Generations of friends, family enjoy life with help from Nashville Billiard & Patio

By Hollie Deese
Photography by Reeves Smith

Doug and Tamela Swanson moved to Middle Tennessee in 2006 when Doug took a job with HCA. They originally lived in Laurelbrook but always wanted to live in Westhaven. They would drive around it occasionally, and on one of those spins they saw the lot where they live now and were immediately blown away by the view.

They put a deposit down that day.

“We stood on this dirt and said if we’re going to move here, this would be the lot we would live on,” Tamela says. “And that’s what we did, and now we’re so happy.”

Settled in their dream neighborhood in a Preston Shea-designed home built by Montgomery Classics, it’s clear the whole idea was for the family to enjoy life together as well as provide a place where guests not only feel welcome, but actually look forward to being — simply because it’s so much fun.

But it also has the right kind of flow for just the two of them.

“This is a pretty big house, but it’s a lot smaller than our last house,” Tamela says. “We didn’t want the giant formal living room, or stuffy living anywhere. We knew that it was going to be mostly just Doug and I, so we wanted a space where we live. And … it turned out to be perfectly livable.”

And they use every inch of it, from the wine room in the basement to the outdoor balcony off the game room that has been the site of more than a few late nights over cigars and bourbon.

Their children — Kendall, 22, and Chase, 24 — love coming home to visit, and their extended families have no problem staying for a few days either. In fact, Doug’s mother’s favorite room is the upstairs game room — although in the Swanson house it’s called “The DougOut.”

It’s definitely the kind of space that deserves its own name. It is the ultimate place to hang out, and when the Swansons send out an email to the neighborhood letting people know they can come and hang out, they always have takers.

“If you have a beautiful house and you just stare at the rooms? I don’t want that,” Tamela says. “I want rooms I can live in.”

There is certainly no shortage of entertainment for them either, all procured from the Gilchrist brothers of Nashville Billiard & Patio. A large pool table takes center stage, and there is banquette and cocktail seating along the side. A shuffleboard table is on the left, just before the pinball machine and arcade games. Along the back, another game table is set up for playing cards, and along the right side of the room, there’s a custom bar with more seating and cubbies for top-shelf liquor.

There’s even a Skee-Ball machine, the latest addition Tamela didn’t even know Doug had bought until it showed up one day. But it has been the perfect finishing touch to a room that has something for everyone.

Outdoor living upgrade

In the Swansons’ last house, the basement was underneath and so the family would have to go to the basement to walk out into the backyard. Consequently, they never used the backyard. “We would just stare at it out the windows,” Tamela says.

In their new house, their backyard has an infinity-edge pool from Rondo Pools, a bocce ball court and a firepit area surrounded by patio furniture from Nashville Billiard & Patio — all fun places that are custom-made for strengthening family connections.

“This has been so perfect,” says Tamela, who worked with designer Marie-Joe Bouffard of JFY Designs. “I wanted to be able to walk out my back door right to my backyard, and we are back there every day. I love that backyard and the patio.”