Holly Williams: a Place of Her Own

UPDATED 09/09/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/09/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

For the past 10 years Holly Williams has practically lived on the road. "I've probably done 1,000 shows out of my mom's Suburban," says the singer-songwriter granddaughter of Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Jr. "When I get home, the first thing I do is crash."

So when it came to decorating her Nashville loft, Williams, 28 (who told her high school guidance counselor she would be an interior designer if her music career didn't work out), wanted to create a space that felt peaceful—especially in the bedroom. "It's my place of refuge," she says. "I like to chill out in there and read books and write."

Among her favorite pieces is a rustic vintage armoire. "I wonder, 'Whose clothes were in here?' " she says. The piece is one of many antiques she's picked up in her travels. "I love to think there are ghosts behind the furniture," she says. "Not scary ones but good ones."

Hopefully they're fans of Williams's soulful music—not to mention "eclectic" decorating style—because the singer and her band rehearse around the baby grand piano in her living room. "I love that whole area," she says. On the walls, she hung guitars from her dad (one is autographed by Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson) and posters of Elvis Costello and the Beatles. "Those people are a huge influence when I'm writing," says Williams, now on tour to promote her critically acclaimed second CD, Here with Me. Musicians Gillian Welch and Harper Simon have come over to join the jams, and Williams only has bigger aspirations for her loft: "If I become famous enough to have more famous friends over, that would be awesome."

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