Date: December 1, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
A signature palette and romantic furnishings bring a touch of the countryside to this Little Rock home
While her address has changed through the years, one color combo has been a mainstay throughout each of this Little Rock homeowner’s abodes. “Pink and green have always been my colors,” she says. “I even had a pink couch in my first house.” When she and her husband decided to make a move to this residence, they turned to longtime designer Susan Walsh to incorporate the hue while also giving the home a cozy, refined appeal.
Susan, formerly of Bear Hill Interiors and now at the helm of recently launched Susan Walsh Interiors, leaned into both the colorway and the couple’s style with romantic florals, luxurious fabrics, and vintage accents that all convey a sense of character and a feeling that the home has been intact for years. “My style is English Country,” the homeowner says of her bend toward these design elements. “I feel like I should’ve been born in England or Ireland.”
The bones of their newly purchased home played into this aesthetic. Renovated for the previous owners by Gary Pursell of Creative Heights Partners and Gary Pursell Construction, the house had a look that captivated Susan’s client with wooden beams and a large stone fireplace. “My client is a true homebody. She always has something cooking in the kitchen and is baking for others; she buys flowers and arranges them,” Susan says. “Everything in her house has a story and there’s a real warmth to it.”
The owner also loves to dress the house for the season, calling on Zac Woodiel to add a layer of traditional holiday finery that adheres to the cheerful everyday palette. “People get tunnel vision about using traditional holiday colors for their décor, but it really makes more sense if you follow the home,” Susan says of the light pink and green accents.
The stone fireplace and wood trim in the cozy den convey the English countryside look that drew the owners to the home. Furnishings such as the trunk-style coffee table, floral sofa, and fringed club chairs also speak to this. Here, stockings are hung for the couple’s children and grandchildren, while the home’s main tree and fresh greenery convey the sight and smell of holiday cheer.
Christmas greetings are suspended by ribbons in the butler’s pantry.
After deciding to use an existing daybed and pair of armchairs in the formal living room, Susan says it only felt natural to select pink for the walls and silk drapes. “My husband is so kind about using pink everywhere, and it is always tastefully done because of Susan,” the homeowner says. Underfoot, an Aubusson rug ties the look together while a small tree holds nostalgic holiday ornaments of Christmases past.
“The front entry starts the story of the house,” Susan says, pointing to a floral fabric on the balloon shade and antique ottoman as well as a banister trimmed in garland and bows for Christmas.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
“I have one ornament from my childhood, and I really wanted to use it to create an old-world tree that takes me back to being a kid,” the owner says. Susan and Zac laid all of the family’s ornaments out on the dining table to identify a common theme, which manifested in numerous Christopher Radko pieces. “I had a visual that was vintage ornaments en masse,” Susan says. The Radko selections and other similar décor were hung on the tree alongside pink and green plaid ribbon for a timeless Christmas design.
SET FOR THE SEASON
In the dining room, Susan notes the scenic chinoiserie wallpaper serves as art. Old-fashioned tiebacks on the drapes, cane-back chairs, and antique pieces create the traditional charm apparent throughout the rest of the home, while the table setting reflects the homeowner’s love of china. “My mother-in-law sets her table for every holiday. I have always thought this was very special, so I started doing it in my home—and Christmas is my very favorite,” she says.
“Designers want people to love their homes because they understand what the home can do for the spirit.”
—Susan Walsh, designer
Susan brought blue into the primary bedroom for a fresh take on the home’s rendition of English Country. A lit à couronne frames the iron bed, creating a tailored focal point, and pairs of boxwood wreaths accent the walls during the holiday season. The couple’s dogs—Bunny, a Frenchton, and Bridget, a Goldendoodle—sit sweetly on a bench at the foot of the bed.
Interior design Susan Walsh, Susan Walsh Interiors Christmas design Zac Woodiel Accessories Bear Hill Interiors, Fabulous Finds, and Sweet Home Furnishings & clement Furniture (dining room) Roy Dudley Estate Sales Wallpaper Susan Walsh Interiors Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies