As of late, Nashville has become a mecca of popular culture—from ABC’s hit show “Nashville” to the national recognition of the city’s restaurants—drawing even Southern Living’s Idea House to the booming city. This year’s Idea House will be a huge tourism draw to the city as up to 110,000 visitors are expected from late June to the end of the year, many of whom will be from out of town. Past Idea Houses have drawn crowds of 30,000 to 40,000, but this year’s house, which is being built by Castle Homes at Fontanel, is expected to draw double or triple that number.
Frank Craig, who is managing the project for Southern Living, said, “We’re at a destination in a destination city…people plan their vacations around these houses.” While the house does hold the potential to be a tourist hot spot, it will eventually have a more permanent function within the tourism industry. Once the house closes to tours at the end of December, it will be reopened as a unique event space and Nashville’s only five-star bed and breakfast.
The bed and breakfast will make available all the amenities of a “luxury micro-hotel” and guests can enjoy hiking and biking on the Fontanel’s grounds, visit the historic mansion and Pritchard’s Distillery, eat at Café Fontanella, and enjoy a show at the Woods Amphitheater. Rooms will be available individually, though there is also the option of renting the entire retreat.
The Idea House will consist of modern amenities and materials, though it will be an authentic-looking farmhouse. Some of the aspects that will create this authentic look include a tin roof, a natural limestone foundation, locally made mahogany doors, and cedar beams on the porches. Inside, however, amenities like the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer and products from Sunbrella, Rinnai, Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, and Shaw Floors help create a functionally modern interior.