Trad Home / My Nashville Tour

Recently TradHome asked for me to be their tour guide through Nashville for a day highlighting my favorite local shops, venues and artisans. After five years of living here I have fallen in love with this city and have found some truly special spots. I was thrilled to get the chance to show them off.

What is Tradhome?: TradHome is the fairly new online magazine that is a collaboration between Traditional Home and Lonny. If you like this blog you will love this magazine- trust me. 

They sent over photographer Colleen Duffley, (that has shot for every cool magazine you can think of!) to follow me around Nashville for a day. And I mean one FULL day. We hit it off immediately and had the best time running around town in her assistant Kevin's pickup truck. Colleen is so talented- as you flip through this entire issue you'll see what I mean. 

We went by my favorite spots including Peter Nappi, The Perfect Pair, Imogene and Willie, Preservation Station, Burger Up, etc. This city has so much to offer it was hard to narrow it down!

Sign of a good photographer...

I know, I may have you intrigued with the popsicles and the antelope. Read all about it in the new TradHome magazine:


10 pages full of pictures and the adventures of our day (my hit list) can be found on page 164. Followed by two local homes by the talented architect Bobby Mcalpine and designer Ray Booth. As always they do not dissapoint. And I am beyond honored to represent Nashville with these two. 

The magazine also highlights San Antonio, Washington DC, and Scottsdale- with gorgeous homes by David Michael Miller, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and more. 

This issue is really good. 

Check it out.

...And I hope you enjoy my favorite Nashville spots!

Y'all come back now,

All photographs by Colleen Duffley Photography. She's also in charge of studio b.- a creative venue that brings together the best of the best and the up and coming in the fields of photography, art, design, literature, food, and wine. Brilliant idea. 

Missing Cottage Living

Looking back through some of my favorite cottages...



I. LOVE. this kitchen.


*and this room- great mix of functional, comfortable and classy.
Mthompson bedroom 
Megan thompson bedroom 
Thompson nursery

TTN: you could do this with an unused closet space; take off the doors, put up some curtains, possibly a light fixture, and create a special nook.

<Atlanta decorator Tyler Colgen; photography by Megan Thompson>


CL 1

See the ghost chair in the background..??… Or DO you?? :)

Love the mix of materials in this room- subtle but plenty of texture.





TTN: Again, it's very subtle in color but the mix of textures keeps it from falling flat- and keeping it fabulous!

-love seeing that antique iron bench at the end of the bed rather than the standard bench. Sure, it's not as functional but it looks awesome.



<Chaffee Braithwate via Duchess Faire>


Another one of my favorites.. Haskell Harris' (previous) home. She's the associate editor of Garden and Gun- so it doesn't surprise me that her style is impeccable. She has since moved from this adorable cottage (to Charleston!) but its' too good to pass up...

Haskell harris cottage

Haskell harris 2


Haskell harris 4

Haskell bedroom
So cozy and classy.

Haskell harris 5
<Haskell Harris via Cottage Living and Southern Living>

Eclectic cottage:

Lee Kleinhelter, owner of the Atlanta store Pieces, has lived in (and designed) some fabulous homes over the years. I like this one in particular...

Lee K cottage

Lee K cottage 2

TTN: Apparently Lee agrees with me-! (see texture quote above)

Lee K cottage4

TTN: Swing in the corner? Check.
Lee K cottage
Lee Kleinhelter, via Cottage Living

Hacienda cottage:

Cynthia david and issac preminger CL cottage 

Cynthia cottage 2

Cynthia cottage 3

Cynthia cottage 5
Cynthia David and Issac Preminger's home via Cote de Texas

Dear Cottage Living,

we {still} miss you dearly.


 *if you haven't voted for your favorite Boy Room- be sure to cast your vote over the weekend! I'll be back with a budget makeover for the winning room.


Southern Flourish & a holiday mantel

Need some festive mantel ideas??

Southern Flourish (one of my new favorite online magazines!) asked me to contribute to their first holiday issue!

Southern Flourish holiday cover
They had me put together a storyboard for a holiday mantel- my category being "Traditional with a Twist." 



Check out the latest issue to see the rest of the article (which includes several other mantels designed by talented ladies!) and all sorts of other holiday goodies.


Southern Flourish moved to a subscription based format of only $10/year BUT they are giving you readers a GIFT- If you use the code RACHELHALVORSON at checkout you will receive all issues for only $8!! (Cool huh.? Do a little nestegg name dropping and get a discount! :)

Thanks to Southern Flourish for including me in this festive issue- I am thrilled to be a part of it!


Lonny Be Good.

Every time I think about Lonny magazine I can't help but hear Chuck Berry singing THIS SONG in my head. 

Go Lonny Go.. Go!

Lonny be good.

Aaaaanyway, have you seen the latest issue?


I know her! She's my new friend, Callie Jenschke. (Isn't she pretty?)

