Date: April 3, 2023 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
Inspired by a homeowner’s love of paintings and photography, designer Heather Krijt creates a colorfully sophisticated residence
When Heather Krijt first visited this Little Rock project, she found what was essentially a blank canvas. “The client had been playing golf with my husband and mentioned he could use some help decorating,” she recalls. Desiring to make the house feel cohesive as well as reflective of his style, the homeowner wanted Heather’s help with the entire Heights cottage—particularly the living and entertaining spaces.As they talked, Heather learned her client had an interest in art, a detail she ran with in terms of inspiration. “He asked if I could help him procure a few pieces, and this became the genesis for the entire design,” she says. “I was an art history minor so I love using art as a starting point,” she adds, noting she has developed gallery relationships all over the U.S.
The update warranted mostly cosmetic changes, including new lighting and furnishings. Heather also refreshed the walls with a mix of neutral wallpaper and white paint to intentionally create spaces where the focus would be her client’s new pieces of art. These include textile works and photography as well as painted landscapes and abstracts. “Even though we bought all of the art at once, we opted for different frames and even no frames to make sure it felt curated,” she says.
The same attention was given to the palette; while the initial colors were pulled from the works, a cadence of blue and purple hues repeats throughout the house. “The homeowner really loves purple—which was unexpected,” Heather says. A landscape over the mantel brought the color into the fold and allowed Heather to weave it throughout the design, bringing the warmth and personality her client desired all through his home.
In the den, a custom-made leather banquette offers extra seating while adhering to the home’s colorful palette. The artwork seen above is by Sarah Benham from Cynthia Byrnes Gallery in New York.
“The homeowner enters the house here, so this is the first thing he sees when he comes home from work,” Heather says of the den. To make it a welcoming sight, she played off of his love for the color purple, pulling the hue from the artwork over the mantel. The tile around the fireplace was left intact and coordinates beautifully with a new pair of velvet-upholstered chairs. Details in texture and pattern make the room’s more neutral pieces, such as the rug and a side chair, stand out. A landscape painting seen over the mantel by Karen Smidth (purchased through Maybaum Gallery in San Francisco) set the tone for this colorful home.
Back to Basics
The den, kitchen, and breakfast area are united by grasscloth wallpaper as well as drapery panels that repeat across a shared wall. In the kitchen, Heather replaced pendants over the island with glass globe styles and added comfortable barstools to accommodate a crowd. She kept the homeowner’s existing wood table in place for casual breakfast dining. “It has such a great patina and fits the space,” she says. New upholstered chairs and a red open-frame lantern tie in with the hues seen in the connecting spaces.
“This space was a head-scratcher,” Heather says of a small, narrow room located between the kitchen and dining room. Knowing the homeowner wanted a place to read in the evenings, she transformed the space into a bar area with a dedicated reading nook and went all in on a green paint covering the walls, cabinets, and trim. “The green ties into the overall palette, but it is different from what you see in the rest of the house, she says.” The backsplash on the bar features a handcrafted tile in a range of blues, while metallic grasscloth adds interest to the ceiling.
All Fun and Games
A tulip table and contemporary-style chairs offer space for pre-dinner cocktails with friends or a game night. “He likes to entertain so I wanted to create a comfortable conversation area,” Heather says. Schumacher fabrics on both the chairs and drapery panels play off the shapes in the paper collage work by Lori Glavin that hangs on the wall.
“With a small space, it’s fun to go bold.”
—Heather Krijt, designer
In the dining room, a chromogenic print from aerial photographer Alex MacLean stands out against the home’s original plaster walls (opposite). Heather covered the dining chairs in a striated velvet, while the drapes are a Holland & Sherry wool sateen with a two-tone velvet trim, selections that work together to give the room a polished feel. On the opposite wall, a nearly 5-foot-tall woven mixed media piece by textile designer and artist Megan Adams Brooks hangs above a 20th century Swedish buffet (above). A Murano glass lamp complements both the height of the artwork and the room’s color palette.
Tone on Tone
In the front living room, Heather notes blue acts as a neutral hue. “The icy blue on the sectional kind of goes away when you look at the room,” she says. Artwork by Maura Segal ties in two deeper versions of the color while a mohair-covered chair highlights the homeowner’s favorite color, purple. Underfoot, a grid-pattern rug brings contemporary dimension as well as warmth to the space.
Interior design Heather Krijt, HK Designs Accessories Bear Hill Interiors, Cobblestone & Vine, and HK Designs Art, fabrics, furniture, hardware, lighting, rugs, tile, and wallpaper HK Designs Cabinetry Kimberly Cabinets Framing Louie’s Unique Framing & Gallery Paint Benjamin Moore Painting Color Me Bad Tile (installation) Paul Fowler Wallpaper (installation) Mike Mace Window Coverings Interior Creations