Step Inside this Midtown Marvel

A classic Midtown home comes alive with a carefully curated collection of art and antiques from years scouring estate sales, flea markets and a life of worldly travels.

The living room is a testament to Diana’s passion for collecting and deft ability to mix high and low. Chairs from Atchison Home mix with an Ikea coffee table. The inlaid sideboard was a Georgia road trip score. Diana added lucite shelving to the arches to bring more emphasis to the historical feature while incorporating a modern touch. Photos by Summer Ennis Ansley

Diana always admired the Georgian/Colonial-style home on Beverly Court when she drove from Downtown to Spring Hill on Old Shell Road, visiting then-boyfriend Blair. “I loved the clean-lined symmetry of the Georgian/Colonial-style architecture, and the fig vine growing up the brick added so much character,” Diana says. When the home went on the market around the time the couple got engaged, it was the obvious choice. “We might have gone to an open house or two, but we didn’t look seriously at any other house,” Blair, a business litigation attorney at McDowell, Knight, Roedder and Sledge, LLC, recalls. “It was a size we could grow into and in the right part of town for us.” And grow into the house they have. The home is now full with daughter Eleanor, 3; son James, 2; and goldendoodle Winnie, 5.

The Newmans swapped the former red front door for “Palladian Blue” by Benjamin Moore. Diana loves to garden and added window boxes now filled with impatiens, marigolds, ivy and sweet potato vine. They cleaned up existing landscaping using boxwoods, hydrangeas, gardenias, ferns and jasmine.

The couple got to work making the home theirs by painting every room. They used “Alabaster” by Sherwin Williams throughout the main living area, breakfast area, kitchen and sunroom to create consistency and flow. “We also changed out every light fixture,” Diana adds. She believes in investing in good lighting because, much like paint colors, it can really change the room. When it came to decorating, Diana wanted stately cohesion but with a livable and fun edge. She likes a clean-lined, modern look but also likes incorporating vintage finds.

They began to fill the home with furniture and decor they accumulated from family, their single years and traveling. Diana enjoys the hunt at flea markets, antique stores and consignment shops. She finds satisfaction in giving something new life by pairing it with a contemporary piece. “Furniture designers are always looking to the past for influences in current designs, so secondhand stores can be a good call for mixing in at a lower price point,” she adds. Along with lighting, Diana believes that upholstery is worth the investment. “Sometimes those alone can be a game-changer,” Diana says. “I believe in a high/low mix, but my rule with upholstery is to make the splurge if possible.”

The couple’s most prized possessions include their art and art-related items they’ve collected over years of travel. “One coffee table book I bought is of an art collection that was actually housed in a hotel we stayed in while in Nicaragua, and the first two pieces of art that we bought together were from our honeymoon in Croatia. They are still some of my favorites,” Diana says.

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Diana now takes the talent she used to fashion their home and uses it in her art. “I have recently started creating fragmented collage art for commission, and most of my clients are in search of a cohesive mix with certain fabrics and colors,” she says. “I enjoy introducing the right color palette while creating original art for their home.”

When they aren’t working or at school, the family appreciates time together in the sunroom or backyard and on the back porch. Diana, who put so much work into the house, can then relax and revel in the revival of design that stays true to the good bones of the structure. 

The Newman family – Blair, James (2), Eleanor (3), Diana and Winnie (5)
A clean color palette keeps an eclectic mix from feeling haphazard. Blair’s grandmother’s table anchors a bench from M.A. Simons, three cane-back chairs from Antiques at the Loop and two burlap-covered armchairs from a flea market in Nashville. The console table was a Southeastern Salvage find. The lamps are from Marshalls, but Diana upgraded them with paper shades from Atchison Home and acrylic finials from Yellow House Antiques. The door got a glossy coat of black and the walls are “French Canvas” by Benjamin Moore.
Diana incorporates fun (but serious!) art into the kids’ rooms. Eleanor’s has a graphic, colorful silhouette found at the public library in Columbus, Mississippi.
James’ playful photographs of matchbox toy cars and a fire truck are by Leslee Mitchell. A serigraph with blue, green and black shapes is by artist Victor Rosado.
The house was originally a duplex, so the upstairs layout is the same as the downstairs. The master bedroom perfectly mimics the living room floor plan, and originally the master bath was the upstairs kitchen. Painting below left by Colleen Comer


The sunroom has a wall of French doors leading out to the covered patio that looks onto a trellised wall of Confederate Jasmine. Above a pair of Lee Industries chairs from Atchison Home hangs a statement piece of art from High Cotton Consignments. Diana found The pair of library reading lamps at Yellow House Antiques. The side table is West Elm and the footstool and cowhide were Nashville antique mall scores.

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