Making a southern home with Holly Williams

Holly Williams shares her passion for making a southern home—a place where history, warmth, and creativity converge. Get inspired to transform your space into a story-filled sanctuary.

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Jamie Schultz

To singer-songwriter Holly Williams, there’s nothing more important than creating a welcoming home full of warmth and history—a space where creativity thrives and children can play.

“It’s your sad days, your good days, your ideas,” Williams says. “Everything comes from your living space.”

She traces her passion for houses back to her maternal grandfather, Warren White, who was a lover of architecture and homes. Holly profiles him in one of her most popular songs “Waiting on June”. On the other side, her paternal grandfather is Hank Williams Sr., whom we all know for his legendary music status.

Williams’s loves to uncover an old home’s history and appreciates the flaws that come with years of wear. “I love creaks in the floors,” Williams says. “I love imperfection in the walls.”

A lived-in home is filled with stories, and Williams likes to feel a story in each room. “I think it inspires me on a songwriting level just to be in a space and think about generations of tragedy and love and loss and stories and what happened here and who was here,” she says.

Williams currently has her hands in a few home renovation projects, including an 1800’s farmhouse that she found on Craigslist. The 2,200-square-foot fixer-upper sits on eight acres of land, an hour outside of Nashville, which makes it the perfect location for a practical second home. Even if it’s just for the weekend, she says.

A quiet getaway may be just what this mother of two daughters under 2-years-old needs. Williams and her husband, Chris Coleman, are musicians, artists, parents and own three retail stores in Nashville. Needless to say, life is very busy. So this farmhouse lends a space to breathe, create and unplug.

For Williams, it’s important that her daughters don’t grow up consumed by technology. She wants them to play and learn outdoors and sees this country home as a space that can give them that.

When she walked up to the historic, Southern-style home and saw the banister-free double porch, she saw immediate potential. Instead of seeing a home in poor shape—with the vinyl siding falling off and no landscaping—she saw a warm, welcoming place. With her strong vision, she knew what it could be.

“I’m a fiend for making something old, new again,” says Williams, the kind of person who will forego a new car over new wallpaper every time because the wallpaper will continue to inspire her when she steps into the room.

While the farmhouse restoration is underway, Williams and her family have been visiting, sitting on the porch, spending quality time together, playing guitars and writing. Even without a working toilet, they’d spend hours on their peaceful porch making necessary pit stops at the nearby gas station, she says.

Aesthetically, Williams believes the interior design of a Southern home is important, but the exterior is critical, too. When you drive up, you want to have that feeling, she says, “I’m going somewhere that’s comfortable, that feels like grandma’s pecan pie is waiting.”

To preserve and honor the home’s Southern style, Williams went with Hardie® siding and trim. She wanted something modern, durable and low maintenance with a look that’s original, historic and charming. “I knew that the Hardie® siding would eventually add that texture, that kind of feel of what a southern home should be,” she says.

The home’s exterior is clad in Hardie® Plank lap siding in Select Cedarmill© and Hardie® Trim boards, both in crisp ColorPlus® Technology Arctic White.

On the double porch, she installed a pair of swings, four rocking chairs, a new front door, and plenty of plants and comfy pillows. She created a welcoming outdoor room that’s ready to host a handful of friends and family easily.

Inside, the character-filled home is fresh and personal, while still preserving the years of stories that still live in the space. It now feels ready for Williams’s family to add to their own memories. A perfect spot to lay their Howdy doormat…until the next home renovation project rears its head.

“I look at real estate every day,” Williams confesses. “My poor husband is always terrified I’m going to ask him to move again.”

(Photography by Annie Schlechter / Country Living)

Jamie Schultz