Trending in 2018

By Elizabeth Scruggs

Few years and seasons always bring new design trends, and 2018 is no exception. But before looking at what’s to
come, it’s important to define the difference between a fad and a trend. A fad is more of a short-lived craze, whereas a trend has longer staying power, usually a decade or so.

From 1999- 2009, brown was the hot interior color – specifically more of a chocolate brown- because of the
Tuscan trend in interiors. During that time, each year there was a color of the moment to pair with brown. Remember the marriage of brown and blue? Every store and shelter magazine was showing it in accessories
and linens. A year or so later, pink was the color du jour, but brown remained dominant- it was the trend- the other colors were just fads.

Entering the new decade of 2010, the trend of gray began to emerge. But remember what I said above about trends? They only last around a decade, so if you’ve not jumped on the gray train just yet- hold on to your paint brush.

Last fall I traveled to the design mega-center of the world; High Point, North Carolina. Twice a year, designers, makers, furniture companies and design celebrities descend on this small town to share what’s upand-coming in the industry. It is the place where trends are introduced and companies vie to get the attention of every buyer in attendance. There is SO much in High Point, but here are several recurring themes I saw in the showrooms. Some of these have been around a year or so already, while others were new. Which will become trends and which will be only a fad? Only time will tell.

70’s revival 
Several of the showrooms’ styles were reminiscent of this decade. From rope, sisal, and rattan accessories-
to large lampshades and sleeklined case goods, I felt as if I traveled back to my childhood.

Back to Nature
Many, if not all the showrooms, were showing natural accessories and those found in nature. Branches and foliage were everywhere, and rocks and geodes were in abundance. Although I don’t get too trendy, I loved the colors and interest of this coffee table!

Blue and White/ Chinoiserie
The color combination of blue and white is classic, but we’ve been seen quite a resurgence of its popularity. But with that color combo has come a renewed love of chinoiserie and of campaign style furniture.

follow url Metals
Someone asked me the other day in reference to plumbing fixtures if gold was “really coming back in style??” Yes, the metals are back. But think champagne brass, or brushed brass- not the “builder’s brass” of the nineties. For about two years now we’ve seen the warmer metals coming, but gold was in full force at High Point this fall, along
with lots of copper.

Warmer Neutral Colors
While there were still plenty of showrooms with cool whites and grays, there were many showing warmer neutrals, and warmer colors. Looking forward, I feel we will see the new trending colorways for interiors leaning warmer, and brighter.

This month I’m heading to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando for the KBIS Design Blog Tour for Modenus. Our group of 24 design bloggers and industry influencers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe has a full four-day itinerary with all the top names in the kitchen and bath industry. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook
to see what’s trending in kitchen and bath, and get the first look at all the new products coming to market!

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Right at Home

Find stylish décor, gifts, design help and more at Square Market

Stepping into Lebanon’s Square Market is like visiting a good friend’s home. Shoppers are welcomed by friendly faces, eye-catching décor and a variety of pieces that would be the perfect addition to their own home.

Luckily, they can make all of the furniture and stylish items theirs — and there’s even someone to help with finding the perfect place for it all to go. Behind all of the home décor pieces and charming gifts is Paula McDonnell, owner of Square Market.

After retiring from nearly three decades at AT&T, McDonnell was ready to start the next chapter in her life. As luck would have it, so were the owners of Square Market. When McDonnell heard they were closing the store where she loved to shop, she decided to follow her passion and purchase Square Market from them in October 2016.

Located in the Historic Lebanon Square, the home décor shop has furniture, lamps, gifts, accessories, home décor items, jewelry, candles, rugs, Tennessee food products, pieces from local artisans and “anything you can think of to decorate your home,” McDonnell says.

“I really work to make the items I sell in the store different from what you’ll see anywhere else,” McDonnell says. “Many of the things I have in the store are made in America, made in Tennessee or by hand locally.”

Some of their most popular items come from the EttaB Pottery line, which is handmade in Mississippi. These decorative pieces are safe in the microwave, dishwasher and oven, and McDonnell says they’ve flown off the shelves since they arrived in June.

For people looking to show some local pride, they carry pieces like platters with the state outline, pillows with Lebanon’s zip code and other locally inspired pieces.

There are pieces for every home, style and budget. “We try to have products that range in price so people can find something they can afford,” says McDonnell, who lives on Old Hickory Lake.

She also saves shoppers time by bringing all of the styles, trends and décor pieces right here to Lebanon. With the motto, “We went to Franklin so you don’t have to,” McDonnell encourages people to shop locally first.

“Before you head over to Franklin, Murfreesboro or somewhere else, see if you can find what you’re looking for here: You’re going to have luck,” she says. “I’m staying in line with what they have other there, and our prices are lower.”

Besides being more convenient for shoppers in and around Wilson County, Square Market also sets itself apart with its focus on customers, which is at the heart of all they do. From greeting customers as soon as they walk in to helping them pick out the perfect item, the women at the shop keep the customers and their needs first.

They even deliver furniture and other pieces for free. “We’ll help you out,” McDonnell adds.

But maybe the biggest differentiator for Square Market is its in-house design expertise. Dell Karp-Farley, owner of DK Interiors, works onsite in collaboration with Square Market, offering free design consultation with a minimum purchase of $1,000.

The pair met in January and discovered they were a perfect match to work together at Square Market. McDonnell had a variety of décor pieces, and Karp-Farley brought her years of design experience — giving customers the complete package.

“I always like to say I was born to be a designer/decorator,” Karp-Farley says. From moving her mother’s furniture as a child to having her own business for 25 years, Karp-Farley continues to follow her passion for design at Square Market and beyond.