I say 'new' because I just met her recently. One of my best friends introduced us at a party in NYC knowing we would hit it off. Did we ever. 

Co-founder of Scout Designs, this girl brings a whole new meaning to bohemian chic. Check out her home...

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 9.57.30 PM 

Callie and Nicki (from Scout Designs) admit to "studying their clients wardrobes in order to better understand their style."

That's funny because the second I met Callie I noticed her stylish ensemble. She had on a patterned dress that (if I remember correctly) resemble the sheets below, 

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 9.56.47 PM  

a pop of color with some red lipstick

And an awesome leather bag/clutch that I was drooling over- (looks alot like this vintage chair she has in her home)...

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 10.06.38 PM 

Read Lonny's article to find Callie's suggestions on how to take decor cues from your wardrobe. It's brilliant! (Clients' closets beware.)

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 9.58.31 PM

And I love her quote here:

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 9.58.17 PM

Lonny strikes again with another great issue. 

Including Vincent Wolfe's beach house/slice of heaven...

194263-7-004 copy

You should go {lonny,go} read it. 

Good job, Callie! I'm so proud.


Click here to subscribe to Lonny mag

Click here to visit Scout Designs in NYC. (They have a blog too!)



Garden & Gun

Remember when I posted about the barn swing being the highlight of my year? Well apparently it's the gift that keeps on giving. 
Little did I know that this special swing would find its way to the cover of a magazine. .!!?

GG Cover
From the second I got the news I have been speechless since.  I am beyond honored to be a part of this awesome magazine and among the list of talented southern designers and artisans. (Including my friends, Matt & Carrie, from the hippest store in Nashville- Imogene and Willie.)

Really... Speechless.


Full of soul and Southern charm, Garden & Gun has become one of my very favorite magazines. It's not just for Southerners! Once you pick up a copy you'll see-  It's effortlessly cool. Their writing, photography and approach to stories is so down to earth and REAL. No bells and whistles. No team of stylists. What you see is what you get.

Haskell Harris, the {effortlessly cool} associate editor, called and said "OK, we're sending a photographer over in one week to photograph you at Ronnie's barn."

I panicked.   "But.. what do I wear?!!"

 "Well... what do you usually wear when you go out there?" she asked.

"Uhhh....jeans and my cowboy boots." 



*Thanks to all of you who have sent me sweet, encouraging emails and comments. I am so very grateful.

 Garden & Gun, August/September Issue 

Go getcha' one!!


*Special thanks* to Haskell (read her stylin' blog!) , Ingrid, and the G&G team- y'all rock! *to Tina Adams for helping me put those jeans and cowboy boots with the right tops and accessories:),* to Hollis Bennett- the incredibly talented photographer that is responsible for these pictures, *to my encouraging and patient husband, Hoyt- for sitting there at the shoot and telling me when my hair was stuck to my lip gloss * to RD and Janine- for letting me take over your swing, and for challenging me to be the most creative I can be.  *Thanks y'all*

green & amber

I recently came across one of my favorite House Beautiful features styled by one of my favorite architect/designer combos: Bobby Mcalpine and Susan Ferrier.

Remember this one?


When I saw the pictures again I remembered only two parts of the article:

1. Apparently the clients were redheads so Susan used an amber and green color palette to complement their coloring. 

2. Everything I loved in the pictures came from Paris. (go figure!)

This kitchen and that light fixture... drooling over here.



The attention to detail is amazing. I recommend scrolling through the pictures one more time... 

To read the full article click here.

photos via House Beautiful

Another one bites the dust...

Metropolitan Home is shutting its doors. :(


There are no words.

Just pictures...

10-9-ron marvin 


ED07-0807_Turk-living_H met home 


Living room_art wall_Metropolitan Home via Point Click Home


Metropolitan home

Methome white


I pray for all the people that worked so hard for this magazine and are having to pack up their belongings and start over. Especially my dear friend Lenora Jane- who wrote in an email today:

 " I know 'when one door closes another one opens', 

                                      but damn- I did not want this door to close."

Neither did we.

We will miss you, Met Home.


Let's play Rachel

I went over to a clients' house yesterday to go over their new master bedroom plan. This particular client has a house full of excitement- five adorable young kids from the ages of 4-months to 11 years....never a dull moment! I've met at their home several times--- hauling in wallpaper books, carpet samples, fabrics, etc.- the kids always helping me carry things. Within minutes the table is covered with materials as the parents and I discuss their home. The kids come and go- sometimes the girls sit and listen for a minute, others just breeze on by with a posse of neighborhood kids following closely behind.

Today I get an email from the mom. Apparently, early this morning the kids were playing in their room and she heard Lucy (age 7ish) saying to the boys: "OK, now, let's play Rachel."

Mom popped her head in and asked, "What is 'playing Rachel'?"

to which Lucy responds:  "It's where this girl comes and designs a new house for all the playmobil people!"



