Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: rebekka and manley seale

by Shannon Grant

It’s hard to believe that Rebekka and Manley Seale moved into this 1930s East Nashville home just a few short months ago. Perhaps it’s their furnishings, cobbled together from family heirlooms, flea market finds and antiques, that create such a warm, lived-in atmosphere. Or it could be its charming features, such as the two screenless double casement windows in the living room that they open during thunderstorms to let in the misty, almost tropical air, which makes them nostalgic for their native Alabama coast. Whatever it is, they have settled into their home rapidly and seamlessly. Rebekka is an illustrator who creates hand-painted watercolor and gouache paintings, illustrations, house portraits and prints. Manley is an architect at Powell Design Studio in East Nashville. Thank you, Rebekka and Manley, and thanks to Melanie Watson of Dolce Vita Studios for the photos! — Shannon

Image above: The yellow chair was my mother’s when she was a little girl. I’ve had it my entire adult life. It’s been a makeshift scratching post for generations of cats, so we really need to reupholster it, but it’s hard to say goodbye to the original fabric! The hand-painted silhouettes of Manley and me, as well as the framed doily, are by my darling friend Colleen who makes the sweetest things. The portrait illustration is by Emily Martin of The Black Apple. We found the chandelier on Etsy; the old birdcage-style chandeliers are my favorite!

Image above: This is one of the only walls in the house that isn’t painted white, and it’s a color called “Burl” by Martha Stewart for Home Depot. The cut-glass mirror was a yard sale find, as was the crochet table runner. I think it’s fairly obvious that we love sunny, golden yellow. It finds its way into almost every room of our home!

See more of Rebekka and Manley’s Tennessee home after the jump . . .

Image above: My bees! This is my (much less expensive) take on block-printed wallpaper. I stamped three of the dining room walls with a four-inch bumblebee stamp from The English Stamp Company. After experimenting with lots of different paints and inks, I ended up using a regular old metallic gold stamp pad. The bees took several days to dry, but the effect is amazing — they really shine in the sunlight!

Image above: I have a slight obsession with antique embroidery and needlepoint of all sorts, so we end up collecting lots of it. The pairing of old-lady needlepoint with vintage Turkish Suzani textiles is kind of funny, but I love it. The leather nailhead coffee table is a hand-me-down from my parents, and the sofa folds out flat to double as our guest bed.

Image above: It’s probably sort of sad to say that the most precious piece you own is your television set, but it’s true for us! This TV console belonged to my grandparents in south Alabama. It has a record player and radio, both of which still work. My mother grew up with it, and so did I. Many long summer afternoons were spent around this console listening to records, dressing up in costume, dancing, and watching movies. When my grandparents passed away, I was lucky enough to inherit it, and we decided to restore it by taking out the old tube TV and replacing it with a flat-screen. It works beautifully! The framed records are from my grandparents’ collection, which I was also lucky enough to inherit!

Image above: Most of the rooms in our home are connected by these pretty beveled archways. The mango wood dining table and industrial chairs are both from World Market. The chandelier is from Pottery Barn. For years, I have searched for a chandelier with both electric lights and actual candles, and then, what do you know? Pottery Barn.

Image above: Our bed is just a plain iron bed from Ikea that we painted butter yellow. The milk glass sconces are antique, and the fairytale papercut prints are by the fabulous Elsa Mora. The floral sheets are from Anthropologie.

Image above: We added the tiny subway tiles with dark charcoal grout shortly after we moved in. It brightened up our kitchen so much! The Tiffany-style stained glass lamps were already there, and we love the way they look against all the white. We cook a lot, so this kitchen, modest as it may be, is our favorite room in the house.

Image above: These antique French containers were a surprise gift from a friend. I fell in love with them while we were antique shopping in Cambria, California, but they were way out of my price range. To my great astonishment, I received a package a year later on my birthday, and it was them! Of all things! Probably the most thoughtful and extravagant gift I’ve ever received.

Image above: This little alcove that houses our sink is so interesting . . . neither of us has ever really seen a detail like this, but it brings a bit of depth to our very tiny bathroom (the only one in our home!). The glass globe pendant light is from LampGoods on Etsy. It’s a charming shop with really beautiful, handmade pendant lighting and sconces.

Image above: This is our foyer. The stained-glass window was one of our favorite little details about the home when we first saw it. The bench is a hand-me-down from a friend, and the fiddle-leaf fig tree is such a good plant! It’s super luscious and grows quickly with very minimal care.

Image above: More of my needlepoint obsession! The iron rabbit head hook is from Anthropologie. We like having lots of hooks all over our foyer so when guests come over, they can just hang up their things and relax!

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  • I’ve been on Rebekka’s waiting list for about 4 months! Can’t wait to get my own little house portrait. Nice to see where it will be created!

  • This home is amazing. Fresh and homey. Love this Blogger and her writing. Oh, and paintings too!

  • i have that same flower lampshade from anthropologie and just love it. we have very different tastes, you and i, and it fits in with both of them. that’s when you know you have a good piece.

    welcome home!

