This Light-Filled Tennessee Dream Home Was 40 Years in the Making

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This Light-Filled Tennessee Dream Home Was 40 Years in the Making

For four decades, Dorinda Smith designed her future dream home in her head. She always knew that one day she’d retire, return to her family’s land in Tennessee — where her ancestors had been since 1792, before Tennessee was even a state — and build a spacious home for throwing large family parties. “It was kind of my happy place,” she says. “When things got stressed, every night before sleep I would think about different rooms, the design features, what I wanted it to look like, the parties we would have, all that.”

In 2016, she and husband Brant kickstarted that dream from Virginia, where they had lived and worked for 30 years. The couple searched Houzz for design professionals in Franklin, Tennessee, and found Noble Johnson Architects and interior designer Sarah Ashley to see their plans to completion, collaborating along the way using Houzz ideabooks. Working with the Smiths and builder Adam Forte, the design team created a whitewashed brick home that centers around a large, light-filled great room that’s comfortable and durable enough to host 100 people.

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Comments (115)
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Mrsobbs

The collaboration between Dorinda, the builder & designer pulled off something rather amazing here. Making >4,000 sf look welcoming and unintimidating; even cozy beneath 12’ ceilings in quite a feat. Making it a comfortable space whether for 1 or 100 is even more impressive.


Dorinda, the many years visioning what your & Brant’s home would one day be has resulted in a lovely Tennessee family legacy continued.


It’s a beautiful home.


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LIFESTYLE DESIGN

I am impressed with the thought put into the home for the client's lifestyle. The planning for aging in place, the thoughtfully designed kitchen, the banquet (what a great space-saving idea!), and easy maintenance whitewashed brick have given this a home a truly custom appeal. So many great ideas

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Ginger Underwood

This is one of the most beautiful homes on Houzz. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy.

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lydia1144

Dreams do come true. What a beautiful home. I appreciate the clever design that allows Dorinda and Brandt to live in a smaller space withing a show-stopper. The colour palette is soothing, and patterns understated yet welcome. Thank you for sharing your home, and providing some really good pointers for setting ourselves up for our latter years. May many happy years ahead be yours, punctuated with a great party now and then!

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Devin

This is lovely! I loved the whitewashed brick and the baking corner. What a wonderful dream come true, but it is more like years of hard work paying off.

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kwilli0320

Gorgeous

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Sandy B

Absolutely beautiful.

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kellyporreca

Beautiful.


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susanlyon33

A masterpiece! Great job to the homeowners and their collaborative production team. We appreciate you sharing your dream home with the Houzz community.

I visited Franklin during a trip to Nashville and fell in love with this quaint, welcoming town. Thanks for inviting us in!

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Noble Johnson Architects

Thank you everyone for the kind words!

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goshdarn

An absolutely stunning house, the colours are so soothing and the furniture just begs you to curl up in with a book. Love the kitchen, it is so bright and airy. Lots of cupboards and storage space, and the beautiful countertops. Congratulations on achieving your dream house - and may you enjoy it for many years to come.

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Mindy Mackey

This is an amazing home. Hearing the clients story and the forward thought too aging and truly utilizing all the spaces is truly the essence of great design. I enjoyed hearing the architects talk about the design elements specifically the use light and bringing in texture, the a lack of walls and how you need to raise up a mantle-so interesting! Thanks Houzz and the Smith family for sharing.

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anndownes

This house is absolutely stunning. Not a detail was missed. Hope you enjoy it for the rest of your life.

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Susan Apazidis

BEAUTIFUL....

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Karen Peters

I would love details about the kitchen quartz like the name and color. I love that it looks like marble but much easier to care for.

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Bobbi Jo

Beautiful! I've been to Franklin, TN and what a gorgeous area. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and would love to see more!! :-).

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Emily Smith

Beautiful home! Can you please share the brick color and wash info?

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HU-455382817

This is gorgeous! Love this home!

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kwiele

Outstanding! What a blessing and thanks for sharing

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sapphire

You have done a beautiful job! I hope you both, with all your friends and family, enjoy it for many years to come! I love everything about it.

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Deb Vallett

Thank you for inviting us into your stunning home and sharing your process and design tips.

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1yogamama

Gorgeous! love the design and well thought out plan. I especially love the baking nook.

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glott001

This is a beautiful home you both created and with the help of your team. Great video and appreciate your sharing your home and design ideas with all of us.

