With a modern prairie exterior, or “mountain modern” as Duncan would call it, this home is comprised of a variety of textures and lines reminiscent of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. “With the large overhangs and low pitch roofs, it’s almost like a ranch style house. But we modernized it by bringing in special materials and blending of all these different styles and modern elements,” says architect Andrew Scott, Founder and Design Director of August House Co. This collection of textures is comprised of Hardie board, stucco, painted brick, stained cedar, and a unique textural element of imported 3D limestone. The different sizes of Marvin fiberglass windows create visual interest and are black on the exterior and interior.
Nestled within a traditional neighborhood in Green Hills is this stunning home boasting modern features and timeless charm. Constructed by BUILD Nashville, a development and new construction company co- owned by Jamie Duncan and Shaun Burroughs, the company has been repeatedly recognized as Builder of the Year and has rapidly grown in popularity, especially amongst the younger Nashville crowd. Their modern prairie style, or as Duncan would call it, “mountain modern”, also features elements of California design in the interior layouts of the home, which creates a warm, but contemporary feel.
When co-owner Jamie Duncan set out to build her own home, her primary concern was creating something which would integrate smoothly into the neighborhood while subtly introducing an updated modern aesthetic. “We were able to achieve an infill development build with a modern home inside a traditional neighborhood and make it blend seamlessly. That was a really big deal for us. We always try to go into a neighborhood and not disrupt the fabric of the aesthetics,” Duncan notes. “For instance, Denver is an inspirational area for me, with the way they have incorporated the historical and traditional style with the modern design. That’s really where I got my idea of ‘mountain modern.’ They do it in such a way that is not harsh or stark and cold. Introducing a modern aesthetic or twist in the otherwise very traditional neighborhood of Green Hills was a challenge I feel we overcame.” Duncan sought to design a place where her love of art and meaningful design could take center stage. “I created it as much as possible to be an art gallery,” she explains. Throughout the home are various pieces that evoke memories of travels and family which hold a special place in her heart. “There’s nothing on the walls that’s store-bought. It’s all either local Nashville artists we’re really drawn to, or art we’ve found while we traveled. That’s very important to me,” Duncan states. In fact, it was a 28-foot, two-story art piece ‘Islands in the Sky’ by artist Cory Basil that defined the aesthetic for most of the home. “The whole house was designed around having that art wall, it wasn’t an afterthought, it was created that way intentionally,” says Duncan, “that’s basically what started the floor plan. I knew I wanted something abstract on individual panels that connected like Tetris blocks. So I told him what my vision was and then gave him full creative liberty to do what he wanted.” Because of her breadth of experience with BUILD Nashville, Duncan not only designed her home’s build but also chose all the design finishes. “I typically make a lot of decisions regarding design finishes for BUILD Nashville. That’s something that buyers get stressed about when they’re designing their own homes. They think that they’ve got to come up with the ideas all on their own but Shaun and I, along with our talented team, can help as much or as little as they need or want.” Duncan explains. After moving in, Duncan collaborated with local designer Jessica Davis for most of the furniture and decorations in the home.
