Date: April 22, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
AC Designs teams up with Spradlin Homes to create a family’s dream backyard
For years the children of these Little Rock homeowners had wished for a pool they could visit any time of day. “When the pandemic began, we thought, Who knows how long we are going to be here? Maybe this is the time,” one of the owners recalls. Throughout their 16 years in the house, they had spent time updating numerous other areas and were ready to transform their underdeveloped backyard into a destination.
Having just completed a den renovation with designers Candace Davis and Amy Terry of AC Designs, the homeowners asked the team to turn their attention outdoors. Meanwhile, they also met with contractor Harold Spradlin, Joe Barnett of Little Rock Land Design, and Diamond Pools. As a plan began to formulate, the scope of the project expanded. “We thought about everyone having to run back in the house in wet swimsuits to use the restroom, and we decided we needed a bath closer to the pool,” the owner says. An existing backyard shed made the idea easy to visualize, and the pool installation evolved into a multi-functional structure with spaces that are seen—an outdoor kitchen and lounge area—as well as unseen, including an office, bike storage, and the aforementioned bath. “We really thought through their needs and tried to get the most out of the space,” says Amy, who took the design lead on the project. “While you are building, you should go ahead and incorporate everything you need.” “We love to be outdoors and to entertain, so it just made sense to really go for it,” the homeowner adds. Now, multiple zones—from the existing stone patio and firepit area to the pool and covered structure—invite a crowd. “The guys can be watching a game on TV, while the girls are by the firepit and the kids are in the pool,” Amy says.
Style was also at the forefront of the design. “I like a more modern aesthetic that keeps everything clean and simple,” the owner says. Amy took these preferences and the existing materials into consideration when making selections. “We wanted to coordinate with the house, especially since you see it from the home’s driveway,” she says. She matched exterior lighting and also carried the champagne, black, and cream palette from the recent den update into this space for a sense of cohesiveness. “Amy and Harold are so amazing, and even when there were supply chain holdups they really stayed with us throughout the process. We love how this space turned out,” the owner says.
To account for a slope in the property, a retaining wall was added along the back of the pool. Its center holds seasonal blooms and each end is framed by a fire bowl. Travertine surrounding the pool acts as a complement to the stone on the pool house fireplace and carries the palette through the space. “I love the layers of neutrals. Having not just one, but multiples, makes it so inviting,” Amy says.
Rather than a large dining space, the couple opted for a bar where kids can take a swim break and grab a bite to eat. “It’s rare that people have a sit-down dinner outside, so we thought this would function well for them,” Amy says.
Contractor Harold Spradlin, Spradlin Homes Interior design Candace Davis and Amy Terry, AC Designs Landscape design Joe Barnett, Little Rock Land Design Accessories and hardware AC Designs Appliances Antique Brick & Block Countertops Stone World Fireplace Congo Fireplace & Patio Lighting AC Designs and Light Innovations Paint Sherwin-Williams Pool and spa Diamond Pools