Date: November 1, 2023 | Story: Tate Gunnerson | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
Neutral hues and cozy, upscale furnishings lend character and a sense of timelessness to a new build just steps from the Bentonville Square
One of the fastest growing cities in the country, Bentonville has changed dramatically since Chris Conway first rolled into town more than two decades ago. Back then, many of the downtown area’s shops were boarded up and surrounding neighborhoods neglected. As the population steadily rose, however, so too did the city’s fortunes. Today, the Bentonville Square is once again filled with local businesses and buzzing with activity.
A savvy investor who recognized the area’s growing potential, Chris purchased a small white house on a quarter-acre property not far from the charming downtown. However, rather than flipping it as he had originally planned, Chris, a general contractor who owns a masonry company, instead used the lot to build a new-construction home for himself. “I had offers to buy it, but I could never bring myself to sell it,” he says. “I was personally drawn
The result is a three-level brick abode with a spacious open floor plan, high ceilings, and large windows that flood the interior with natural light. Impressed by her timeless aesthetic and attention to detail, he asked interior designer Corey Powell to select finishes, furnishings, moldings, and nearly every single accessory—down to the sheets and silverware. “Chris envisioned a neutral palette, and it was important that every space be as functional as it is beautiful and inviting,” Corey says. “The design feels sophisticated and comfortable with a mix of modern and classic elements.”
Black metal doors and windows lend an industrial flair to the interiors, while natural influences such as faux white-oak flooring, marble, and stone create a sense of warmth. Such materials “flow through each space to make them feel unified, relaxed, and refined,” Corey says.
Although there were numerous pandemic-related delays, the designer planned accordingly by placing orders early and tracking shipments carefully; in the end, the project was completed within 18 months. Chris is thrilled with the result and enjoys walking the short distance to the nearby grocery store, ice cream shops, and pubs on the thriving downtown square.
In addition, he regularly hosts his four adult children and their families for impromptu dinners, pool parties, and holiday gatherings. “My home is truly beautiful, and it brings me joy every day,” he says. “As my friends like to tease, the house is very me: a bit tough on the outside but with a heart full of warmth at its core.”
A patterned rug and custom pillows enliven the rhythm of neutral hues in the living room. “Blue is a timeless color, and you can do it in a really gentle way with different patterns and textures,” Corey says, pointing to the rug and pillows as evidence. Furnished with a pair of sofas covered in a creamy gray fabric and two white linen swivel chairs, the living area is a comfortable, convivial environment for the owner and his children and grandchildren to relax and spend time together.
A floor-to-ceiling application of Smokey Mountain Bluestone around the fireplace creates a strong focal point in the open living room. “It was another opportunity to make a design statement,” Corey says.
In pursuit of a timeless look, Corey outfitted the spacious kitchen with white cabinetry accented by light quartz countertops and a classic white marble tile backsplash. A pair of glass pendants illuminate a spacious island that plays off the wooden beams and fireplace mantel in the adjacent great room. “It’s all very easily accessible, and there’s a place for everything,” Chris says.
A wet bar provides storage and serving space for when Chris entertains. Open shelving keeps glassware within easy reach, and the cabinetry, countertops, and backsplash mimic the finishes seen in the adjoining kitchen. A small sink and undercounter refrigeration round out the posh bar area, welcoming guests to grab a drink and make themselves at home. Walls are painted “White Dove” by Benjamin Moore.
A pair of upholstered host chairs and wooden bench complement the dining table, which can accommodate up to 14 people. “The bench is the first thing you see, and it immediately invites a little kiddo to jump on it and join the table,” Corey says.
The walls in the laundry room are covered with shiplap in a vertical application. “When people think shiplap, they picture a farmhouse,” Corey says. “Turning it vertical makes the space’s simple design feel more refined.” Conveniently located outside the primary suite, the space’s custom cabinetry is painted in the same color as the cabinets in the bathroom and closet, “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore, creating a pleasing sense of flow.
The home’s subtle blue accents flow into the serene primary bedroom. Here, a pair of linear wooden bedside tables and glass table lamps flank an upholstered wingback headboard that walks the line between comfort and sophistication. “My bedroom is the heart of the home, the place I find peace and comfort,” Chris says. “It’s simply designed but has everything I need for a restful night or a quiet moment.”
Written in Stone
Designing a luxurious, spa-like primary bathroom was one of Chris’s top priorities, and Corey was more than happy to deliver. The result features heated tile flooring, an air-jet tub, and a marble-clad shower with six showerheads and multiple body sprayers. “Working with Corey was a fantastic experience,” Chris says. “She brought my vision to life in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and I’m grateful for her expertise, creativity, and professionalism in the project.”
Here to Stay
Designed to appeal to adults and children alike, a plaid wallcovering buoys a guest bedroom upstairs. “I wanted the room to feel more established, and the wallpaper is timeless and adds so much character,” Corey says. A cozy window seat invites grandchildren to curl up with a book, while the built-in desk offers storage for art supplies and games.
Contractor Chris Conway, C&N Companies Interior design Corey Powell, Corey Powell Design Company Accessories, hardware, lighting, and mirrors Corey Powell Design Company Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Tom Tull Bedding, fabrics, upholstery, wallpaper, and window coverings M Grace at Home Cabinetry Nightengale Cabinets Countertops Verona Marble Countertops (fabrication and installation) Natural Stone Mountain Fixtures Anderson Electric & Plumbing Supply and Carr Plumbing Flooring Flooring America Furniture Corey Powell Design Company, HOWSE, M Grace at Home, and Pottery Barn Millwork Quality Millwork Paint Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams Painting Jiren Painting Rugs Corey Powell Design Company, M Grace at Home, Turkish Trunk