In the kitchen, the island steals the spotlight. “We chose a granite with a lot of deep greens and blacks and tans. It’s a very unique piece from Brazil and sourced locally. We actually used that granite as the color inspiration for the art wall in the Atrium,” Duncan explains. It was the very first design piece she chose for the home. Complementing the island are leather counter stools with brushed gold accents. The frameless, European cabinets by UltraCraft are a mixture of walnut and matte black. To maintain a seamless design, Duncan chose cabinets that open with a touch latch mechanism so excessive hardware doesn’t interrupt their sleek appearance. Finding the perfect floor stain to pair with the walnut cabinets was a detailed and labor- intensive process. The flooring in the entire house is a four-inch, sand and finish, red oak in a custom color created by Duncan. “It was a mixture of sand dune and a white stain, both by Bona. It took a lot of work and a lot of samples to get that neutral tone I wanted. Talk about a design challenge! Whatever color we put on the floor made the Walnut look completely different. It was a real balancing act. We were like mad scientists in the garage mixing stain colors,” she laughs. The two-story dining room, or Atrium, complete with a row of 8 skylights, introduces elements uncommon in residential design and caters to Duncan’s desire for an open floor plan that still has distinct spaces. “In previous homes that Jay and I have lived in, it was occasionally an issue with the living room open next to the kitchen. It allowed the sound to travel through those rooms, so if someone was cooking in the kitchen and making a lot of noise, someone else might have a hard time watching TV in the living room. Putting that dining space in the middle was actually our Architect’s idea. It separates those spaces just enough to create a more practical, livable layout but maintains a great flow for entertaining,” states Duncan. A locally made, custom 10-foot walnut table features welded, black metal legs that pair well with simple, tan and cream tweed chairs from World Market. Duncan appreciates functional design choices, “It’s nice to let people know you can mix some cost-effective elements with custom pieces,” she says. Behind the table, the two-story art piece ‘Islands in the Sky’ by artist Cory Basil makes a grand impression and sets the stage for the rest of the home’s art and design.
Duncan’s master bathroom boasts custom Ultracraft cabinets in a vibrant Sherwin Williams shade called Isle of Pine. “I chose green for the cabinets because green just makes me happy. I want to wake up every morning and be in a happy place and I thought if there was a place I could take a risk, it would be in a secondary master bathroom. And of course when I found that piece of granite, it really firmed up my decision to do something unique. I think wrapping that granite up the wall, with the wall mounted faucets, just makes it that much more interesting,” Duncan explains. The Opus White granite atop the cabinets is actually white and green. Accents like the wall mounted champagne bronze faucets from Delta and the Top Knobs cabinet hardware complement the locally sourced vintage Turkish rug.
Unique to this home are two master bedrooms, one for Duncan and one for her husband, Jay. “We actually have our own master bedrooms; mine is upstairs and his is downstairs. My husband and I have been married for 24 years and it’s something that’s unique about us. We started with separate bedrooms about 15 years ago due to Jay being such a light sleeper and me being a night owl. I use our home as a model home to help clients get a feel for what we do and it’s so funny when they say, ‘you know, I want to do that too!’ It seems to be a little bit more accepted in today’s world. I think we all just want to sleep soundly, and because so many people are working more and enduring more stress, therefore having trouble sleeping, they’re doing it in different rooms,” she laughs. In her master bedroom, most design decisions were based around a Mark Carson English painting of Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, where the Duncans honeymooned, as well as her parents. “It’s just kind of ironic, but that’s how I like my art; it has to mean something to me. I love the piece for the colors and the texture, but when Mark told me it was an abstract of Cades Cove, I knew it was my piece. I loved it,” says Duncan. The blues and greens in the painting are mirrored in the color scheme of the room. The green velvet bed from One Kings Lane abuts a lucite bench with a mohair cushion, while shagreen side tables with gold hardware pull more texture into the space. Perfect for a bedroom, the windows are all equipped with Hunter Douglas, PowerView shades, which open and close automatically based on sunset and sunrise.
Nestled above the garage is an annex that hosts Duncan’s office as well as a home theater and exercise room. Scott explains, “The question was how do we make space for everything they’d like to have and make it all blend seamlessly together. The office is in a public, family area but can be closed off for more privacy and functionality.” For Duncan, the smaller size of the room is perfect. “I spend a lot of time in this space working at night, so I just wanted it to feel cozy. BUILD Nashville is a paperless company, so I didn’t need a bunch of storage space,” she notes. Perfectly sized for her work area is a walnut desk, with a glass top and brushed brass accents. Tucked beneath the desk are a gray rolling desk chair and subtly colored rug from West Elm. Illuminating the space is a light fixture made by Elegant Lighting from Graham’s Living. This space also incorporates Hunter Douglas PowerView blinds while the walls, ceiling, and trim are all painted with Gale Force by Sherwin Williams.
