Date: November 1, 2023 | Story: Rebekah Hall Scott | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Bailey Dougan |
For their home in Little Rock, interior designer Kendall Jones helps Sonia and Dow Worsham highlight their view and bring nature inside
For interior designer Kendall Jones, a dream came true when Sonia and Dow Worsham approached her to help with the remodel of their Pleasant Valley home. “When Sonia told me which house it was, I could not wait to get my hands on it,” Kendall says. “It’s in my neighborhood, and when I saw it go up for sale, I thought to myself, I would love to renovate that house. I looked at the bones, and I thought it had so much potential.”
The Worshams are friends with Kendall’s parents, and Sonia says she enjoyed Kendall’s work on the remodel of her parents’ home. “When Kendall realized which house we bought, she was so enthusiastic and ready to help,” Sonia says. “She wanted to keep the integrity of it, and she just had such
The designer describes the home, built in 1975, as a modern prairie ranch style overlooking the Pleasant Valley Country Club’s golf course. “These clients love to entertain, and they love to play golf,” she says. “They bought this house for the view; that was the primary driver.”
With the help of Dillon Homes and WDD Architects, Kendall took the house down to the studs with the goal of creating a welcoming, contemporary environment with nods to nature. “I wanted to be sure that anything we affixed to the house felt very earth-like—natural stone, natural materials, and lots of wood stains throughout, because I wanted it to have that connection to what’s outside the windows.”
Originally, a large stone fireplace blocked a significant portion of the living room’s view of the golf course, so it was removed and replaced with a wall of windows. “It was hard to imagine taking that out, but it completely transformed the visual we have now,” Dow says.
Vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan between the kitchen and living room help the home’s upper level feel expansive, while downstairs a lush, moody basement makes for cozy conversation. “The ceilings are lower, so we just embraced that and saturated it with color,” Kendall says. “It’s cool to have these two different experiences within the home.”
The Worshams also wanted to prioritize local businesses and Arkansas-made pieces when selecting furnishings and art. The result is a home that “feels like us,” Sonia says. “We love living here,” she adds. “We love the view, and it feels homey. Every day I walk in, I’m just thankful that it’s ours.”
“They are a party waiting to happen,” Kendall says of the couple. “Where their house sits, it’s very visible in the neighborhood, and when people finish playing golf, they pop over for a drink. They want that kind of home, and it really serves them so well. It feels like a very authentic reflection of them—it’s ready for company at a moment’s notice.”
After installing windows overlooking the golf course, the last thing Kendall wanted to do was interrupt the view with furniture. The solution was a backless chaise sofa that provides additional seating while maintaining a clean sightline. Rounding out the space is a curved burl wood coffee table edged in gold leaf. A painting by Arkansas artist Wayne Fowler adds color and dimension above the sofa.
For the kitchen’s 11-foot waterfall island, Kendall knew she wanted to make a statement. The team chose a marble called “Glaciers,” which weaves cool blue-green hues with black and white. Large-scale pendant lights combine a lantern frame with a sputnik-style light inside. “These are definitely a scale push, but because of how airy, bright, and light the space is, the room can accommodate this big of an impact,” the designer says.
A custom hood with unlacquered brass straps made by local artisan Anthony Billingsley coordinates with textured brass hardware on the cabinets. The brass accents also pull color from the porcelain perimeter countertops and backsplash. “While it’s more of a contemporary home, we tried to add interest in these little details so that it didn’t feel too continuous,” Kendall says. “A lot of contemporary design is really solid and sleek, but we incorporated texture where we had the chance, and the hardware adds to that.”
“We wanted the home to be light and bright, but not sterile.”
—Kendall Jones, designer
In the breakfast nook, a round linen shade hangs over a custom table made by Troy Turner of Turner Custom Millwork, with a base designed by Dow. “We needed this light fixture to be really streamlined,” Kendall says. “Being able to bring texture in with the linen shade makes its own statement, and it’s right next to the utility of ovens and fridges, so having the fabric softens it.” A pair of consoles with subtly curved fronts and gold legs flank the windows with views to the backyard.
Fresh Take, Funky Favorites
“The client loves color and pattern, and the laundry room is a space where we had the chance to add some personality,” Kendall says. She chose a wallpaper with a graphic floral motif and a flush-mount fixture of three frosted glass bulbs as a playful nod to soap bubbles. The mint green terrazzo floors “feel authentic to the age of a home built in the ’70s,” the designer adds.
Moody and Masculine
In the basement den, Kendall wanted to “embrace the moodiness” of the space. Two structural columns were wrapped in a fluted wood grain to echo the walnut bourbon bar, and a gunmetal-colored brick tile backsplash catches glimmers of light in the dark room. A wood chair with a slung leather seat handmade by an Arkansas craftsman provides another touch of The Natural State. The walls are painted “Oak Moss” by Sherwin-Williams.
Inspired by Dow’s love of hunting and the outdoors, Kendall carried the basement’s well-appointed ambiance into the downstairs bathroom. The bold wallpaper—Mulberry’s “Grand Flying Ducks”—was the starting point for the design. Sconces wrapped in leather, a walnut vanity with brass pulls, and mirrors with a subtle trophy shape are all reminiscent of a hunting lodge.
Sleek rift-sawn white-oak cabinetry paired with crystal pulls and dark granite countertops lends a feeling of natural luxury to the primary bathroom. The double-ended sconces have bases of unlacquered brass, which will age over time, creating a rich patina. In the shower, several body sprayers make for a luxurious experience. “Dow likes the unexpected, and he’s not afraid to make a statement,” Kendall says. “He said, ‘I want that shower to be like I’m getting a spa treatment.’” A porcelain tile used on the floors continues up the shower walls and as a backsplash for the free-standing tub. Overhead, a bubble-inspired chandelier plays off the pattern on the Roman shade.
“Green is a thread throughout the whole house,” Kendall says. In the primary bedroom, she and the homeowners selected “Sea Salt” by Sherwin-Williams for a calming take on the hue. Over the dresser, an acrylic painting by Arkansas artist Sandy Hubler brings a pop of Sonia’s favorite color, orange, to the couple’s peaceful retreat. “Not everybody is willing to put punchy colors in their bedroom, and I love this piece,” Kendall says. “It’s very playful.”
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