Yes, real-estalking. As in, real estate stalking. It’s a thing.
At the end of April, I spent a long weekend in Nashville. In between eating all the outstanding food and imbibing in all the amazing cocktails, I also gawked at all the cute houses I passed while walking around. Unfortunately, I only scraped the surface—I did a lot of shuttling around via car, so even though I traveled through some beautiful neighborhoods (Belmont, swoon!), I wasn’t able to take pictures from a moving vehicle. In the neighborhoods I explored on foot, though, I was delighted to find lots of nicely kept homes whose owners clearly put a lot of thought into cultivating their curb appeal.
If I had to choose one word to describe Nashville’s architectural style, eclectic is what comes to mind. It was easy to tour a single neighborhood and see elements of design common to New Orleans, Charleston, Seattle, and Philadelphia all on the same block. Some houses felt quintessentially Southern, while others reminded me of Pacific Northwest bungalows and Pennsylvania fieldstone houses.
I couldn’t help but think that if this shotgun house (pictured below) was in New Orleans, the exterior paint colors would have likely been a combination of pastel clapboards with punchy, tropical-inspired accents rather than shades of gray. Perhaps more formal and modern, the tonal treatment gives this small house an elegant look, especially with the iron fence and hedges.
This itty-bitty Victorian house stole my heart. I found myself standing in front of it for several minutes trying to take it all in—there is so much to appreciate here even though it’s a small property! The marriage of traditional architecture with modern landscaping elements is nicely balanced. The slate gray paint helps to update the scalloped shingles and intricate woodwork, giving them 21st century appeal. Applying the same paint color to the modern fence was a thoughtful way to connect the two styles. In comparison to the finer details on the house, the hardscaping is clean and linear. As striking as it is, its simplicity allows the house to shine.
This next house reminds me of something you’d see on Home Town. Can’t you just picture the big reveal where the homeowners squeal in delight over the pergola that’s been built on the front of their house? This is my idea of a grand entrance—some well-placed containers, a couple of decorative elements, and lots of symmetry. If this were my house, I’d probably (definitely) grow a flowering vine along the pergola.
Nothing says southern hospitality like a welcoming front porch, and I loved how the owners of this house decorated theirs. After you’re done admiring the front door with leaded glass windows, notice that there are three chandeliers, several hanging baskets of flowers, a wind chime, a porch swing, and a hanging rope chair. (The swing and hanging chair are a little hard to see, but I promise they’re there.) This looks like a pleasant spot to read a book, have a cocktail, or catch up with your neighbors.
This red brick Italianate isn’t actually a house anymore—it’s a restaurant! Located in Rutledge Hill, Husk Nashville operates inside this beauty. The house was restored and renovated to accommodate the restaurant. The building dates back to the late 1800s and was constructed by a former mayor of Nashville. While the dentil molding and elaborately trimmed arches are impressive, my favorite part of the exterior is the tall windows.
These other brick houses caught my eye, too. My favorite is the first one (top left).
Last but not least, this stone house reminded me of my home state of Pennsylvania, right down to the Keystone-like pattern over the windows. The Keystone State is full of colonial style homes clad in stone. The color scheme feels especially right for something you’d see in the northeast. Crisp, black shutters and a bright red door make for a classic combination—though, if I’m being honest, it feels too serious for a town like Nashville. I could see this house sporting a hydrangea-blue front door.
Most of these houses were in the Music Row neighborhood (near Vanderbilt) and Germantown, which is north of downtown. I’d highly recommend taking a walk through Germantown. It seemed to be neighborhood that was undergoing some gentrification with new construction in progress, but there were renovations on older homes underway, as well as plenty of already-restored historic houses. I would have loved to walk through Belmont, which is nestled near the 12 South neighborhood. The homes I passed while driving through were magazine-worthy!
Have you been to Nashville? Which neighborhood is your favorite for realestalking?
All photos used in this post are my own.