The most coveted places to live in Williamson County might be the sprawling farms and estates that offer endless space to wander. But, for those who want a walkable ‘city’ lifestyle, the Brownstones of Downtown Franklin can’t be beat. This charming cluster of curated residential homes reflect the historic elements of the adjacent district but with every modern convenience. In fact, this is where Kathy Lee Gifford has chosen to feather her new nest, likely for the security as well as the irresistible Southern vibe.
The limited number of Brownstones are nestled around central courtyards with an abundance of flowers and foliage as well as brick pavers and fountains. It is the common areas that inspired the close-knit community gatherings on select Fridays each month for their interpretation of an end of the week happy hour. Tables are spread with libations and each neighbor brings an appetizer, with some being quite elaborate as the tradition builds. Behind the gates, residents visit, relax and enjoy each other’s company and share recipes as they prep for the weekend.
We got a bit of a sneak peek prior to one of the Friday parties thanks to sisters (and best friends), Bethini Hemphill and Susan Deaton, who are lucky enough to live practically door-to -door inside the development. Bethini’s husband, Trent, is President and CEO of the company known best for peace in transit by the music industry’s most celebrated artists. Hemphill Brothers builds custom tour buses for the country’s most famous stadium performers and has a client list too long to count. While he’s designing and delivering luxury tour vehicles, she’s perfecting the interiors of their gorgeous home (she’s the designer!). The talent is just as evident at the Deaton house, where Robert produces the CMA Awards and associated national television programing as well as the Billboard Music Awards and other projects while Susan keeps things running in Nashville via Franklin with an endless schedule of events and entertaining.
Related: The Ultimate Itinerary for a Weekend in Franklin
While the lives of both couples seem exciting to outsiders, it is the sophisticated simplicity that truly defines their lifestyles. Walking to all of the quaint shops and restaurants in Franklin is a daily ritual along with their devotion to fitness classes and jaunts to second homes along the Gulf Coast whenever they get a chance.
But on special Fridays, they are likely mingling with their equally intriguing Franklin neighbors engaging in a tradition that brings back memories of true backyard socials. Starting at the Hemphill’s beautiful home is never a bad idea, as a few pre-party snacks are always on hand for those who want to kick off the celebration in style. There really isn’t a better place to relax and laugh with the most welcoming couples in downtown Franklin. Keep following for a full feature on this multi-level decorator’s dream home coming soon!