ARTWORK by Ashley Sheehan of Old Made Good.
LIVING LOUD “I got my white naugahyde couch off of Craigslist a few years ago,” says singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves of her dog Pearl’s favorite place to perch in the living room. “It was made in 1961. And my record player is from an antique market in Nashville. I love vinyl, and some of my favorites in my collection include Charlie Pride, Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, and Glen Campbell’s Gentle on my Mind.”
text & styling by ANDREA FANNING
photography by KELLY CHRISTINE SUTTON
The Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter takes us on a tour of her Nashville abode.
When it comes to style, country music’s Kacey Musgraves has it in spades—and sparkles. The majority of her stage costumes are covered in glitzy crystals, and somehow she manages to appear simultaneously classic and cutting edge. Indeed, Musgraves approaches her look with the same attention to detail she gives to her songs. She says, “There’s respect for those who have gone before me, but I also like to make it my own.”
Known for her unique brand of sass, wit, and charm, the Texas native first took the stage at age eight, and soon thereafter she began writing her own songs and learning to play multiple instruments. The spotlight has since followed her across the globe, most recently with a sold-out European tour showcasing her new album “Pageant Material,” which was nominated this year for a Grammy in Best Country Album. And with a pair of Grammy’s already under her rhinestone belt, the petite brunette continues to shine as one of the genre’s rising stars. Like country royalty before her, Musgraves has made her home in Tennessee’s Music City, and in between tours, recording, and special appearances, she retreats to a 1920s bungalow.
FIRED UP The fireplace is original to the house and above it hangs a Black Keys show poster with a gun motif, a Christmas gift to Kacey from her father a few years ago. She says, “I like a tinge of western-ness in everything around me.” Other nods to her Texas upbringing include a horseshoe over the front door and a cobra skin she received from Lucchese while visiting their factory to work on her signature line of boots.
GOING VINYL Kacey’s music room corrals instruments, awards, and paperwork along with mementos and inspiration. She says, “My grandpa gave me a lot of these records framed. He has one of the best vinyl collections of anyone I’ve ever seen. I can remember going and browsing his vinyl room after school and picking out albums I was curious about.” In the peachy-hued hallway, a favorite poster is flanked by horse show ribbons. “This poster is one I’m really proud of,” notes Musgraves, “it marks playing a show with Loretta Lynn for the first time and her signing it afterwards for me.” Nearby, are prints from shows she’s been part of as well as one from when she was first signed by “a really cool boutique label, Lost Highway.”
FAMILY HEIRLOOMS “I love surrounding myself with memories,” says Musgraves, who comes from a long line of creatives. The music room contains prints from her sister, who is a photographer, a quilt made by her great-great aunt, and various works of art by her mother. “It’s been cool growing up with a very artistic mom,” says the singer/songwriter. “She taught me how to shape and put my own stamp on things. She has a wonderful line of paintings and pillows. My favorite is her colorful Willie Nelson-inspired one.”
To see more of her mother’s work, visit karenmusgraves.com.
PICTURE THIS Musgraves rarely leaves home without her Fujifilm Instax. She says, “It’s neat to have tangible photos to lay out and look at. These photos span a lot of different events—my record photo shoot, my trip to St. Barths, shooting a video with Willie [Nelson], riding horses, going out with friends, and other random moments.”
BUFFET STYLE In the dining room, a vintage record cabinet from the thrift store serves as a buffet, and above it hangs a gift from her bass player, Adam Keafer, who also owns KarmaDeefa. “He specializes in making custom art out of reclaimed barn wood,” explains Musgraves. “It’s gorgeous!” Of course, the girl who bedazzled her Nikes wanted to add her own touch, so she draped it with the an accessory from the photo shoot for her latest album, Pageant Material. Made by Enrique Urbina, who custom makes all of the star’s stage wear, the sash nods toward Musgraves’ affinity for fun, glamour, and all things kitschy.
“My style is a mix of old and new, a big hodge-podge of things” says the Nashville resident, who is as comfortable in a T-shirt and jeans as she is in high-heel boots and hot shorts. “I love luxury pieces, and I also really love a great bargain—especially if it’s been worn before and looks like it has a story to tell. I can be very retro or cowgirl at times, but then I can also dress very modern girly or athletic.” Her style sensibilities translate into interesting takes on home decor. She says, “I have a lot of vintage pieces and am super inspired by mid-century modern vibes and flea market finds. I also have a lot of my mother’s homemade art in the house.”
