As many of you already know, my husband and I are in the middle of a challenging waiting period for our adoption right now. I have no doubt that it will all be worth it soon, but the day-to-day can be discouraging. Some days are better than others, but one of the big helps we have found is staying busy and creatively challenged in our careers.
Well, this summer is off to an AMAZING start in that department! We have a huge product launch for fall that I can’t share just yet (it’s one of the most exciting things we have ever worked on). In addition, we are finally taking the dive into short-term rental properties — this being the first one!
This house is in East Nashville, near a bunch of our favorite spots. This summer, we’ll be giving it a makeover and sharing the process with you here!
The two big differences between this house and my personal house (which I am still not done touring here) is that this home is not mid-century (it was built in the 1930s), so I’m not going to lean heavily on that style. Also just for this ONE house, I have banned myself from using pink. I will always love pink, but I think this is a great time to try other colors. When we were house shopping, Jeremy challenged me to lean more into a “Nashville” style for this home. (In his words, “Nashville doesn’t need another Palm Springs house.” Haha!)
I’ll share my plans for the color theme soon … it’s inspired by one of my favorite movies!
But first, I just wanted to pop in and share a few of the “before” photos.
The exterior is mostly brick with some white siding on the back. I am considering painting the exterior, if budget allows, but would you go light or dark with it?
The front porch is too cute, but the concrete is badly damaged. I am thinking of adding outdoor tile after it is repaired.
Here’s the kitchen. I am stepping outside my normal “box” in so many ways with this house. For the kitchen, it’s not going to have open shelving, which is my typical go-to.
It’s not going to be all white either (but still plenty of white!!!!).
Beside the kitchen, there is a small breakfast nook area. One of the first big projects Collin will be working on next week is built-in benches and a table for this little nook.
Here’s the living room. It’s small and cozy, with a wood burning fireplace. I want to do some contrast in this room, either a black fireplace or maybe a black wall behind the fireplace?
And here’s the dining room. You can see it’s right next to the living room. It has plenty of space for a six-seat table. I’m still thinking about how to make this room truly special.
Next up, there are two downstairs bedrooms — both currently painted blue. They are both on the small side. I plan to put a full size bed in one and a set of bunk beds in the other.
Here’s the other room. This is the first room we started working on this week. It’s not blue anymore …
Between the two bedrooms is a downstairs bathroom. There is a laminate floor in there (the same as the kitchen) that I’m hoping to change up soon. If you have inspirations for small bathrooms, please send them my way! You walk up a flight of carpeted stairs and there is this larger bedroom at the top. It was previously being used as the master bedroom and it’s really a great space. I can see so much potential here!
There’s also an upstairs bathroom with a cool original tub. It’s currently painted purple and I can’t wait to give it a fresh coat of paint!
Here’s the laundry room, which is off the kitchen downstairs.
OK, I think that is all the rooms. There is also a really great fenced-in yard that we plan to plant a willow tree in this summer.
Our goal is to complete this house so that we can have guests stay by the end of the summer. Since June is already almost over and we’ve barely started, that might be a bit ambitious, but we’ll see! I will share progress reports with you all along the way and room tours when it’s ready to be rented out.
Thank you so much for following along! This is a dream project for me. I am so grateful for a chance to fix up such a pretty home. xx- Elsie
I’ve been a silent reader for YEARS, and this is the post that I finally feel compelled to comment on. I’m really looking forward to this transformation. As a 24-year-old, this house actually looks like a home I could (and would) purchase and add my own flair to. Of course, I’ve loved seeing you transform your beautiful home, but seeing a smaller home like this is more on-pace with what someone my age can afford to buy and re-do!
My husband and I are renovating our Inglewood home in Nashville and we are working with Rhonda Weatherford at Because Home Matters. She’s the only woman contractor that I know of in Nashville (which is awesome) and her team is INCREDIBLE. Just wanted to throw out that recommendation if you need to hire anything out! They do bathrooms, flooring, exteriors, masonry, custom carpentry–basically everything! Good luck!
