An architectural treasure is tucked away off Walnut Grove.
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Once inside the palatial entry hall with its stunning pair of trumeau mirrors, the visitor is captivated by the view through French doors into the grand reception room and beyond into the garden. The hand-blocked, antique Zuber scenic wallpaper is worthy of Versailles, and overall the room is European in feel with its mix of Italian and French antiques.
At one end of the house is the former ballroom, which is now the formal dining room featuring elegant pale blue-green walls and draperies and antique tapestries and chairs. I can well imagine all the grand parties and wedding receptions that have taken place here through the years. Next to it is a small, cozy room to which in the old days the gentlemen would retire for their post-prandial cigars and brandy. It is richly wood-paneled, with a trellis-patterned wallpaper ceiling and a colorful vintage rug.
At the opposite end of the home is a sweet confection of a powder room, with a skirted antique sink, a cane and marble-topped table, crystal light fixtures, a French settee upholstered in pastel stripes, and dainty patterned wallpaper. Similarly this “lightness of being” extends to the small foyer leading into the kitchen area, which features a lovely painted table and mirror.
Julia hand-picked many of the antique pieces in the house, but she tells me that more recently she’s tried to balance the traditional furnishings and fittings with a more contemporary esthetic — a grey paint palette with pops of color in modern paintings, iron light fixtures, and new upholstered furniture. She thinks grey is a great neutral which is evidenced in the little sitting room off the kitchen, with its Barcelona chair and Paul Edelstein painting. Julia expressed her gratitude to Amy Howard for providing the pair of stylish new stools for this space as well as some of the flowers for our photo shoot. The handsome breakfast room with its grey linen upholstered chairs and accents of orange overlooks the back of the property.
The totally transformed family room/den was designed by Nashville’s Beckwith Interiors and now has a “refreshed elegance” — in other words “tradition with a twist.” The look is sophisticated, and yes, a lot of grey can be found here as well, punctuated with chartreuse drapes.
Upstairs, the master bedroom is done in grey, lilac, and white. It has a Hollywood feel, with its white leather headboard, lilac bedding, mirrored bedside tables and lamps and luxurious drapes. The room’s five windows offer gorgeous views of the gardens.