With an office in the back of the store, Karp-Farley offers a complete array of design services. She helps with everything from designing small spaces to choosing the color schemes for the interior and exterior of a home.

“I love the people I work with and being in the store,” Karp-Farley says. “I’ll work within any budget.”

If a customer purchases a custom sofa from the store, for example, Karp-Farley can design a layout for where existing and new furniture should go.

“It can help you feel comfortable about your decision and have an expert help you,” Karp-Farley says. “I truly try to make it look like I’ve never been there. I want it to look like it’s theirs, not staged or uncomfortable. It’s got to feel homey.”

So whether someone is looking for a small gift or a complete home makeover, Square Market has something that’s sure to meet their décor needs.

Square Market is located at 115 S. Cumberland St. in Lebanon. They are open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit, email or call 615-965-2595.

Photos By Jana Pastors

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Modern Country

How to make this dream farmhouse yours

Finding the perfect house can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But if you’re looking for a renovated farmhouse retreat to call home, I know of the perfect one that just hit the market. It’s one I fell in love with, and I’m sure you will too as you learn the backstory and see the stunning photos.

Being a city girl, I never had a strong reference for what a country farmhouse truly was. During my childhood, my mother was able to regal about the white house, chickens and fresh vegetables of her childhood home.

When we first moved to Wilson County, we quickly realized why it was so special — from the beautiful countryside with ample opportunities to have a home with 2 to 20 acres to the ability to live quietly in the home of your dreams.

For us, this dream started just about six years ago when we started looking for a new home. Robert, my husband, and I set out to find a home with the characteristics that would suit our personalities. I tend to think of Donny and Marie Osmond: She’s a little country, and he’s a little rock and roll. Our tastes are eclectic and genuinely unique.

The thought of a 200-year-old farmhouse was exactly what I was targeting — from the large kitchen and farm sink to the large quantities of windows that would brighten the dream home and provide cross ventilation in the summer. I knew a white farm house, with character and personality, was exactly what we were going to find.

Fast forward several months later: no farmhouse, no new home with character, the dream was fading away. Until one day, I stumbled upon a beautiful sprawling home on Coles Ferry Pike. As with all of the homes we were looking at, I called my partner in the house-hunting venture, Cathy, so we could go together and check it off the list.

This time was different. Completely different. We were waiting at the front gate, anticipation building while entering the front gate code, I could see this home was different. This house has character, from the 10-inch baseboards to the tongue and groove whitewashed ceilings throughout the home. I was already feeling at home and had only stepped in the front door.

We looked at each other and excitement took over. We felt as if we were two young girls running around their grandmother’s farmhouse going from room to room yelling at each other. Did you notice the hickory flooring? Did you see the quilt closets? Then it hit me, this was home.

I called my husband, and he had to see this house, this was the house.  (I determined at that point, I should see the rest of the home.)

Fast forward to 2017, and we have been asked many times what did we fall in love with when it comes to this home. There are too many attributes to mention, but the legacy of the home is what makes this house a home.

We continue to refer to the Country Farm House on Coles Ferry Pike as The Bay House. When we are asked where we live, the answer is always the same: We live one mile west of Friendship Christian in the white farmhouse, the Bay House, and the response is always the same, “We always wondered who lived there.”

Mr. and Mrs. Bay lovingly built this farmhouse, a replica of the farmhouse her grandmother raised her family in. So many of the details were included in the structure and design. With more than 37 windows in the home, you have natural light from all angles. When swinging open the French doors on the back side of the house, you will enjoy the serenity of Barton’s Creek.

I remember the first time I stepped into the kitchen, my thoughts were in anticipation of the family meals, the entertaining and the time we would be spent in this warm space. This is when I knew whoever originally designed this home must have a love of family and food, too.

This is a dream kitchen, from the double farm sinks (every country kitchen needs a vegetable sink!) to the custom cabinetry in wood, yellow or red to the Corian counter tops. But we cannot forget the modern appliances, the heartbeat of the gathering place, including the Viking Professional Series kitchen and vintage-designed eight-burner gas Viking Stove, customized with four burners, a griddle and a grill.

There’s also the double Viking Professional refrigerators, lovingly referred to as His and Hers, as well as the Fisher Paykel double dishwashers. This kitchen has seen many gatherings in its time.

After being giddy from seeing the kitchen, eat-in kitchen and den with a gas fireplace, we decided to explore the rest of the home. If the open-concept living area was this wonderful, what else would we discover?

In true adult fashion, we found our next toy! Why was there a key in the wall? Of course, we needed to find out, and it was the chandelier lift. The wagon-wheel inspired, multi-tiered, wrought iron chandelier had a lift to lower for decoration, cleaning or general light bulb maintenance.

On to the master suite, and yes, this is a suite. With a master bedroom larger than most couples’ apartments, the windows and natural light are amazing. It has a walk-in his and hers master closet, double vanities with Corian counters (a theme in the house) and large, open-tile shower. This truly is a place of relaxation and reflection.

Meandering through the home, we found all three bedrooms, bathrooms, oversized laundry room and then rooms no one ever expected: the game room, craft room and a room that has since been named Peggy’s Piddlin’ Room. This room was made for crafting, art, sewing, games and family fun. This is the room where all of the creative fun and family time happens.

Beyond the master, there are two additional full baths, which have unique designs and cabinets. Each has a sink built into furniture, recessed lighting — as with the entire home — and tiled floors. Not to mention, the additional two half baths. Plumbing was well designed down to the utility sink in the oversized laundry room with enough space for ironing and hanging your clothing.

The home’s main living space has decorator shelving with plugs every few feet to display your collectibles. I can only imagine how Christmas Village would have looked up there meandering around the den, living room, into the hall and wrapping around. A child’s dream, or any adults dream!

