Occasionally I get asked to preview an upcoming issue of a design magazine – which I love to do, because I get these huge, beautiful photographs (by Simon Watson) to share.  But sometimes the house isn’t what I think you will love – so I have to pass on it.  This time though – the house shown in the new June issue of House Beautiful is gorgeous and there is no way I could not show it to you! 

The cover story house is in Nashville, Tennessee – although its design was inspired by France, England, Belgium and a touch of Dutch via Pennsylvania.  The owner is designer Jeannette Whitson, who though not formally trained, decorated it all herself  (hear that ASID?)  I have a funny feeling Jeanette is going to be a very busy lady once people see her talent. 

Here’s her take on the house’s style:  “Think an Englishman who’s come to America, married a Pennsylvania Dutch woman and has a French mistress on the side in Charleston” – and yes, I can see all those influences in her house – save for the infidelity on the poor Pennsylvania Dutch woman.   This is Nashville?

The house is surrounded by gardens – and each door is located off one – some of which are private, like the front entrance.  In the living room – a wall of French doors open to the terrace at the back of the U-shaped house.

The house is filled with the antiques Jeanette has collected over the years – along with pieces she picks up in Europe for her business, Garden Variety Design.  It’s a layered look, not heavily edited, which I love.  There are so many ideas to pick up from her rooms – she loves to bring pieces inside that are designed for the outside.  I am totally hooked on her aesthetic and I hope you will be too!!




The staircase – here you can see the Pennsylvania Dutch influence  -  which resembles a renovated barn.   The woodwork and railing are just amazing.  Love the lanterns on the walls.



The living room is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Gray.   The back wall of French doors open to the terrace – which becomes a vanishing threshold.  I wonder if Jeannette reads Tara Dillard’s blog “Garden and Home”  where Tara writes extensively about vanishing thresholds?



From Jeanette’s web site – you can see the Vanishing Threshold – from the living room to the terrace.  The pavers are reclaimed limestone from English sidewalks.




Above the fieldstone fireplace (isn’t it gorgeous?) is a painting – that hangs on a panel which folds back completely to reveal the flatscreen.  Great idea! 




The kitchen is a combination of English styled cabinetry and a French bakery aesthetic with its white subway tiles and brass and glass shelves, LaCanche range and Calacutta Ora marble.  The walls of subway tiles are luscious.  The lantern is antique and is so beautiful.   Through the door is the butler’s pantry with linen skirt details. 




A close up of the kitchen – notice the sink in the island.  The brass fixtures are not sealed which allows them to patina like this. To die for!



From her Facebook page, I found this picture of her butler’s pantry – with the stone sink she imports from Europe.  Soapstone counters and backsplash – and notice another gorgeous brass faucet with patina!!!



Each door opens to a garden.  Here the vegetable garden is off the kitchen door.




The library is painted in Farrow Ball’s Hague Blue.  The silk velvet is matched to the wall   color.  The ceiling is done in Michael Smith Jaspar fabric – which I LOVE!!!   Beautiful antique tapestries make up the pillows.  The teenagers use this room to watch movies in. 





The master bedroom has windows on three sides that overlook the gardens and a terrace.  Wall to wall textured rug and wonderful printed curtains.  I love the antique textile used as a coverlet.  The mirror is placed between two windows – which is a great look.  Just beautiful. 



I can only show five photos from the magazine story, but I was lucky to find a few more on her Facebook page – so its cheating just a little bit!!  I would LOVE to show all the photographs from the story – it was so hard to decide which five to show.





Here is the garden off the front entry – styled for a photoshoot with some of the antiques bought for Jeannette’s business:   Garden Variety Design.   The objects – bought in France and Belgium and England are available for sale on 1st Dibs  HERE  – OR at Belle Meade Shoppes, below.  I love what she picked and how she styles everything.  Be sure to visit her web site – you can access it from 1st Dibs.




Garden Variety Design – the European antiques are available at Belle Meade Shoppes in Nashville   -  directions and times HERE



I love this set of Napoleon III upholstered furniture she bought. 



Pair of Napoleon III tufted Salon Chairs image 3

And here is how she upholstered them – leaving the backs deconstructed.



She bought lots of sunburst mirrors and lights.



This urn is in the 1st Dibs shop – great idea to put it in the fireplace!!



Need a trough sink like the one her Butler’s Pantry – she  bought a bunch of them.



Framed French Botanicals or Herbieres from 1892


Her herbiers are the best.  Love the way she frames them!



19th C. French Marble Garden Statue image 2

Fabulous statue and tapestry.



Pair of Weathered Cast Stone Fruit Urns image 2

Love these on a console inside.




And she bought tons of frames!  Love this look for a mantel.






The June issue of House Beautiful goes on sale May 28.