Entrepreneur turns home into bed and breakfast
By Nancy Deville - The Tennessean July 26, 2004
Historic Edgefield – Local residents and visitors will soon have another lodging option with the opening of a bed and breakfast inn in east Nashville.
The Big Bungalow, at 618 Fatherland St., is planning to open its doors in September.
While the idea of owning and operating a bed and breakfast was foreign to innkeeper Ellen Warshaw, she has eagerly accepted the challenge.
“I had never stayed in a bed and breakfast before, but I woke up one morning and said, ‘I’m going to open a bed and breakfast,’” she said. “I called my mom and she told me that was the ‘best idea you’ve ever had.’”
After researching the process, Warshaw found the perfect location in a 1925 bungalow in Historic Edgefield.
The 3,170-square-foot Craftsman-style cottage offers a cozy living room and formal dining room on the lower level, with three rooms all with private bath upstairs. Each room has a television, and a computer, refrigerator and microwave is available for shared use by guests.
There will be a screened porch in the rear of the house, and a gourmet breakfast will be served each morning. The location is minutes from the Coliseum and downtown Nashville.
While east Nashville is home to other bed and breakfast inns, Warshaw says competition is not a concern because each inn has its own personality and offers something different.
“Bed and breakfasts are not competitive like hotels are,” she said. “What we create is a community of bed and breakfast culture that will draw people to the neighborhood.”
”Since this area is growing, the bed and breakfasts industry will be a light to the community.”
Warshaw, who enjoys cooking and entertaining others, thinks she has found her niche as an innkeeper.
“My bed and breakfast will be warm, inviting and become a reflection of the neighborhood,” she said. “I love to host events, cook for other people and like to see their reaction to the food I cook.”
Belinda Leslie, owner of Top O’Woodland Historic Bed and Breakfast in east Nashville, is welcoming Warshaw to the business.
“It’s a lot more camaraderie than many may think,” Leslie said. “I believe the more that we have in east Nashville, we can become a place known for bed and breakfast. I’m definitely into promoting the whole area, which helps everybody.”
Warshaw thinks the inn’s location will be ideal for football fans visiting for Titans games, locals needing a quiet weekend getaway or people who need extra space for out-of-town guests.
“A bed and breakfast is an inviting atmosphere where guests should feel like they are taking a piece of home with them,” she said. “It’s also an opportunity to meet people in a very unique way.”
“You have to like being in your house to run a bed and breakfast, and I’m a homebody.”