The Williams Family



Annie and Ben Williams live with their 3-year-old son and his dog Dood in the Bordeaux/North Nashville home they built themselves. 


Annie, a woman and mama of many talents, is a songwriter for Chop Shops and Songs Publishing out of LA where she is a songwriter for TV and Films. You may also be familiar with her beautiful handiwork for she is also the designer and leather seamstress for leather goods available at And why stop there?! Annie also recently acted in a short film that has won awards at TIFF, Nashville, and LA Film Fest. It is in the running to be nominated for an Oscar, and we all have our fingers crossed!


Ben is a carpenter by trade and is known for his fine carpentry, finish work, timber framing, and residential restoration woodwork. An Architectural Engineer by title, Ben interned with Earth Ships in Taos, NM where he built sustainable, comfortable, off-the-grid homes, which ultimately led to the home he and Annie have built together.


Together the couple designed and built their timber frame structured house with their own two hands and a team of friends. Their house is not only a work of art but is extremely environmentally friendly! The house is made of trees from Nashville arborists with straw bale insulation and clay plaster walls that they dug up from their own land. It works as a passive solar and even catches its own water off the roof! Basically, it is a true fortress so if the power grid fails it will still be comfortable and working...and beautiful! 


Van, their incredibly adorable 3-year-old son's favorite color is red and his favorite thing to do is ride the family dirt bike with his dad, play legos, and love/play with his dog, Dood.  All he wants for Christmas is a construction site toy set.


1. What does "family time" look like in your household? What do you like to do together?


Skateboarding, Legos, Dirt Biking, Adventure Science Center, climbing trips to the Obed Canyon.


2. When you need to occupy your kid, what do you offer them as a distraction (read: bribe)?


Legos, Any kind of dump truck + excavator toy scenario, a tv show, Melissa and Doug painting on-the-go books.



3. What's something that no one told you about having kids that you wish you'd known before becoming a parent?


That finding patience while being sleep deprived is the hardest but most important skill.



4. What piece of clothing in your kid’s closet do you wish came in your size?


His 1980’s Mickey Mouse print cotton short sleeved button up.


5. Has becoming a parent made you more fun or less fun? Would your friends agree?


More fun, but the fun just has to happen before 10pm most of the time. I think my friends would agree.


6. How much sleep did you get last night?


6 1/2 hrs




7. What are your favorite family-friendly Nashville hangouts?


Planetarium at the adventure science center, Dinos on the back patio on Sunday afternoon. Ha, I don’t think we really ‘hang’ anywhere else a ton, Van and Ben usually ride dirt bikes and skate at the Two Rivers skate park on the weekends while I catch up on work. Our regular restaurants are Dino’s, Taqueria on Gallatin by the train bridge,  Burger Up East and Koi East Nashville.


8. Which Nashville restaurant has the best kids' menu? What’s your kid’s favorite thing on it?


The Taqueria on Gallatin Rd. Right by the train bridge. Van eats a whole bowl of the guacamole and a cheese quesadilla.



9. Favorite local playground? What makes it so awesome?


Favorite local playground is the old Cornelia Fort Airport at Shelby Park. Van would skateboard for 3 hours if I let him, and I can run/ride my bike or roller skate next to him so easily.


10. Your vote for the most kid-friendly neighborhood is: 


Most kid-friendly neighborhood is definitely Belmont. You can safely walk or run at night if you need to, and the Halloween trick or treating is amazing. We love living in the country, but when I’m in the Belmont area, it feels great to be around families playing outside/walking around.


Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever signed up for, but I’ve never felt this level of love for anything in my whole life. Its been such a tough road of learning. I tried to multi task with high expectations of productivity when I first had Van, but when I lowered my expectations of my work output and made Van the highest priority, things became more relaxed around the house. I feel so grateful to get to experience motherhood. Van takes away all my cynicism and lets me see the world is such a exciting way. It makes me realize we’re all just grown up babies who need lots of patience and hugs. - Annie





Genie Lockwood