You’ll also find recessed lighting with the details of many individual switches to accent specific spaces in the home. Timers are set for the exterior lights, motion sensors for the drive lights and a light on the keypad for the main gate entrance shows how important lighting is when looking at every detail of the home.

There is plenty of exterior space to enjoy, as well. The front porch has double benches you will find yourself relaxing on and watching the world go by. The side porch is just perfect for iced tea and conversation.

But the back porch and back deck are the areas of great pride. From the custom-laid flagstone patio, walkway and fire pit, you will enjoy any time of day overlooking the water and listening to the sounds of nature.

The smallest exterior details, but with the biggest impact, are the inconspicuous holes in the driveway. These holes are there for the family that plans for large-scale reunions, parties and in general fun. Each hole is spaced for the exact width of a large event tent to be set up in the driveway.

And the best part about this inviting home is that it’s for sale.

While I’ve definitely fallen in love with this home, it’s time for a change. But I know whoever buys it will build just as many — if not more — great memories in this timeless home.

This country farmhouse at 6495 Coles Ferry Pike has all of the details, alcoves and special nuances of your grandmother’s farmhouse with modern amenities. This 4,800-square foot home has three bedrooms, three full and two half baths, four-bay garage and additional space to build out.

It has two walk-in attics, an estimated 1,500 square feet of framed-in space for expansion, an irrigation system, gated front entry with solar-powered entrance, Trane CleanEffects whole-house filtration system, tankless hot water heater, three Trane HVAC units and sits on just under 2 acres on Point Barton: You’ll want to call this home.

To view this farmhouse retreat, contact Michael Ezsol at Century 21 West Main Realty. Michael has lived in Lebanon for the past 15 years and says he enjoys working with families to find their perfect home. He makes the entire process as easy as possible for his clients, surrounding himself with industry professionals who can help solve any issue that comes up.

Michael Ezsol is a full-time, dedicated agent who provides clients with all of the facts and information they need to make a decision about what’s best for them. Contact Michael to learn more about this custom farmhouse before it sells, or schedule a private showing. Visit for more information and video tour.

Written By Helene Singer Cash
Photos By Jana Pastors and HouseLens

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Designing for Your Health

Run, run, run as fast as you can. This is the mantra of our days, and for most of us, it doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Whether it’s jobs around the house, carpooling children from here to there or any myriad of other things, many of us don’t end our days until the wee hours of the evening.

This leaves very little time for sleep — something necessary for everyone.

Per the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 25-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to function properly. Sleep is critical for health, and although we feel as if we are resting, it is the time our body is doing its most important work.

Throughout the day, we accumulate many memories which are stored in a short-term memory bank. During sleep, our minds convert those memories into a long-term memory bank, which is referred to as “consolidation.” When we lack the proper amount of sleep, the consolidation phase is compromised, which can affect our memory.

Lack of sleep affects the body medically as well. Research shows it can be a contributing factor to heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety.

These negatives certainly build the case for getting the proper amount of slumber. But did you know the color and atmosphere of your bedroom can affect sleep as well?  Deborah Burnett of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says our body uses “external or environmental cues, including color and light, to synchronize our biological rhythms to the earth’s 24-hour light/dark cycle.”

Chroma and value
When designing a bedroom, it’s not surprising that blue is a top selection. Studies show it can slow human metabolism and have a calming effect. Men especially love blue and are receptive to designs where it is included.

Green can also be used in bedrooms with positive effects for sleep. Cool, clean colors in contrast to warm, dirty colors are best for bedrooms — and the key to incorporating any color in the bedroom is with chromaticity and value.

Chromaticity is the intensity of a color, while value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. When designing bedrooms, low chromaticity and low value in a color work best.

These are a few examples of colors that would well in a bedroom and be conducive to rest. The correct wall and ceiling application is another factor that can contribute to the restful feel in a space.

To learn more about color and my reference to colors as “clean” or “dirty,” email me or follow my blog, The Collected Interior, at I’ve trained with leading experts in color, earning the certifications of True Colour Expert and Certified Color Expertand I can’t wait to talk color with you!

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Ahead of His Time

Doctor combines unique style and design in family home

Tucked deep in the trees on the west side of town, this mid-century jewel remains solemn, perfectly preserved and seemingly untouched by the outside world.

The approach to the home navigates through it’s wooded expanse toward what most would assume to be the front of the house. But what is seen as the front was intended to be the rear of the structure when it was built.

The main road that now exists in the “front” of this home, although planned, was not constructed at the time. When construction of the road eventually began, the city brought it through at rear of the property, instead of the front, as originally proposed.

Yet because of the architecture and design of this home, guests would probably never realize this. However, this is just one of many intriguing facts and stories about this home.

Built by Dr. Charles Thomas Lowe in the mid-1960s, the home is now owned by his grandson, Chuck Lowe (Charles Thomas Lowe, III) and his wife, Dena. Chuck built his own home directly nextdoor to Dr. Lowe when he returned home from college. Chuck and Dena now lovingly take care of his grandfather’s home, meticulously protecting a piece of their family history and the former home of one of Lebanon’s most innovative and original personalities.

Dr. Lowe was a well-educated man, speaking several languages including German and Spanish. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt in 1932 and his medical degree in 1936. As one of the principal physicians in Lebanon, he delivered babies and took care of patients until he sold his practice to Dr. Robert Bone in the mid-1960s.

But Dr. Lowe’s interests extended far beyond the city limits of Lebanon, Tenn. His daughter, Betsy, relayed he hated the cold, preferring to spend the winter months in Acapulco and other warmer climates.

