Behind Closed Doors is an ongoing series featuring homes in and around Middle Tennessee. Today, we feature the historic home of Jan and Andy Marshall in downtown Franklin. The Marshalls, who own several restaurants including Puckett’s and Homestead Manor, moved from Leiper’s Fork to a bustling, small town home near the town square two years ago. Jan Marshall shares history on the place she and her family now call home.
Jan, your home is one of my favorites in downtown Franklin! When was it built?
It was built in 1880. So it has been around for a while!
Any history behind the house that might interest readers?
This house was originally a clapboard Victorian with double turrets. An attic fire in the very early 1900s forced Judge Faw, who lived there for many years, to do a complete redesign, giving it the Tudor look with brick. The form of the house is the very same as before, but without the two turrets.
I’ve always believed Southerners are genetically wired to love sitting on a porch. Are you front porch people or back porch people?
We are anywhere outside on the porch people! We love being outdoors.
You lived in Leiper’s Fork for years. Now you have this beautiful home in the heart of downtown Franklin. What are the advantages to living in town? What do you miss about “the country”?
Of course the convenience is amazing. However, it’s really nice to be part of a community. My neighbors all around are very warm and open. I really enjoy that. I’ve come to enjoy the rhythm of the town’s daily flow on West Main. I can almost tell my clock by the traffic flow on the street and sidewalks. I like the energy of being there.
Leiper’s Fork will always hold a special place in my heart. We were way out in the “sticks,” and I loved it too. Sometimes I miss the frogs, bluebirds, seeing the big “woody woodpecker” (very rare, and I’m a bird lover). On occasion, I miss the pure sound of silence I had there.
So many folks would love to live in an old home. What do homebuyers need to be aware of when thinking about living in a historic house?
You have to appreciate what “character and patina” really means when it comes to historic old homes. For example: there will be nooks and turns instead of an open plan; Your lovely wavy paned windows are going to be drafty; and so on…If you have an obsession for order and huge, walk-in closets, this may not be the style for you. I personally am in love with the quirks of this old home. It’s like living in history.
You decorate for fall, Christmas and spring with all of your amazing window boxes and outdoor architectural elements. What is your favorite holiday to decorate for?
My favorite holiday is Christmas. I adore it. That said, with the color of the house, and the tree-lined street in general, I really love to decorate for fall at our home.
Even if you don’t have a grand front porch and outdoor living space, what are some ways other homeowners might add fall flair to their home?
I gravitate to the natural and understated for home. Fall is the easiest for that style. Pumpkins, gourds, corn and such are so easy. I used to thumb through magazines often, and still do a bit. Pinterest is my inspiration board now. It’s great seeing variations of style from real people.
What is your favorite way to use your outdoor space?
I love to entertain. Big groups, little groups, kids, dogs, I just love it. 🙂 I’m a very casual person, so I want my guests to always feel at ease.
Describe your decorating style.
I really don’t have one style. We have always had the “lived in” look, because that’s who we are. If I were to pick some style categories, I’d choose comfort first, classic next, then accessorize with personal touches. Nearly everything I have has a personal or family story attached to it.
Thank you Jan, for letting us roam around your beautiful home!