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December 22, 2013

Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Ranch Charmer in Nashville, TN

By Eartha Kitsch

This week’s home is one of those houses that just kind of eats at my poor little ranch loving heart. Mister Kitsch and I spent a good part of the Summer looking for a quaint little ranch in a cheaper price range. We had a list of what we wanted: all original + knotty pine kitchen AND den+ sweet tile baths + awesome basement + friendly street. Towards the end of the Summer, we went to an estate sale and just fell in love with the little house that we saw. We even left our contact info in case the owner wanted to sell. We never heard back and sooner or later, our opportunity to sell our current house slipped us by. Then this week, a near carbon copy of that house came up for sale on the very same street, a little too late. Same yellow cracked ice counter tops and built-ins and awesome basement as the estate sale house that we loved, more than likely built by the same builder in the fifties.



This home is located at 811 Mitchell Road in Nashville, Tennessee. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and is a total of 2041 square feet. It was built in 1955 and is listed with Fridrich & Clark Realty. From the listing:


Owned by one family! New garage door & opener in 11/2013. Upstairs HVAC in 2006. Electric panel & water line to street-2006. Roof replaced 1998. Fabulous lot with mature trees! Alarm system. Built-ins in rec room. Basement bedroom has partial cedar closet.


Okay, let’s take a look inside while I cry silent tears, shall we?





Breakfast Nook


Living Room

Dining Room


Bathroom with Built-in Vanity




Basement / Recreation Room

Basement Bathroom


Exterior and Yard



Okay, so what did y’all think? Keep in mind that I am a knotty pine addict so all of that knotty pine? DREAM. Did you notice how all of the pine had been retained and not a single door or molding had been painted over? Completely rare around here. This home is 100% original fixtures and decor. I could rip that carpet up, remove that dishwasher and live happily ever after.

I hope that someone gets this home that will love it like the Mister and I would. I hope that they walk in and say, “This is the one!” and preserve it for at least another fifty eight years. This is the kind of house that comes to mind when I see what a gut-happy and tear-down society we are. Houses like these have served families for may decades and have been loved and maintained and just keep going and serving and working. Families have loved them and maintained them and it shows, just like in this little ranch.

All over Nashville  a lot of great little cottages and ranches have been completely torn down to put up newer and cheaply made infill homes that never seem to match their quaint historic surroundings. They sit there, jutting against the sky and jarring the flow of perfectly wonderful old streets. Why do we tear down and gut and renovate solid houses that will be happy to provide for us like they have the families before us? This was a one-owner home and now it sits waiting for the the second owner – and the verdict: Will it be bought and treasured? I hope that it will.

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12 Responses to Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Ranch Charmer in Nashville, TN

  1. Sara In AZ Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Whoa……what!?! This house is amazeballs!!! I would not change ONE SINGLE THING…..all that KP *swoon*…..all that original vintage goodness AND a basement too AND for such a great price……yeah, I’d be the second in line (right after you 🙂 ) to buy this house!

  2. dkzody Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    It was good to read that they had redone plumbing and electrical during the ownership. That is often the problem with these older homes, not enough maintenance and when it comes time to sell, then all that has to be done and people would rather tear it down than be bothered with the cost of doing all the work and still having an old home.

    On that note, we went to a party last night in a vintage apartment (1930s) that has been maintained very well. Still has the ironing board in the kitchen wall. Electrical has been updated and new heating/cooling unit installed but everything else is original. Oh, except they have those horrible mini blinds on the front windows.

  3. Beth Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Yes, pull up the carpet (I don’t care for the curtainss, either),put in a Big Chill fridge and you’re done!

  4. Shawn Norton Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Oh Mah Gawd!!
    Somebody go get it quick-developers are already grabbing up ranches on Eastland/Rosebank area to build those plastic side-by-side units.
    If this one falls prey, I’ll just die!!

    • Eartha Kitsch Reply

      December 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Shawn, I KNOW! That’s what my worry is. Praying. Praying. Praying.

  5. tammyCA Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    That basement is amazing…look at those big windows for natural light & a fireplace! It is a charm & with just some freshening up it will shine even better. Bet there are beautifully preserved wood floors underneath.
    Everybody should watch the DIY channel t.v. show, “Rehab Addict” with Nicole. She is NOT like all those crazed house flippers on the other shows..she Restores & Preserves as much as she can in some of the most neglected “city will tear down” houses on the planet..she is not intimidated in the least & actually works miracles with scrubbing/sanding/cleaning. I think people now are too lazy to clean anything and so just gut it!! I’ve learned a lot from this show…like you can use a crockpot to strip off paint from old hardware! (But, don’t use the pot for cooking!) 🙂

  6. celia Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Oh I love this house, except that cabinet in the bathroom. We had that in our house and it was…not ok. They actually took AWAY the bathroom door and threw it out and put in a plastic accordian door because that sink was too large. It took us three years to find a door that matched our house. We had no bathroom door FOR THREE YEARS.

  7. celia Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    My husband just pointed out we had the same medicine cabinet. So weird. The cabinet was actually nice, we kept it in a different part of the house.

  8. Laura Reply

    December 23, 2013 at 12:57 am

    This one is pretty darn special. I found myself wishing I could get a closer look at that bathroom floor. Such beautiful green tile!

  9. Becky Reply

    December 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Eartha, I don’t know if your heart and needs are set in East Nashville – but if they aren’t, be sure and always keep looking in the little ranch-y neighborhoods around the edges of Donelson. I grew up in what was then 2131 Apartments, on Elm Hill Pike at Briley Parkway. There is a subdivision of cute ranches directly across the street. I know for a fact that some of the folks I came up through school with have parents still living there, since the early 70’s. I just checked and there is one for sale on Jade Dr. that has a beautiful knotty pine kitchen, but unfortunately the bathrooms have been ruined. I’m betting there are some untouched gems in there though, that come available every once in awhile.

    • Eartha Kitsch Reply

      December 25, 2013 at 2:19 am

      Thanks Becky! We definitely are. We love Donelson. We spent a lot of time looking there this Summer but never found just the right thing. Prices are definitely much more palatable over there too. 🙂

  10. Jen Reply

    December 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    What a darling house! All that knotty pine…! And that curved kitchen counter gets me every single time.

    Sometimes I chuckle when people tell me how everything was so conformist in the 40s and 50s and how much freer and more individual we are now—but everybody has the same travertine, the same bland “neutral” walls that make me want to buy armfuls of little bottles of acrylic paint just to get a colour hit, the same neutral everything. Just in our last neighborhood, the variety of everyone’s (tiled, of course) bathrooms—colour, the tiles used, the layouts, the trim tile—was really a dream (of course, we had that sort of neighborhood, where you visited them and they visited you and y’all knew each other’s business but it was nice). Homes like this are so livable and so well-built, but people still want particleboard, tan, dull modern homes because that’s what the magazines and TV shows cultivate. What a shame. And the next person who tells me the 40s and 50s were “so conformist!”…

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