After marrying his second wife, Ruth, in the early 1960s, they traveled to Israel to visit Ruth’s brother who was stationed there as a missionary. It was on this trip that Dr. Lowe began to formulate the idea for his home. Betsy says he admired the way the houses in Israel were built surrounding an outdoor space. After living in Israel for 18 months, Dr. Lowe and Ruth returned to Lebanon, eager to begin construction.

Dr. Lowe’s son, Tommy (Charles Thomas Lowe Jr.) chuckled when asked about the plans or blueprints of the house.

“Plans?” Tommy asks. “There were no plans! I had to follow Daddy driving on a trip to Florida, and we talked about the house on the citizen’s band radio all the way down and all the way back. When we got home, we staked it off and built it.”

Tommy recounted his father had purchased the property, a total of about 175 acres, on two separate occasions as the parcels of property were originally a bottling plant and dairy farm.

The structure of the home is comparable to few others. All of the exterior walls are built of concrete block and the interior walls and floors of 12-inch-thick, pre-stressed concrete.

The roof is also concrete, which was brought in and set by cranes. Chuck was 12 years old at the time the house was being built, and he says he remembers watching the cranes set the concrete.

Because of the substantial framework and density and girth of the structure, it was recognized as one of the area’s only fallout shelters. The Civil Defense used the basement, which was air-tight, to store food rations in case of emergency.

The basement has a vent that runs many feet out into the property, and Chuck can remember hearing Ruth and her friends playing bridge in the basement when he would be out in the yard.

The atrium that the house surrounds was originally only a porch, but as Betsy relayed, “they don’t get as much rain in Israel as we do in Tennessee, so Daddy started having problems out there on the porch.”

That’s when Dr. Lowe installed the glass roof to enclose it. Although more than 50 years old, the motorized atrium glass roof still opens on the right side. Understanding this installation was made in the late 1960s proves how Dr. Lowe was always just a bit ahead of his time.

Dr. Lowe and Ruth lived in the home until his passing in January of 2003. Upon his passing, his daughter, Betsy, inherited the home. As she has lived out of state most of her adult life, she sold the home to her brother Tommy, who then made the decision to also sell it. The new owner of the home was transferred after living there eight years, and that is when Chuck and Dena purchased the house.

When they acquired it in 2015, the interior of the house had been maintained well by the previous owner, with exception of the basement. But in true Chuck and Dena fashion, they painstakingly restored and repaired every inch of the house. Many of the original interior finishes remain, apart from new carpeting and appliances.

Chuck and Dena are grateful to be able to preserve Dr. Lowe’s legacy and share it with their children and grandchildren, as they use the home for extended family gatherings and entertaining.

And in the front corner of the main room hangs a large portrait of Dr. Lowe, smiling over them all.

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They’re Just Not That Into Your Design


enter site The Decision to Sell
This time of year, “for sale” and “open house” signs begin to pop up everywhere. The spring and summer months are always a busy time in the real estate market. Many homeowners are eager to sell and relocate during the summer break. Additionally, properties show better in the natural lighting of longer days and with greener yards.

But often, an important step that should be taken by sellers is overlooked. When listing their home, the homeowner must emotionally detach from the home and view it as a house — a marketable asset to be sold. As such, the most important move a seller can make is to properly stage the house. Unfortunately, what is considered a necessity in most parts of the country is sometimes viewed as an extravagance in our area.

Wait and See
Any real estate agent will tell you the first couple of weeks on the market are the most crucial time for a property. After that, excitement and momentum begin to wane. The initial buzz has passed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to sell. Some sellers believe they can “try it for a while” on the market, and then stage it later if it hasn’t sold. This “wait and see” mindset rarely works. Buyers have already seen the property online, and no one will come back to a property they have already viewed and marked off their list.


Why Stage?
Today’s buyers are looking to move up in size, in style and in status. Ninety percent of all real estate searches begin online. Statistics show that by the time a buyer contacts their real estate agent, they typically have a Top 10 list of homes they have selected online to view. And by the time they have reached the sixth home on that list, they have made the first offer. Enlisting the services of a professional real estate stager and a professional photographer will give the property the competitive edge it needs to stand out among the other listings. If the property is not visually appealing online, the buyer will never set foot in the house for a showing.

Staging Is Not Decorating
The stager’s job is to accentuate the positives of the property and deflect from any perceived negatives it may have — as in small room size, an awkward floorplan or poor natural lighting. When selling a property, it is not about the décor in the home. The stager is not trying to sell the homeowner’s taste in design; but to stage the house to appeal to the widest audience possible. Professional real estate stagers have been trained to assess what features should be highlighted, what features need to be minimized and how to accomplish that. Therefore, if the overall decor of the home is very taste-specific, a professional stager will edit it drastically. It’s not about the homeowner’s design preferences, it’s about selling the property. Today’s buyer wants a move-in ready home that appears magazine worthy in online photos. They’re just not that into your design.

The Showing
When a potential buyer views a property, they spend an average of SIX minutes in the house- and form their opinion in the first fifteen seconds! This statistic still gets me every time I read it, but substantiates even further the need for professional staging. First impressions (good of bad) once established are incredibly difficult to adjust to the reality of additional information. In other words, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, the exterior, the entrance, and foyer are very important — they frame the buyer’s interpretations of what’s to follow.

The Cost of Professional Staging
Homeowners often have the wrong impression of what professional staging is; assuming it is to only sell the property, and reasoning that staging is not needed because houses are selling faster than they can be listed. But while selling the property is the goal, selling for a higher price point as quickly as possible is the specific goal.

