2013 Idea House Overview

We handpicked an all-star team to design, build, and decorate the ultimate Southern farmhouse on the grounds of Fontanel, former home of country legend Barbara Mandrell.


I'm Phoebe Howard. I'm the interior designer for this years Southern Living Idea House. In Fontanel, just outside Nashville Tennessee. As you enter the front door, you walk immediately into the main room of the main farm house. The main living area is divided into two spaces. We basically set up two separate seating areas, one down by the kitchen with the large sliding doors. And another one addressing the fireplace at the other end of the house. The kitchen really turned out incredible. What is really nice about it, is the way that everything functions and lays out in that space. It's a great place where you can entertain. You've got a lotta space where people can gather around and help. When you take it down as bare bones, it functions really well. Right off the kitchen is this beautiful dining room. Which also leads onto the back porch. It's got windows on all the sides. Its filled with light. Just off the living room, is this wonderful little study. I love a cozy little room. I think adding the color, adds a lot of depth. And it's a very pretty backdrop for all the objects that are in the room. [MUSIC] The master bedroom suite, I have to say, is my favorite part of this house. It is beautiful. It has light on all sides. [MUSIC] Porches are really key on the house. It's the first thing you see, the first thing you walk into. It's also great for entertaining. Porches are really a key element on a house. I like to decorate an outdoor space to be just as comfortable. And just as nice as an indoor space. It follows all the same kinda guidelines that I use for the inside. We have this guest suite above the garage. It's just a nice, comfortable guest space. It's not masculine, it's not feminine. It's just everything a guest room should be. In this house there's a separate guest house. It has a downstairs guest suite, and an upstairs guest suite. The downstairs guest suite is decorated in sort of a mushroom and ivory color palette. The room has everything that you need to stay in it for an extended period of time. It's got an adorable little kitchenette that's completely stocked. It's got its own refrigerator and microwave. And it's actually quite spacious. The downstairs guest suite was so neutral. I wanted there to be a little bit of a surprise at the top of the steps. So, surprise, there's a red ceiling up there. Everything has a red band, and then I have red accents. So it takes a neutral space and just gives it a little bit more color. And something a little bit unexpected. The inside of this house is so extraordinarily beautiful. Color wise, we really were keen on having that same kind of refinement outside. You can move all the way around the center core of this green grass courtyard. And you're always surrounded by horticulture. Very interesting combinations of silvers and grays, and greens and blues... As you stroll through the gardens, we use lots of different annuals and perennials. And we layered those in, in between the different shrubs. It's a great way to make this large space, nice and intimate and comfortable. The neat thing about the Bunkies are, they're standalone little guest houses. Almost like an efficiency little hotel room. They have their own private bathroom, their own private little porch. The nice thing is, is that for guests, you don't feel like you're under the roof of the owner. You don't feel like you're under someone's feet. You've got freedom of your own space. This particular house has a scale about it. That is really, really, nice. It feels good when you go inside of it. It has an excitement to it. I think it gives you everything you need. It's got color. It's got light. It's comfortable. It's the perfect representation of everything that Southern Living magazine stands for. Only Southerners can put a house together like this.
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