interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: ruthie sayles

by Grace Bonney

today i thought it would be fun to round our our holiday week of posts with a sneak peek into designer/skin therapist ruthie sayles’ east nashville home. ruthie and and her husband will share this beautiful 100 year old victorian home, which stretches over 1600 square feet. working on a tight budget, ruthie and will have filled their home with furniture from antique malls, flea markets, garage sales and pieces inherited from family members. ruthie loves that her home as an “open door policy” and is constantly willed with guests and friends, new and old. thank you to ruthie and will for welcoming us into their beautiful southern home today! click here to see additional and full-sized images of ruthie’s home on flickr! [all photos courtesy of reid rolls]

[image above: will and i bought our late 1800’s victorian home 5 yrs ago in a great up and coming part of town called east nashville. this was a MAJOR fixer upper home that we basically gutted and started over. it has truly been a labor of love. this is our entrance hall and a peek into our living room]

[image above: the living room is where we spend most of our time. the chandelier was found from the flea market, as were the blue chairs- only $40 a piece! the rug was a birthday gift from my sweet mom from anthropologie~ i love it! the corner piece was also will’s great grandmother’s- i love it set up in the corner the way it is. the stain glass above it was a gift i gave to my sweet hubby on our first christmas together. lastly the coffee table was a gift from my daddy a few xmas’s ago. it is made from 100 yr old wood found in a shack in lousianna. my dad always appreciated things like that]

[image above: i just found this chair at the last flea market for $20! the large wooden bowl was a wedding gift, the pillow is from anthropologie, and lamp is also from the flea market]

[image above: this is the mantle in our master bedroom. i decided to paint all of our doors and mantles chocolate brown- it has always been one of my favorite colors. the italian tile is original to the house, it dates back to the 1800’s. i loved the green and browns in the tile. on top of the mantle is a awesome iron gate from one of our favorite stores in nashville ‘preservation station’. the tin box was from a garage sale that we just filled with cream and white candles. most of the items on the mantle are pieces that belonged to my husbands family. his grandfather collected beautiful books that i love to use for decorations]

[image above: my dear friend evie coates helped to make this our master bedroom feel like me. i have a huge surgery coming up in january that will keep me in the bed for a long time so we wanted this room to feel really cheerful and comforting. details: the mirror was found for $20 at a flea market in nashville, the curtains were made by evie coates (they are 2 panels sewn together from the habitat for humanity store, to make them long enough for our 12 ft ceilings), both side tables were my husband’s great grandparents’. the small picture to the right is of my sweet daddy, lloyd lindsey, who just passed 6 months ago, the picture was taken 2 weeks before he passed, it brings me comfort to have him beside me every night. the bedding is from pottery barn and the precious dog is ellie our shih poo.]

CLICK HERE for the rest of Ruthie’s sneak peek after the jump!

[image above: this sweet vanity belonged to my grandmother ruth (my namesake). i use to play on it when i was a little girl- i loved playing with her amazing costume jewelry. The new knobs are from anthropologie and the lamps were $10 from the flea market. The silver plate is Will’s great grandmother’s, as is the vase. The sweet picture was given to me from a dear friend, it was painted by one of my favorite nashville artists Emily Leonard]

[image above: our dining table was a hand me down from my brother and sister in law. the rug is from the pottery barn outlet, the chandelier was in will’s grandparents’ home, and the stain glass was a wedding gift from my sweet husband when we were married.]

[image above: the map is of an old print done in the late 1800’s of the parish i grew up in in louisiana. my sweet mom just recently had this framed for us. the cake holder was will’s great grandparents’ as is all the china on the table. the blue 60’s lamp is one i found from a great antique mall in franklin, tn]

[image above: the wooden piece was a hand me down from my brother and sister in law. both lamps were will’s great grandparents’, the mirror was a xmas gift from my brother and sister in law also. the silver china was will’s grandparents’.]

[image above: this chest was will’s great grandmother kittie’s, whose engagement ring i wear. the mirror was given to me as a graduation gift from my godparents. the lamp, the books, and silver vase were also all will’s great grandparents’. the chair was a recent find at a antique mall for $60- it is one of my favorite pieces! the leather container under the chest holds our wedding photos]

[image above: one of the only original lights in the house is in this long hallway. the bench is from an old rail road station, the lamp shade is from anthropologie, and the rug is pottery barn outlet]

[image above: left: ruthie and ellie. right: hair clips that ruthie makes from vintage jewelry from the 50’s and 60’s. visit ruthie at her blog to contact her about purchasing. or you can shoot her an email right here!]

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  • What great shots. It goes to show that a lot can be done with little $$. Great impact.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Paula Grace

    P.S. I am having a wonderful glass art ornament giveaway on Monday ~ stop in :)

  • This is sooo lovely. I love that you don’t have to have a huge budget if you have patience and imagination and the curiosity to spend time digging thru antique shops. (Okay, and stylish forebears help too.)

  • Can I move in with you?? I love everything and think it is styled perfectly! I’m choosing paints for my first home right now and would love to know what colors you used. I especially love the blues you chose! Thank you for sharing!

  • I love this beautiful home and I love east nashville! Evie Coates is a dear friend of mine and a talented artist as well. It makes since you would be friends based on your beautifully calm pieces you’ve chosen!

  • Ruthie and Will’s home is a beautiful outward expression of their sweet love, intentionality, and care for others! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • The flickr you linked to seems to be PRIVATE. I’m so disappointed – I really hoped to see their kitchen!