Here with three-legged rescue pup, Pearl, and tiny new poochy pal Bambi, Musgraves is slowly making the old bungalow into a place where she can hang her (glittered) hat. “I’ve had the house for about a year, but I’ve also been on the road a lot,” she explains. The halls and walls—painted in pastels by the previous owner that Kacey decided was “just quirky enough to keep”—are filled with roadside finds, concert posters, awards, and Polaroids that double as both decoration and documentation of her adventures. Each room tells a bit more of her story, but it’s the writing room, tucked away in the back of the house, where she puts pen to paper.
TABLE TALK “This dining set was purchased by my grandmother in 1960,” says Musgraves. “It has four swivel chairs on silver pedestal bases and a round glass table. I like that it’s mod in comparison to a lot of the other stuff I have. I grabbed the piñata from a local Mexican grocery store, and the sparkly runner was used at my backyard Birthday Tea Party this past summer!”
LOCAL COLOR Kacey’s writing room has a decidedly simple color scheme with a few pops of bold color. She says, “The serape print pillow was given to me by my friend and co-producer, Shane McAnally. He picked it up at a store in Nashville, Castelleja, which is owned by our songwriter friend, Liz Rose.” She smiles thoughtfully and adds, “I’ve been really inspired by Mexican culture from listening to traditional Mariachi music and taking trips there. It’s a beautiful culture. I’m actually trying to learn Spanish! And in general, my music and aesthictic has been really driven by my love of the desert. I love the feeling the landscape and its harsh beauty give me.”
“It’s airy and open and feels fresh every time I enter,” says Musgraves. “The entire room is painted white, and the floor to ceiling windows allow for excellent natural light and a great view of the backyard.” Her sister, Kelly, made the Texas pillow—“I love anything that reminds me of home,” Kacey says—and a wood burning stove ups the cozy quotient. Select pieces from Anthropologie and West Elm resided side by side with statement pieces from Goodwill and local boutiques. And the oversize ottoman helps fill out the large room, but can also double as seating when there’s a crowd. “I like that the upholstery looks like cowhide,” notes the country music star. “I also love pretty little things: stacks of books, candles, tiny plants, crystals—things that make me smile. All of that paired with a comfy place to plop down—yeah, it’s my favorite room in the house.”
With her 1957 Gibson J-45 guitar in hand, she sits on the couch and picks some strings. A journal and pen are close at hand. She hums a bit—perhaps it will turn into another Billboard Number One. The sounds echo throughout the room, and Bambi jumps up beside her. She looks down at the six-string and says, “It’s my best friend. It feels like honey in your hands. It was my first vintage instrument purchase and it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought. I’ve written a lot of songs on this thing!” Here’s hoping she writes many more.
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE “I will be the first to admit that I am a plant murderer,” says Musgraves who keeps (or rather tries to keep) plants of all shapes and sizes throughout the house. “Why is it so dang hard to keep them alive?! I guess I do travel a lot and that may be a factor. But I LOVE plants and have an obsession with how they make a space feel . . . I guess I’m kind of a plant lady.” Her success rate for succulents is high, so she continues to increase her collection.
ON A STRING “I found this antique bench for $25 at a vintage consignment store in Nashville and loved how Western it looked!” exclaims Musgraves. “And behind me is one of the coolest Christmas presents anyone has ever given me: It’s a steampunk-style guitar my mom made from found junk and objects.” A closer look reveals tiny parts and pieces from all kinds of everyday things. She adds, “She must have spent so much time on it, and I love it.”
SUITE DREAMS “My bedroom color scheme is very relaxing and girly—grays, lavenders, and whites,” Musgraves says. “A little shabby chic and a little western. I got this really cool butterfly wing piece at one of my favorite stores in the world:Dolly Python in Dallas. It’s one of the coolest vintage/home decor/clothing/oddity shops I’ve ever been in. Lots of great finds!”
PILLOW TALK “Bambi is my new little road companion!” exclaims Musgraves in regards to one of her two puppy pals. “And her favorite place is where she shouldn’t be—on my pillows.”
PRETTY FABULOUS “Here are a couple of the boot styles from my Lucchese line propped up next to my bedazzled banjo,” notes the singer. “Some things just look too pretty to put away! On the door is a floral, fringe kimono my sister embroidered and gave me for being her maid of honor, and the fabulous western-tooled Chanel handbag Katy Perry gifted me at my 26th birthday party. I had never had a Chanel bag before, much less one that looks so much like something a cowgirl would carry!”
Kacey Musgraves is currently on tour with her glamour-packed Country & Western Rhinestone Revue. For dates and more info, visit kaceymusgraves.com.