Take a Tour of Singer-Songwriter Holly Williams’ 1908 Nashville Cottage

See how the granddaughter of Hank Williams used family heirlooms to fine-tune her home.


All in the Genes

When Holly Williams and her husband, Chris Coleman, a musician and artist, began house hunting in 2011, they faced a challenge: They loved the openness of their downtown Nashville loft but craved the charm of a historic home. “One night, I had a dream that we’d find an airy, historic place with a double fireplace, so the moment we spotted this one connecting the kitchen and dining area, we knew we’d found our home.” Using a mix of carefully chosen pieces, neutral colors, and treasured family keepsakes, Holly transformed her Nashville home into a timeless space. And when you come from country royalty, those heirlooms—and the stories they tell—can be true showstoppers.

Dining Room

While there’s no questioning the root of Holly’s musical talents, it’s her mother’s family—a long line of artists—who sparked and cultivated her love of architecture and interior design. “My mom decorated her house in 1987, and if you walked in today you’d have no clue it wasn’t recently completed. Because of her, I never buy pieces that will only work on one particular wall or in one particular house. I look for things that will hold up over time.”

In this photo: Holly chose a gray, white, and black palette for its timeless appeal. The metallic floral wallpaper is from Designers Guild.


To put their stamp on the historic home, located in Nashville’s emerging 12 South neighborhood, Holly and Chris outfitted the kitchen with classic white subway tiles, polished marble, and copper accents reminiscent of their favorite French bistros. A pine ceiling gives the kitchen a country vibe, while its inky black paint job ups the space’s cool factor and creates a focal point at the center of the home. “I’ve always loved shiplap and other wood panel finishes, but it wasn’t in our budget to use those materials throughout the entire home, so I thought, ‘Why not just do a ceiling or wall here and there?’

In this photo: Soda shop stools from the 1940, found at a Franklin, TN, antiques mall, create a nostalgic spot to gather. A rare original photo of Holly’s grandfather Hank Williams, Sr. and grandmother Audrey after a show adds character to a mirror over the kitchen fireplace, along with silver cordial glasses passed down from Holly’s maternal great-grandmother Gertrude.


A self-proclaimed picker, Holly is known to decorate the homes of friends and family members just for the fun of it. (She also owns two of Nashville’s best-loved retail spots, H. Audrey, a clothing boutique, and White’s Mercantile, a modern general store.)

In this photo: Galvanized metal shelves that Holly scored for $8 keep frequently used dishware at the ready. A chalk drawing by Chris stands guard.

Living Room

To play up the room’s abundant natural light, Holly skipped curtains and painted the walls a crisp white. In the corner, a baby grand piano inspires family jam sessions.

Antique Decor

A weathered clock face hung on Paris’s Boulevard Saint-Germain in the late 1800s acts as a statement piece in the living room.


Inspired by her grandmother’s gallery wall, a mix of family photos and drawings fills the hallway.

Master Bedroom

Holly coated the pine-clad ceiling in the master bedroom to a cloudy gray. The star of the room—a wrought- iron canopy bed from Restoration Hardware—is a close match to an antique one that belonged to her maternal grandmother. To toughen up the otherwise feminine space, Holly brought in a rustic leather club chair and simple pine chest. Sitting proudly on display: a hat passed down from her great-grandfather Elonzo Williams. Brass sconces cast warm reading light while keeping tabletops clear.


Throughout the rest of the house, which includes two loft-like guest bedrooms, a three-season back porch, and an art studio, are equally special family mementos at every turn. “There’s nothing more soulful than decorating with reminders of loved ones, like my husband’s paintings,” she says.

Guest Bedroom

Holly installed wood panel finishes to the guest bedroom as “an easy way to add homespun country charm.”

Holly Williams

From an entryway gallery wall filled with generations of family photos to passed- down paintings that grace the bedrooms, reminders of loved ones permeate the home. As a new mom to 9-month-old daughter Stella June, Holly also wants to fill her house with pieces worthy of passing down, such as the crystal pendant lights that hang in the entry and the vintage rugs that cushioned her daughter’s first steps. “The older I get, the more I want to focus on items that will tell our story.”

In this photo: An antique trunk does double-duty as a coffee table and stealthy spot to stow away throw blankets.