See How This Designer Lets a Historic Home Speak for Itself

Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

In the historical neighborhood of Belle Meade Links in Belle Meade, Tennessee, homeowner Allison Jones decided to upgrade her home that was originally built in 1919. Allison wanted a slightly more modern space, while still maintaining its 1920s charm. The house is protected by the local Historic Commission, which has strict rules as to what changes could be made. For example, the exterior of the house had to look the same.

Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

Construction consisted of knocking down the wall between her dining room and kitchen to merge these spaces into one. She also built a screened porch as well as an attached garage with an apartment above. In order to accomplish her modern yet historically compliant home, Allison sought help from designer Julie Couch of Julie Couch Interiors. So they would be on the same page, Allison and Julie made a design board on Pinterest.com to share ideas on the renovation, which took nearly nine months to complete.

Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

Allison wanted to keep the color palette neutral and bring more natural light into the house. As a mother of young children, Allison struggled with the decision between pretty and practical. Ultimately Julie brought in slipcovers for the couches and the banquette in the dining room, making cleaning a breeze. For a pop of color, she brought in vintage rugs, fresh artwork, and warm accessories. “I’m a bit scared of color,” said Allison, “so Julie did a good job bringing in just the right amount.” Allison says that small touch of color keeps the home from looking sterile.

Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

Allison says that with the furniture, they started from scratch. Some things, such as the beautiful dining table, were found at Tritter Feefer Home Collection, while Arteriors made the chandelier that hangs in the dining room. To bring the home back to its roots, mirrored dressers popular in the twenties were placed throughout the house.

Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

As for Allison’s favorite portion of the remodel, the bay window in the dining room with the linen curtains is an easy winner. And Julie understands her client’s choice. “Allison just really loves lighting and I do too,” says Julie. “We wanted to make sure to bring in plenty of natural lighting so that the house could speak for itself.”

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