If you are like Lucy you might think that my daily life is glamorous and fancy-free. If that is the case I have misled you! This blog tends to show the best parts of my job and the little tidbits of my life that are fun and entertaining. Well, let me give you a glimpse of the {ugly} truth: I haven't cooked a meal in months, done laundry, or even unpacked my bag since Rye. I am always at least 10 minutes late, even on my best days. I have rolls of fabric, lamp shades and misc. furniture spilling out of my car at ALL times. I take weeks to call my friends back and even longer to return some emails. I keep forgetting to feed my fish and my precious herbs are beyond dead. I moved my office out of my home so I could keep both of them clean and organized but now instead of one disaster-zone I have TWO. I continue to find myself wearing the wrong outfits to construction sites, lifting furniture that is 4 times my size, spending hours in a small bathroom with a plumber discussing toilet placement, or on the side of the road cursing at my iphone for giving the wrong directions to a meeting that started 10 minutes ago!!  SO, before you opt to play Rachel I would highly consider drinking strong coffee and wearing shin guards.

Playmobil knight 

You'd think I'd choose to unpack my bag before I sit down to blog. I can't really explain it other than blogging is like writing in your diary or scrapbooking, but better. Therapy for me, really. Did I own a diary before blogging? No. Am I still using the analogy as an excuse for not returning emails? Yes.

Trivial complaints aside- I love what I do. God has truly blessed me and continues to open new doors.. I am living out my dream job and for that I am extremely grateful. One reason I enjoy it is because I get a chance to work on all kinds of houses- each client challenging me with a different style.  Every project starts off with a stack of magazine pictures that eventually widdle down to one or two: the ones that either inspire us or just simply capture what the client loves. Here are a few of those images that I refer to often.... (let's play Rachel, shall we?)

TTN: the variety of styles

Spider chandelier brass 

Nathan egan 

Country modern 1 

Susan tully houseb

Sarah room

Bedroom riverside martha

Domino sept 07



Windmark 2

Is there a magazine picture you keep going back to?

Happy Weekend everyone.

And to all my playmobil people... Thank you for being patient with me!

(1) via domino mag (2) Nathan Egan (3) via urban grace (4) Susan Tully (5) source unknown (6) via martha stewart (7) Johnson Hartig via domino (8) Hattie Wolfe (9) via domino mag  (10) Phillip Sides, via Southern Accents....*and all playmobil pictures from their website :)

Put a dog in it...

it'll make the room better. 

Paul costello

Paul Costello

Kay douglass

kay douglass

Simon upton domino 

Simon Upton, Domino magazine

Allison caccoma-hb

Allison Caccoma, House Beautiful

Dog via urban grace

via urban grace

Francesco Lagnese, Domino

Fransesco Lagnese, via Domino

Laura Resen, Domino

Laura Resen, via Domino

Living Etc.

via Living,Etc.

Lucas Allen domino

Lucas Allen, via Domino

Markham roberts hb

Markham Roberts, House Beautiful

Melanie Acevedo domino

Melanie Acevedo, Domino 

Melanie Acevedo domino 02

via Domino

Met Home

via Met Home

Paul Costello

Paul Costello, via Domino

Paul Costello domino

Paul Costello, via Domino

Rottman house beautiful

via House Beautiful


unknown source

Country living
via country living

Met home2
via met home

Elle decor
via elle decor

OK, I know- Enough with the puppies!!

Have a great weekend...


Rooms I won't get tired of...

When I saw the latest House Beautiful in the mailbox  I did the usual:

(gasp!)- quickly grab the magazine- YESSSSsssss!


And then I read the feature title: Rooms You'll Never Get Tired Of

This oughta be a good one...

But while flipping through I found myself getting tired of some of the pictures. Don't get me wrong- some of the rooms are beautiful but I wouldn't label them with "Never get tired of." For example:


I think I would get tired of that. Just my own personal opinion!- take it , leave it, or leave a rebuttal comment.

But, assuming you might be here because you like my opinion I thought I'd give it a whirl:   

 if they asked ME ??

A bedroom I'd never get tired of...

Jeffrey bilhuber bedroom via flickr

foyer I'd never get tired of...

Barbara westbrook house b

dining room I'd never get tired of...


kitchen I'd never get tired of...

Kitchen urban

A porch I'd never get tired of...

Outside love

kid's room I'd never get tired of...

Via katy elliot

wet bar I'd never get tired of...

Habitually chic

A sunroom I'd never get tired of...


living area I'd never get tired of...

Martha stewart living room

home office I'd never get tired of...


bathroom I'd never get tired of...

Bathroom david kleinberg

screened porch I'd never get tired of...


.. but that's just me.


(1) jeffrey bilhuber via style chronicle (2) barbara westbrook via house beautiful (3) via W magazine (4) via urban grace (5) via house beautiful (6) via katy elliot (7) via habitually chic (8) elle decor (9) via martha stewart (10) barbara westbrook (11) david kleinberg via elle decor  (12) bobby mcalpine