A Nashville Trip, a Table and Some Good Conversation

Nashville furniture

By Stacey Wiedower

It’s the other half here…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a traveler, it’s that the best experiences aren’t planned. Lance and I recently took a quick trip to Nashville, and during our one-night stay we met some awesome people and I fell in love … with a table.

If you’ve followed posts here for a while, you might already know I like to shop. I especially like to shop while I’m away from home for things that remind me of places we’ve been. So Lance planned some time into our quick trip for me to go shopping at quirky local shops and galleries (because he’s just awesome like that).

Nashville furniture

That’s how we came upon the Art & Invention Gallery on Woodland.

Nashville art

It’s a fun and funky gallery with work by Nashville-area artists in all sorts of media – everything from paint on canvas to pottery to cute stuff made from other stuff, like license plates and wood.

Nashville art


Nashville art

I was perusing a table covered in clay jewelry and tiny bowls and spoons when I overheard Lance talking to someone in a back room. I wandered back there, and that’s where I met Bret MacFadyen. Bret, who owns the gallery with his wife, Meg, uses a garage/warehouse space behind the gallery as a studio, and there he crafts furniture out of architectural salvage pieces and found objects. I wandered around and looked at his creations as I eavesdropped on Lance’s conversation.

My eyes and feet kept drifting back to one piece – a coffee table that I swear was sitting in that shop waiting for me to walk in and find it. Lance introduced me to Bret, who’s incredibly nice and very interesting, but I found it hard to concentrate because with that table and me, it was love at first sight.

Nashville furniture

Fast forward about 20 minutes, and I’ve measured the table, measured the trunk of our car (very aptly named a Honda “Fit”) and discussed with Bret the backstory of the piece. It’s made from old industrial shelving, reclaimed oak boards and oversized casters. Bret hand-distressed the wood boards and painted the metal shelf with a unique finish that looks like patina on copper. As soon as I determined it would fit in the Fit, I bought the table and made plans to return the next morning to pick it up, which we did.

Nashville art 10

Meanwhile, we all kept talking, and I can’t imagine visiting Nashville now without stopping into the Art & Invention Gallery to say hello to Bret and Meg – or visiting The Idea Hatchery, an adorable cluster of indie shops next door.

Nashville shopping

(Any woman reading this post should know that if you plan to visit Nashville, Goodbuy Girls is worth a visit. Its boots are like no others.)

Nashville shopping

Just a sampling of the boots found at Goodbuy Girls.

Now, when I plop down in our living room and prop my boots up on the coffee table, I remember a truly lovely weekend in Nashville. I say all this to say that amazing travel moments don’t just happen on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Tuscany or Tokyo or the Grand Canyon. I grew up in Nashville’s shadow, and it’s still full of surprises.

Also, the best experiences are always, always about people.

6 thoughts on “A Nashville Trip, a Table and Some Good Conversation

  1. ohmygosh- SO excited about this post! I can NOT wait to check out the Art and Invention Gallery! It looks like such a cool little store! That table is phenom. And I had no idea the Idea Hatchery existed in East Nash! I think I’ll head straight to Goodbuy Girls to check out their boots for fall! Amazingness!

  2. It really is a great shop. Stacey loves her boots from there. The Five Points area of East Nashville is really solid. Some good local businesses, restaurants and bars. We feel it’s very important to support hard-working local businesses like these.

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