As the proprietors of Bear-Hill Interiors, brother-and-sister design team Kevin and Susan Walsh enjoy what they do. However, it took a move by their mother, Anita Creviston, to push them to design extremes. Susan recalls, “On the same day that the contractors were finishing up, carpet was being installed, drapes were being hung. Kevin was in Hot Springs packing up all of our mom’s things. It was a whirlwind, just like the TV show, ‘Extreme Makeover’.” In four short weeks, the siblings had completely remodeled and updated their mother’s one-bedroom condo. At the same time, they also managed to pack her belongings and relocate her from Hot Springs to Little Rock.
Naturally, it was a labor of love. The brother-and-sister design duo wanted Anita closer and the condo provides exactly the space she needs. While the entire unit was remodeled, the dining area, living room, and bedroom showcase the highlights of this before-and-after project.
“Mother wanted to use things that she already owned and she wanted some color, so that inspired us,” explains Susan. Shades of green provide vibrancy to the soothing palette. For the dining room, Anita already owned two Hickory Chair dining chairs. Two more were ordered to round out the set and all were recovered in soft blue with a contrasting ivory cord. The plates hung on the wall were part of their mother’s pottery collection. The chandelier, an old gas lamp, was converted to electric and painted a warm neutral. In addition to providing design services, Bear-Hill Interiors also has a great retail selection. The Walshes used finds from their shop to complete the design, including the dining table, which they repainted to match the room’s decor. Aquamarine Schumacher wallpaper and mushroom gray carpet provide the perfect canvas to let the individual pieces shine.
In the living room, a compact Lee Industries sofa was paired with chairs Anita already owned. The rattan coffee table opens up to provide storage. Robin’s egg blue pottery was converted into matching lamps for the end tables. Lauren Lachance botanical prints display against the back wall, and Anita’s glass and crystal accessories twinkle on the bookshelf. Ikat-fabric pillows add another pop of blue to the sofa.
A brighter shade of blue shines against the upholstered headboard and luxurious bed linens used in the bedroom. The solid faux bois silk pillows by Oly Studio pair nicely with the intricately patterned oblong cushion. The silken sheen of the lampshade adds more texture and the Chinese Chippendale armchair provides a delicate contrast to the solidity of the bed. A vintage sketch and artwork from a local artist add to the corner vignette.
Was Mom happy with the result? Says Susan, “She was very pleased. Who wouldn’t love it? To have someone remodel and decorate your new home and then pack you up and move you in...it’s what every woman dreams of.”
Interior design Bear Hill Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 907-9272, bearhillinteriors.com
Contractor Brian Jirel, Jirel’s Remodeling and Home Design, Little Rock, (501) 838-2999
Carpet C & F Flooring and Rug Gallery, Little Rock, (501) 399-9909, candfcarpet.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Upholstery Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies, Mabelvale, (501) 455-2216
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At Home in Arkansas offers your first look inside the state's most inspiring homes in a range of styles. The magazine features monthly advice from the experts to help you plan your next remodel or redesign, entertain at home or find Arkansas' best kept secrets. It is your definitive guide to the state's finest homes and gardens, design professionals, fashion and entertaining essentials, and premier shops and showrooms.