At Home with Keely Rust in Nashville, Tennessee
We have a really special home tour to share with you today! Our very own Keely Rust is sharing her Nashville home with us, and it’s as bright and bubbly as her personality. You’ve probably seen Keely on our IG stories—she’s the marketing director for ABM and our beauty brand Oui Fresh. 🙂
“In the summer of 2017, we moved into this house (we had just moved to Nashville about nine months prior)—it was a really exciting purchase because it’s our first home! We chose this house because we saw a lot of potential and it seemed like it could be really rewarding to bring it back to life—not just for us to live here, but also for the families who live here after us. It was for sure a fixer-upper (most of the wood floors and some of the walls were rotted through), and we ended up gutting almost the whole thing and changing some of the architecture, which took about nine months to fully finish.
It was an undertaking and we had some contractor woes, which seems pretty common across the board the more I talk to other people that have renovated. When we were in the thick of it, Elsie told me as hard as the process is, the more distance you have from it, you start to forget about the negative experiences and can really enjoy your home. Sound advice for anyone going through a long or painstaking renovation, because now that we’re a few years removed from the process, we just appreciate our home and a lot of that heartache we endured has faded. So if you’re renovating now, hang in there, there are brighter days ahead.I have to say the evolution of our kitchen/living room area has completely changed the feel of our home and has made it one of our favorite rooms. There used to be a wall in between these two spaces, but we got rid of it and love how many opportunities it gave us in decorating and changing up the kitchen footprint—and it’s where we spend the majority of our time. Our style has evolved over the years to be more pared down and slightly on the minimalistic side, so we tried to be intentional with how many “extra” items we put in here.
While there is no shortage of plants, less seems to be more comfortable to us these days. My favorite DIY is also in this room—the tassel chandelier! It was a tedious project, but it turned out better than I had hoped for and gives the perfect amount of light in an otherwise dark corner of the room.
The best compliments I receive are when people tell me it “feels good” or that it “has a good energy” when they walk into this room. Every choice we made for this home came back to that question, “Does this space feel good?”, and that helped to keep our vision streamlined and choose things that were perfect for us. I was kind of all over the place when we first started planning design elements, but when I honed in on that one question, everything fell into place. The statement wall in our guest bedroom was one of my favorite DIYs! As much as I wanted a wallpapered wall, it just was absolutely not in our budget. I decided to hand paint a pattern instead, and love how it turned out. It really tricks a lot of people into thinking it’s wallpaper, too! We did a lot to change the architecture of our home, from knocking down walls to putting bathrooms in new places, and even vaulting my office ceiling. I want to say that we would have been so much worse off had we not brought in an architect (thank you, Kaitlyn and nine12!).
While we thought we knew what we were doing and had a lot of vision for how we wanted to change things, she had the knowledge on how to properly configure a compact kitchen (we almost made a few mistakes here before consulting with her), and making the most of a bedroom-turned-master bathroom and closet, among other things. It’s a service that, for us, was worth paying for, and was much more affordable than we had anticipated. It saved us from a lot of costly blunders in such an extensive renovation.
We’ve lived here two years, and it took about that whole time to fully finish the home decor-wise because we had to be pretty budget-minded. It was really hard to be patient (I just wanted everything to be DONE!), but waiting for deals or vintage steals to come around makes me appreciate the process in hindsight and treasure every room down to the last detail. The one thing we splurged on was lighting, but other than that we were pretty careful and stuck to our budget.
In my office, which was loosely inspired by wanting to give the Golden Girls living room a modern update, we got so lucky with finding the loveseat at a kind of random place in Nashville called Southeastern Salvage. They have a large selection of rattan furniture—it’s definitely a diamond in the rough!
There is an interesting little stool in our living room that we use as a plant stand—my grandparents took a trip to Iran in the ’60s and brought it back. I think of them every time I look at it. Come to think of it, most of our plant stands were thrifted or vintage finds. I like the eclectic feel it gives since we don’t have a lot of that in our house.
I learned a lot about patience as our home has evolved, and for that I’m thankful! It was truly a labor of love and we are grateful for it everyday.”
Such an amazing renovation. We love you AND your home, Keely! To see more home photos and cute things, be sure to follow Keely on Instagram.
Credits // Author: Keely Rust. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.