Built in 1936, this Hollywood Regency-style home is a one-of-a-kind treasure set on over 2 lushly landscaped acres and rumored to have the first inground pool in the city. “We wanted to create an environment that felt fun and playful while still honoring the home’s historical integrity and capturing its natural sophistication,” says JL Design Nashville’s Jessica Davis of the Johnstons’ abode. Taking inspiration from the traditional style of the Soho House and Soho Grand in New York and the whimsical feel of the Delano Hotel in Miami, Jessica created an environment that is classic and refined yet lighthearted and unexpected — and above all embraces the love of family and children.

  • Impressive scale was the inspiration for the entry as well as much of the house. An oversized Kraus hanging opposite a floor mirror provides unexpected color and sets the tone for the rest of the home. Raised panel doors and moldings, which appear throughout the main level, and the marble floor are original to the house.
  • The dining room is the first room to greet visitors when entering the house. Jessica made the most of this important moment by commissioning six Artistic Frame chairs in different shapes and colors to combine with the owners’ zebra chairs. With the natural, organic feel of the painting and centerpiece, the room is a bold juxtaposition of depth, texture and, certainly, surprise.
  • It was important to the owner that all spaces were accessible to the children, so their artwork is displayed throughout because “it’s who they are as a family.” To keep the living room’s original marble mantel from looking dated, Jessica chose gold leather Empire chairs, an Old Hickory Tannery natural sheepskin chair and an antique Oriental rug with deep berry tones that brings everything together.
  • The layers of color — from paint, crayons, colored pencils and even nail polish — on the table are the result of years of children writing on it. With sophisticated geometric fabrics on the banquette, the breakfast nook is a perfect mix of pattern and color.
  • Original millwork and moldings are showcased best in the study, where family heirlooms, antiques and the children’s art create a space that is neither stuffy nor uncomfortable. Oversized leather chairs with brass nail heads are integral in balancing the frame of a large-scale painting hung on the bookcase.
  • The master is a perfect example of the overall theme of contrast and balance, where muted meets bold, soft meets hard and geometric meets organic. Monochromatic bedding, soft textures and lots of layering add to an oasis-like atmosphere. Neutral colors allow the lines and textures of the massive dresser and mirrors to make a big statement. The lacquered, heavily painted artwork adds a jolt to the tranquil setting.

Photographs by Alyssa Rosenheck