  • Oh my goodness, you’ve created my dream house! How inspiring. I would love to know what color blue you used in the living room. It’s beautiful without being “welcome baby boy,” as light blue can be when chosen incorrectly.

  • I love this!! So beautiful. Every piece in the house seems like it holds a little part of history. Love it.

  • What a beautiful home! I’m hoping Ruthie can tell me what colour Gray & paint company she used to paint the dining room. It’s the perfect colour!

  • Great place. I’ve been wanting to ask you though, what do you mean by “after the jump”!?

    • thea

      the “jump” is the point at which the post ends and then continues after a break. (ie: when you have to click “read more”)


  • Ruthie is my daughter and I am amazed at her talent. She definately did not get it from me but from my mother who died when I was 13. The gene pool is amazing because going shopping with Ruthie is like being with my mother all over again..she could literally take nothing and turn it into something of beauty and grace and I think Ruthie might even be more talented than she was….Love you Ruthie!!!

  • Wow. This might be the loveliest house tour I’ve ever seen! I love the way you take a beautiful old house and antique furniture and make it light, airy, fresh, and modern. It seems warm and “homey” in a way that purely modern decor doesn’t, but without the “too much-ness” that sometimes comes with traditional decor. I hope to have a home that looks like yours someday!

  • Stunning! Currently living in Nashville and East Nashville is one of my favorite areas. This beautiful home fits right in to my impression of that area. BEAUTIFUL photos and STUNNING decor!

  • I loved your quote on your blog from Philippians 4:8. What truth to think on heavenly things to keep our minds from worrying about earthly things! How inspiring that you chose to do that through creating.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you.

  • BEAUITFUL!! I currently live in Nashville and East Nashville is one of my favorite areas. This stunning home shows why. BEAUTIFUL photography and even more stunning decor. I love that mantle and fireplace!!

  • awww! i love Ruthie so! her house is so lovely and charming and warm and gorgeous – much like her! i could almost cry i am so excited to see her and her precious home on d*s!

  • Everything is so beautiful, and personal… it’s so nice to see a home like this, and hear stories of such a loving family.

  • I am smitten! I’m in love with everything…from the curated collections of yard sale and thrifty finds, to the hand-me-downs from generations of their families, to the soft paint colors. Totally my style, and I could move right it!

    Sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery, Ruthie…my wishes for a super fast recovery in that gorgeous bedroom!

  • been researching dark painted mantles – so on the verge of doing it – (paint purchased) just skeered to jump. This confirms it – I am on!!!!!!

  • I would also like to know what the grey paint in the dining room is. I’ve been looking for the perfect grey for a while now and this looks like it! :)

  • What a lovely, lovely home.

    I just wish, as in most sneak peaks, instead of all the vignette photos I would love some photos of the whole room…

  • First, you seem like such a sweetheart Ruthie. The way you describe your family. Best of luck with your surgery. Your home is so filled with positive energy – I know you will have a speedy recovery. Here’s what I love:
    – the grayish paint
    – bench in the hallway
    – sideboard in the dining room
    – the old mirrors everywhere
    – the map of the Mississippi
    – the sheer size of the house – those ceilings!

  • Beautiful! Such a comforting home. I too, would like to know the color of paint used in the dining room!

  • fantastic and beautiful home! It’s so very homey and warm. Love it! I would love to know the paint color in the room with the wood chest with green drawer fronts/pink floral chair, as well as the hallway.

  • Fantastic job. I truly appreciate the stunning work with the antique furnishings. This proves that you can have a timeless home with some contemporary touches. Great work.

  • the ulta-restrained palette is rather stultifying… otherwise it’s a pretty place

  • Such a beautiful home! What is the name of blue colors in the living room and bedroom? I would love to try that blue in my home.
    Thank you.

  • LOVE! Please, please, please share the paint colors … such a nice hue and pleasing to the eye.

  • Wow, Ruthie! Your house looks fantastic! I know what I like when I see it, but it takes such a flair to be able to put it together like you have. Looks fabulous!!

  • hey guys, thank you all so so much for your dear and kind comments, i am out of town at the moment but when i get home i will look into the colors on the walls, so glad yall like them~

  • Those paint colors are gorgeous! Ruthie, the paint colors would very much be appreciated (when you have time)! Beautiful, beautiful home.

  • Wow, a 50’s Duncan Phyfe table in the middle of all this great design. I wouldn’t expect that.
    Table cloth? You make it look easy!

    What Great blog and thanks for all of your work.

  • I need exactly that italian glass tile in the fireplace photo to replace missing tiles. Any idea where one might start looking?

  • Love this house! And really want to know the name of the gray paint in the dining room. I love it!

  • I love the gray paint – can you tell me the color.
    The house is beautiful and I love all of the keepsakes in each room.

  • I love this house and the colors! I need the name of the grey paint in the dining room. Everything is lovely.

  • I keep checking back for paint colors, I am inspired to paint a few walls with the colors Ruthie used :- )

  • I’m also looking forward to finding out those paint colors. I’m on a quest for the perfect gray and that dining room color seems just right.

  • Love it all! Crossing my fingers and hoping for the gray paint color as well. I’ve spent countless hours researching the perfect gray for our dining room in our first home. It’s tricky finding the right shade.

  • Just getting into design sponge and I’m also a huge fan of your beautiful home and paint colors of dining room, hallway, bedroom, living room, and most importantly, the white trim paint. Is it posted somewhere that I missed?
    Still hoping….MANY THANKS!!