Interiorssneak peeks

A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN

by Sabrina Smelko

Finding the perfect home is often a waiting game — but one well worth it in the end, if you’re willing to exercise some patience and get creative with clever rental solutions in the meantime. For Jordana and Trent Nicholson, the wait for “the one” continues in Nashville, TN, where the housing market is on fire. “With so many people moving here a day, homes get snatched up left and right,” Jordana explains. “Since we aren’t quite ready to purchase a home yet, we’ve been renting and it’s been great for us!”

Jordana works as a digital content creator and stylist and Trent is a UX/UI designer, so hunting for and decorating their 800-square-foot, 1940s cottage-turned-duplex was an enjoyable process. “We snatched up this tiny home the second it was posted to Craigslist and we were luckily the first ones who inquired about it!” Jordana says. Located in one of Nashville’s loveliest family-friendly neighborhoods, their home is close to plenty of restaurants and great parks. “We immediately fell in love with the charm of this tiny place — it’s definitely one of the smallest rentals we’ve been in, but we couldn’t pass up the old kitchen with original black-and-white vinyl flooring, bright rooms with old windows and the beautiful hardwoods.” Although the cottage is on the smaller side, Jordana and Trent have relished in simplifying their life and ridding oodles of their unnecessary belongings, as Jordana shares: “Living in a bright, clean and clutter-free home just feels so good to us.”

Despite the ongoing slow search for a forever-home, this charming cottage tickles this creative couple’s fancy for the time being. Between making meals together in the kitchen, listening to jazz music on the back porch, or exploring the city’s sights and sounds, “Nashville is the place to be right now,” Jordana says, “it’s exploding with new places and things to check out almost weekly (there are 83 people moving here a day! Crazy)!” Sabrina

Photography by Crystal K. Martel

Full source list:


– Sven Charme Tan Sofa: Bryght – http://www.bryght.com/product/1008/sven-charme-tan-sofa

– Serapi Persian Rug: Ecarpetgallery – http://www.ecarpetgallery.com/

– Fiddle Leaf Fig Basket: Target 

– Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant: Home Depot – http://www.homedepot.com/p/Delray-Plants-8-3-4-in-Ficus-Pandurata-Bush-in-Pot-10PAN/203380954

– TV Stand: Target (old)

– Lamp: IKEA – http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80302697/

– Coffee Table: Goodwill find

– Brass Tray: Schoolhouse Electric – https://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/round-brass-tray.html

– Wood Vase: Target

– Indigo Mud Cloth Pillow: Loom Goods – http://www.loomgoods.com/

– Brocade Pillow: Clover Artisans – http://cloverartisans.com/collections/pillows

– Wooden Ladder: Antique Find

– Linen Throw Blanket: Cultiver Goods – http://www.cultiverusa.com/products/linen-throw

– Linen Indigo Throw Blanket: Clover Artisans – http://cloverartisans.com/collections/throws/products/solid-indigo-throw?variant=5693689029

– Navy Wool Throw Blanket: Dwell Studio – https://www.dwellstudio.com/Anton-Midnight-Merino-Wool-Throw-DWL7151-DWL7151.html

– Frames: Framebridge, Eventide and thrifted –  https://www.framebridge.com/


– Wooden Bench: Fleamarket find

– Plant Basket: T.J.Maxx

– Large Snake Plant: Home Depot – http://www.homedepot.com/p/Delray-Plants-Sansevieria-Laurentii-in-8-3-4-in-Pot-10SANSL/206409395

– Shoe Basket: Target – http://www.target.com/p/short-seagrass-rectangular-wicker-storage-basket-threshold/-/A-14908358#prodSlot=_1_28

– Shaker Peg Coat Rack: The Container Store – http://www.containerstore.com/s/hooks/wall-mounted-hooks/shaker-peg-racks/12d?productId=10005689

– Antique Sketches in Red Frame: Antique find


– Dresser: Goodwill find

– Salt Lamp: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001892AX2

– Antique Mirror: Antique find

– Linen drapes: T.J.Maxx/Home Goods

– Knit Blanket: Target – http://www.target.com/p/threshold-sweater-knit-blanket/-/A-14691367#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=knit+blanket

– Wooden Night Stand: West Elm (old)

– Brass Lamp: Target – http://www.target.com/p/threshold-brass-task-lamp-brass/-/A-17083607#prodSlot=medium_1_32&term=brass+lamp

