Family house

Family house

When you see a hammock and swing in the front yard of a home, you just assume you’re gonna like the people who live there. At least I figure they’re family oriented, and fun and like to kick back in their front yard as much as the back.  That was totally the case with the Sullivans when I visited recently.


This charmer of a home was just sold in Nashville.  And get this.  It only took one day for the right buyer to come along!  But after walking in and looking around, I could see why.

The owners, Janelle and Aaron Sullivan have only lived in the house with their two young kids for two years but Aaron’s job is taking them elsewhere.  It’s pretty impressive to see how much they’ve done with the house since buying it.  They didn’t add any square footage, but changed the feel of the house completely by “adding love” according to Janelle;  painting most walls white, adding some wallpaper, installing new lighting and gutting the kitchen.

This kitchen used to have  light blue tile where there’s now white subway tile, and the sink was on the wall where the range is located.  They tore out old cabinets, adding open shelves, and they redesigned the island, added the caesar stone counters and dramatic lighting from Restoration Hardware.  She picked up the black matte stools from Target.

Janelle emphasized she loves to mix high end with lower end finds, whether getting deals at Home Goods, Target or unique pieces at estate sales.

I personally really loved this dining room because of the wallpaper.  With all the white walls, I like changing it up the way they did in this space.  The wallpaper comes from Anthropologie and Janelle says the great thing is if you don’t use it all, Anthropologie takes it back!   The chandeleir is from Horchow.

The only other room with wallpaper is the downstairs bath.

So lively and fun!

Their living room is a spot they use when company is over and they want to hang out without a television.

The accent wall behind the fireplace and the mantle is painted with Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.  It’s also used in the study off this room to highlight the ceiling. I think it’s a great way of connecting the spaces with the use of color.

In the study, you’ll find a pair of funky black and white chairs Janelle found at Home Goods.  And above the fireplace is a photo of the family on Michigan Avenue in Chicago that captures their  playful spirit.

I imagine they didn’t have much time to get this photograph with all the traffic on that busy road, but they got a tremendous shot!

This is also a musical family that enjoys the banjo and guitar.

Janelle did all the decorating herself, plus she owns a fitness business, and is raising two kids so she’s a busy woman and I appreciate her time right before their move to show me around.

It just shows how paint, lighting and other decorative touches can totally transform a house that already has good bones.

Wishing the Sullivans the best of luck in their next adventure, and here’s hoping the new owners enjoy it as much as Janelle and hers did.


Thanks so much for following Stylish Retreats.  I love hearing from readers. If you know of a stylish home or condo you’d like me to feature, please email me;


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