Extending Hospitality

A farmhouse guest suite gets a refresh in Williamson County

By Hollie Deese
Photography by Paige Rumore

The top penthouse in downtown Nashville’s 505 high rise couldn’t be more different in space and style than the guest suite of a Williamson County Colonial-revival farmhouse, but the two have more in common than first meets the eye.

The two projects both had Trace Ventures as general contractor and were overseen by homeowners Tony and Lisa Giarratana, who worked with designer Frank Ponterio on the penthouse and served as lead decorators on the guest suite refresh.

The roughly 800-square-foot floorplan of the suite was reimagined to maximize every inch available, with a dividing wall added to the bedroom to create a large walk-in closet and entry. The kitchen and bathroom footprints were reconfigured to improve functionality, and a connecting vestibule was added to make the guest suite accessible from the main house.

Both spaces were designed to offer the utmost in hospitality for guests — despite their polar opposite vibes.

“Because of the setting on the 45th floor of 505, we wanted the penthouse to have a very dramatic, sleek and modern feel,” Lisa Giarratana says. “At the farm, we wanted a more relaxed, ‘old world’ feel. A cozy retreat. So the finishes and fixtures for both projects could not have been more different.”

The Giarratanas’ farmhouse on Old Natchez Trace, surrounded by acres of lush farmland instead of cityscape, was originally built in 1989, so the guest suite was certainly due for an update. Plaster of Paris was applied to the walls to achieve the Old World aesthetic Giarratana was after, and the space was finished out in a palette of creams and rich reds.

“I think the rough plaster finish we achieved on the walls really sets the mood,” she says. “I’m also partial to the Italian terra cotta floor tiles and the reclaimed barn wood floors and ceiling.”

The reclaimed barn wood was used on the floors, in the box beams on the ceiling and in the hallway wall—each piece meticulously stained to match. The white oak cabinetry featured throughout the suite was hand-burned and distressed to lend an aged look, and handcrafted Italian tiles were used in the bathroom.

And details like the heated towel rack and floors in the bathroom, the over-the-bed reading lights and the motorized blackout shades were just the kind of touches she knew guests would appreciate.

“We delight in sharing the penthouse and our farm with family and friends,” she says. “We have guests in either or both locations a couple of times a month.”