This Family Got a Second Chance at Their Dream Nashville Home

A couple bought back their former home, giving it—and them—a new lease on life.

The first time around, Shannon and Falon Terry's Nashville home felt a little like slipping into Shaquille O'Neal's jersey—too big for comfort. So, they left the large home for smaller digs. But five years, two children, and one dog later, their former home seemed to promise the perfect fit—with some design tailoring to suit their young family. "We were lucky to get a second shot at it," Falon says. "To make it exactly right for us."

That's where designer Roger Higgins came in.

exterior shot of large home front yard
Emily Followill

"The house was very traditional, with formal spaces, dark woodwork, and a winding staircase," he says. "They wanted a lighter, younger look and spaces geared to their lifestyle. Livability and comfort needed to come first."

Higgins established a timeless shell by redoing all the interior millwork. "It's critical to the home's classic yet fresh look," he says. Paneled walls and crown molding define some rooms while others, including the living area, feature less formal tongue-and-groove planks and wood beams on vaulted ceilings.

living room in orange and blue vaulted ceiling
Emily Followill

Out went the grand staircase and light-blocking walls, including one that kept the kitchen cloistered from the living room. "Now everyone can be together," Higgins says. "Everyone feels like they're part of the action." The volume and size of the living room called for large-scale lighting and a colossal fireplace surround—topping out at 7½ feet. "It's so tall," Higgins says, "but it looks right in this room, and it feels right for Shannon and his friends. He was a basketball player. He's a big guy, and a lot of his friends are big, tall basketball players as well. This is comfortable for them."

sitting and dining room in neutral tones
Emily Followill

Furniture also is scaled to the space. "I put in big, deep comfortable seating—and lots of it," Higgins says. Character-rich vintage pieces, including a pair of campaign-style chests (one of which hides a television), mingle with new furnishings and fresh pattern.

"I love the living room draperies," Higgins says. "The fabric puts a younger spin on the tree-of-life pattern with pretty blue and green."

kitchen with teal cabinets and rounded archway
Emily Followill

Blue rises to a starring role in the kitchen, where cabinetry wears a rich peacock hue. "All the natural light gave me the nerve to do dark color," Higgins says. Swaths of white marble and subway tile, along with a white oak island, further lighten the space while elegant, brushed brass offsets utilitarian stainless steel.

Instead of a formal dining room, the family opted for a casual eating spot tucked along the kitchen island. A channeled banquette cozies up to a long pedestal table that opens to accommodate a leaf when guests gather for dinner. "It can easily handle 12 people," Higgins says. "Everyone has a seat."

warm tones sitting room midcentury decor
Emily Followill

The space previously used for formal dining was reinvented as a wood-paneled lounge. Stained white oak sets a cozy mood accentuated by leather chairs and a modern chesterfield sofa. "We took colors from a painting they already had to build the palette," Higgins says. The watercolor hues wash across textiles and draperies with painterly brushstrokes. A painting by Southern artist Scott E. Hill sets a dreamy mood reinforced by draperies in Harlequin's "Estrato" fabric.

wooden kitchen with glass cabinets and reflective tiles
Emily Followill

Nestled next to the lounge, a bar dials up the glamour with antiqued-mirror walls, Calacatta Gold marble, and shimmering brass hardware.

dark bathroom marble sink, round mirror, gold accents
Emily Followill

Another jewel box space, the powder room tucked under the staircase in a paneled hall drips with elegance from high gloss moss green paint and more marble and brass. Even the room's entry intrigues. "There's no visible door or knob," Higgins says. "You press on a wall panel to go in."

A reeded white oak vanity juxtaposes walls coated in Fine Paints of Europe lacquer, a high-gloss take on Sherwin-Williams' mossy "Eminent Bronze."

vaulted ceiling master bedroom neutral tones
Emily Followill

The primary bedroom, meanwhile, serves as a sanctuary— but on a grand scale. Like the living room, its high vaulted ceiling makes the space voluminous. "The challenge there was the scale," Higgins says. "We had to go big with lighting and furniture. The headboard is an amazing 6 feet tall." A custom bed upholstered in Stroheim "Akello Velvet" soars upward. A faux-shagreen desk nestles in the bay window nook.

bathroom with blue wall pattern
Emily Followill

In the adjoining bath, the designer went big in another way. A freestanding tub sprawls in a sea of luxurious marble. "It looks like I used all the marble," Higgins says with a laugh. Mosaic tile on the floor dovetails with walls clad in magnificent marble on backsplashes and the shower enclosure. Its steel-framed oval window lines up with an exterior window to welcome abundant natural light.

Fun touches also abound in the boys' spaces, which Higgins designed to reflect their personalities. A teak-and-leather bed plays against a map of the world in one room. An odd space left from moving the home's original staircase was reimagined as a lovable green loft in the other boy's room. A splashy Pierre Frey paper and blue penny tile define the bath while a spool bed, whimsical fabrics, and cardboard animal heads from CBSafari energize the second bedroom

kids' playroom fox artwork and blue chairs
Emily Followill

"Sly" wallpaper from Fine & Dandy Co. sets a lighthearted mood in the playroom off the kitchen. Higgins had the wallcovering framed like a giant art piece. "We wanted to give them some fun," he says.

"It's a beautiful house, but it's also a really comfortable house," Higgins says.

backyard exterior shot of green home with pool
Emily Followill

Higgins painted the pool house, which was originally white, a woodsy green so it would visually recede. "Now it feels like part of the tree line," he says. The structure includes a living area, full kitchen, and bed and bath spaces.

The couple agrees. "I love how the spaces flow—through the house and into the backyard," Shannon says. "It makes our house feel special—like a retreat." That feeling is what matters most. "The No. 1 thing I wanted was for the house to feel homey, inviting," Falon says. "Roger brought in so much warmth with the color palette and layers of texture. Instead of a show house, we have a house that showcases us and who were are as a family-a true home."

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