Date: June 26, 2013 | Story: Lila Ashmore | Styling: Mandy Keener |
In Northwest Arkansas, designer Melissa Haynes uses safe and sustainable options to give a family the home of their dreams
When a young family in Northwest Arkansas desired greener pastures to fit their eco-friendly lifestyle, they immediately engaged Melissa Haynes of MH Designs, Inc. to assist with the renovation of their home. “They wanted the home to be energy efficient, safe for their family, non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals,” says Haynes. The desire for a greener space began with the choices they were making outside the home to live a cleaner, simpler lifestyle—things such as cultivating their own vegetable garden, composting and supporting local farmers. This way of life made the homeowners’ segue into a healthier home a natural choice.
Haynes began the project by rounding up a team of experts to perform HVAC assessments, install a water filtration system and add insulation for a thermally efficient home. Moving next to the home’s interiors, she began the design process by selecting no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products for the floor and wall coverings. VOCs, a class of carbon compounds that evaporate at room temperature, are known to be hazardous to human health and also to the environment. “We used no-VOC paints throughout the house, as well as no-VOC stains and finishes on the wood floor,” Haynes says.
Despite wanting a complete renovation of the home, the homeowners were hands-on in making decisions to keep the integrity of the existing space. “My clients wanted a fresh, bright interior, with playful patterns and textures—a space that exuded an overall feeling of calm,” Haynes says. The furnishings throughout the home flow seamlessly in a palette of tranquil, soothing hues and rich textures while keeping with the homeowners’ wish of using sustainable materials wherever possible. “We wanted textiles and furnishings that were environmentally conscious, durable and washable,” says Haynes. “We chose to work with companies that strive to be eco-conscious in all aspects of their manufacturing.” Throughout the entire home, Haynes chose soy-based upholstery fabrics with sustainable wood frames and water-based finishes.
A timeless dining table sets the stage for the light and airy formal dining room. Here, Haynes opted for a natural grasscloth wallcovering and linen window treatments. In the adjoining living room, she faced the challenge of finding furnishings for the family without compromising the desired look. Thanks to expanded offerings in both color and pattern she found coordinating options in organic cotton and linen for the upholstery and drapery, and selected soy-based slipcover cushions.
Inspiration for the homeowners’ kitchen came from the geometric apple green backsplash tile with an eye-catching crackled glass finish. “Debate was had over something more subtle in a color such as blue-gray,” says Haynes. “But in the end the green was selected and I can’t imagine it any other way.” Haynes chose Caesarstone countertops, an abundant natural mineral from a company that puts an emphasis on sustainability, as well as Energy Star appliances for the family’s hub area. Windows were also added to provide natural light for preparing and enjoying meals.
A breakfast table in the kitchen offers a casual seating and entertaining area, while a floor-to-ceiling bank of windows provides breathtaking views of the garden and porch just outside. “We opted for a vinyl coating on the chair upholstery instead of leather,” says Haynes of the dining chairs at the breakfast table and in the formal dining room. “By doing so, the homeowners can wipe the chairs clean with water and alcohol and avoid using harsh chemicals.”
Off the kitchen, the screened porch incorporates elements of the outdoors such as wood and rock, creating a retreat for the family to enjoy. The dreamy, swinging daybed was made from reclaimed wood and is the perfect accompaniment to the pair of organic cotton slipcovered chairs in the space. A rock fireplace and mantel were existing fixtures in the room and provided inspiration for Haynes’ design.
The same consciousness was used in the design of the home’s more intimate areas. Organic and soy-based fabrics in a tranquil palette give the master suite a spa-like serenity. The bedroom’s lush textures along with calming grays and whites were carefully chosen by Haynes to give the family a place to relax. The palette continues into the bath where Haynes used tile variation to create subtle texture.
From the initial design stages to the finishing touches, the project took nearly a year to complete, with all parties involved taking careful consideration to keep the home both sustainable and beautiful, something Haynes believes is becoming easier as eco-friendly resources become more readily available. “Commonly we think of green design as being ultra contemporary, state-of-the-art, and frankly, hard to initiate or conceptualize. My clients and I wanted a fresh, traditional space that is livable and comfortable. We just made eco-thoughtful choices while still achieving the look.”
Interior design Melissa Haynes, MH Design, Inc, Rogers, (479) 286-2244, melissahaynesdesign.com
Contractor Preston Bacon, Preston & Company, Rogers, (479) 273-2266, prestonandcompany.net
Landscape design Travis Brooks, Brooks Landscape Architecture, Fayetteville, (479) 387-1769
Accessories, bedding, furniture, lighting MH Design, Inc., Rogers, (479) 286-2244, melissahaynesdesign.com
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 771-1840, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Cabinets Oak Grove Wood Products, Springdale, (479) 466-8325
Carpet, rugs, tile Tom January Floors, Fayetteville, (479) 521-2422, tomjanuaryfloors.com
Countertops Elite Marble & Granite, Bentonville, (479) 273-5225
Fresh floral Tipton Hurst, Conway, (501) 329-6663, Little Rock, (501) 666-3333, North Little Rock, (501) 753-0709, tiptonhurst.com
Flooring Wood Floor Gallery, Springdale, (866) 872-4219, woodfloorgallery.net
Paint Benjamin Moore, locations statewide, benjaminmoore.com
Window coverings Greenvalley Window Solutions, Fayetteville, (479) 695-1770, greenvalleywindow.com