Take a Tour of Nashville’s Hippest New B&B

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Take a Tour of Nashville’s Hippest New B&B
We asked New York City hotelier Lyon Porter to give us a behind-the-scenes tour of his latest property, Urban Cowboy Nashville, featured in our May/June 2016 issue. Every detail of this high-design haven, located in a 19th-century manse in historic East Nashville, has a story: from the custom wallpaper and the intricate inlaid wood walls to a common room dedicated to the city's thriving music scene.

Photos by Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
By Jenn Flowers, AFAR Staff
Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Mansion
    “This 1890's Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion was originally built by a doctor. There are 12 and 14-foot ceilings, 400-pound American chestnut pocket doors, five original tile fireplaces, a turret, and amazing nooks and crannies and dormers. My partner, Jersey, and I found the mansion in the first few hours that we were in Nashville. We drove by it, knocked on the door, met the owner, came to a price, and right after that, we sat at a bar across the street saying, ‘well, we found the next Cowboy. Now we have to see if we like Nashville!’ And we did: we fell in love.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Music Parlor
    “I had an idea to create a collaborative space that would engage the creative community of Nashville in an authentic way. I didn't want to create a recording studio (Woodland studios is walking distance), but rather a shared open space for people to just play. We have an upright piano that I deconstructed so you can see the nuts and bolts moving while it's being played, and we also have a trombone, two dobros, a drum set, two violins, a few basses, and acoustic and electric guitars. The wallpaper in this room, created by Clint van Gemert, is inspired by the Victorian era, with an Old New York twist. The gramophone chandelier is custom made.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Pouf Parlor
    “This common space was one of the most challenging rooms I have ever designed. The windows start at 18 inches off the ground, and there are two huge pocket doors. I wanted it to feel elegant and inviting, and I wanted it to seat a lot of people, but large couches were not an option. The solution: leather chairs and tufted poufs! I chose Printsburgh wallpaper that is calming.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Swing Room
    “The ‘Swing Room’ really is sexy. Patrick Hayes (1767) and I co-designed that copper headboard explosion, and it mimicked an outline that Clint had papered earlier in the process. That was truly a collaborative moment for all of us: three artists, playing with patterns, designs, wood, copper, paper, Art Deco-style chandeliers. The tub, not pictured here, is copper with a nickel slipper, and it’s in the middle of the bedroom.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Lion's Den
    “This is one of the purest forms of what I call ‘Southwestern Deco’ in the entire house. The room is an open loft with three beds, tucked into the three dormers of the open suite. Hiding behind the brick chimneystack is a two-person claw-foot tub. But the showstopper is the 14-foot copper, wood and wallpaper headboard above the king bed you see right when you walk in.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Victorian
    “This was the last room I did, and it’s all about the wallpaper. It turned out to have a super calming feel because of the wallpaper Clint came up with—he nailed it. I snuck in the amazing tub tile in the corner at an angle to spice it up.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Midnight Rider
    “I really didn't want to use reclaimed barn wood and Edison light bulbs on this project ,as I wanted to truly step away from the design I did in Brooklyn (and it’s just everywhere nowadays). However, this room begged for wood, so I covered it in barn wood, and Jersey and I actually charred every surface with a flamethrower, including the floors. The tub fits four comfortably—I found it outside rusting in the Olde Good Things salvage yard for $400, and restored it for another $2,000. It was so cool to learn that it was made when hot running water hadn't been invented yet—it's more than 100 years old!”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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    The Watchtower
    “When I acquired the house, the octagonal corner turret had five-foot dropped ceilings, and I couldn't stand up in it. The day after I closed on the house, I drank a bunch of whiskey, grabbed an axe, and personally broke down the dropped ceiling. When the dust settled, I had uncovered a 14-foot cylindrical witch’s hat. It is one of the most amazingly cozy spaces I have ever slept in. My buddy Joe Copeland copper leafed the entire thing so it glows when the light hits it. It’s not just a bedroom; it's an experience.”
    Ben Fitchett/Urban Cowboy
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