Walking up the steps on to the porch of a house on Park Street, newlyweds Ryan and Charlotte Turtle were surprised by what Bowling Green had to offer. The couple had been looking to purchase a home and move to the Nashville area after college in 2011, but were disappointed with the market.
After months of looking turned unsuccessful, they searched for homes in Bowling Green in their price range. It only took one—which happened to be just a few blocks from their apartment. Upon entering the home, they were captured by the original hardwood floors, natural light and tall ceilings. Details like multiple fire places and built-in cabinets made them think twice about trying to get to Nashville.
Though the home made a great first impression on the Turtles, there were definitely aspects that needed some drastic improvements.
“When we walked in the front door we fell in love with all the original details,” Charlotte said. “But, then as we continued throughout the house, the aesthetics got worse and worse. I think seeing those first few rooms and loving them gave us the courage to see the potential in the rest of the house.”
Ryan and Charlotte gradually started the renovation process that consisted of painting, replacing linoleum floors, updating materials and finishes in the kitchen and renovating two bathrooms. The biggest project was turning their then laundry room into their master bathroom, which Charlotte considers to be most reflective of their style.
“We really wanted to create a cozy and creamy space to start and end the day,” she said. “In our renovating process, we found out that a lot of our walls had brick hiding behind the drywall. We exposed the brick wall in the bathroom and that became a big inspiration to create a space that blended the farmhouse and industrial style.”
The master bathroom, renovated by Clark Built, embodies a light and airy aesthetic. The wood beams and handmade vanity with basin sinks add an element that softens the industrial nature of the space.
Each room in the house takes on a different element of the Turtles’ style. One of the most notable examples of their eclectic style is their son’s nursery. The DIY abstract art and peg leg vintage dresser creates a mid-century modern vibe that is unlike any other room in the home.
Ryan and Charlotte don’t believe they have one specific style, but instead use sentimental pieces and unique items to fuel the inspiration for each space.
The historic elements of the house create a common thread throughout the home that give the Turtles freedom to explore different design elements. Charlotte finds that she draws inspiration from pieces passed down from family and through her love of reading design books and blogs.
“I inherited lots of my big pieces of furniture from my family members,” she said. “All of them have a funky style that I have always appreciated so lots of those pieces are the anchors of our home.”
The Turtles home, named “The Shell” by friends and family, has become a place of gathering and a retreat for many.
“One of my favorite things about our home is that we have shared it with so many of those we love,” Charlotte said. “It feels like a group space instead of just our home. We always dreamed of having a home where people could come and feel safe and known, a place of refuge.”
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