I adore it but I think you should leave the exterior brick : )
Careful planting a willow: their roots can be really invasive to infrastructure as they search out a water source. Maybe go for a maple or a group of three aspens instead (less invasive and super-pretty in the fall!).
it’s adorable! and i’m so excited for you 😀 and you should DEFINITELY german schmear that outside brick! <3 it would look gorgeous. so many historic older houses in nashville have it 😀
The outside of the house reminds me of my grandmother’s home. It had that same beautiful brick front and a hedge in lieu of a fence in the front yard. I love the brick exterior. Perhaps with complementing paint colour/s to match the colours of the brick on the plain white walls/columns, door and concrete front would help. It would look stunning if you made the natural brick colours pop with complementing colours around it.
Oh, what a dream! Speaking as someone who has airbnb’d not one but two East Nashville homes, it’s a destination spot (and one where great design/styling really does set you apart).
I am going to jump on the please don’t paint the brick and especially not the fireplace train! The 1930’s was an amazing time for construction – workmanship had significantly improved since the turn of the century and they still used good quality, hefty materials that you cannot even buy today. I respect people making decisions for their own home that they plan to live in for a long time, but it would be such a shame to cover up historic stone for a rental! Not to mention added cost, maintenance, and the almost impossibility of removing it in the future. Craftsman style is so beautiful, maybe you can view it as a stretch for yourself creatively? I promise, decorating true to the house is really fun! If you decide you want a painted fireplace, can you pull out that gorgeous stone and send it my way instead? ;P
My friends and I are planning a trip to Nashville this fall and I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that we can stay here!
Yay, so fun! My husband and I are thinking of doing a similar sort of investment (but for long term rentals, not short term) here in LA, and this post is making me get more excited about it! Will be fun to follow along on your journey for inspiration! As always, thanks for sharing your creativity and brightness with us!
Personally, I would leave the brick unpainted and maybe change up the rest of the exterior if you’re looking for a fresh start, but if I had to choose a paint color, I think I’d go with a deep navy. That could look so good! My grandmother lived in a home very similar to this one in East Nashville while I was growing up, so I’m really interested to see how this ends up.
This is the cutest home! I adore how so many American homes have porches, its just not something you see in England.
Hi Elsie! I’m so excited to see the transformation!! I think you should DEF. paint the brick! A creamy white with black accents – think ‘modern’ cottage or maybe a DARK charcoal gray. There’s an adorable cottage on Seymour Ave across from the Eastland Kroger’s gas station that has the most adorable landscaping. Also, I have a VERY similar bathroom layout and I just remolded – here’s what ours came out like!
This house is so cute! I can’t wait to see what you do with it!
I know whatever you decide will look great and cohesive, but I have to agree with everyone who votes for not painting the exterior brick. I think for a lot of home styles, painted brick works great (like your own home) but for a craftsman with lovely brick like this one, I’d leave it unpainted. There are already so many great details in a craftsman cottage, I’d focus on making those stand out and shine. Just my two cents! Like I wrote, whatever you decide, I’m sure will look lovely.
Wow, can’t wait for the results!! Such an exciting project.Good luck! xo
How fun! We bought a new house at an ocean community that was a short term (nightly) rental and I had so much fun furnishing it! The only caution I have for you is insurance. We thought we had the right kind (we used a broker who sold the policy to us), but when our house got broken into they dropped us because it was landlord insurance. Nightly rental insurance is HARD to find. We ended up with Lloyds of London which was $$$!
Aaah this is one of my bog dreams to!! I`m an architect and I`d love to buy houses, renovate them and rent them when they are all finished 🙂
Good luck! Can`t wait to see what you`ll do!
Oof, I know you have strong feelings about going ahead and painting brick/stone/wood if that suits your style and makes you happy, but in this case–with an older, classic home which is not going to be YOUR actual home–I would just feel like I had a responsibility to future owners and the community in general to try to preserve the history of the house and NOT just paint the brick on whim to create a funky rental vibe. Have you done any research/comparison about homes built during that time in this area? Maybe it’s not remarkable at all, but it would be interesting to know if the brick was a common style or unique in the area or even where the bricks were made!
Just wanted to vote for keeping the brick as is as well. I have truly love being inspired by your creativity for the last decade, and I’m sure you’ll make a great choice, but bricks from the 30s don’t want to be painted.