Peek Inside this Tennessee Family’s Country Getaway
When Dan Frankum started looking for a weekend escape for his Nashville family, he knew he was looking for one thing: “a place outside town that was on moving water.” So when they saw a classified ad for “your own little Shangri-La” that came with a cabin, they knew they had found the spot. The rustic retreat is situated along the Harpeth River, in Kingston Springs—just a mere 25 minutes from the bustle of the city.
The family began spending every possible weekend out there (and even some week nights), filling their time with fishing, canoeing, and roaming around on ATVs. The Frankums stayed in the tiny cabin on the property, but increasingly found themselves in need of a way to store their “weekends toys.” Enter: the custom barn. Dan had plans drawn up for a barn to be built on the property, and as their dreams for their weekends there grew, so did the blueprint. “Probably half way through the building process I realized I had a lot more space than what I originally anticipated,” Dan says. So they called up Nashville designer Sarah Moore, who helped them put every inch of their brand-new “barn” to work as storage space, living space, and most importantly, family space. “It seems like everybody is looking for a hobby farm; everyone’s looking for a way for their family to get away from traffic,” Dan says. “It’s just a special place. Being out there, I realize how fortunate I am.”
Read on to see how Sarah transformed this riverside barn into a breezy family getaway:
Take A Look:
Situated just outside Nashville, this rural escape is the perfect spot for fall weekends.
Rural Meets Urban
Sarah says they wanted to achieve a loft-like living space, but in a barn. So they divided and conquered to max-out the space’s hosting, storage, and living capabilities. The downstairs would be entertainment-focused, for parties and football. “Go ride four-wheelers, and then come in and catch the game,” Sarah says. Upstairs, on the other hand, would be reserved for relaxed family living.
Sarah says they also wanted to keep the design “light and airy.” So she skipped on any dark furniture, painted the walls White Dove by Benjamin Moore (#OC-17), and avoided anything too traditional or country. (A fine line to walk!) Shiplap walls reinforce the modern farmhouse look, while large windows and a garage door frame up the picturesque view outside. “The property is so beautiful, I don’t want the interior to compete with the view,” Sarah said.
“It just made sense to do a really simple kitchen,” Sarah says of the tidy space, topped with wood countertops and a farmhouse-favorite: open shelving. Vintage inspired appliances by Big Chill add personality to the subdued space. Sarah says they opted for a fresh minty green for the fridge and dishwasher, but paired it with a more subdued white oven and cooktop that feature knobs in the same mint green.
Pendant lights from Visual Comfort illuminate the island counter, while a small dining space is framed up by large, unfiltered windows. “When you walk into it, it’s just all natural light. And the white walls really make it pop,” Dan says.
Room for a View
Two swivel chairs (covered in Peter Dunham’s “Kumbh” in indigo) make for the perfect spot to gaze out the upstairs garage door, which opens onto a small balcony just big enough for two rocking chairs.
Game Plan for the Floor Plan
“The biggest challenge was figuring out how to divide up the space,” Sarah says. “I bet I drew 30 versions.” She says upstairs, the plumbing determined the bathroom. So once they planned that, they moved to the kitchen and bunkroom. “We knew we wanted a bunk room with built-in bunk beds. That’s pretty specific.” So they plotted out what windows and walls would allow for a cozy bunkroom, and designed the rest of the space from there.
To reinforce the openness of the “loft” area, Sarah designed the bedrooms with only three walls, and a thick curtain that is easily drawn close for privacy. She used a subtle Pindler pattern, “Odell” in Pewter, to break up the white space and hide any dirt left behind by little hands. Never straying too far from the modern farmhouse look, Sarah had the frame around the bedroom “doorways” constructed of reclaimed barn wood.
Old Meets New
When it came to decorating the space, Sarah says to her it’s not just about mixing the old and the new (like this vintage trunk with more contemporary bedroom furniture) but also about mixing “clean” and “rustic.”
Play the Blues
Sarah says she wanted to keep a tone-on-tone palette and use accents to bring in subtle blues and dark grays, so everything wasn’t too starkly white upstairs. “Using blue as an accent looks so pretty in contrast to the property,” she says. “Blue is so soft, it’s a nice complement to bright green outside.”
The main living area downstairs was designed with crowds in mind. The family needed a spot to pile up when extra friends tag along, so that trips to the country don’t have to mean missed football games in the fall.
An unused corner of the downstairs entertaining area made what Sarah calls the “perfect space and setting” for an intimate little dining area. With that garage door open on a cool fall evening, we couldn’t agree more.