Inspiration

Studio Reveal: Best Bud, Organic Hemp-Infused Wellness

My husband and I have been dreaming about adding a back house onto our property (in our favorite historic neighborhood) for some time now, and at the end of last year, we finally pulled the trigger. We had been going through a tough few years struggling to start a family and needed something exciting and new to focus on. The day we broke ground, I was standing on the back deck watching a bulldozer destroy our fence and tear our yard apart, when we got the call. We had been matched with a birth mother who was due in a week. We were thrilled to adopt this little baby girl but also terrified as to what it would mean to bring a newborn home while starting a major construction project. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy making hundreds of decisions while navigating first time parenthood, but we all survived and are now so excited to be enjoying each other as a new family AND our new space.

We worked closely with Nashville-based Van Pond Architects to design a multi-functional space that could grow and shift along with our lives. With both Andrew and I working from home, we needed a creative studio that could accommodate songwriting sessions and design meetings as well as serve as a guest house for friends and family visiting from out of town. We also wanted it have the ability to potentially serve as an in-law suite for our aging parents or as a “shed” to house Andrew’s woodworking and/or our bikes if and when we decide we no longer need an extra bedroom. 

With my husband and I having lived in Los Angeles for six years, we were influenced by the laid-back California vibe of historically creative communities like Laurel Canyon, Ojai, and Sea Ranch. We wanted the space to feel organic, modern, and airy, while also incorporating the historic elements of our main house, a bungalow built in 1939. 

For the floors we chose high gloss white epoxy for its durability and reflective qualities. Paired with white walls, the furniture almost “floats”. We balanced the white with black doors and windows and white oak accents, bringing on the insanely talented, Christian Fecht of Fecht Design to custom-build the notched cabinets in the kitchen. His creativity and quality craftsmanship gave an organic warmth that the light-filled white space desperately needed.

Best Bud Organic CBD Studio Tour x Life of Plenty Home
Best Bud Organic CBD Studio Tour x Life of Plenty Home - Nashville, TNen Shot 2019-08-19 at 9.57.31 PM.png

What Andrew and I weren’t anticipating when we started this build was that my twin sister, Ashley, and I would start a new business, Best Bud, an organic hemp-infused wellness company. Ashley’s son was born six weeks before our daughter, and with our newfound motherhood, we also enjoyed newfound creativity. Best Bud is a culmination of our deep passions: beauty & wellness, design, sustainability, and community. We have always dreamed about having a business together and with each of us having such incredible results using hemp as a natural solution for our individual issues, we knew it was a product we both believed in. 

Hearing how people have had successful results incorporating Best Bud into their daily routines and using this beautiful new space as our production studio, has been a dream come true. In the short time since we have finished this space, it has already proven itself to accommodate our ever-changing creative lifestyle needs.

Best Bud Organic CBD Studio Tour x Life of Plenty Home - Nashville, TN

Reveal: Ally and Jeff's MODERN BUNGALOW Kitchen

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

I am beyond excited to share this beautiful East Nashville kitchen - not only because the clients are friends of mine, but also because this was my first design project after leaving my corporate job at Sony Music, and still one one of my favorite spaces. I was initially very nervous about being entrusted with someone else’s home for such a big renovation, but Jeff and Ally believed in me and I knew the vision would be a huge improvement from the previous kitchen. I love how this one turned out!

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Ally and Jeff are both very social, so I wanted the kitchen to reflect their playful personalities and provide them with a space they can gather around with friends. We liked that the old peninsula had a place for people to sit but the wall was cutting the room in half and as a result, the seating didn’t get much use.

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It’s hard to see in these original photos but the refrigerator had a lot of wasted space around it as did the washer and dryer, hidden behind the louvered accordion doors. I knew we could maximize the broken up space with a new, more open layout to improve usability and storage while replacing all of the tile to incorporate a more modern look. The result is a stunning space that oozes style - it’s hard to believe it’s the same place!

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

GOALS:

  • Open layout for entertaining

  • Increased pantry storage and larger kitchen appliances

  • Storage for dog/cat supplies

  • Keep laundry in the kitchen but make it more compact

  • Brighten the space - maximize the light coming in the windows/french doors

  • Create a flow that moves people towards the great backyard and deck

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A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

The house is a 1932 bungalow, so my challenge was to give the kitchen a fresh update but making sure it still felt connected to the rest of the house. The finishes we chose give the kitchen a modern update that feels classic, not trendy.

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

Jeff and Ally originally wanted gray cabinets but we settled on this gorgeous, rich blue color that I had fallen in love with on a visit to my cabinet source. The blue has a subtle hint of green so it feels fresh but it isn’t as trendy as a teal. There is nothing more classic than navy and white! The color really set the tone for the rest of the design.

