Doctor turned designer’s home

Doctor turned designer’s home

The melting pot of styles that Sadhna Williams calls home  in Nashville is very special. It’s a transitional house with classic elements but it’s full of surprises.


With this house, I really don’t know where to start because there’s so much about it that I love.   The front doors are exquisite, made by Jim Williams and his father.  The color of the mortar wash on the brick is a warm, soothing tone. I used it as a guide for the painted brick on our new house.  I also love the color of the pots flanking the front doors. But I’ll take you in through the side door ’cause it’s extra charming, complete with a wooden framed screen door and table made by Jim.



This cozy porch sets the tone for what you find when you step inside.


This, like many homes, is the heartbeat of the house.

So much love and life in this space.  The kitchen, like the rest of the house,  is filled with art from their three children not to mention the glass topped table under which family photos smile up at you while sitting at the banquette.




Jim Williams is a gifted woodworker in his spare time.  He and his father have made just about everything that’s wood in this home including the walnut island.


So as not to hide the gorgeous craftsmanship, Sadhna found these ultra hip acrylic bar stools.  Comfortable and cool. Jim made the wooden cover to put over the cooktop for extra counter space when they’re not using it. Clever and functional.



Another touch I love is the wallpaper Sadhna used in the glass front cabinets.



As I alluded to in the title of this post, Sadhna was a pediatrician in Nashville. That was the first chapter. Years later she decided to go to design school where she met her partner, Kristen and they set up a boutique residential design firm called Alabaster and Walnut. Sadhna told me she gets to know a client’s interests and interprets that as she designs their space and finds objects that reflect the homeowner’s personality.

In her own home,  there’s a playfulness and a discovery of interesting objects at every turn.


Whether it’s a birthday or some other celebration, Sadhna makes it special and personal.

In the den which you can see from the kitchen is a large limestone fireplace with two short chairs known as shin toasters made by Lee Industries.  I’ve tested them and they are super comfy.




Sadhna likes to change out accessories with the seasons, whether it’s pillows or what’s on her coffee table or ottoman. Like other creative people, she moves furniture around when the mood strikes.  But whatever she does, it’s always welcoming and comfortable.




Jim made all the wooden bowls and other objects in the book shelves. Their daughter Jaya did the painting.


I’m tempted to ask Jaya to do one for us. I also love how the frame brings out the beauty of the painting.


Jim’s brother created the sculpture on the beautiful table in their den.  Little did Sadhna or Jim realize when they picked it out at his gallery that he had modeled it after a photo of them.


Jim’s father made the dining room table. It’s astounding how much in their home was crafted by the Williams men.  Creativity definitely runs on both sides of the family.

The master bedroom is a calm retreat with Japanese calligraphy brushes over the bed.


And the master bath is well, in a word, divine.p1010720

It has a spa like quality but then the richness of the wood vanities gives it a home feeling. I can only imagine the respite this must be after a long day of designing!

I may have buried the lead as they say in the news business; by waiting ’til the end to really share what to me is so intriguing about Sadhna’s path to becoming a designer after her first career as a pediatrician. She says it’s not that big of a departure from medicine for her because both professions put her in peoples’ lives in a very intimate way. In a designer role, she’s in their homes manipulating the space they live in, hopefully creating an uplifting space.  That, to Sadhna, is so satisfying.


Now making house calls of a different nature, this doctor turned designer is creating well being for the entire family as she changes the way they live in their homes.

So glad to know Sadhna as a friend.  Thank you for sharing your personal retreat!

fyi;  Sadhna and Jim’s home in Santa Barbara (Playful Luxury) was also featured in Stylish Retreats several months ago. Read more about it by looking up Playful Luxury in my past posts. It’s also available on VRBO to rent.

Sources:  Alabaster & Walnut Designs    Playful Luxury  (search for Alabaster & Walnut house)


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