– Mid Century Clock: Thrifted

– Linen Bedding and Linen Pillows: Cultiver Goods – http://www.cultiverusa.com/

– Brown Frame: Framebridge – https://www.framebridge.com/

– Black & White Forest Print: Debbie Carlos – https://www.etsy.com/shop/debbiecarlos

– Wool Pillows: Handmade

– Knit Blanket: Target – http://www.target.com/p/threshold-sweater-knit-blanket/-/A-14691367#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=knit+blanket

– Linen Dress: Pyne & Smith Clothiers – http://www.pyneandsmith.com/

– Plant Basket: gifted

– Canvas stool: Flea Market find

– Wooden Shelf: Handmade


– ‘Hey Babe’ Print: Oh My Deer – https://www.etsy.com/shop/ohmydeer

– Wooden Tray: Target 

– Turkish Towel: T.J.Maxx

– Shower Curtain: West Elm

– Body Brush: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Brush–Fuzz-Brush-Earth-Therapeutics/dp/B000KNHJ5G


– Antique Farm Table: Flea Market find

– Bentwood Dining Chairs: Craigslist

– Brass Pendant Light: Schoolhouse Electric – https://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/new-fall/new-lighting/brass-factory-modern-no-4-pendant.html

– Cowhide Rug: Dwell Studio – https://www.dwellstudio.com/Brown-and-White-Cowhide-DWL4418-DWL4418.html

– Pitcher/Vase on Farm Table: Farmhouse Pottery

– Linen drapes: T.J.Maxx/Home Goods

– Letter Board: Letterfolk Co. – http://www.letterfolk.com/

– Wooden Shelf: Handmade

– Porcelain Vase on Shelf: Edgewood Made – http://www.edgewoodmade.com/collections/home-goods/products/vase


– Wire basket: Antique find

– Wooden Butcher Block: IKEA – http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00309829/

– Basket on bottom shelf: Target – http://www.target.com/p/short-seagrass-rectangular-wicker-storage-basket-threshold/-/A-14908358#prodSlot=_1_28

– Bowl/Pie dish on bottle shelf: Farmhouse Pottery – https://www.farmhousepottery.com

– Dishes: IKEA – http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70258949/

– Bowls: Farmhouse Pottery – https://www.farmhousepottery.com/products/product

– Wooden Dish Rack: Target – http://www.target.com/p/lipper-international-bamboo-dish-rack/-/A-10495887#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=wooden+dish+rack

– Small wooden vase & bowl on window: Collin Garrity – http://collingarrity.com/

– Brush dish: Anthropologie – http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/20744306.jsp#/

– Wooden Paper Towel Holder: Target – http://www.target.com/p/threshold-acacia-paper-towel-holder/-/A-14907403#prodSlot=medium_1_23&term=paper+towel+holder

– Peg Rack: Goodwill find

– Linen Aprons: Gifted

– Hand Dustpan & Brush Set: Schoolhouse Electric – https://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/accessories/cleaning/hand-dust-pan-brush-set.html

– Duster: T.J.Maxx

– Wooden Brush: World Market – http://www.worldmarket.com/product/tampico-bristle-wood-dish-set-of-2.do?&from=Search

