Southern Interior Trends You Need to Know – The Nashville Symphony ShowHouse 2015

Last Wednesday, I attended an invitation-only exclusive sneak peak of The 2015 Nashville Symphony Showhouse and Garden Party. This beautiful home represents Southern living at its finest, and I thought you’d like to see what high style looks like “in the country.”

nashville symphony showhouse exterior


The 5,556 square foot home is described as “southern contemporary folk style,” and its interior is full of design details that embrace modern southern style. Here I am in Garden Party attire with Castle Homes builder, Alan Looney, and the ShowHouse architect, Wade Weissmann:

alan looney and wade weissmann

Alan Looney, Kristie Barnett, and Wade Weissmann

I noticed a number of things that really make this interior cohesive, even though multiple designers and design firms were involved. And, of course, I’m going to share those observations with you!

Neutral Color Scheme

neutral designer living room

Mark Simmons Interiors

The color scheme throughout the home is largely neutral, incorporating grays, browns, creams, and whites. The open concept areas of the home and the exterior are painted in Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa. Here I am on the back porch with Nancy McNulty, the lovely lady who spearheaded the PR for the event and who invited me to the sneak peek tour:

kristie barnett and nancy mcnulty

Forest Home Media‘s Nancy McNulty and Kristie Barnett


Dark wood floors and a dining table crafted with reclaimed wood from Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium (stop the presses – oh my goodness, I’m having a flashback to the ONLY venue for rock-n-roll in Nashville, and where I saw Def Leppard TWICE) ground all the white walls in the open concept area.

neutral dining room

Mark Simmons Interiors



Mark Simmons Interiors


showhouse staircase


Dark wood (browns), weathered wood (grays), marble, and quartz were used throughout the home, giving you a sense of relaxed formality. Lots of texture and layering, and NO pops of color in this design.

guest bedroom gold lighting

Rozanne Jackson Interiors


The kitchen and three of the baths in the home are primarily WHITE, which makes it all feel clean and fresh.

white marble bath

Julie Couch Interiors


marble shower


Metal Finishes

In case you haven’t heard, it’s of the utmost taste and style to mix your metals in today’s homes. And that’s certainly what you’ll see in this designer showhouse. Iron is the dominant metal, which is timeless, humble, and masculine all at once.

metal bed

iron bed – Julie Couch Interiors

But the gold finishes that are scattered about the home warm up the cool grays and whites, and they add the feminine balance for the space.

gold lighting

lighting with gold lining – Rozanne Jackson Interiors


The kitchen and bathrooms feature polished nickel finishes, so that’s 3 metal finishes in a traditional, neutral home. I tell clients that this can be done, and done well, but it always takes some convincing! If the Nashville Symphony Showhouse can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

masculine bathroom design

Julie Couch Interiors



Most homes include an abundance of overhead lighting, but are skimpy when it comes to other light sources. You will see LOTS of lamps in this home, as well as many sconces throughout. Sconce lighting really takes a home to the next level and offers so much variation in mood that can’t be appreciated by those who haven’t had sconce lighting in their homes before! I loved how they put sinks in front of windows, in both the master bathroom:

bathroom sconces

Julie Couch Interiors 

I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in this fabulous bathroom mirror! The countertop is Bianco Carrera marble.

decorologist selfie


and again, the sink is in front of windows in the kitchen:

nashville symphony showhouse kitchendesign by Castle Homes


The master bedroom features a fabulous hanging light fixture that certainly makes a statement. It’s a bit unexpected against the painted planked ceiling, and I love it.

designer bedroom julie couch

Julie Couch Interiors 



I’m a huge fan of symmetry. It’s the basis of Psychological Staging™, for goodness sake!

symmetry in interior design

Mark Simmons Interiors 


designer lounge julie couch

Julie Couch Interiors, Andy Detwiler photography on back wall


This is the gorgeous feminine (and very symmetrical!) office at the top of the stairs, between the guest rooms.

designer office rozanne jackson interiors

Rozanne Jackson Interiors

Symmetry in design makes you feel calm and at ease in a space. It also directs your eye to the architecture, as well as to the views beyond windows and openings.

symmetry in art

Mark Simmons Interiors


Ottomans and Tiny Tables

The most repeated design element I noticed in the Nashville Symphony ShowHouse was the ottoman or tiny table. The incredibly functional element was everywhere.



Ottomans are flexible seating options that can be tucked away when not needed.

gothic chair


Tiny tables are a great spot for a cup of joe beside a chair.

side table


I loved how they used low wooden benches for bedside tables in the upstairs bedrooms. And of course, they tucked an ottoman beneath!