  • Professionally staged homes sell in one-fourth of the time, and staging costs less than the extra mortgage payment(s) incurred due to longer listing time.
  • Staged properties sell for 6-17% more than non-staged properties.
  • Agents are more enthusiastic to show move-in ready property to their clients.
  • Staging reduces issues used for price negotiation.

The two photos above are from a house we speed staged in Lebanon last year. Imagine you are a buyer scrolling through listings online — would you choose to view this property seeing the before photo or the after photo?

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Feels Like Home

Capital Real Estate moves to new location

Apple co-founder and innovator of all things “i”, the late Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”  That’s what happened one Sunday in 2016 when Wilson County resident and owner of Capital Real Estate Services, DeAnna Dodd stopped at an open house on Lebanon Road. On that Sunday, at that particular open house, Dodd was exactly where she was meant to be.

“The minute I walked in the front door, there was an immediate connection to the house, but I  wasn’t interested in moving from the home I had just built 5 years ago,” says DeAnna. “So, I let the thought of living there go.”

For weeks, Dodd couldn’t stop thinking about the craftsmen style home nestled on the western edge of Lebanon, even calling to check with the listing agent regularly to see if anyone had expressed interest in the property.

“One Saturday, I went to the house and just sat in the living room. A short time later, I knew what I had to do.”

Even though the house was classified (zoned) as Residential and the lease on her Hartmann Drive office space didn’t end until September 2017, Dodd decided to make an offer anyway. It wasn’t as simple as just purchasing the property, DeAnna was also tasked with applying for rezoning in order to move Capital Real Estate Services to the charming space. She managed to take care of it all in record time. Shortly after closing on the purchase in December of 2016 and the final approval for the rezoning coming in January, the renovations began.

“I can’t imagine being in a better place.  To love what I do and to be able to do it in a house that is so warm and inviting is an amazing feeling.  I see clients having an experience here that is stress free because it’s comfortable.” Dodd continues, “The house is full of life and love and that’s what I want to share with our agents and clients both. We are family here and at any moment, you may catch an agent here with a baby, or a dog, and now with a full kitchen, there will be some office entertaining in the near future.”

As the real estate business in Wilson County is booming, DeAnna is keenly aware that at this time, it’s more important than ever to set yourself apart. She has always operated her business according to one of her favorite quotes by the late Steve Jobs, “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.”

Meet the Team

DeAnna Dodd, owner
With 32 years of experience, DeAnna opened Capital Real Estate Services in 2013 with a focus on personal relationships, professional experience, integrity and client services that exceed expectations. DeAnna loves to give back to her community. In 2015, Capital Real Estate provided a new home for abandoned dogs and their puppies at Country K-9 Rescue. In 2016, Capital partnered with Crossroads Church to purchase and rehab a home now called “The Refinery” to help single moms in the community.

Claude Maynard, managing broker
Claude has been the managing broker for Capital Real Estate since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership, he has fostered a culture of honesty, integrity and contributing for the good of the team. Claude’s vast knowledge in residential and commercial development, land acquisition, zoning changes and dividing property for the highest return have served our clients well. Claude specializes in solving difficult problems and has achieved success where others have failed.

Tammy Maynard, broker
For the past 10 years, Tammy has held her Tennessee Real Estate license, practicing in Wilson County and the Middle Tennessee area, and she also maintains her broker license. She loves the challenge of putting her expertise to work for the buyers and sellers of her community. She specializes in listing, selling, short sales, property management, offers notary services and, most of all, serving customers.

Caroline Hutchison, affiliate broker
Caroline brings two qualities to Capital Real Estate Services: trust and loyalty. These qualities are very important to her along with professionalism and excellent client service. Becoming a realtor has let her rejoin the workforce outside of home and let her have that one-on-one client relationship, in addition to meeting new people. Listening and understanding the client’s needs is a challenge that she takes personally and professionally.

Teresa Campbell, affiliate broker
Teresa is a loyal, trustworthy and compassionate agent with a strong work ethic. Her clients have her full dedication. Purchasing or selling a home is an exciting time and one of the biggest decisions of a lifetime! She utilizes her experience and knowledge to understand the client’s needs and guides them through the process of the purchase, sale or investment of the home they are searching for.

Taylor Vandever, affiliate broker
Taylor is a multi-talented member of our team. Not only is he a licensed real estate agent with Capital Real Estate Services, but he also has a license as a certified general appraiser and a license to practice law in the state of Tennessee. His background in commercial real estate, commercial construction and the legal field gives the entire Capital Real Estate team a unique edge over other agencies.

Rebekah Bond, affiliate broker
Rebekah is dedicated to serving her clients well. Prior to her real estate career, she was a professional model since age 13 and learned that working hard and being kind to people went a long way in getting the best outcomes. Rebekah looks for the charm and character in every property she sells to ensure her clients love their options. As a farm owner herself, she has a special interest in historic homes, farms and large properties that can serve as a haven of peace and comfort for her clients.

Josie Nem, affiliate broker
Josie transitioned into real estate after a career in insurance. Her extensive knowledge of property and flood insurance gives her a unique perspective in every real estate transaction. Josie is known to be a strong advocate to get the best outcome for clients, and she leans into problems if they arise to ensure that her clients have a smooth process and close the deal for the price they want.

Debbie Graham, affiliate broker
Debbie has 25 years of real estate experience in Wilson County and a vast knowledge of the horse industry. She specializes in homes on acreage, horse properties and land. Debbie is an avid horsewoman and horse lover herself who enjoys owning, raising and showing the American quarter horse. It is through this understanding of the horse business that allows her to find clients their ideal horse property or farm.

