Nashville’s housing market has always been hot, but in spring of 2021, it wasn’t uncommon for new homeowners to buy a home sight-unseen. Interior designer Clare Kennedy was contacted by a Woodside, CA family who had done just that. “They were looking to buy in Belle Meade, a historic neighborhood in Nashville, TN,” she recalls. “They engaged me for interior design prior to purchasing the home so that we could be ready to go — their Cali house had been sold and they had an impending close date, so the move was happening fairly quickly.”

The home was on a lovely corner lot, boasting a yard of large magnolia trees and a traditional southern exterior. “This was a major influence for the interior design because we had to elevate their relaxed-modern-casual California style to match the more traditional architecture of their new home,” Clare explains. “Their goal was to live in a home that felt ‘happy’ — casual enough for their young family but also elevated to fit their newly purchased Belle Meade home. I consider the style of the interior to be an ‘evolved modern.’ Clean lines, but not cold. Neutral tones, but not white. Pulled together, but comfortable.”

Initially, the scope of work was a light renovation, but grew to include all new flooring, two bathroom remodels, fresh paint, all new lighting, architectural updates including fireplaces and staircases, a light kitchen refresh, as well as furnishing the home and outfitting it in custom window treatments. “The previous homeowners had a more bold-contemporary interior style than our clients preferred, so we un-did a lot of those flashier elements in lieu of a more balanced classic feel,” the designer explains. 

With larger pieces in place, Clare and her team were able to bring in meaningful finishing touches—a fine art piece by photographer Joseph Bradshaw hangs in the dining room, six pieces by Nashville artist Sydney Clawson (created with help from the children), and a moody den that has room for movie nights, afternoon games of chess, and sleepovers. 

Clare says there are still a few bits and pieces to finish up—renovations during Covid are no joke—but the clients are happy in their new home. Take a peek in the slideshow.