Charcoal gray is the predominant theme in the guest bathroom and creates a sleek, modern space. Because the shower hosts a Phantom tub enclosure, which slides on an invisible glass track, nothing obstructs the stunning tile work inside the shower. Equally impressive is the handmade, painted concrete tile floor Duncan chose. “Basically I picked the floor first because it’s a really cool pattern. It’s very random and not perfect, which I loved, because it’s hand-painted concrete tile and feels like art,” she explains. “The tile on the tub surround is installed in a straight lay, horizontal stack so all the joints line up for a modern look. The charcoal gray color really just pulled the colors out of the tile.” In keeping with the theme is a wrapped, gray quartz counter atop a Homecrest cabinet with simple, black, tab pulls. A wall mounted, Ara faucet from Delta pairs well with the bathroom’s modern aesthetic, all illuminated by a unique skylight, which fills the room with natural light. In the guest bedroom, muted colors and a touch of bohemian comfort make the space both inviting and subtle while the windows allow in an abundance of natural light. “A lot of the windows were dictated by the exterior of the home. The question is how do you create a functional bedroom while still maintaining that ambiance on the exterior,” notes Scott. The dark, walnut bed and matching dresser, manufactured by American Drew, is accented by the side table made of glass and brass, which mirror the other metallic pieces found throughout the home. A shag rug grounds the room with a little texture. Different from other rooms in the home, this space mimics the mauves and pinks of the one-of-a-kind piece by Cory Basil. “This is our daughter’s room. She’s in college in Tampa so she doesn’t live here, but she really wanted a bohemian Earthtone style. So, to pair well with the painting and wood tones, we chose a dusty mauve for the comforter,” describes Duncan. Cory designed the artwork to pull the space together.
The outdoor living space, within the screened porch, is where Duncan and her family spend most of their time. With a cedar ceiling, the vision for the space was always at the forefront of the design. “Jamie talked about how she wanted this kitchen, living, and dining area that opened to this large screened porch and also overlooked the pool,” explains Scott. Now that the home is completed, and occasionally used as a model, the porch is often what draws the most attention. “Everyone who has walked in so far loves the way the space is laid out. Especially how we used a 12-foot, Western Windows pocketing aluminum door that opens the living area to the porch. It was really satisfying to be able to integrate the indoors with the outdoor areas of this home,” recalls Scott. The porch provides all the comforts of home while encouraging an outdoor lifestyle. With a Teak dining set and sectional by Kingsley Bate from Graham’s Living, and a full outdoor kitchen, the family can enjoy meals together or even watch television on the sectional while relaxing. A fire pit and hot tub offer warmth on chilly evenings, while a giant Minka Aire ceiling fan cools off warm summer days. Creating a private oasis in Nashville, the resort style pool enhances the outdoor lifestyle which Duncan so enjoys. The furniture surrounding the perimeter is a combination of practicality and design. She chose lounge chairs from Graham’s Living made of rust-free aluminum and sling mesh. “I didn’t want cushions on the chairs, or to have to bring them in and out from the rain. I wanted something that would be good outdoors in the elements,” Duncan emphasizes. A mix of World Market finds such as wicker tables, striped pillows, and a dining table with umbrella, complete the look and match the Teak elements from the porch. A beige daybed amplifies the resort aesthetic. “I felt we needed the daybed to give some substance to the pool furniture and protection from the sun. The look of the space is important because you can see the entire pool deck almost the second you walk into the house. Making sure the whole area reads as fully furnished and livable was important to me,” Duncan notes. Also complementing the geometric shapes of the home, the pool boasts a cantilevered concrete edge which Duncan requested to keep the space seamless.
AUGUST HOUSE CO.
6344 Columbia Ave.
Nashville, TN 37209
244 Cool Springs Blvd. Franklin, TN 37067