From four-leaf clovers picked by their kids to cotton straight from the family’s Mississippi farm, the Pratts’ home is chock full of sweet sentiments, natural elements, and family nostalgia.
By Candice Graham | Photography by Med Dement
Set atop Signal Mountain, the home of homebuilders Win and Lucy Pratt exudes woodsy, rustic charm. And while it’s personalized with unique items acquired throughout the years, Win insists they built it the same way they do all their homes.
“We’re in the home building business, so a lot of these details are the same things we use in the homes we build,” Win says. “We built this house just like we were a regular customer. We didn’t do anything different or special for us, but we modified a few things just as any customer does. We’ve been doing this for almost 17 years and this is one of our standard house plans. It only took about 5 months from start to finish.”
As an outdoorsy family who loves to hike, hunt, and boat, the Pratts have an eclectic, rustic, and folk art-inspired style. In the dining room, this style is brought out by a glowing antler chandelier, a detail echoed throughout the home. Generations of family heirloom furniture give the dining room and the rest of the home a feeling of old-time charm. The dining table and buffet were passed down from the Mississippi plantation home of Win’s great-grandparents. Mint julep cups, a yearly birthday gift from Win’s grandmother, accessorize the space, which is set off by an earthy color palette, a rich-toned rug, and modern chevron curtains. Rough sawn cedar planks frame the dining room door and several windows in the home.
The family’s home office is a place for the kids to work on homework or for Win to work from home. The focal point is a table that a local lumber company fashioned from a fallen tree. Instead of a traditional desk, the Pratts chose the unique picnic-style table for extra space. The couple’s University of Tennessee diplomas hang above the desk, and a brightly colored folk art guitar hangs on the wall as a nod to Lucy’s Nashville upbringing. Natural touches like dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus accessorize the room.
Beyond the dining room and office is the family’s living room, which is anchored by a large stone fireplace. “Our mantle is really special,” the couple explains. “We have a recreational farm in Mississippi and some of the old buildings were torn down six or seven years ago. The mantle is made from a piece of timber that came out of one of the storage barns that was built in the 1930s.” Made from pecky cypress, the mantle has original wormholes which give it a unique texture and character. The stone used in the mantle is all locally sourced, and a painting of a bright red canoe by local artist Carylon Killebrew hangs over the mantle.
A vintage black and gold trunk serves as a coffee table in the living room. The trunk holds more than just living room extras; it’s also full of sentimental value. “My mom is from Nova Scotia, Canada, and when she went to college her parents packed up all her stuff in this trunk and sent it with her,” says Lucy. “My mom traveled all over with that trunk when she was in college. It’s still got the mailing label stuck onto it.” Another nostalgic accessory found in the home is bouquets of cotton, which were used in the couple’s wedding. “My cousin is a cotton farmer in Mississippi, and he went out and cut it down, boxed it up, and mailed it to us for our wedding,” Win explains.
The back porch is an extension of the living room in warmer months. Equipped with a sectional sofa, lamps, and a TV, it has a comfortable, home-like feel, while still retaining its outdoor charm. Sheer curtains and lush plants accessorize the outdoor escape. The sound of a running stream can be heard from the screened-in porch, which can also be accessed by the master bedroom.
In the kitchen, light blue-green walls and cream-colored cabinetry create a calming atmosphere. Four barstools line the counter, and a breakfast nook nearby serves as additional seating. A rough sawn pine tongue-and-groove ceiling adds an additional rustic element, as does pendant lighting shaded in a natural woven fabric. A painting of peaches, also by Carylon Killebrew, adds a pop of orange to the breakfast nook, and three glass terrariums hold moss and dirt while another holds pecans from the family’s Mississippi pecan orchard.
In the master bedroom, miscellaneous items collected over the years come together in a beautiful way. A brightly colored cow painting makes a bold statement where it hangs above a sage green couch, and a deer painting by a Mississippi artist hangs above the bed. A special piece of artwork was created by Lucy’s 98-year-old grandfather, who paints as a hobby and created a cotton bowl painting at the request of his granddaughter. Lucy’s grandmother also served as a muse for the home’s decor, as Moravian stars, popular in her hometown of Bethlehem, Penn., are used to cast a glow in several places.
The family may not have lived in the house for long, but already its four walls hold a lifetime of memories. “When the house was being framed we gave each one of our kids a Sharpie and they drew and wrote their names on the 2x4s of their rooms and on each one of the steps,” Lucy says. “So behind all the walls is artwork by our kids and the names of our family. I think that is my favorite part.”