Melissa and Wiley Haithcock moved straight to Nashville, Tennessee, after they were married, in Melissa’s words, to “chase a dream.” Wiley is a singer-songwriter, music and video producer, and graphic designer; Melissa is a healthy-lifestyle blogger at A Happy Healthy Heart
. The move originally landed them on the outskirts of the city, but they realized they wanted to be in town and found a 1950s rental cottage in the heart of East Nashville.
“A lot of our friends lived in East Nashville, and we found the perfect house in the perfect spot,” Melissa says. “The house was a couple of blocks away from two different friends and seemed just right. It has a big fenced-in backyard, which was one of the main reasons for us wanting it to be ours.” The home was occupied by three bachelors when they first viewed it, so they had to envision how their belongings would look in the space. In the end, though, they were able to turn it into a space that reflects both their North Carolina roots and their personal style.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here:
Wiley and Melissa Haithcock, with their dog and two chickens
985 square feet (91.5 square meters); two bedrooms, one bathroom
Melissa and Wiley wanted their living room to reflect the beautiful coastline of North Carolina where they grew up. “Wiley and I have known each other since we were 3 years old. We grew up in the same town just five minutes down the road from one another, on the coastal plain of North Carolina,” Melissa says. “We started dating when we were 17 and have been together ever since. Being from the coast has had a large impact on who we are as people, and since we spend so much time in our living room, it has evolved to be inspired in the same way.
“Other rooms in our home have their individual stylistic features, but all work in harmony together. Our bedroom is simple and calm, and the guest room has a cottage-like feel. Overall, our style lends itself to a casual elegance that is reflected in our home,” she adds.
After you walk through the front door, you enter a small mudroom area. Wiley built the white multifunctional shelf hanging on the wall, which has become the perfect piece for displaying photographs and for hanging coats and hats. The wooden bench is an antique find that was once used by a fisherman as both a seat and a cleaning board. There are even slices all over the bottom, which give the piece character and a story.
When it came to splurging on a piece of furniture for their home, Melissa and Wiley found their beautiful couch for an incredible price. “Wiley is inspired by the lifestyle, design and clothing of Ralph Lauren — and I mean the man himself,” Melissa says. “The piece is made by the designer, and I don’t think we’ll ever part with it. It is a classic leather chesterfield, handmade with the branded cows’ skin from Ralph Lauren’s ranch in Colorado. It is quite beautiful and really adds some character to the space.”
The original leather cushions were damaged, so the couple had them re-covered. They even had a few options incuded so they can change them out with the seasons to bring new life to the space.
The newest addition to the living room is a basket light fixture that the couple made. “It’s simple yet adds just the right touch,” Melissa says.
Sofa: RRL Ralph Lauren; chairs and coffee table: vintage; rug: Cost Plus World Market; chandelier: handmade
Melissa and Wiley credit the energy and feel of the coast with being a big source of inspiration for the look of their home. “Each time we go home to the beach, we bring a little piece of it home with us,” Melissa says. “Most recently we got a few antique buoys and some nautical rope.”
The couple also believes that pictures help tell a story, so they’ve included pictures throughout of places that remind them of special times.
Lamp: Cost Plus World Market
“Whenever we enter a space, we start thinking about how we can optimize each room and make it beautiful,” Melissa says.
“Being that the house was built in the ’50s, it has very little storage space, and we have a lot of stuff. So we knew that we would need to figure out ways to store things while still allowing them to shine,” she adds. With that in mind, Wiley and Melissa have built many of the pieces in their home, including the custom shelving, made of reclaimed wood, that takes up the living room wall. Many days were spent measuring, painting and nailing, and both Wiley and Melissa are pleased with the finished product.
A cozy light-filled guest bedroom sits at the end of the hall. Its design continues the coastal cottage theme that Melissa and Wiley adore. Splashes of blue and white make the room a calming retreat.
“We are big believers that when all else fails, you should paint it white. So all of the walls throughout the house are white, except the gray in the kitchen, and each room is heavily accented with white. It is peaceful and calming and makes us feel joyful,” Melissa says.
The guest room’s bed frame is a special family heirloom that belonged to Melissa’s grandmother. The quilt was handmade by a family friend, and the bedding is from Ralph Lauren Home.
“We repainted the armoire in the guest bedroom as soon as we bought it. It was an unflattering cherrywood color, so went spent days layering different colors of blue and white on the piece,” Melissa says. It now shines.
Because each room in the couple’s rental home is on the smaller side, they knew they needed to make the most of the layout and the space. It proved to be quite a challenge at first, but they finally got the hang of it, finding ways to add stylish storage and display space in each room. “I feel like a room is never done; things can always be moved or added to get it closer to perfection,” Melissa says. “Each room in our house is constantly changing and conforming to our lives.”
The master bedroom features a chic black-and-white palette. The couple love how clean, calming and bright the space feels. Behind their bed is a gallery wall of beloved art pieces, and an antique crystal chandelier adorns the ceiling.
Bed frame: Havertys; bedding: Ralph Lauren Home
“The blinds in our room are not closed when we go to bed, so that we can rise with the sun shining on us in the morning. As soon as we wake up on a sunny day, the sunshine is beaming in, and we can’t help but be happy and excited about the day,” Melissa says.
“Most days Wiley and I both work from home, but we don’t have enough space for two offices, so we decided to put in a small desk in our bedroom, and it’s been such a great addition,” Melissa says.
Desk: antique; lamp: Restoration Hardware
Wiley painted the two large paintings that sit on either side of the bed. Both are of locations that have a special meaning for the couple.
“Although we had been together for several years prior, we fell deeply in love during our first trip to Charleston, South Carolina, so one painting is of the Charleston bridge. The one on the other side of the bed is an abstract of the Eiffel Tower. Wiley proposed on the lawn in front of the tower at midnight while the lights were twinkling, and it was such a magical moment that we will always keep with us,” Melissa says.
“Our house just feels right to us. There are so many things that make this house special, but I think the most special things are the memories that we have made in it. It’s meaningful because our pasts are displayed on every wall and corner of the house through the decorations, the pictures, the fabrics and the materials. When we get to share it with others, we get to share a little piece of our heart,” Melissa says.
The couple has lived in Nashville for six years. While they weren’t sure when they moved there that they had made the right decision, they are now glad they did.
“Nashville has the most wonderful creative community. Since neither of us work regular jobs, we are constantly encouraged by those around us to continue to pursue our dreams,” Melissa says.
“We love the fact that we get to live in a big city but still be in the South. It feels comfortable,” she adds. “It feels more and more like home every day.”
via My Houzz: A Coastal Chic-Inspired Cottage in Nashville