Date: December 30, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
In Little Rock, designer Krista Lewis helps a family maximize their lot’s view and create a comfortable, inviting home
Having lived in their previous home for 10 years, this young family loved their neighborhood and never thought of moving—until a property around the corner piqued their interest. “I was out for a run one morning and saw a ‘for sale by owner’ sign that had just gone up,” one of the owners recalls. “At first I didn’t think that much of it, but then I passed by it a few more times and started thinking, that might be the best lot on the entire golf course,” he says. He began talking with the owner, viewed the interior, and soon got his family on board for a move.
After touring the house with builder Richard Harp, the couple realized it made more sense, in terms of budget, to start fresh. “We also didn’t want the maintenance of an old house versus one that is all new,” the owner says of their decision to build. Working with an architect and trusted designer Krista Lewis, who had helped with their previous home’s renovations, they began to piece together a customized plan. Coming from a decades-old residence, they were eager to create a continuous flow of gathering spaces rather than separate, contained areas. “Houses in the 1970s didn’t live the way we live today,” the owner says in reference to their previous home and desire for openness and continuity. An outdoor area that employs the same concept for cooking, dining, and relaxing was also at the top of their list. Early on, Krista advised the couple to hire a landscape architect to think through the slope of the lot and how they could maximize this space and their view of the course beyond, leading to a plan with terraced, defined zones.
As for the finishes and furnishings, Krista orchestrated her current take on traditional in every room. “Their style is very much a mix. They didn’t want everything to be super traditional or super contemporary, so we incorporated pops of both throughout the house.”
A trio of arched doorways, starting at the front door and echoed on the entrances to each side room, are paired with traditional paneling to give the foyer character. Paint color is “Alabaster” by Sherwin-Williams
“This is the big gathering room they wanted but didn’t have in their last house,” Krista says of the space connecting to the front entry, backyard, and kitchen. Here, performance fabrics in a variety of hues and scales meld comfort and style, while a television hidden behind a mobile construct of framed intaglios is a practical addition. Overhead, a coffered ceiling treatment delineates the space from the kitchen with both color and texture.
“This space is the most traditional in the house, but it’s also really fun,” Krista says of the dining room. Printed grasscloth with a botanical scene covers the walls and silk draperies soften the windows. Blue accents, from the chandelier’s shades to the rug, hint at the color that carries throughout the home.
The Place to Be
The owners wanted the kitchen, breakfast area, and a hearth room beyond that to be cozy and inviting. “There’s kind of a trend toward not being so open to everything, but these rooms live so well,” Krista says. Inspired by the backsplash tile, the color and tone of the space unfolded with wood on the island and beams and a leathered quartzite topping the counters. “I really love the tile color because it’s traditional but subtle; it’s not a color you’re going to get tired of,” Krista says. Having done a kitchen remodel before, the couple meticulously planned where all their belongings would go to maximize space and stay organized.
“Their style is very much a mix. They didn’t want everything to be super traditional or super contemporary, so we incorporated pops of both throughout the house.” —Krista Lewis, designer
At the back entrance, a mudroom features lockers for each family member to corral daily necessities. The preppy vestibule, which has a dog motif wallpaper, leads to a multipurpose room with a gift-wrap station, pet area, and access to the outdoor kitchen.
During the early days of the pandemic, the family realized how nice it was being able to escape to the outdoors and prioritized this at the new home. The covered space includes a small outdoor kitchen, swing bed, and plenty of room for relaxing. A turf area defines the firepit while also keeping the pool free of mud and debris.
Countless inspiration photos culminated in the design of the primary suite. “I am so happy with how this turned out,” says one of the owners. “It’s peaceful and calming—exactly what I pictured in my head and on my Pinterest board,” she adds. Luxurious monogrammed linens make the bed while convenient automated draperies close at the touch of a button for instant darkness and additional privacy.
Krista aligned the floor plan of the bathroom to make sure all the elements—from the soaking tub and steam shower to the vanities—were symmetrical with one another. As for the style, traditional wainscoting is balanced with contemporary accents. The designer notes the paneling doesn’t extend the full expanse of wall, making the space feel more accessible. “Sometimes I think big bathrooms can feel cold and too big,” Krista says, noting other features like the accent tile around the tub and warm wall color (“Pussywillow” by Sherwin-Williams) also help to keep the space grounded.
“I feel silly about this closet sometimes,” says the owner, “but it is so nice to have everything in one place and not have to change out clothes seasonally. And I really love that it’s a little glam,” she adds, pointing to the light fixtures and animal-print carpet.
Builder Richard Harp, Richard Harp Homes Interior design Krista Lewis, K. Lewis Interior Design Landscape architect Frank Riggins Landscape design and installation Better Lawns & Gardens Accessories Cynthia East Fabrics, K. Lewis Interior Design, Providence Design, and Tipton & Hurst Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art (entry) Heike Talbert Bedding, fabrics, furniture, lighting, mirrors, rugs, and wallpaper K. Lewis Interior Design Cabinetry Capitol Cabinets Carpet, flooring, and tile (bathroom) ProSource of Little Rock Countertops Stone World Designs and Triton Stone Group Fixtures Falk Plumbing Supply Outdoor Furnishings (bed swing) Pinnacle Home Improvements Pool Brooks Pool Co. Tile (kitchen) Triton Stone Group Window coverings Drape & Design Co.