Inside a renovation of a 1960s ranch-style home in Nashville

When I walked into this house, I felt like I was at my grandmother’s house,” says designer Meg Kelly. Her East Nashville ranch-style home had only one previous owner, and the interiors haven’t been remodeled since it was built in 1963. Outdated features Like the dark wood paneling and built-in, enclosed floor plan that would have scared off many potential buyers.(“There were doors everywhere!”) But thanks to her professional background in Roll Up Your Sleeve Renovations, she saw endless possibilities.Kelly says, who recently launched her Nashville interior studio, Clella Design (named after Granny Clella, who says she “imagined herself as a designer.”) Kelly selects projects from her checklist in stages, from tearing down a wall to creating an open kitchen and living area that’s central to entertaining. She also closed the garage to make more a bedroom, a bathroom, and a laundry room, bringing the home’s space uare footage to about 1,600. Now, she says, “there isn’t a single piece of this house that I haven’t touched.” With bold color combinations, a mix of antique and modern furniture, A growing art group Constantly, she infused her dated farm with new life. Steal decorating ideas here.

Add an element of surprise

The house should not reveal all its secrets once someone enters through the door. To divide the living room, Kelly placed two false walls to create a formal entryway. A graphic pattern (disassembled Schumacher tape) adorns the entrance walls. “It reads as neutral, so I can put it in just about anything,” Kelly says. An antique standard cabinet locks in space. When she’s not dealing with other projects, Kelly scours thrift and antique stores for treasures to fill her home.

Meg Kelly’s 1960s farmhouse entry hall with green accents

credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Rely on old favourites

A beloved piece by artist Wayne Bhatt inspired the colors woven throughout the home. “Green and red are one of my favorite combinations,” Kelly says. “I love to prove that these two can play well and it won’t make it look like a Christmas place.” In the living room, a pair of antique taoist panels from Etsy ties the panel together. “I buy what I like and I’ll find space for it,” she says. No room at Kelly’s is complete without at least one odd piece, like the funky wooden bench her mother gave her.

Meg Kelly’s 1960s farmhouse living room with leather sofa

credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

camouflage budget purchases

While much of the existing floor plan has remained the same, the dreary kitchen needs full function. “I wanted to maximize its footprint and have a beautiful island,” says Kelly, who designed the cabinetry from a department store with Carrara marble above the island and a cozy butcher block along the perimeter. She painted the original wood paneled walls a crisp white (PPG’s Delicate White, PPG1001-1). “You can use art to make the kitchen feel a little more lived in,” she says. She filled a weird box above the fridge with her blue and white ceramic set, which she could easily pull down to make arrangements.

Meg Kelly’s 1960s Farm by

Meg Kelly 1960s Ranch Remodel White Kitchen With Open Floor Plan

Left: Before: Kelly kept the kitchen’s original layout. Tearing down a heavy upper cabinet helps the space feel light and open. | Credit: Courtesy of Meg Kelly

the correct: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Reimagine the open floor plan

An antique rug from Etsy helps distinguish the dining area within the open plan. “It was also important to leave a light fixture here so that it looked like a little room of its own,” she adds. The designer balanced a modern black pendant and wishbone chairs with an antique glass table. “If you have a small space where light gets in from the outside, take advantage of that and paint it white,” says Kelly. The knocked down doors open onto the balcony.

Meg Kelly’s farmhouse dining room in the 1960s before

The white dining room of Meg Kelly’s farmhouse in the 1960s

Left: Before: Dark wood paneling made the dining area look smaller. Kelly emphasized the room’s natural light by painting it white. | Credit: Courtesy of Meg Kelly

the correct: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Create a relaxing getaway

“The bedroom is where you can have fun,” says Kelly. Here, she skipped the ventilation scheme in the main living areas and opted for a more moody tone, covering the ceiling, cladding, and doors in a signature green (Sherwin-Williams, Arugula, SW 6446). “It’s important to be surrounded by pieces that I love in my bedroom,” says Kelly, who uses her sophisticated “wallpaper” art collection to use the space. She chose a straw bed for warmth, an ikat quilt for the pattern, and a fur blanket for the texture. Three accent pillows bring a hallway print into the bedroom.

Left: Before: Kelly relied on the power of paint to give her ’60s sleepy bedroom a modern update. | Credit: Courtesy of Meg Kelly

center: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

the correct: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Think big in small spaces

“Bathrooms give you the opportunity to add more personality,” says Kelly, who brought the current palette with gorgeous Brunschwig & Fils wallcovering. “I love how wallpaper can completely transform a space.” The designer balanced the simple piece of fabric with patterned marble floors to elevate the look. Removing the bulky vanity and replacing it with a sleeker pedestal sink helped give this compact bathroom a bit more breathing space.

Meg Kelly’s farmhouse bathroom in the 1960s

credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Refine the details

Kelly renovated the old garage to create a new master bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room. To maximize space in the bedroom, she chose a built-in wardrobe (made by Louisville Kitchen & Millwork) placed along one wall instead of a traditional dresser. Raising the floors helped the room feel as well as an extension of the original house and raising the ceiling helped the room feel larger. “For me, the design is in the details,” says Kelly, who has retreated from the red-and-green scheme here so the pink walls could sparkle (Pink Ground, #202, from Farrow & Ball). She says the restoration instrument necklace looks like “a huge pearly moon at night.”

1960s ranch pink bedroom remodel

Pink Bedroom Built-in Wardrobe With Window Seat

the left: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

the correct: credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

go bold

To help the new bathroom feel like an original part of the house, Kelly added paneled walls that mimic the look of the kitchen. She brought in her signature color palette, of course, coloring the room in the breakfast room in Farrow & Ball’s Green (No. 81) and painting Farrow & Ball’s bold Blazer (No. 212). The black and white geometric tile floors, which you carried into the bathroom, add another fun element. “When you can keep the tile consistent, it makes the space look bigger,” she says.

Green bathroom with pink vanity

credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Play with style

“This is a happy space,” Kelly says of the laundry room. “With no natural light, I wanted to play with colors, patterns, and my favorite palette.” She used this whimsical wallpaper (Goa by Thibaut) as her starting point. She paired light blue dressers with a “cheap and cheerful” green and white check print from a local fabric store. “I love the gathered fabric details,” she says. “It’s an inexpensive way to add personality to a space.” Here, she added a skirt under her worktop to conceal her cat’s litter box. The blue and white lampshade has been transformed into a pendant.

Red laundry room with stacked washer and dryer

credit: Alison Gotti; Design: Meg Kelly; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

Build a breezy outdoor room

After a pecan tree fell on her home during the March 2020 tornadoes in Nashville, Kelly turned the damage into an opportunity to build the furnished porch she’s always wanted. Striped pillows for wicker furniture (search on Facebook Marketplace) inspired the painted flooring palette. The slanted tongue-and-groove roof maintains an airy feel. “I wanted to take full advantage of all the viewpoints,” says Kelly, who scaled the screens all the way down to the floor so nothing would obstruct her field of view (and errors would be kept out). A large Serena & Lily necklace brightens the look.

1960s Farmhouse Remodel Furnished Terrace

credit: Alison Gutt; Styling: Matthew Gleeson

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