Date: September 1, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Designer Sarah Smith lightens the moody hues of her home with a clean backdrop and chic finishes
With three young children, days spent on the water and nights in a calm, natural setting sounded pretty perfect to designer Sarah Smith and her husband, Cody. After selling their Fayetteville home, the family moved into a house they were originally building as an investment property on Beaver Lake near Rogers, making the dream a reality. “When COVID hit, we knew we’d be doing virtual school and thought it was the perfect time to live here and create these memories with our kids,” Sarah says.
With plans for the home already in action, Sarah began to make small tweaks to the design—which already had her modern, warm aesthetic. Drawing from the dark, charcoal exterior, she wanted to create a matched vibe in the interior with different textures and shapes, as well as wood tones and a defined palette. “I wanted it to be bright yet still moody,” she says.
To accomplish this balance, neutral backdrops create continuity and invite light into the rooms, while key pieces such as the kitchen island and master bath vanity are painted a standout, deep hue. Additionally, a mix of traditional and more contemporary furnishings bring personality to the rooms. For example, the dining room’s linen ottomans lean traditional yet pair effortlessly with midcentury modern chairs around the table. “I was intentional about contrasting shapes and textures and unifying it all with the palette,” Sarah says.
She also wanted to personalize the space for her family. Too far along in the process to specify wallpaper, Sarah decided to add a mural by Northwest Arkansas artist Meg Bourne to customize a wall seen behind the kitchen. “My three kids were with me when Meg came to discuss the mural. They were running around the house, laughing, and playing,” Sarah recalls. “Meg ended up creating a work with three continuous lines that intersect and cover the wall; it represents our children and has so much meaning.”
Shape + Texture
A neutral backsplash with a range of tones and shapely black-and-white pendant lights bring subtle interest to the kitchen. Black honed granite tops the spacious blue-gray island, grounding the room with richer colors.
The kitchen’s adjoining dining space looks out over the back of the property, with the treetops in view in the summer and the lake in the winter. “This is such a peaceful spot in the home,” Sarah says. A mirror reflects the natural light that streams in through the windows, while a Kelly Wearstler linear chandelier brings a hint of polished minimalism to the look. Low-maintenance luxury vinyl plank flooring, which is both kid- and swimsuit-friendly, runs throughout the home.
“I was intentional about contrasting shapes and textures and unifying it all with the palette.” —Sarah Smith, designer and homeowner
The same color seen on the kitchen island shows up on the master bath’s vanity, complementing the star-patterned tile on the opposite shower wall. “I really wanted to pack a punch with the black-and-white star tile, and the large shower allowed for that,” Sarah says. White walls, a clean-lined soaking tub, and terrazzo-look counters balance the room.
Contractor John and Misti McGowan, McGowan Built Draftsman Micah Szabo, Szab Design & Build Interior design Sarah Smith, Sarah Smith Design Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry Jimmy Blew Woodworking Countertops Pacific Shore Stones Lighting, fixtures, furniture, hardware, rugs, and tile Sarah Smith Design Millwork Integrity Distributors Paint Sherwin-Williams Painting (decorative) Meg Bourne Wall Art Window coverings Baker Window Coverings