Luke Puryear, affiliate broker
Luke Puryear has two passions in his life: his family and providing his clients with an exceptional experience with his organized and detail-oriented real estate services. Luke knows the sale and purchasing of a new home can be an exciting but stressful time but is able to ease the tension with his excellent communication skills gained from his education background. Not only is Luke a real estate agent, he also has spent the past nine years teaching economics at Lebanon High School. His time as a teacher has given Luke a different perspective as a real estate agent in the community that he loves.

Vanessa Binkley, affiliate broker
Vanessa prides herself on being a 24/7 agent who believes in putting her clients needs first, being accessible when they need her. As an active member of the community leading fundraising efforts for various causes, the Capital Gives Back motto is truly part of her own belief system.

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Lately Blooming

For artist and designer Melanie Cryar, middle age was just the perfect time to get started



By Tilly Dillehay

Photos by Morgan Cryar


Melanie Cryar was 51 the year she painted her first painting.

After all, four years ago, she’d never picked up a brush.

Several of her children had been interested in visual art, with some of them ending up in creative fields like music or writing. But Melanie herself, though she’s been a lifelong visitor of galleries and fawner over impressionist art exhibits, had never had the gall to imagine herself artistic.

“I’ve always felt drawn to it,” she says. “When I was in college, my favorite classes were interior design and architecture classes where we were exposed to those ideas. The way a house looked, and shapes and colors. I took textile courses, and we worked with fabric. What I don’t understand is why it never occurred to me as a young person to pursue that or explore it. And I think it’s because I had no mentors. I never had a conversation about what I might do or be. Without that, as a young person, you don’t necessarily think ‘Oh, this is possible for me.’

“My art education kind of started back then, and it was just me going to museums. And I wanted my kids to pursue that, because I thought ‘Maybe they can do this. I’m too old; I can’t, but maybe they can.’”

So she never stood in front of a blank canvas herself… until three years ago.

Melanie draws with granddaughter, Norah

I just had that kind of panic,” she says. “Over a period of seven months, we had three daughters get married and a son enter the navy. Honestly, my heart was just broken. I was in a really dark place. I felt lost and fearful. My children have been my life. ‘What am I gonna do?’ What could I do? So I decided to take an oil class at Cheekwood. I went out and got some paints, and some brushes, and that was what started it.

“It was fun; it was a bunch of mostly older women like me, so I felt really comfortable. The first thing we did was a pumpkin I think. Nothing really memorable. It was just about, ‘Here, figure out where the light is hitting this.’ And he taught us how to mix color, which is really big. That began the study of color for me, which is so important. The big thing was the teacher just really encouraged me—that I could do it. He encouraged me to keep painting, and even offered for me to come paint with him. And that was really the beginning.”

She continued to paint, eventually joining the Chestnut Group, a Nashville ‘plein air’ painting community. Plein air is the outdoor painting of landscapes. The Chestnut Group paints together, puts on art shows that benefit local charities, and provides workshops and support. Melanie spent more time painting outside, and also put together a space in her own home for painting.

But in the midst of all the still life painting she was doing indoors, she credits the outdoor work as being a gateway into abstract art.

“[Plein air] is a lot more fluid, and it’s a lot more subjective,” she says. “It’s really a looser subject for painting. I started learning color and learning light.”

From there, she started to feel freer to experiment, after a few years of painting a lot of flowers, dishes, and vegetables. She started to notice and admire some of the abstract work other people were doing.

“I thought, ‘I need to try that,” she says. “I need to explore every form and style, and see what sticks.’”

The first piece she did was specifically for her living room. It was a huge piece, about 50 inches by 60 inches, done on a canvas soundproofing panel that her husband had made and used in his recording studio. It has a seam running across it where the canvas sheets were sewn together.

“It ate up paint like crazy,” says Melanie, “because it wasn’t finished the way a normal canvas is.”

She’d wanted to do the piece using a specific yellow and aqua color palette that was in her living room pillows. From there, she ended up using a little bit of multimedia, including small shards of broken glass.

The finished piece was so striking that she kept getting comments and requests about it. Could you do that again? Could you do something like that for my master bedroom?

So she started down a new road—the road of abstract art.

Melanie at the Petite Palais in Paris

Then, last year, her children banded together to send her on a trip to Paris with a friend. It was a life-long dream fulfilled, and Melanie says it was also a seminal moment for her art journey. Not only did she do some fundraising to prepare for the trip by selling dozens of paintings online, but the trip itself was a foray into an art world she’d never seen before.

“It was a huge eye-opener in that way,” says Melanie. “I was so moved by the art that I saw and the realization that for this culture, art cannot be separated from their lives. It’s all woven together. The things they chose to paint—scenes of war, and love, and life. The way that history and life and art is all one thing in Paris. And just seeing the sheer genius of their talent and hard work. And how some of them were just completely self-taught.”

Around the time she returned from this trip, she began to dig deeper into her on-again-off-again work in interior design. Now she’s working with maybe two or three clients at a time, overseeing renovations and redecorating as needed, and often providing original art pieces or commissions as well.

She and her husband had purchased and renovated various homes through the years: “I realized during those projects that [design] makes a big difference in a buyer—people were really drawn to beautiful, well-appointed spaces. And I understand that. For me, being in a room that’s beautiful… it’s magic.”

“I want to keep learning and growing and to one day be able to inspire others; maybe teach some classes, and encourage my grandkids to pursue their passions early. At the end of the day, children and grandchildren are my calling and my biggest ‘why’ in life.”



To find out more about Melanie’s art, visit her website: To contact her about interior design needs, email her at

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Rock Star

Wayne Barnes has spent fifteen years growing his Lebanon rock garden into over 150 unique pieces


By Laurie Everett

Photos by Tilly Dillehay


Sometimes the “masterpiece” sticks just 6 to 12 inches out of the ground. A rock.

