Inside the Design of an Insta-Famous Home

Follow along for a glimpse into the years-long renovation that brought together award-winning professionals and resulted in one seriously inspirational, functional and all-around top-notch design.
Nashville kitchen design by Studio Dearborn

At Docking Drawer, we love a good story as much as we love a good project. Which is why we were so thrilled to be a part of the home renovation journey with Kelly of Home on a Nashville Hill, and Designer, Sarah Robertson, of Studio Dearborn. Follow along for a glimpse into this viral years-long renovation that brought together award-winning professionals and resulted in one seriously inspirational, functional and all-around top-notch design.

The Dream Team

Meet Kelly: a Nashville realtor who, in 2019, along with her wife, Suzie, decided to custom build their own dream home in Franklin TN, documented on the popular Instagram page, @homeonanashvillehill.

Meet Sarah: award-winning designer of @studiodearborn, not to mention a long-time friend and partner of Docking Drawer.

Kelly Ladwig and Sarah Robertson

It all began back in November of 2019, when Sarah shared a pet station that she included in one of her projects. Kelly, seeking custom pet elements in her new build, reached out - and a dream partnership was born. Five months later, ground was broken and the build officially commenced.

Studio Dearborn cat food drawer

The Kitchen

Nashville kitchen design by Studio Dearborn

Kelly and Suzie were seeking a kitchen that merged style and function. Being an avid cook, Kelly was hoping to create an efficient kitchen space for cooking and prep that was separate from the living area where guests would gather, but still nearby for easy entertaining. The result was a divided kitchen, sectioned into two main parts: the core and the perimeter kitchen.

  • The core kitchen serves as the main cooking area, and incorporates Sarah’s favorite functional features, like spice drawers, cabinet dividers for pots and pans, cleaning drawers and more.
  • The perimeter kitchen is a warm and welcoming space where guests can gather comfortably. This portion of the kitchen includes pet details like built-in food and watering bowls for the cat and dog, a dedicated coffee station and, of course, a Docking Drawer charging station where the homeowners and guests could charge their devices without cluttering the countertops. They chose a Docking Drawer Blade Duo outlet in brass, offering the ability to connect up to 8 devices, featuring USB-C (PD) to charge personal and guest devices up to 70% faster than USB-A.

In addition to the two main kitchen sections is a small prep area, featuring a baking worktop, prep sink, and second refrigerator. This area was further separated from the perimeter kitchen and future guests.

For the aesthetic, Kelly chose a brick backsplash, torn down and recycled from her home state of Wisconsin, with dark Oak cabinetry designed by Studio Dearborn. They went with dark Soapstone countertops, a low maintenance choice for everyday surfaces, which matched nicely with the dark cabinetry. A light color was selected for the upper cabinets and brass accents were incorporated throughout the house.

The Bathroom

Nashville bathroom vanity drawer outlet

The primary bathroom boasts two vanities, each containing a Docking Drawer outlet so both Kelly and Suzie can conveniently and safely power and neatly stow styling devices from right inside their own vanity drawers. The couple, having relatively few hair styling tools to manage, went with a traditional Docking Drawer installation rather than a full-on custom styling drawer, which still provides the same benefit of eliminating cord and device clutter from taking over vanity countertops. They again chose Docking Drawer’s new brass cover plate to match the brass accents incorporated throughout the home.

The Unveiling

Paul Hostelley of Docking Drawer made his way to the Nashville area in October of 2021 to take part in a photo shoot of the completed kitchen and bathroom. Kelly, Sarah Robertson and photographer Adam Macchia were also on site for the event. Unfortunately, due to project delays, the house as a whole wasn’t yet complete, forcing the crew to get a little creative in blocking out workers just outside the windows as they were busy laying concrete.

photo shoot of hidden kitchen outlet

Let us tell you: capturing the beauty behind a project like this isn’t as easy as you might think. It took five long days to create the images you see here, complete with lots of animal herding to get the family cats and dogs (mostly) out of the shot. After such a long renovation journey, the crew paid extra attention to detail to ensure no dust, pet hair or debris made an appearance in the final footage. Behind the scenes access on a project of this scale was well worth the trip!

kitchen cabinet electrical outlet

The final product here truly encompasses everything the homeowners were looking for. The smart storage solutions, thoughtfully planned floor plans and functional features like Docking Drawer, combined with a sleek and creative aesthetic, resulted in a unique, warm and welcoming vibe that was felt throughout the crew. We give five stars to everyone involved in this epic project. We know we’ll be following @homeonanashvillehill and @studiodearborn closely as we eagerly await the unveiling of the remainder of the home - and you should too!

Are you planning a home project? We’re interested in partnering with YOU! Contact us and ask for Paul to get the conversation started.

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