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ForestWaif

Thank you for sharing your home. This is a large house that feels like a home in every detail; so comfortable and beautiful. I backed up and paused frequently to enjoy it all. Houzz, thank you; please consider keeping the background music in the background. Maybe it's just me (probably - lol), but I missed the dialogue because of the distracting swells of music. No worries, since there is a pause and rewind button. :-) All the best.

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The Reinvented Room

gorgeous and flawlessly executed! Worth waiting for! Congratulations in bringing your dream to life and exceeding expectations!

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jacknlukesmom

This is truly eye candy! What a beautiful home - light and bright and warm and welcoming. Love the kitchen with limited cabinets and love love love the many windows. Your years of dreaming and planning paid off spectacularly. Well done.

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Linda Jones

So beautiful. One comment. She said there isn't a lot of room for artwork. But it's all about the view. That is the real artwork in this gorgeous, welcoming home.

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Betsy McKinney

Wait a minute.....that's MY dream house (or at least one of them!) Stunning---everything!

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livinginpalmbeach

Absolutely beautiful! I loved the baking center and how the kitchen table is part of the kitchen, but separated from the kitchen as well. I loved the video. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

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Mary Gosewehr

Absolutely beautiful!!! It is a dream home for every possible reason. Amazing work by the architects and decorators. Houzz is the best for ideas!


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sandy2060

It brings tears to my eyes. Just lovely.

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nauna

I love everything about this beautiful home!! Having built a "glass house" myself, I am always attracted to homes with more windows than walls. That of course requires living on a lot with considerable space or acreage around you. Fabulous results, ya all.

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dwiborn

Absolutely stunning!!

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LKG

Love the openness yet coziness of this house! The windows, patios and screened porch allow the outside to be the focal point! Love it!

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debinnj

Who is the manufacturer of the cabinets? This home is stunning!


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lmbhome

Such a beautiful home with so many personal touches. I have watched the video at least 4 times so far and will watch again. Kudos to the builder for being so thoughtful of the owners needs now and into the future. Thanks to the owners for sharing their story which is a testament of never letting go of your dreams.

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Teresa Asebrook

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home. I immediately fell in love with the overall look and feel of the home: stunning, timeless, classic, inviting, comfortable and built for gatherings. Seems to be a perfect reflection you, Dorinda and Brant. I loved hearing the back story and history of the location. So glad that you are literally living your dream! While watching the video, it occurred to me why people are called homeowners instead of houseowners: you've put your heart into this special place, which gives this lovely house the honor of being a home.

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Justina_Lagretta Reynolds

Beautiful


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hawkb

Stunning. They must have a huge family. I'm overwhelmed by a 2400 sf home. I couldn't imagine this much space! Absolutely lovely tho.

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Vivien23- Zone 6B

Love the hidden stairway. Would love to see the house plan.

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Forte Building Group, LLC

It was a complete pleasure working with Dorinda, Brant and the entire design team!

The cabinets were built by Wood Works Custom, a local custom cabinetmaker near Franklin, TN.

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meghankaty88

I too would like to know the manufacturer and name of the quartz counters.


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DANEL Properties

Wow wow wow! Beautiful and Stunning...

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nest real estate

Bravo to all the architects, designers, and homeowners inspiration, it is absolutely stunning!

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CB Interior Design

Beautiful house, I love the great room every detail is perfect! The open plan, light, furniture layout it is so inviting! Enjoy your amazing home!

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liasuz

What a beautifully designed home to retire to. Wonderful dream!

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Lynne Thomas

Just a gorgeous home.

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Weyeswoman Leroux

Such a lovely story about a truly stunning home. Thank you, all, for sharing!

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Mandy Collazo

So beautiful. So similar to my dream home 💕

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Nita Derouen

What is the name of the brick and what is the name of the wash and how much wash did you guys used?


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jaimeest3

beautiful home.


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Beverly Musser

Thank you for sharing your dream home with me! Our son and hus family live in Franklin,TN what a beautiful place on earth!

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Christine Botti

Team work for sure! I think if it were me I would have wished to have this home when my children were growing up, it would have a lot more memories. But totally understand if it wasn’t financially possible for them. BEAUTIFUL

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PARKS Realty

Such a well thought out floor plan that allows one to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscaping around. Great job.

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Levern Spicer

Absolutely beautiful! Wow!

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Margaret D

Such lovely people! The couple who wanted their dream home, the architects, the designers, the decorators, the builder -- absolutely everyone just seem to be such delightful people, and they created a truly lovely home. Congratulations, everyone!!! May your home be blessed with many years of love.

