The restaurant and bar boom in Nashville has been a welcome bounty for food and cocktail lovers. But even if you’re more the type to down a bottle of Soylent and call it a day, Nashville’s newer dining and drinking haunts have had something inspiring to offer. Namely: absolutely stunning, trend-forward decor.
This isn’t unusual — interior designers who work in the high-end hospitality sector tend to be creative risk takers who help set the tone and the trends for interior design on the whole. So as the Nashville restaurant scene blossomed, of course interior design lovers here were going to get a lot of fun inspiration to chew on and savor, too.
If you ask locals’ opinions on the best restaurants in Nashville to get home-design inspiration, the answers will surely be broad and many — so many gorgeous spots have opened in Nashville over the past few years, it’s hard to narrow down a list. So these are just a few of our new favorites, whose style stopped us in our tracks the most over the course of 2018. Your mileage may vary, and we’d love to hear about your picks, too.
6 of the best newer restaurants and bars in Nashville to get home design inspiration
Nearly brand new in Sylvan Park, and an immediate wow, with so many design tricks to bring home with you: adding a pop of bright color to your trim to play off neutral walls, making exposed rafters a focal point, or threading an accent color throughout the design, from furniture legs to lighting to fabric to floor details. The new Nashville restaurant is a perfect mix of class and comfort, and a must-see, if you’re a food fanatic with an affection for design. Learn more about Hathorne.
Jackalope Brewing’s The Ranch, in Wedgewood-Houston, is far from a standard beer-slinging spot. With bright colors, custom wallpaper and cool cacti, wrangled by East Nashville’s Powell Architecture + Building Studio, it made us fall in love at first pour. Learn more about Jackalope Brewing’s The Ranch.
More of a lounge than a restaurant, new East Nashville spot Pearl Diver’s islands-inspired food is well worth sampling, even if you’re not big into tiki-bar drinks. And whether you eat/drink there or not, the decor is something you need to behold if design is your thing — it’s cohesive but eclectic, lighthearted but not kitschy, retro but not formulaic, and so, so fun. If you love color and midcentury lines, and want to go bold while still feeling elegant, Pearl Diver’s a perfect place to pick up some tricks. Learn more about Pearl Diver.
One thing in particular that really resonates with us in home design is prominent at Geist in Germantown: a smart blend between old and new. Inside the historic, onetime blacksmith shop, you see a seamless meshing of original details with new furnishings and finishes — sparkling crystal chandeliers hung from old beams, detailed wood inlays woven into weathered brick, delicate wallpaper patterns rising up from rough-hewn wood flooring, and so many other smart touches to obsess over. Their champagne garden is one of the prettiest outdoor hangs in town, too. Learn more about Geist.
We really liked the dimly lit, New Orleans-y vibe at Holland House, but when that East Nashville space reopened as modern Middle Eastern restaurant Lyra in 2018, we saw just how much untapped potential was hiding inside those walls. The redesign made things feel bright and open but still homey, welcoming but still elegant, super stylish but not precious. The food is just as much of a revelation. Learn more about Lyra.
The Green Pheasant
Speaking of dimly lit and romantic: Have you been to new downtown Nashville restaurant The Green Pheasant yet? The folks behind East Nashville izakaya Two Ten Jack crated this Japanese-inspired spot, and the design is as enticing as the menu. On the former front: jewel tones, velvet, warm wood and metals, dark and dramatic wallpaper. If the light/bright trend doesn’t do it for you, and you prefer soft and cozy, head over and take notes. More about The Green Pheasant.
Do you have some other restaurant and bar picks with style that made you stop and stare? Please share! (Either here in the comments, or on the ACRE Facebook page.)