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Giving a Seventies Ranch New Life

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By Lee Rennick | Photography by Erin Kosko

When Garrett and Ashley Holloway bought their home on Riverview Drive, it had not been touched in 37 years. It was like time had stopped in 1978. There was grass green shag wall-to-wall carpeting everywhere and buttercup yellow kitchen cabinetry. The ceilings were low, making it dark and dull inside. But, it was on the Stones River Country Club Golf Course, and it had always been a wish of Garrett’s to live on a golf course someday. 

“We basically gutted the whole house,” said Garrett. “However, we wanted to keep some of the elements that gave the house character, while opening it up and bringing in the light. We raised ceilings and took out walls while keeping the basic shell and footprint.”

As a general contractor at the time, Garrett and his brother, Kennedy, also a builder, took on the remodel with a strong vision for what it would be. Ashley admits that at the time she was not so sure, as they had a lovely home in the Blackman area and she was six months pregnant. While it was not ideal timing to move and remodel, now she is happy about how it all worked out. 

The Remodeling Process

One thing Garrett knew that he wanted to keep was the unique marble floor in the front entry because it added character to the home. And, he knew just as well that he wanted to get rid of the cream flocked wallpaper in the same entry hall. But, when they started to remove the wallpaper, it didn’t cooperate. They ended up with some rough patches on the wall. Instead of re-dry walling the whole space, Garrett creatively used modern grass paper wallpaper in the entry to camouflage the damaged walls. Grass paper wallpaper is a classic that is timeless and never goes out of style, making the hall have a modern feel with a nostalgic vibe. 

French doors open off the entry into an office that was originally the formal dining room. And, the old den was converted into a formal dining room that has new slider doors opening onto the original patio that overlooks the golf course. 

In the new dining room, the Holloway’s wedding china is displayed in a cabinet that once belonged to Garrett’s uncle. On one side of the cabinet hangs a photo of Ashely in her wedding gown and on the other hangs a photo of Garrett’s mother in her wedding gown. The room also offers the original black marble fire place. It was built because their dining furniture didn’t fit in the original dining area. 

Stealing some space from what was once the den, Garrett moved the laundry room from what is now the mudroom by the garage to a hidden space between the primary bathroom and the dining room. It makes the laundry centrally located for easy access and yet hidden behind doors that look like closet doors in the hall and in the primary bathroom. Cleverly, it cannot be found unless you know it is there. Almost like a secret room. 

Keeping the original master bathroom vanity, Garrett painted it white and replaced the countertop with white marble, then used a blend of creamy travertine marble and porcelain tile around the soaking tub, on the floor and in the large walk-in shower. All of the tile came from City Tile. 

City Tile also provided all of the new wood flooring, carpeting in the bedrooms, tile in the guest bathroom and the thin brick that can be found as a recurring element throughout the home. The brick can be found in the totally remodeled kitchen and on the mudroom floor and walls.

“When my mother built the home I grew up in, she loved brick and used it in lots of places,” said Garrett. “I wanted to give this house the same feel as my family home, because it is a classic look that works well with this ranch style home.” 

The most spectacular change in the home is the open floor plan kitchen, living and entertainment space. Here Garrett raised the ceiling to create a tray ceiling in the living room with faux rough-hewn wood beams and a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen. 

“I wanted to open up the areas where we live the most and let in the light,” said Garrett. “I raised the ceilings wherever I could. I love letting the outside in.”

Garrett has used a lot of reclaimed lumber as an accent, especially in the living room, guest bathroom and the outside patio. Most of the reclaimed lumber is from Eagle Reclaimed Lumber, however the decorative beams in the kitchen and living room came from an old post office and the outdoor mantle came from Garrett’s uncle’s cabin in Carthage, Tennessee. 

He replaced all of the wiring, windows and put in two glass slider doors opening to the back yard, which looks over the golf course. The windows and doors came from Haynes Brother’s Lumber. 

Decorating Help Came from The Peddler

When it came to decorating, paint colors and lighting their home, the Holloways turned to Jerome Farris and Michelle Lynch at The Peddler and to Butch Jones at Quality Furniture for some of their furniture selections. They also worked in pieces of furniture handed down through the family and one of Ashley’s clients, Corey Robertson of Dream Acres Wood Company, LLC, made them the farmhouse table they use in their breakfast room. 

“We wanted to have a ranch-cottage feel to the house,” said Garrett, “so we asked Jerome to help us pull the decoration together. We trust him totally. He still calls with ideas for our home decoration and we usually say ‘yes.’”

Ashley loves to have small gatherings and dinner parties, and Farris has created a very inviting space in the central open space that contains the kitchen, living room, breakfast room and a bar with two beer taps that Garrett trades out with different beers. Multiple seating areas have been created for people to gather, however the women usually congregate around the island in the kitchen, and the guys sit at the bar before everyone gathers outside, when the weather is good, on their large patio. 

Patio and Outside Embellishment Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright

“My brother, Kennedy, is very creative and we sat outside and talked about what the patio and outside of the house would look like,” explained Garrett. “I wanted to create a spectacular patio space where we could spend all of our time when the weather is good.”

They came up with the idea of curved arches after the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose design style Garrett studied in college, as well as some of the buildings he had seen in Colorado. 

“No one would make the bent wood beams here,” said Garrett. “We had to get an engineer in Nashville to build them for us. There are three 30-foot bent wood beams holding up the roof over the patio. And, we were able to match the back roofline with the front roofline.”

They also used bent wood embellishments under the roofline at all of the peaks, including the front entry and the back of the house on either side of the patio. 

Five years after moving into the home, the patio was constructed. The original patio was 60-feet long and 10-feet wide, part of which still sits outside the dining room. But the new covered patio with the vaulted ceiling measures 30-feet by 25-feet, providing plenty of space to entertain during the summer months and to watch the golfers on the course.

Garrett Uses Past Training to Create Dream House

Both of the Holloways grew up in Murfreesboro. Ashley is a CPA, with her own accounting firm, Holloway Accounting Services. Garrett now builds hospitals instead of homes, but he has an undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Concrete and Construction Management. After spending a year in Iraq when his Marine Reserve unit was called to duty, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree and went on to get a Master’s Degree in Sustainability at David Lipscomb. 

The Holloways met after Garrett returned from Iraq and their son, Davis, whom Ashely was pregnant with when they bought the home, is now nine. He is a student at Middle Tennessee Christian School, and like his father, he has a strong interest in all things architecture. 

“He loves to watch HGTV,” added Garrett. 

Unlike his dad, however, Davis loves the new two-level homes that are being built. But, for now, he will have to be contented with the home his parents have created that blends bits of the past with modern nostalgic elements to create a relaxing space where they can entertain and he can grow up to build his own home one day. 

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