French Country Calm

Premier Living

By Christina Davenport / Photography by Trevor Long

For Beth and Ryan Murphy, there’s just something special about living on Lookout Mountain. “My husband grew up here, and our previous house was just two streets over,” Beth shares. Although the Murphys loved their prior home, with three growing kids, they were quickly running out of space. “We were busting at the seams,” she explains. “At the time, my oldest was in high school, and I also wanted a place that, once he went off to college, he would always feel comfortable coming back to.”

The Murphys have been living in their home for over two decades and have loved every moment of it. The hallways once full of their own kids’ laughter now welcome that of their grandchildren, and several renovations have made the home a prime spot to host gatherings for friends and family.

Equally as charming as the inside of the home, the exterior sports white lap siding with idyllic light gray shutters. Brick runs around the base of the home and appears again in the chimney stack, while ferns, hydrangeas, and other shrubs embellish the storybook landscape.

On the inside of the home, the living room continues the light and airy motif. Two cream-colored sofas mirror one another, and a pair of sea foam green armchairs are the perfect complement. A large stone coffee table sits on top of a Greek key-inspired area rug and is centered just in front of a stone fireplace, which offers a warmth all its own. Several works of art encapsulate a variety of styles, and an array of botanicals breathe fresh life into the space.

A wall of windows ensures that natural light is able to trickle in. Even when utilizing the sheer euro-pleated curtains, plenty of sunlight can still find its way inside. Just out of frame, a refreshment center makes entertaining in style a breeze and helps keep foot traffic out of the nearby kitchen. Rounding out the room is a circular candle-style chandelier that drops down from the white tongue-and-groove ceiling.

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Adjacent to the living room is the dining space, which offers up the perfect balance between a casual atmosphere and one more elegant in nature. “I love the French country look, but I also wanted my house to be relaxed,” says Beth. “I’m a very colorful person, but I wanted everything to feel cohesive. I tried to keep a lot of white and add in the color through other smaller elements.”

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In addition to the eight people the dining room can accommodate, just steps away is seating for another four at the kitchen’s island. The light quartzite countertops feature a subdued veining and work to layer in another sheen to the room’s foundation of neutrals. Sea Pearl cabinetry matches the color of the walls throughout the home, and its overlay shaker style maintains a sleek and streamlined feel. Glossy white subway tiles comprise the backsplash, and several caged pendant lights repeat the color.

To give the room some added character, an apron-front sink is paired with oak floors and metallic hardware pulls. Doubling down on the metallic elements are several appliances such as a stainless-steel range and microwave drawer. By contrast, other appliances such as the dishwasher and fridge blend in seamlessly with the cabinetry and ensure the space still looks like a home rather than a commercial kitchen.

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The same Sea Pearl shaker cabinetry that appears in the kitchen can be found in the master bathroom on the top floor of the home. This room’s no-frills approach delivers a spa-like aesthetic that celebrates cleanliness and relaxation. Lightly-colored stone and tile wrap around the room, and chrome elements punctuate the space whether it’s through the sink faucets and hardware pulls or the side-mounted faucet for the soaking tub.

In addition to recessed lighting, a minimalist wall sconce bisects the vanity mirrors and emits a soft glow. When paired with natural light streaming in from the window above the freestanding tub, these elements make for a tranquil touch.

“I love how light plays with this house,” says Beth. “In the morning when I get up, sunshine starts filtering in and the whole house is illuminated. In the afternoon, it filters in from the opposite direction and I just love the brightness.”

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Yet another space designed to create a sense of calm is the Murphys back yard.

“Even though we love this house, we used to live on a golf course and it was so nice to have all that green space for the kids to run around and play,” says Beth. “When we moved in, I began to miss that a little bit so I’ve worked to turn my backyard into its own little haven.”

Now, the Murphys property plays host to several seating arrangements perfect for chatting with family or enjoying an al fresco meal.

“The whole purpose of this house is to live in all the spaces and be comfortable while doing it,” adds Beth. “I get up every day, and I’m really happy walking through my home.”

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