How to Take “Country” and Make It “Arty”

As promised, I’m sharing another before and after from the Nashville home featured Monday.  

primitive table

The Decorologist

If you remember, the homeowners have a collection of folk art and primitives.  




They are professionals living in a trendy historic area near downtown, and they wanted to take the design of their spaces up a notch.  And that’s exactly what we did!

living room after



Aren’t the wood beams fabulous?  What a great architectural detail in this room.

wood beams



Before, this den was white with terra cotta tile floors.  While the architecture was interesting, the resulting effect was a bit cold.  You can see the paint they had sampled prior to my arrival!



While the before version of this room leaned a bit country in style, the after version looks  fresh and arty.



Which is perfect – because for this couple, art is what it’s all about.  The new paint color and wood floors warm up the space, and the new conversational area makes for an inviting space to hang out with friends and watch movies.

corner fireplaceafter


I love helping clients decorate with their collections, especially when they are as interesting and fun as the ones in this home!

folk art and primitivesafter


Now – I’m going to try to hit a few estate sales today to see what treasures I might find for myself. Have a great weekend!


  1. Barbara

    what a breath of fresh air! Well done!I hope that the chairs they found will swivel, to watch the dear tv! Bravo!

  2. LIsa Hassler

    Looks great! And I don’t think you can underestimate the effect that the updated lighting has – particularly in a room with traditional elements. It’s a beautiful and inviting space.

    • Kristie Barnett

      You are exactly right – updated lighting like lamps make a world of difference!

  3. sandy

    Beautiful! I love the mix of art and folk art. I wonder if you could share whether the rug is new or vintage? It looks like 4 contiguous rag rugs — I’m especially interested since I’ve inherited some family rag rugs and couldn’t think quite how to use them.

  4. Beth

    Changing out the floors was a vast improvement. I can’t figure out why people want tile in “living” rooms. They are so cold and harsh.

  5. Kathy t

    This room is exactly the look I want in our home . It is so inviting.

  6. Jennifer Collins

    Great Effect!
    Upping the amount of metal/cleaner lines to meet the sleek TV really helped create a cohesive feeling. Also can’t underestimate the impact of eliminating the meager curtains!

  7. Luci@BungalowHomeStaging

    The floors and walls look so much more inviting Kristie! They must be thrilled with their new space!

  8. Alexandra

    I’d also like details on the rug–it really suits the space. What a change–if a room could breathe a sigh of relief, this one would!

  9. Kaye

    I love the two small glass/metal tables. Can you tell me where to get them? I live in Florida but love you blog!


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