  • Love the house! I share your love of yellow, pretty chandeliers and Elsa’s prints, she’s fabulous; your little cat looks exactly like mine. Your bees actually look better than the super-expensive wallpaper.

  • Ohhh, this is exactly how I’m trying to make my house feel… beautiful, light, lovely, HOME. Thank you for sharing!

  • Love the shape and details of the kitchen. Never would have thought of vintage stained glass in the kitchen. Also love the accent wall in the dining room with the bees. The vignette by the front door is very charming. Thanks for sharing.

  • Heather, good question! I’ve been saving up for a black-background antique Persian rug forever and I’m just not there yet :) I don’t like buying things to “hold us over”…I’d rather wait until I can afford the one I really want! Hopefully that will be sooner than later!


  • Gorgeous. Just a question – does kitty like drinking directly from the kitchen tap?

  • The sweetest house! Rebekka’s blog is also lovely; its nice to see where she lives and works!

  • So excited to see this tour. Ive been curious ;). Just beautiful and oh so happy! Just like they are!

  • I’ve been ogling Farrow & Ball’s eye-wateringly expensive bee wallpaper for months and this is a wonderful DIY alternative – and it looks every bit as good. Thanks for the inspiration Rebekka, I’ll be giving it a go!

  • What a beautiful home! I love Rebekka’s work. Thanks, too, for all the great links!

  • I, too, love the bees! I think it might be the perfect idea for my daughter’s room. Love your home – so sweet & welcoming :)

  • This is home is absolutely beautiful. Everything about it says home. I was wondering too where is the sofa from?

  • I love this home! The combination of the dark wood floors and the bright white walls, the lighting fixtures, the warm yet elegant needlepoint accents, the cheerful use of color…

  • Love all the character in your home as well as your design choices. The bee pattern is too cute (in a grown up way). The wood floors are amazing and that iron bed frame, I thought it was an antique find, smart move!

  • I love Rebekka’s artwork. Seeing a peek into her home is such a delight. If I had a home like theirs, I too would enjoy having friends over for dinner parties. Wonderful. I love the little rabbit hook for the guests.

  • This may be my favorite sneak peek yet, and it’s so special since she specializes in home portraits. Congrats Rebekka, yours is a lovely home.

  • I love her work, and it has been on my “want” list for at least a year…so I am so happy to see her home! Thanks for sharing! It’s all quite lovely, although I must admit to a brief twinge of jealousy that you own that Emily Martin picture! I love that one! Really, a lovely home. Congratulations to you!

  • Such a beautiful home! i love how the cat has made it into so many of the pictures. where did you find that gorgeous floral lampshade. I’ve noticed it on your blog before (:

  • this is a silly question, but how tall is the base molding in your home/dining room, specifically? it looks great and we are deciding what height to go with. lovely, lovely home, Rebekka!!

  • thank you, Rebekka! one more home question – thinking about the height of ceilings to go with 8 inch molding — are you ceiling pretty high? 9 or so feet? it;s hard to decide. some of our friends are telling us to go with lower ceilings because our ceiling is 8 feet tall.
    again, thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.

  • Rebekka Seale is one of my favorite illustrators on Etsy, so I’m not EVEN one bit surprised that she would have a gorgeous home! Beautiful! I can’t wait to own my own space and fix it up!

  • Such a sweet house. The kitchen and the iron bed are my favorite. I love the note that says the house felt like home before they moved in.

  • Your house is lovely. May I ask how you primed/painted the bed frame? I’m always worried spray paint won’t stick…

  • Beautiful details in every room, from the dark dining room accent wall to the bee stamps to the fireplace magazine piles.

  • I adore the bee stamp! beautiful. Can I ask you – did you stamp onto wallpaper or paint?

  • I love the whole space! Would mind telling me where the sofa is from? It’s exactly what we are looking for!

  • Just found a link to this post on Pinterest! LOVE the bee idea! I’ve been wanting to buy Osborne & Little’s Coronata Star Wallpaper for a long while now but this gives me a more affordable and washable (we have 2 young boys) alternative to wallpaper. I found the perfect star on the stamp site you linked to. Thank you!

  • I love your home and all the details! So beautiful. Where are the drapes in your living room from?! I have been looking for that color. Thank you!

  • This is fantastic! I have the same bed from Ikea and was thinking of painting it as well. Can you tell me what color you used/where you got it?! Thanks!!

  • This has Just been the best blog to stumble across, I love the bee stamped wall as I have fallen in love with the farrow and ball bumblebee wallpaper but like you said at £80 a roll i would be scared of little fingers! I will be trying out your amazing idea!!one question though, how would you suggest getting them all in perfect lines/spacing from eachother? Many thanks
    Wales , Uk

  • Rebekka, what a cute home! Congrats on the beautiful space. I have a question about the bee wall, which is gorgeous. How has the gold ink held up? I’d love to do something similar, but I have two little boys who splash around in the bathroom with wet hands and I’m worried the stamped designs will end up running right down the wall.

  • I love your bumble bee stamped dining room. I hope to replicate your look in my guest bedroom. Do you recall the brand and name of the painted accent wall? Thank you!