7 Nashville Neighborhoods as Told by Their Home Styles
Nashville might be a bastion of Southern culture—the food, the music, the landscape—but when it comes to architecture in this Tennessee town, styles vary. The distinction between home styles in different Nashville neighborhoods is more than just symbolic.
Each neighborhood brings its own micro-culture to the city, and the architecture and design of the homes in any given area tell a story about the neighborhood’s past, present, and future. While new-build construction projects in some residential areas seemingly never end, it is worth considering what neighborhoods pay homage to historic architectural traditions and which ones are on the cutting edge.
Germantown has perhaps the most distinct footprint of all Nashville neighborhoods when it comes to architecture. Styles from Victorian to Italianate and everywhere in between are represented, but the townhome is this urban neighborhood’s most popular dwelling.
An artifact of the area’s history as a landing place for European immigrants during the 1800s (hence the name Germantown), townhomes are an efficient way to house many families in a relatively small geographical area without sacrificing character and living space.
Today, residents love the walkability to area coffee shops and the proliferation of murals in the neighborhood. Renovated, historic townhomes and new builds are not merely features of the landscape, they are the landscape, and Germantown’s charming, European-feeling side streets wouldn’t have a fraction of their character without these beautiful structures.
West Meade is beloved by its residents for the large lot sizes and rolling hills that characterize the suburb. While the construction boom of the last five years has seen many new home builds in the area with varying aesthetics, the prevailing, original home style is clear—the ranch.
These homes are immediately identified by their long, single-story profile. Instead of building up like a townhome, ranch homes sprawl. Nowhere is the ranch more fitting than in West Meade where there is ample room to roam. Residents love the low profile of the home and the easy navigation of a single-story dwelling.
With a median sale price at just over $1 million, it’s safe to say that any home in Belle Meade is likely to be striking. From modern mansions to vaulting Victorians, home styles in Belle Meade are taken to the extreme. None is more prominent, though, than the Colonial.
The distinctive look of a Colonial home is characterized by architectural features like white columns, shutters, dormers, and chimneys. Like many historic Nashville communities, Belle Meade has a distinct culture that draws from the antebellum southern aesthetic, and the timeless look of a Colonial home is this neighborhood’s crown jewel.
Sylvan Park is one of Nashville’s coziest communities. The area’s residential streets are named after almost every state in the country, and neighbors love the proximity to staples like the local grocer Produce Place or the Richland Park Farmers Market.
In keeping with this theme, the predominant home style in Sylvan Park is a cottage. Brick or stone exteriors frame out beautiful curved entryways in these homes that are the smaller cousin to large craftsman style residences in neighboring Belmont. The narrow side streets that comprise most of the neighborhood’s footprint are suited for these slightly smaller dwellings, and the picturesque look of these tree-lined streets give the cottages an almost movie set feel.
Perhaps one of the reasons Belmont ranks among the most popular neighborhoods for runners in Nashville is the view passersby get of area homes on Belmont Boulevard.
This historically protected neighborhood is instantly recognized by the gorgeous Craftsman homes that line its streets. Characterized by large front porches, picture windows, and tiered roof structures, these homes have massive curb appeal.
Many residents have preserved the historic facade and overlay by building additions onto the backs of their homes, so it is not uncommon for a seemingly modest home to offer more than meets the eye.
Nashville natives know that there are certain neighborhoods in the city that feel almost European with features like narrow, one way streets and classic, older homes that look as though they’re drawn from a storybook.
Richland is one such neighborhood with prominent Tudor Revival homes that stand out like a little England in the midst of this southern capital. This unique home style is easily recognized by the swooping front roof and the dark, wooden borders that frame the facade. To put it simply, residents love that there is no other neighborhood like theirs in the city.
The Gulch—Contemporary Condominiums
There is perhaps no better representative of Nashville’s recent history and future aspirations than The Gulch. A former vacant industrial site, this neighborhood has experienced a true renaissance in the last decade, and it now serves as a template for urban renewal in the city with a multitude of modern condos for sale.
Buildings like Twelve Twelve are looking to the future and setting an example for projects to come with their LEED-certified building practices. LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification recognizes structures that have been renovated or constructed with an emphasis on conservation and sustainability.
As Nashville rapidly expands, locals are increasingly concerned about the long-term effects of growth, and the impact this has on the environment is always at the forefront of the discussion.
For additional resources regarding traditional home styles in other Nashville neighborhoods, check out the Metro Historical Zoning Commission's district boundaries and design guidelines.