On July 19, The Nashville Food Project will hold its annual fundraising event, NOURISH, at the dining hall at Montgomery Bell Academy, bringing together Nashville’s
After a fire destroyed their historic home on Linden Avenue in 2010, Jenkins Hardin and her husband, Brett Sheriff, started to rebuild—but a year into the process they put the project on hold.
“It was one of the first houses in the neighborhood, dating back to 1899,” says Hardin. As they started to rebuild, they realized all that they’d loved about the original house—the history, the older features—could not be recreated. So, they cut their losses. “When someone approached us about buying it, we decided to sell,” she adds.
Switching gears completely, the couple decided to start over with a new-construction, modern home a few blocks away in historic Belmont. They enlisted the help of architect—and neighbor—Michael Ward of Allard Ward Architects along with Chance Formby of Keystone Building Group. Armed with a list of must-haves (from a front porch and an outdoor shower to a juicing station) Ward designed the 3,400-square-foot home to be utilitarian yet stunning. He knew Hardin and Sheriff, who are both realtors, worked from home but that they also loved to entertain. He wanted to give the couple, and their son, a design that could function as both a quiet place to meet with clients as well a gathering spot for neighborhood parties. “We’re ‘pop-in’ people,” says Sheriff. “And, this is very much a public house.”
The ground floor consists of three distinct but interconnected spaces that surround the central kitchen, which is accented by a large, walnut-topped island and Belgium factory lights. The front room is a shifting space that has, so far, been used as a dining room, karaoke spot, dance floor, and bar. Off the kitchen is a bright living room filled with casement windows, a large farm table, and a cozy fireplace. The adjacent TV room can be closed off by a sliding barn door (good for when their son has friends over to watch movies); it’s paneled in hemlock salvaged from a friend’s farm and opens to an outdoor living oasis complete with a fireplace, porch, pool, and that outdoor shower. A garage takes up one corner of the yard and above it is a small, efficiency apartment. “We end up taking in a lot of vagabonds and they stay until we ask them to leave,” Hardin laughs.
One of the most utilitarian sections of the home is also its most attractive: The rear corridor includes a bar with a heated concrete floor, a small powder room with chalkboard paint (guests can cover it with responses to a question of the month), mudroom, laundry room, home office, and guest room. “We came in and created a backbone that’s a critical part of the house,” says Ward. “But it’s still beautiful to look at.”
Upstairs there’s an airy, vaulted master overlooking the pool, another large guest suite, and their son’s room complete with a reclaimed wood climbing wall that leads to his own attic loft.
Hardin notes that the interior design was a collaborative effort between herself, her mother Connie Hardin, designer Maggie Anthony, and space planner Betsy Bergin. The clean, simple lines of the home provide a neutral backdrop for the couple’s colorful art, which they’ve picked up both regionally and internationally. Hardin says she loves a good “find,” as evidenced by the many creative pieces that can be found throughout the home. “Don’t put me past a dumpster dive. I found this metal stand in the trash and I took it in and had a marble top made,” she laughs, pointing to a table in the master suite.
The final touches to the home were installed last fall and since then, it’s already been filled time and again with guests—and Sheriff and Hardin wouldn’t want it any other way.