    Thanks for introducing me to home tours!

  4. Sudie Koziol

    Hey incredibly good blog!!?! Man .. Wonderful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and consider the feeds also…


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