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

We mixed in a few warm touches with the wrapped wood beam and wood legs on the island that provide a very subtle rustic touch. We also used wood for the open shelving. The hardware is a heavy, hand-forged iron that feels great to the touch and provides the hand made character I love so much. Finally, we painted the pantry wall with chalkboard paint to remind this kitchen not to take itself too seriously.

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home
A house, like a mother, is where you run to for comfort - a place that can heal your wounds and replace any feelings of vulnerability.
— Bobby McAlpine
A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

I am beyond thrilled how the kitchen turned out! Jeff did an amazing job laying the floor, adding bead board to the ceiling, and tiling the wall. It looks so great and it is so fun to be able to spend time here during friend hangs - I secretly listen to the comments when people see it for the first time. Most of all I am proud that it reflects Ally and Jeff, has given them a place to gather, and is a cozy spot for them and their animal family. XO - Carly

A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home
A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home
A MODERN BUNGALOW KITCHEN REVEAL IN EAST NASHVILLE | Design by Life of Plenty Home

Welcoming Spring

A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home

It's officially spring and finally starting to feel like it here in Nashville! It is one of my favorite seasons (behind fall) and I look forward to the welcome signs of the changing season: the pink and white blossoming trees, multi-colored tulips, and neighbors emerging from hibernation. So when my friend, Gracie Moakler, a branding and social media consultant, reached out to me to help brighten up her space before she left for spring tour with her husband, country singer/songwriter Steve Moakler, I was happy to help.

An Eclectic Bohemian Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home

Gracie had her eyes set on this amazing wallpaper from Anthropologie, which we used to create a nice focal point that can be seen from the home's entrance. We paired it with a jute rug to make the dining room feel finished but not too formal. The solid wood dining table grounds the space and the colorful metal dining chairs, from Urban Outfitters, add another pop of color, along with some great texture.

A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home

The dining room chandelier came with the house and serves as an interesting centerpiece to the room.

Forsythia bushes are some of the first signs of spring here in Nashville, so I brought in some large branches along with some fresh blooms from my favorite Nashville wholesale flower shop, Import Flowers. We celebrated the finished result with blood orange kombucha tea and some inspiring conversation! How do you get ready for spring? - XO Carly

A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home
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A Bright and Colorful Nashville Dining Room | Life of Plenty Home

At Home With...Julie

“I am constantly trying to find new ways to be creative. Originally from the good ol’ Sunflower State of Kansas, I came to Nashville with my husband for his job as a musician. My favorite space in our home is our front sitting room because of its great light and because the only thing to do in here is to hang out and enjoy each other. We like to read here or have a conversation without any distractions. It’s also a good place for entertaining guests because its cozy and intimate.”

“I found the settee at the flea market and recovered it in my favorite color – green. It is SO comfortable. I took out the cushions and put a down comforter in there instead, and when I lay down on it, I fit EXACTLY… it’s perfect for reading…or napping. It is the focal point of the room. The other pieces are fairly neutral but play with different textures, styles and patterns.”

“I filled the rest of the room with items that are sweet and personal to us – the lyrics to a John Denver song that we loved when we were dating, the framed picture of my husband’s grandfather on his 24th birthday with a note written by his grandmother, a painting I bought in Paris when I was with my sister (she has a matching one in her house), a needlepoint cloth that used to hang in my great-grandmother’s house, a piece of art that was done by our friend, and our wedding album on the coffee table.”

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“I am inspired by good memories, real talk, fearlessness (something I admire and can’t say I always possess), and things that grow better with age. I wish I was better at slowing down to realize life exists most deeply in the small moments.”

“I need to have the freedom to adapt and re-arrange my schedule and change directions so that when creativity shows up, I don’t miss it. Elizabeth Gilbert gave a great TedTalk about an idea the Greeks had: that creativity is like a divine spirit that passes us by and as an artist it is our job to sort of grab it and let it manifest itself. So, I have tried to be more aware of those moments when inspiration comes and to stop to at least acknowledge it and to see those moments as precious, because they are rare, but great.”

“To me, living a ‘life of plenty’ means being thankful for everything, tangible or intangible, and realizing that I have far more than I need or deserve because all the ‘plenty’ is a gift.” – Julie




Lindsay Letters American Dream Collection

A few weeks ago, the lovely and talented Lindsay Letters photographed her patriotic new collection American Dream at the Holly House. She was on the hunt for the "perfect white mantle" to host her new prints, and through the grapevine, landed at our little cottage.

Lindsay had this to say about the inspiration behind American Dream: "There is something about classic Americana, patriotic songs and stars and stripes that make me feel so grateful and blessed. Maybe it's knowing all the hardships and lives sacrificed for our freedom and this beautiful country…people who gave (and give) their lives to serve us and keep us safe."

Here are a few photos from the beautiful lookbook shot by April M. Walker.