It’s what’s hidden underground the little rock iceberg that blows the mind.

Wayne Barnes spent hours with a pick and shovel to dig it out of the hard dirt, somewhere on a no-name farm (he won’t divulge his treasure rock-trove spot) in Smithville, Tenn.

But that little poke out of the ground turned out to be a huge limestone rock that had the exact shape of an elephant. Yes, an elephant. Even a toddler could specify the shape.

Barnes (we’ll call him his nickname, ‘Barney’, from now on) couldn’t exactly plop it onto his Lebanon front yard. It took a lot of subsequent grunts and groans, pulleys, shear fortitude, and even a sled at one point to transport this “beauty” to centerpiece his now famous “rock garden,” that has dozens of people daily do a double, and triple take, and many backups to just gaze upon the limestone wonder he’s “cultivated” for the past 12 years.

As far as “Barney,” he got that name in high school. And for anyone who knows the lovable character Barney on retro fav show Andy Griffith, this retired TRW welder has that frenetic energy.

“Well, I guess you could say I’m a little high strung and hyper,” he divulged with a laugh.

You’d have to be high strung to be a rock hunter by day.

It all started when he went to a rock show (yes, there are such).

“All the rocks were so beautiful,” he recalled. “They are limestone.”

He went to a place in Carthage and spent about twelve hours digging up a rock, and was awed at “how pretty it looked after I cleaned it up.”

He put it in his yard. Some time later a man came by his house and introduced himself after he saw what appeared to be an emerging, (admittedly, at that time a rather crude) rock garden on Barney’s well-kept Lebanon subdivision lot.

“I went out to his farm in Smith County and really went crazy,” he said. “There was a lot of rock, and a lot of them looked like animals.”

He said a friend got him into limestone rocks that take on the resemblance of animals, if you cock your head to one side and use a little imagination. With an artist’s hand and paint, they are replicas of animals.

Barney for a few seconds tried to explain that years ago Smith County was an ocean, and limestone was made with holes through them from the water… then he gave up, and just said he’s fascinated. For many years he’s searched far and wide for rock for his popular garden. His wife, Judy, helped revive it; she repainted the rocks and renewed the garden by making even more of the rocks into animals.

“I have always loved working in the yard and I love flowers and there’s nothing more pretty than a neat yard,” she said.


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Judy noted when they first starting dating, “I didn’t care for all the rocks he had outside, but I starting looking more at the rocks and they sort of grow on you. If you start to look at them with a little imagination you see all kinds of things.”

Like… a seal, a cow, a horse and dinosaur head, a dog and baby bear. There’s even a Woodstock (as in, Snoopy’s Woodstock).

“They just needed a new coat of paint and I loved it so much I kept painting more of the animals. It’s fun to have people stop and ask to take pictures.”

One day, a woman visiting the area from Arizona told Barney and Judy there are a lot of rock gardens in her hometown.

“She said the rocks were different here in Lebanon and she just loved it,” Judy said.

However, the showstopper on the Barnes’ property is their magnificent geode mailbox. Geodes, are, in layman’s terms, a hollow rock with sparkling crystals inside. Many a southern kids find the somewhat unspectacular mud-colored, bumpy rocks near creeks and burst them open to reveal a hidden treasure of sparklieness.

“I found a farm in Woodberry, Tenn. full of geodes,” said Barney. “Most were in the ground and it took me seven months to collect them for the mailbox stand.”

“I busted them in half, and pressured washed them with oxalic acid,” he said. “It’s a spectacular sight to see them all piled up together. People stop by all the time and gawk.”

His largest ornamental rock weighs 800 pounds. He hauled it from another undisclosed place just 15 miles from his house.

Six of his more than 150 rocks are painted. Now 67 years old, Barney has slowed down a bit. He’s got pretty flowers planted next to his rock flowers and he’s spread black lava rock around.

“Mulch just would not cut it,” he laughed.

He maintains the showstopper rock garden and dabbles in a little golf. (The clubs he traded for rock are long gone.) He’s also into scrap metal. He’s a bit upset some “kids” are stealing his sparkly geodes from his mailbox stand. It hurts a bit because he spent months down in the Woodberry, Tenn. ravine retrieving those marvels of nature.

“The largest one we found was 181 pounds,” he remembered. “It was giant, oversized, we pulled it up slowly on a dolly.”

Growing his rock garden through the years has been fun, said this quirky rock artist.

“It’s put a smile on many faces,” he said.

If you want to witness Barney’s rock garden, it’s at 1013 Shirley Drive in Lebanon.

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Tulip Grove Farm

Two twins and their mother keep the antique love alive


Story and photos by Tilly Dillehay

These two ladies are sitting across from me at a table in Starbucks. They each have husbands and grown children of their own, yet here they are, chattering about their shared projects, finishing each other’s sentences. They’re twin sisters, two of the three members of an antique dealership on wheels: Tulip Grove Farm.

The third member of the group? Their mother.

IMG_2428Claudine Williamson and her two daughters, Dianne Clark and Marianne Jordan, are partners and hobbyists together. They go hunting for the antiques, they pull the trailer that holds the antiques, and they carry the antiques to various barn sales and flea markets in Middle Tennessee. And they do it all together.

“It’s about a business,” said Dianne, who has been a resident of Lebanon for the last 30 years. “But it’s really about family and spending time together. We love to go on trips and hook the trailer up… we love spending time together and building memories.”

All three of their husbands also pitch in, with things like hitching and hauling the trailer, setting up for sales, and allowing their home turf to be encroached on by antiques waiting to be sold.

“Our husbands could probably have us committed for all this,” laughed Dianne, “but they’re really so supportive.”

