Roll the windows down and follow the warm summer breeze toward the village of Leiper's Fork. Tall grass and wildflowers sway, beckoning you to the rolling hills just south of Nashville, Tennessee. If you know where to look, you'll find a small break in the treeline that leads you down a winding, half-mile driveway. The sounds of the woods give way only to the sounds of gravel crunching under your tires and the gentle splash as you drive through a shallow stream. The canopy of trees opens to a sunny, hillside meadow and a perfect cabin at the end of the lane. Welcome to, "NEST: A Cabin in the Woods."
Shelter + Roost owns six vacation rental properties in the Franklin, Tennessee vicinity. I recently stayed at their newest property, Nest: A Cabin in the Woods. It's already a highly sought after, frequently booked location. Fortunately, I reserved my particular weekend dates months ago, before the cabin was officially available for booking. I planned a solo adventure to stay at the cabin and attend renowned vintage market, City Farmhouse Pop-Up Fair. Kim Leggett, owner of City Farmhouse, is the Interior Stylist Extraordinaire of Nest. It's not just a cabin, it's simple elegance at it's finest. Take a look...I saved my favorite features toward the end of the post (oh the anticipation!)
Seemingly straight out of an English garden, the brick pathway is perfectly seasoned with moss and soft grass. A footbridge leads you over a small runoff stream where local bullfrogs make their home among the purple Pickle Weed. I felt as though I'd literally escaped reality and arrived into a daydream as I walked up the steps to my retreat.
Every detail has been attended to; from the Chesterfield sofa to the stack of s'mores supplies in the kitchen, you will feel pampered at Nest. The feeling of a rustic cabin in the woods, juxtaposed against the luxury you find within it, is a pleasant surprise.
The common areas are composed of one large space that includes the living room, dining area, sitting area and the kitchen. The kitchen is stocked with all the hardware you might need to make a meal; pots and pans, utensils, baking dishes and a (cough, cough) wine opener. Top-of-the-line, stainless appliances and granite counter-tops are remarkably complimented by an unlikely "found" vintage table that has been employed as an island. Modern meets vintage is the story of this space.
As a woman, traveling alone, you might think I'd be a bit jumpy staying out in the woods all by myself. I assure you, I slept like a baby and never felt more safe. The Master bedroom is on the main floor separated from the common area with glass pane French doors and curtains. The smooth, wide-plank floors and barn wood accent wall reminded me that I was indeed, in a cabin. However, the simple but oh-so luxurious bedding felt like a five star hotel. In fact, I loved the bed sheets so much I had to know where to find them; Jennifer Adams Home. You're welcome.
The most curious design element is upstairs in the loft. There are two twin beds, a sweet, little French sofa paired with a cowhide rug and Mongolian sheep wool pillows. The unexpected wall of books (not bookshelves) is a one-of-a-kind architectural point of interest. The beige-ish color variations of the book pages mingling with an occasional hardcover book spine create a visually stimulating and palpable design feature. It's really something to see. I found myself peering at book titles and touching the rough edges of paper as I admired the creativity and character it brings to the space.
As much as I love the book wall and other highlights of the cabin, my favorite features happen to be outside. The first of which is a full-size bed-swing on the deep, covered porch. The evening I arrived at Nest, it began pouring buckets of rain. My spirits weren't damped in the least. I simply sipped a glass of wine and enjoyed the storm from my dry, porch perch. Bliss.
Take special note of the very soft wool blend throw blanket on the swing. I loved it. You can pick one up for yourself at a darling shop in Leiper's Fork called, Serenite Maison. You can also go there to talk about yoga and get hugs. Probably.
My other favorite feature is the outdoor shower. There is a beautifully appointed shower inside the cabin complete with a chandelier, but I'd save it for colder months. The outdoor shower has strategic corrugated panels to help hide your bits, lest a passing deer see you in your altogether. Mostly, though, it's en plein air. Al fresco bathing with a sublime view of the meadow. Don't be shy, go on, you will be so glad you did! Travel tip: Bring your own natural, body sponge and smell-good bath products to thoroughly spoil yourself.
If you feel the need to leave the woods for awhile, there is no lack of things to do. Live music abounds. Art galleries, shops and the original Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant are up the road in Leiper's Fork. Franklin has eclectic shops and local restaurants at every turn. Meander up and down postcard perfect, Main Street, dipping in and out of boutiques. Treat yourself to ice cream. Then, go back to the woods. Nap on the porch. Wade in the creek. Take a deep breath at Nest: A Cabin in the Woods.