Date: April 3, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Designer Stacy Sheid Epp updates a 1970s family home with practical pieces and well-placed patterns
Attending furniture market in the sixth grade was just one of the defining moments that led Stacy Sheid Epps to a career in design. “Growing up in Mountain Home, I spent afternoons in my family’s home store, Sheid’s Furniture,” she says. “When you grow up like that, it’s in your blood—and you don’t get away from it,” she says with a laugh. “I think I probably appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of pieces a little more than the average person.”
When the store closed in 2010, Stacy seized the opportunity to launch her own design business, and the owners of this Fort Smith home were taken with her aesthetic. “My style is traditional, and we wanted our home to be traditional but also to have a clean and welcoming feel,” says one of the owners. Having known the family for almost a decade and worked with them on their previous house, Stacy had a sense of what they wanted to achieve in this new space while keeping the soul of the home intact—especially since the owners had always admired its charm.
“We had wanted to be on the golf course for years, and I had even written a letter to the previous owner of this house to see if she was interested in selling,” the owner says. While there was not interest at the time, years passed and the home became available. “I came down and we walked through this house, and we were all like, This is the one,” Stacy says of the fateful property that had not been updated since the 1970s.
Stacy called on her friend, Birmingham, Alabama-based architect James B. Laughlin, who helped revamp the half-century-old floor plan. “He has the flair we were looking for, and we had seen what he’d done with other clients,” Stacy says. “When we gave him our wish list, we didn’t have a clue if it could be accomplished,” the homeowner adds. However, James opened up the entire home with a key choice to relocate the kitchen to the home’s center. Despite these changes, Stacy notes the architect also “really kept the integrity of the home,” a feature that was key in giving it a better-with-age appeal.
The same approach was taken with the interiors. “They are not really formal people, but we wanted to create a house that will not go out of style,” Stacy says. This thought took root in their previous home’s design, prompting them to select furnishings they still loved when it came time to move. “While they were renovating, we were also constantly hunting for pieces,” the designer says, touting trips to Round Top as well as local antique stores as part of the process. “I’m not at all trendy; some of my design comes from finding new and interesting ways to use pieces,” she adds.
“This house was such a collaborative effort. Some projects are just me working to achieve what the client wants but we worked so well together,” Stacy says. “We feel so fortunate to have loved this property for so many years and for it now to be our home,” the owner says. “It was a long process to get here, but I’m so happy with how everything turned out.”
Room to Unwind
Just a step down from the hub of the kitchen is the family’s main living area. “There’s a giant sectional with a zillion pillows so teenagers can hang out here, but it’s also polished,” Stacy says. “We opted for no draperies because the light is so fabulous,” she says of an existing set of windows that were “too pretty to remove.” To complement these, she added transoms and sets of French doors that lead to the backyard.
“‘Alabaster’ by Sherwin-Williams is my favorite white paint, and we used it as the main color throughout the house.” —Stacy Sheid Epps, designer
Center of It All
When architect James B. Laughlin came on board, making the kitchen a larger focal point was one of the goals, and he suggested relocating it to a central, radiating position elevated a few steps above the family room. “I love that I can be cooking dinner and the kids or my husband can be watching a show on the couch; we can interact, but you don’t see the mess of the kitchen from there,” the homeowner says. Dual islands with drawers rather than doors take the place of perimeter cabinetry, keeping the feel open and uncluttered.
The former galley-style kitchen was transformed into a polished butler’s pantry. A Robert Kime medallion motif covers the walls and ceiling while open-front drawers allow for easy access to kitchen and entertaining essentials.
Natural light spills into the formal living room. Stacy notes the walls take on a blue or green hue depending on the time of day. A linen sofa and striped chairs give a refined yet relaxed feel.
The dining room abounds with details that dress the space but don’t make it too fussy. Chairs upholstered in a bright Sister Parish fabric invite guests to linger around the table. The neutral drapery fabric—“Grande Fronde” by designer Heather Chadduck, a friend of Stacy’s—also speaks to this sense of poised-yet-laid-back style. “I like the unexpectedness of these prints together,” Stacy notes. Overhead, a pale pink ceiling has a delicacy that plays off of the chandelier that is composed entirely of coco beads. The works on the wall are from Mary Maguire Art.
Elegant & Fresh
In the primary bedroom, Stacy wanted to create a space that was “soothing and pretty but not too feminine.” A former bath and laundry area was transformed into a closet and dressing space with a vanity for applying for makeup. Small, wall-mounted lights can be directed toward the bed for nighttime reading.
After finding an inspiration picture of black metal doors in a bath, Stacy and the homeowners decided to go all in with a series of three—two of which lead to the shower with the third opening to the water closet. Space was borrowed from an adjoining guest bedroom to allow room for a soaking tub. Floating vanities and a limited palette of white, gray, and black create a clean, sophisticated feel that will remain relevant for years to come.
Architect James B. Laughlin (Birmingham, AL) Contractor Gateway Construction Interior design Stacy Sheid Epps, Stacy Sheid Interiors Accessories, art, bedding, fabrics, furniture, hardware, mirrors, rugs, and wallpaper Stacy Sheid Interiors Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry and millwork Spahn Cabinets Carpet D&D Flooring Countertops Monk’s Granite and Marble Countertops and Verona Marble Company Flooring Smith Hardwood Floors Lighting J&B Supply and Stacy Sheid Interiors Painting Gateway Construction Tile (bath) Acme Brick Tile & Stone and C&D Interiors Upholstery Joe Ellis Upholstery Wallpaper (installation) Doug Moore Windows WeatherBarr Windows & Doors Window coverings Selah Design Studio, Sewing by Sheryl, and Stacy Sheid Interiors