In the Tulip Grove Farm booth at any given sale, you’ll find a sweet setup that represents the various tastes of each of the three ladies.

“Mom loves primitive antiques,” said Dianne. “Anything wood ladders, bowls, silver.  I love white, painted, chippy, rusty pieces. Marianne tends to be more architectural, likes vintage maps, old farm pieces, more midcentury modern.”

So you’ll be able to find everything from an assortment of handmade signs with rusty letters spelling out words like “FARMHOUSE,” “BAKERY,” or “PANTRY,” to bell jars arranged over one-of-a-kind china, to old iron hangers and tin cake stands. Nothing is exorbitantly priced, but all of it has a distinct and recognizable Tulip Grove Farm flavor.

IMG_2393“It’s a creative outlet, for me,” said Marianne, who resides in Nashville. “Whether we’re going to an estate sale or a flea market… to see the potential in something, and buy it… it’s an outlet. We rarely will repurpose something—paint furniture, turn something into a lamp, like many people do. But we will take something that may be used in the yard, and we show how you can use it in kitchen. Or we show how you can put flowers in, or hang something on a bathroom wall. If you were to come to my house, a lot of what you see on my wall aren’t prints, but screens, or racks, or old window frames. I personally get a lot of satisfaction in finding something, cleaning it up, and seeing someone buy it and be really excited about what they found.”

In a roundabout way, the antique bug bit the two sisters through their mother… and then it bit their mother all over again.

“Our mother has been in and out of the antique business for decades,” said Dianne. “She started Tulip Grove Farm years ago, selling at different antique shows in Nashville. And we would help her. We did Christmas village, and a few others.

“The way we got to where we are today is we love to shop—it’s a passion to buy the antiques. And Marianne and I were shopping one day. And she said, ‘you know, I’d love to start selling’. And mom said ‘well, we have a trailer full of junk.’ So we took mom’s stuff down to the flea market.”

“I’ll never forget our first booth,” said Marianne. “I think that was the hardest $50 I ever made! But we said we’re going to keep going for a year. We’re going to keep going to the flea market every week and just see where it goes. So it started to get better. And two or three years ago we decided to put it together under the same umbrella. I think mom just got the bug to get back in the business.”

One of their earliest experiences with barn sales was in the early days of The Strawberry Patch sale in Hartsville, which they still participate in twice a year (the fall sale is in September). In October, they’ll be showing at the “Vintage Market Days,” which is new to Fiddlers Grove at the Wilson County Fairgrounds.

IMG_2395The women often find their wares in other states, traveling as far as Texas, Ohio, and Massachusetts to pick things up from flea markets and private sellers. It’s a lot of work—the hunting, the acquiring, the hauling, the setting up, the long weekends of selling.

But then, these ladies were raised for work. Their parents were small business owners of Howard’s Honda when the girls were growing up, and they were put to work in the family business.

“Dianne and I have worked since we were 12,” said Marianne. “We were answering phones then. So we like to work, we enjoy it, we get a lot of satisfaction out of it, out of making money, yes—but just being busy. It’s more about the satisfaction of doing good work.”

In addition to the sales, the three women recently partnered up for a new project. They renovated a house in Donelson to list on, a site where travelers can rent homes, apartments, or rooms to stay in. The home was originally a rental property owned by Claudine and her husband. When the three ladies got inspired to find a new use for the property, they set to work doing everything themselves.

“This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done,” admitted Marianne. “In fact, we did find something that we couldn’t do…” She looked at Dianne with a smile.

“We were pulling carpet up and found beautiful wood floors,” laughed Dianne. “Mom and I were over there trying to get the glue up, and we’d done it for a week. And my dad comes in and says, ‘ya’ll have worked so hard. You’re doing a good job, but…’ And you know, we got our feelings hurt! But we got over it… anyway he brought in a professional to finish that.”

But the majority of the work was done by these two women and their amazing mother. They held a little contest between themselves, each picking a bedroom to decorate in their own way. The challenge was to make up the cutest bedroom for the least money.

“Then mom went to West Elm with my daughter [Lauren], so they took themselves out of the running right away,” laughed Marianne. “Then it was down to us two.”

Many of the furnishings for the house came right off of the Tulip Grove Farm trailer. Others were giveaways or fresh finds. The finished project is quite simply adorable. The house went up on the site in March of this year.

“Many people have this thing where they say, ‘oh, I don’t know if we could do that,’” said Marianne. “We’re just not afraid to try. We’re not afraid to fail.”

And in another almost bizarre twist, all three of these ladies are also involved in yet another hobby: they are dressers for Broadway shows that come to Nashville. This job involves being on a call list, then going in when a show comes to town and unloading the costumes, pressing and preparing them, and then helping actors get changed during the show.

IMG_2405“We’re following the path of our mother, again with that,” said Marianne. “She’s done it for thirty years. Really it all started as something new to do. We like that. And it’s so interesting, I think, to be backstage… we just finished Bridges of Madison County. Now Beauty and the Beast is coming, and we’re not sure we’ll actually be on that one.”

Dianne agreed that it’s just a fun thing to be involved with. “It’s a cross between working in a laundromat and Downton Abbey,” she laughed.

Asked whether the two of them are very different in personality, they said yes and no.

“We’ve always been very individual,” said Dianne. “Marianne was a CPA for instance, and I don’t like to balance a checkbook. We’re different but still very close.”

Will they continue wearing all these hats indefinitely?

“[Our daughters] think we work too hard,” said Dianne. “They say, ‘Mom, you need to slow down a little bit.’ But we never do; we just keep going. But everything we do, we enjoy. We do it because we want to.”






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