Bill Lewis, FOR USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE | October 23, 2017
When interior designer Kimberly Kelly selected black paint for the exterior of this year’s O’More Designer Show House, she was inspired by the home’s setting among the hills and trees of the Voce neighborhood on Granny White Pike near Brentwood.
“It’s a black house. I wanted it to feel nest-like. And the dark color allows you to see the old growth trees of Voce,” said Kelly.
She is the lead designer for this year’s show house in Voce, the subdivision being developed on the 61-acre property that Grand Ole Opry star and Country Music Hall of Fame member Eddy Arnold called home.
Arnold’s grandson, Shannon Pollard, is developing the subdivision with sustainability in mind. An arborist reviews plans for each home’s construction to be sure trees are saved. Exterior lighting shines downward to prevent light pollution from interfering with the nearby Dyer Observatory.
The home is the fourth show house presented by Franklin’s O’More College of Design and is the first outside of Williamson County. The Designer Show House is O’More’s largest fundraiser each year. Ticket sales support scholarships, technology and other expenses. The home was built by Fry Classic Construction and designed by architect Carson Looney.
Eighteen designers donated their time and expertise to bring the interior of the 4,015-square-foot home to life.
Sixteen of the designers are O’More graduates or are students at the college. Several designers or their companies — Kelly, Chelsea-Skye Mills, Susan Besser and Corey Morris — are based in Williamson County. Each brought a unique vision to different rooms throughout the house.
Besser, who operates Franklin Preservation Associates, and Morris, who operates C. Morris Studio, designed the Do All Room, a utility space on the main floor. Besser credits Morris’ inspiration.
“Instead of masking the fact that this was a utility room, we chose to embrace it — illustrating that spaces can function and still be aesthetically pleasing,” said Morris.
He drew inspiration from his grandmother and incorporated design elements he remembers from her home.
“When thinking of my grandmother, her red front door always comes to mind, and you will find subtle pops of red throughout. To tie it all back to her, a framed picture of my grandparents hangs on the wall as a way to dedicate this space to her. Overall, I wanted to show that rooms such as these can function just as well as be beautiful,” he said.
Mills, who operates Sanctuary South in Westhaven with her mother, Suzy Mills, designed the first-floor guest bedroom.
“I wanted to create a serene, peaceful space, so I sought inspiration from nature. The white gauzy drapes float behind the upholstered bed, and the Moroccan globe pendant light glows a warm bronze hue throughout the bedroom,” said Mills.
The custom bed is her favorite feature in the room. The shape of the headboard was inspired by the Town Hall in Rosemary Beach, Fla., an iconic structure on the Gulf Coast.
“It’s a statement piece. The fabric is a stunning, sweeping marbled print that ties all the colors of the room together in a really natural way. The use of rustic sculptural elements along with a neutral, earth-tone palette of gray, black and bronze helps this bedroom blend effortlessly with the rest of the house,” said Mills.
Kelly, who operates K7 Interior Design + Lifestyle in Franklin, designed the library where, as with the exterior, she selected dark paint. She displayed books and other items from her private collection to decorate the room, including an old bourbon bottle given to her by Robert Hicks, bestselling author of “The Widow of the South,” “A Separate Country” and “The Orphan Mother.”
“In my mind it could be a private room where that person could gather all of their favorite things. The things you gather on a walk or the things your children give you,” said Kelly. “Everyone needs a space like that.”
If you go
The O’More Show House is open through Nov. 12 in the Voce subdivision on Granny White Pike in Nashville, across from Richland Country Club.
Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and on noon-4 p.m. Sunday. It is cosed Mondays and Tuesdays for private groups.
Tickets are $20 at www.omoreshowhouse.com.