Roxanne Jackson Interiors


Here’s another ottoman tucked into the HUGE laundry room off the kitchen – a little desk spot if you care to check Facebook while waiting on the spin cycle.

designer laundry room

design by Castle Homes 


In addition to touring this fabulous home, I got to hang out with some pretty fabulous people! Here I am with the darling Carmen Johnston of Carmen Johnston Gardens & Southern Living Contributing Garden Editor:

carmen johnston and kristie barnett

Kristie Barnett & Carmen Johnston


I’ve met Carmen on a couple of occasions, and she is always so sweet and helpful to those of us with a black thumb. She gave us a hands-on tutorial for planting our very own container garden at the Garden Party!

carmen johnston container garden

Her top tip for container gardening? Choose something tall, something thick, and something trailing, and plant in a triangle formation. This is what we planted in our container gardens: Blue Fan Scaevola, Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Dragon Wing Begonia, and Creeping Jenny. It’s all Greek to me, but I’m going to do my best to keep it alive on my front porch!

kristie barnett at nashville symphony showhouse garden party


The party was catered by Miss Daisy’s Kitchen. Daisy King is a southern icon if there ever was one, and every proper southern lady owns at least one of her cookbooks!

miss daisy and the decorologistMiss Daisy and The Decorologist

Troy B. Marden of PBS’s Volunteer Gardener was gracious enough to give the attendees signed copies of his beautiful book, Southern Gardener’s Handbook.  Troy will be at the ShowHouse on June 20th from 11-1 for a book signing onsite.

troy b marden

The Nashville Symphony ShowHouse is open to the public NOW through June 28, 2015. You don’t want to miss this special home tour presented by Castle Homes and benefiting The Nashville Symphony! The ShowHouse is open daily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., and admission is $15 per person.  Find out more here.

The Showhouse made the cover of the latest edition of Greater Nashville House and Home, which I picked up at the tour. While scanning through the magazine, I found that one of my recent kitchen designs had been featured inside. That was a happy surprise to finish off a lovely day at a Garden Party and ShowHouse tour!

nashville house and home and the decorologist


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Kathy @petticoatjunktion

Thanks for sharing this beautiful home Kristie. It’s over the top gorgeous! Love the color scheme, furnishings, staging….well everything. You look lovely. Sorry I couldn’t make it to the sneak peak.

Lisa W
Lisa W
5 years ago

Beautiful, beautiful house – thank you for sharing. And your dress is nothing short of FABULOUS.

5 years ago

Beautiful home but Kristie, that photo with your reflection in the mirror….love it. Looks like you have shoulder length hair and it is so flattering on you….so fresh! Up for a makeover? 🙂

5 years ago

Well aren’t you the mover and the shaker!?!? Looks like a great event and it’s certainly a beautiful house. I love the calm neutral color scheme and symmetry. Thanks for sharing!

5 years ago

You are so adorable Kristie! Beautiful home. Thank you for taking us along for the sneak peek. What fun! Miss Daisy is adorable! I love her style. Now I have to get one of her cookbooks, because I’m a Southern Lady.

Veronica Domurat
Veronica Domurat
5 years ago

Nice post!! I love the house and those windows above sinks!! YOU look beautiful 🙂

Veronica Domurat
Veronica Domurat
5 years ago

yes and I don’t think that I will procrastinate getting ready in the morning in that beautiful bathroom or doing dishes in the kitchen looking out those windows.

5 years ago

Thank you for this wonderful tour. The house is beautiful but my eyes crave a few pops of color. You on the other hand look like a model! Absolutely love your colorful dress.

Bethany Way
Bethany Way
5 years ago

Kristie, I would love to see you do some blog posts on mixing metals in the home, especially in the kitchen and bath!

Nancy O'Brien
Nancy O'Brien
5 years ago

Beautiful post Kristie! What a charming home and I love that the decor is cohesive. So many times multiple designers makes for lovely rooms but a disjointed home. Lots of ideas here! 🙂
Also, I need to compliment you on your outfit and that selfie in the bathroom is remarkable! You go girl!

5 years ago

Those photos are amazing! Thanks for the great post, I can’t wait to see more.

Tamara Landry
Tamara Landry
5 years ago

Beautiful home so charming . It reminds me a lot of my color scheme that I have in my home. Was wondering if you know what brand/style the bar stools are in the kitchen? I also want to compliment you on your dress… so lovely.

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