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Kelly Turner

Gorgeous — this could be one of the HGTV dream homes, which I’ve always wanted to win! I’d love some beautiful acreage and a secret staircase is a childhood fantasy come true. I’m jealous Dorinda! Happy entertaining!

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Noble Johnson Architects
Franklin, TN Estate · More Info


We are thrilled that so many of you are enjoying the video and project! It was a delight for us to work on. For those of you asking, here is more information for the Kitchen quartz countertops...

The cabinet tops were fabricated by Smokey Mountain Tops in Nashville: Smokey Mountain Tops - Houzz


The tops are 3cm quartz, LG Viatera "Rococo"

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madeleinejs

Her style is “very minimalist”?

   
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Lannette

I would love to know who,Ace the couches.

   
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Lannette

Sorry. I would love to know who made the couches in the great room.

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Nanco Homes Inc.

Absolutely stunning! Congratulations on building your dream home and thank you for sharing it with us.

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Camilla Blair

Lovely well thought out design. Fabulous architecture and thoughtful design;however I am struck that it has no personality,all very bland and neutral. It looks like these people went with all new furniture and knick knacks.There is no sense of any history,no family heirlooms. . Interior design should look like it evolved not like it was "done".

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dvd94

Wow - what a stunning home. Incredible design - and beautiful furnishing. So wonderful that you are able to live your dream!! What a great story as well and a testament to your vision and your architect's expertise.

I also was 'designing' my dream home for 17 acres of land that I purchased - it was in the 'planning' stage for almost 20 years (during many lunch hours and many other design sessions in my head and paper - lol). Sadly, by the time I was ready to build, construction prices were way out of reach and my design would actually de-value the land. I also had gotten quite tired of 'living in the house'. :-) As time marches on, and age creeps up, reality also set in. I was getting too old to maintain 17 acres - and my life had changed immensely from that 30-something dreamer. My visions of farm life faded and dreams of relaxation during retirement seemed to fit better. Sold 'the farm' and bought a cabin on a lake - and waited 10 years for retirement so as to enjoy it full time. That happened almost 2 years ago and now I wonder if maybe I should stay in my 'in-town' house - with closer access to services and everything that 'intimate' living has to offer. :-) Funny, but my heart still yearns for a farm. :-)

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smith_2014

Stunning home - I love it!

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Andreanna Mond

I love the home, but I love the historical value even more!

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Vickie Jo

I love the house and like Dedra I have in my idea books many of my dreams. I hope sometime to actually live them like they did!

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alisacbennett

Absolutely beautiful home! I appreciate hearing and seeing how the thoughts were brought to life by the design team. Dorinda sounds like a dream client being so clear and decisive about what she wanted and what suited her style and the needs of her family. It is truly inspiring to leverage Houzz to make dreams come true! Thanks for sharing!

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maryjamieson

What main interior paint colors were used for the walls and trim?


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goballstate

Stunning! I love how everyone collaborated to make this what the couple envisioned. Obviously excellent workmanship.

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kbaxter055

As beautiful as the home owners.

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Meridian Development Group, LLC

Beautiful home and great story!!

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slhajec

Also would lile to know paint color on the interior walls in living area and kitchen. I only see the trim and cabinet color provided. Thank you! Looks beautiful, comfortable and inviting☺

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j3amie

Beautiful home Beautiful story Beautiful couple.
Wonderful team !

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Forte Building Group, LLC

Thank you all! Here's some info for the paint colors...


Great Room:

Walls: SW7004 Snowbound

Trim: SW7004 Snowbound

Ceilings: SW 7014 Eider White


Kitchen:

Walls, Trim & Ceilings: SW 7014 Eider White

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Noble Johnson Architects

The wall paint colors are as follows:

Walls/paneling in main living area: Sherwin Williams Snowbound

Walls of kitchen/sitting room: Sherwin Williams Eider White

We always suggest you get a sample to physically see in your space with your lighting. Thanks!

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artdreamer

Dear owners, you are living a dream, it is really a beautiful dream, congratulation... I love it - thank you, that we could have seen this video - all the best to you !

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Tessa Jade

This is so my style❤️❤️

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shanflet

What a beautiful home and story. Houzz has helped us a good deal also. May you make the best of many memories as you live your dream😊

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bstark1030

What is the tile(?) used in the bath room, please?

   
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sarahcampbellilm

Beautiful home and really like the baking center, great room, and white washed brick.

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Dina Y

This was beautiful 😭💚

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mrslatonya

BEAUTIFUL!

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Hess Architects

Well done, Noble Johnson Architects. Bright, cheerful, elegant and immediately comfortable.

