Design Destination: Nashville
It’s no secret that Nashville is a mecca for music lovers. For well over half a century, the music city has been drawing country music fans in droves, showing off the Grand Ole Opry House, The Country Music Hall of Fame and even the Johnny Cash Museum to name just a few must-see places. What you might not know, is that Nashville is coming into its own as a design destination. The city is brimming full with artists and designers and their eclectic shops boasting a fab mix of antiques, vintage chic, urban decor and cool one-of-a-kind housewares and fashion. It also has some very grownup, elegant restaurants - as well as funky eateries and high-octane artisanal coffee parlors. Couple that with world-class accommodation and you’ve got an excellent destination for those with an eye for design and a yen for a new place to discover.
Rest & Dine
There’s no better place to lay your head than the classic Hermitage Hotel, a storied five-star accommodation housed in a 1910 beaux art building. Rich in architectural detail, the hotel boasts a breathtaking lobby with a vaulted ceiling and intricate stained glass inset, a richly detailed, walnut-walled ballroom and a picture perfect art deco mens’ room, which is actually a tourist destination in itself. Before heading out for the evening, enjoy fine dining – and an award-winning wine list - in the relaxed elegance of the Capitol Grille restaurant
Design seekers will love the carefully curated collection at Wilder, an art and design shop run by two artists who flew the coop from New York City to live the dream in Nashville! If be spoke leather is your jam, a visit to Peter Nappi is a must. Continuing a family shoe-making tradition that dates back over a century and across an ocean to his grandfather’s home in Italy, Nappi’s studio and showroom offers luxury and handmade elegance. For urban rustic housewares or something cool to take home to the kids, swing by Rich Hippies, a retail and design shop specializing in homemade and one-of-a-kind items. Fuselage has urban décor and hipster fashion distilled into one amazing collection.
Top up your caffeine levels at Barista Parlor, the hippest coffee shop in town serves artisanal espresso and a locally sourced, seasonal menu.
If you’re looking for a quieter, cozier corner, and a taste of small-town Tennessee friendliness, head south to Leiper’s Fork, a village about 40 minutes south of Nashville. American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe calls Leiper’s Fork home (Justin Timberlake owns an impressive spread here, too) as do a truckload of terrific shops and down-home eateries.
Grab a snack at Puckett’s Grocery, the country store and grocery that has been selling farm fresh groceries and home-cooked meals since 1950. A rack of ribs and a side of slaw will keep you going all day long.
Shop some more
Lose yourself in the Serenite Maison’s sumptuous displays of furniture, design pieces and textiles from all over the world. You could literally spend hours though displays that juxtapose chandeliers, antique photographs, vintage guitars and antique clocks – and that’s just for starters! If pottery’s more your cup of tea, pop into the cozy Copper Fox gallery with its handmade pottery, ceramics, textiles and woodwork. West and Company is the place for rustic leather bags and oh-so-perfect plaid shirts. And a trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the most well-appointed barn in town. Known simply as David Arms (or “the barn”), the barn/art gallery and shop sells David Arms’ original art along with housewares and even clothing that the artist has had a hand in creating.