Tour Peter Frampton’s Peaceful and Accessible Tennessee Home

Not long after Peter Frampton settled in downtown Nashville in 2011, his adopted neighborhood slowly yet surely morphed into the bachelorette-party capital of America. The legendary rock musician, who just marked his 60th year of touring, is no stranger to celebratory atmospheres. (His latest Never Ever Say Never tour kicked off on March 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina.) But when Frampton kept close to home during the pandemic, “the huge double-decker buses…just got so noisy from Thursday through Sunday.”

Frampton readied to relocate to a more peaceful condo nearby, until a new companion convinced him otherwise. That would be Bigsby, the service dog who for the last several years has supported Frampton as he adapts to life with inclusion body myositis (IBM). “I had decided to move, but in the interim I got Bigsby and I realized that living in an apartment wasn’t going to be the best thing,” he recalls. Extra confirmation of that hunch came with a visit to the home of friend and interior designer Robin Rains in a bucolic part of Nashville: “Robin has land and Bigsby was just beside himself. I saw him running free and thought, Oh my god, I’ve got to move. I needed a backyard, I wanted my privacy.” Rains had done work for Frampton previously, and without hesitation he commissioned her eponymous design studio to collaborate on this prospective project. “Peter very much has his card deck of people he works with, and he goes back to them,” Rains says of the trust she and Frampton have in one another.

Navigating a competitive marketplace, Frampton ultimately found a newly constructed house not far from Rains. The residence suited Bigsby, and it was big enough to accommodate visits from Frampton’s human family, which in December expanded to include a second grandchild. It just required tailoring to his specific needs and point of view. “Any time you work with a spec house, you’re really trying to make the space unique and memorable,” Rains says of the assignment, on which she was assisted by her in-house designer Jenna Miller.

Rains peeled back the interior architecture before making a mark. “We eliminated things we deemed unnecessary to get to a cleaner aesthetic,” she says of the removal of existing trim and lighting. Wood planks and Venetian plaster were then applied to ceilings and walls, and the entry as well as multiple closet doors were replaced, to crystallize the property’s European farmhouse identity.

Simultaneously, Rains removed larger chunks of the house to accommodate Frampton’s IBM. He specifically feels symptoms most around the knees, as his guitar-licking digits have resisted the autoimmune disease. “Stairs are my worst enemy,” says the musician, “[so] obviously we put in an elevator.” Exercise is one of the few clinically proven ways of slowing and reducing disease activity, and the retrofitted lift takes Frampton to an upstairs gym where he works out six days each week; “Bigsby snoozes while I exercise,” he says. The remaining second-floor rooms encompass a two-bedroom apartment with an office, reserved for guests, which is largely decorated in the previous condo’s furnishings.

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