Family and friends will have a lifetime of wonderful experiences and memories, thanks to your

creation of this home.

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Noble Johnson Architects

The master bathroom floor tile doesn't appear to be in production anymore. Thanks for the question!

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Kristina D

Gorgeous house! What color paint is on the walls and trim?

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Forte Building Group, LLC

The trim is Sherwin Williams 7014 "Eider White". The walls and ceilings vary throughout the home between "Eider White" and 7004 "Snowbound"

Trim: Semi-Gloss

Walls: Eggshell

Ceilings: Flat

   
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Noble Johnson Architects

Kristina - thanks for the question! What room are you asking about for paint?

   
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Nelida Mejia

This is such a gorgeous house. I love the large open concept where you can see out into the living space from the kitchen as well as the large windows which allow so much natural light to come into the beautiful living area. What a great design.

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beth ford

I love this home! Any chance we can talk about you duplicating this home in Lexington KY?

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marcyfink

Beautiful! Loved the brick wash with its very uneven application. Farm girl myself—enjoyed the history of being on your family’s land.

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Dawn White

I am curious how the doors out to the patio area open exactly? I can tell they cannot be pocket doors, of course, but the photo that shows them open does not show 'where the doors are' when they are open. Thank you! :)

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Forte Building Group, LLC

There's 3 pairs of folding doors to the back porch. This door unit on the very left side opens up by all 4 of the door panels sliding to the left and folding outwards towards the porch...

The door units in the center and on the very right side open up by all 4 of the door panels sliding to the right and folding outwards towards the porch. Here you can see the very right pair...


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Noble Johnson Architects

Dawn - Thanks for the question! The doors to the patio are Kolbe folding doors.

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fenstanton

Normally don’t care for videos, but this is outstanding. Kudos to the architect, builder, designer and family for their thoughtful insights into the process that led to such a fine piece of elegantly casual and restrained work. Well done.

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flacamsr991

Beautiful, beautiful.

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T B

Very nice house. I'm always curious if folks clean their large houses themselves or do they hire people to clean. Because this is a humongous house...

   
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B L COPE

Goregeous make-over. I know this area

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babbs50

WOW just WOW!

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RedRyder

One big “Wow” says it all. The collaboration of homeowner, builder and designer is a perfect example of helping a dream to come true. We are “down the road” from beautiful Franklin and this house is a stunning addition to an enviable town. How wonderful to be able to build your ideal home on your family’s land? Most of us struggle to redesign one room in our house, much less envision the structure, layout AND decor. Bravo to all!

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heathermcdonnell

Is the porch screened in? What is the material on the windows of the porch?

   
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dian Iron Feather

Have I been pronouncing banquet incorrectly my whole life? It's properly pronounced bank-ett?

   
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beedee_kelley

What a gorgeous home; reflecting a wonderful design, great attention to detail and artisans that are true professionals. The couple were very smart to consider aging in place in an open design and allow enough room to spread out! My spouse and I are older and feel we too have “one more house” in us as well but surely for them their beautiful Tennessee location made the difference. Exactly the kind of experience and end result that mature folks require in their Golden Years and Tennesseean’s delivered, congratulations.

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Amy Kramer

In the Great Room/Family Room, what are the dimensions of the room? And what's the dimension of the rug with the two couches on top? The furniture looks so perfectly placed, I'm trying to get a sense for the scale. Thank you! Beautiful home - inside and out!

   
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Miller & Associates at Carolina One Real Estate

Great story and beautiful home, thanks for sharing!

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Beautiful Beast

I'm in love with this home 🥰

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Noble Johnson Architects

@heathermcdonnell - Yes, The porch is screened in but also has a space that is not screened behind it.


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heathermcdonnell

Thank you! I love everything about this house. What an amazingly beautiful home.

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brownwilliam art + design

LOOOOVE! Color scheme and layout.❤️

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cactusrose9

WOW! THE BEST I'VE EVER SEEN ON houzz!

CONGRATS AND ENJOY!


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loishelms

Oh, my goodness! What a beautiful home! It looks like you thought of everything. Is your houseplan available for viewing? I love the kitchen/dining/living space.

   
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G Dakota

Would like to see the master bed and bath for accessible ideas. The home is very beautiful and well thought out details.

   
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Noble Johnson Architects

@loishelms since the plan was custom designed for the homeowners, we cannot share that information. We are so glad you like it!

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loishelms

I thought that would be the case, but wanted to verify. It's stunning. :-)

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Julie Chauvin

very nice !!!! lovely home and lovely couple!!!

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