– Framed Recipe: Gifted

A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Bright, airy, clean and comfortable, their living room is the perfect marriage between both Jordana and Trent's styles: respectively, rustic farmhouse/European cottage style paired with minimal and clean. "We love neutrals but crave pops of color throughout our home — this is where heaps of greenery and colorful textiles come into play," Jordana says of their colorful Persian rug and indigo mud cloth pillows. Even more textiles drape atop an antique ladder that Jordana's mother found at a thrift store.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
"All of our friends comment on how cozy our home feels and that makes us really happy," Jordana says. "It's comfortable and inviting and we love coming home and relaxing here at the end of the day."
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
"This Bryght 'Sven' sofa has to be one of our favorite pieces in our home," Jordana explains. "We love the clean lines, well-loved patina and the tan leather adds so much richness to the room. It's just the most comfortable sofa ever — buttery soft and super sturdy."
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
A favorite home quote of the couple's by Laura Ingalls Wilder is pictured on their Letterfolk Board.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Off the living room is this cozy little nook which the couple turned into a makeshift mud room. The bench was found at a local flea market and below it sits a basket for shoes. The peg rack above is perfect for overflow coats, bags, and jackets. The two red frames were antique sketches gifted from Jordana's mom.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
The floor plan of their 800-square-foot abode.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
The couple's tiny 8'x8' kitchen in all its glory. "We were kind of sold on this home when we saw the kitchen," Jordana says, "I had to laugh at how tiny it was, but you just can't beat original checkered flooring, tall cabinets and open shelving." In addition, the massive old window in front of the sink and charming penny tile countertops won them over.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
The kitchen is where Jordana's penchant for farmhouse style shines. "I've learned that keeping things simple is what it's all about. Lots of greenery in the window, dried flowers hanging, vintage and thrifted pieces trickled throughout."
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Despite the small footprint, there's still plenty of open shelving and counter space for a functional display of utensils, jars, pretty bowls and ingredients.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Peeking into the dining room from a corner of the kitchen, this nook features a thrifted peg rack which houses Jordana's linen aprons and cleaning tools. Above it is a treasured framed recipe written by Jordana's grandmother whom she never got the chance to meet. "I received [it] at my bridal shower," Jordana begins, "it was a gift from my mother and one of the most special things I own."
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Located between the living space and kitchen, the dining room fits their old farm table perfectly. Breezy linen curtains, a neutral cowhide, and brass pendant lamp help complete the minimal space.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
"This farm table is a really special piece to us — we found it at our local flea market the first year we were married and it wasn't even for sale," Jordana explains. "We asked the booth owner if he'd be willing to sell it and he said, 'uh, sure!'" The piece was a steal for only $200, and as it turned out, after some research the couple discovered it is an antique that was made and shipped from Italy. "It's a bit narrow, but we just adore it and love the story it comes with."
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Their bedroom is a bright and airy retreat boasting the most light of all rooms in their home. For that reason, they kept the decor light in color and as simple as they could allow. The dresser was a $4 thrifted mid-century piece that Jordana found and painted white.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
The only pops of color in this room are pieces from Jordana's closet! This linen dress is from Pyne & Smith Clothiers. The night table is from West Elm and the brass lamp and vase are from Target.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Their big, cozy bed is layered in Cultiver Goods linens in smoke grey and crisp white. Jordana's grandmother in Italy made the two grey wool pillows, and the black-and-white forest print is by Debbie Carlos.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
"The tiniest bathroom you ever did see, but perfectly functional for the two of us," Jordana says. The "Hey Babe" print is by Chelsea Petaja of Oh My Deer and the wooden tray is from Target.
A Tiny and Charming Cottage in Nashville, TN
Jordana and Trent's beloved home is cozy, personal and a perfect fit for the pair.

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  • Their style is so similar to mine, and I’m working through decorating my own new, small house. Will be pinning all of these images as inspiration as I move forward! Lovely home, thanks for sharing.

  • Just lovely, Jordana! I don’t typically go for the minimal look and often think it clashes with beautiful old home architecture like yours, but your touches are really perfect! You’ve managed to make it look cozy and comfy while also looking “clean”. Not easy to do!

    On a totally unrelated note, can you tell where you got those great slippers shown in the bedroom photo? Love them!

  • Its a darling house and very well put together, but we’ve seen these trends (the sven- you can go to their site and find links to a over dozen other house tours + rustic table + tattered rug + textiles + brass) everywhere. It would be nice to come to DS and be inspired- show us something new!

    • Beks

      We have plenty of home tours that don’t look this way. Let me know what you’re looking for and I can send you some links here that suit that style. We can’t fight the zeitgeist right now, which is definitely a lot of white walls + wood + textiles. ;)

  • What a lovely home- thanks for sharing! Having lived in Washington D.C. and now Europe I’m always somewhat surprised when people think an 800 sq ft home is small, but I’m just used to tiny spaces. Now I really can’t imagine living in a larger space. I put a lot of thought in what pieces make it into my home decor and I can honestly say it makes it feel that much more special walking in to your smaller space.
    xoxo from Germany

  • Lovely home, a balanced use of tried and tested shapes and textures. But I have one query which is not just directed to this particular house tour, which is: is the cowhide really that necessary? I’m currently transitioning into veganism, so what really bothers me is that animal products continue to be used extensively in interior design. I’m sure we can all forego the skin and pelt of animals in our homes, there are so many other choices. I’m sure there are other surreptitious uses of animal products in other materials, but at least it’s not as blatant as displaying the flayed skin of an animal. I don’t mean to sound nasty, just concerned.

  • Great home, very inspiring!
    What is the source of the persian rug? I’ve been on the hunt for something like this for a while. Thanks!

  • I love your house and style! How is the Sven couch holding up and is it comfortable enough for a rainy all day movie session with the hubs? We have been looking at PB and CB for a leather couch but they are double to triple the price.