Incorporating Locally-Influenced Design In Your Home
Article by Kellie Walton Benz
Photography by Provided
Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle
What brought you to Franklin, Tennessee? Was it the picturesque streets, a perfectly preserved snapshot of a simpler time? Maybe it was the history woven through every piece of land and storefront, the community of friendly folks around every corner, the suburban lifestyle mere miles from a major city? Or was it the infinite rolling hills and farmlands interspersed with every retail and dining option imaginable?
Whatever your draw to Franklin, we can all agree it’s a town as special as they come. As you leave the city behind and settle into your own home after a long day, allow a touch of Franklin to come home with you.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate locally-influenced design in your home, from major decisions like wallpaper and carpet to simple accent pieces.
Purchase art from local businesses.
With a myriad of locally owned and operated businesses in the area, incorporating meaningful pieces nodding to Franklin is an easy way to bring local touches in-home. Make plans to stroll the Franklin Art Scene, a free monthly event that takes place every first Friday during which a collection of artists and galleries display their works along the streets of Historic Downtown Franklin. Not only do guests have the opportunity to purchase art from a variety of local vendors, but the art crawl is sure to make a memory that comes through each time the piece is admired.
Make major design choices meaningful.
For those building a home, undergoing a major renovation or looking to spruce up a space, consider design choices that nod to the area. From custom wallpaper likening to a street map or color choices influenced by a particular place, these choices, whether subtle or bold, not only help a home stand out, but also hold a special meaning for homeowners.
Paige Harris, director of design at Valor Hospitality, worked to incorporate locally-influenced design when overseeing the build of the Harpeth Hotel and its onsite restaurant, 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails.
“Every detail of 1799 (a nod to the year that Franklin was founded) was purposefully crafted to continue telling a neighborhood-centric story through design expression,” Paige shared. “Central to the restaurant is a semi-private dining area surrounded by wood millwork reflective of a whiskey barrel, with a ceiling detail that mimics the mash, an integral component in distillation. Lastly, the carpet was custom designed to radiate the pattern of the bottom of a rocks glass, complete with ice cubes.”
While exploring a renovation, however, preserving as much of the home as possible is a nod to Franklin in and of itself.
“Try to keep the integrity of the home even if you are renovating,” said Paige Williams, CEO of Paige Williams Interior Design. “Keep the history. We design for clients and the way people want to live, but we’re not going to incorporate something ultra-modern if it will clash with the home itself.”
Fill small spaces with local touches.
Spaces like coffee tables and bookshelves are the perfect opportunity to add a local touch through tchotchkes and trinkets. With a bit of planning and thoughtful shopping, these spaces can quickly go from mundane to meaningful.
Consider adding a book to a coffee table or bookshelf sourced from right here in Franklin, from a variety of historical works by American historian and author James A. Crutchfield, Joe Johnston’s Franklin (Images of America) or The Bridge, a romance novel set in Franklin by number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury.
With antique shops aplenty, spend a day strolling Main Street or Leiper’s Fork to find accent pieces. From vases to picture frames, adding a locally-sourced antique nods to Franklin’s historic past and patronizes a local business all the same.
Delight the senses with local touches.
Thoughtful interior design often stimulates the senses: through sight, sounds, smells, touch and taste. Think about the senses that are evoked when walking through Franklin, the historic buildings and aged interiors, green spaces, and blooming trees.
“Franklin makes me think of history, preservation and the outdoors,” Williams shared. “Think of bringing the outside in by incorporating things like wood, wool, linens and natural stone. We did a remodel in Downtown Franklin and used fabric that was vibrant, floral and fun to match the energy of the area.”
Textures appease sight and touch, but don’t forget about smell and taste too. Head to the Franklin Farmer’s Market on Saturdays to grab fresh local produce for the kitchen or flowers to spruce up any room. Or light up a “Franklin” candle by Amber Vale Home.