Date: July 31, 2023 | Story: Rebekah Hall Scott | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato and Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
Taggart Design Group creates a contemporary family home in Roland that embraces its natural surroundings
Seamless living between the interior and exterior of a residence in west Little Rock is what led the owners of this Roland home on the path that resulted in their dream build. While the particular house that served as inspiration was purchased before they could put an offer on it, the couple researched the property and decided to reach out to the home’s architect: Taggart Design Group. “They were mainly attracted to the integration of the indoor and outdoor spaces and how we let them flow in and out of each other,” says Burt Taggart, Jr., principal of the firm. After purchasing their lot, the couple called on Burt and his son, Burt Taggart, III, who works alongside his father, to design a custom home fit for their family of five.
Inside, an open floor plan connects the kitchen, living room, and dining room, and doors to the outside allow the public spaces to spill out into the backyard. “You walk in and you’re immediately sharing lots of spaces,” Burt III says, noting this reflects the design these clients were originally so captivated by. Working with the homeowner’s colorful, artistic taste was an inspiring creative collaboration, especially in spaces like the children’s playroom and bedrooms. “It’s her personality integrating with the architecture,” Burt Jr. says. “My task was to give her a perfect foil for her to play off of.” The kitchen’s organic elements—such as the white oak cabinets and the wood that forms the island’s lower tabletop—also work together to create visual interest while being functional for the family’s needs.
“I wanted to build a house before my kids are in college so they can really enjoy it,” the homeowner says. She hopes the home will influence her children to appreciate architecture and develop their own tastes, the same way her father’s house inspired her love of design. “I see already that my kids—especially the girls, who are 10—are already talking about the style of this house, and that makes it worth it.”
Patina in Progress
The home’s exterior was designed to age beautifully over time. Stucco and plate glass create a crisp contrast to sections in Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood that fades from its original mahogany shade to a bleached gray. “These materials are going to look entirely different over the next few years, and those elements of the exterior expression are going to be really organic,” Burt Jr. says. The homeowners, originally from Brazil, say Ipe is a widely used material in the country’s architecture.
Stacked stone and porcelain tile create an artful surround for the inset television and fireplace. “We’re constantly trying to find inventive, aesthetically pleasing ways to hide TVs,” Burt III says. “This was our attempt at creating something to encapsulate two functional elements that we don’t really want to draw special attention to.” The homeowners selected primarily Italian furniture for the house, including the leather chaise lounge and sectional couch seen here.
In the kitchen, a combination of rift-sawn white oak and man-made plywood cabinets are used to break up the space visually. “For the individual doors and drawers in white oak, everything has been cut out of a single piece and put back together so that the veining is uninterrupted and it reads more as a pure slab,” Burt Jr. says. Open shelving beneath the upper cabinets creates easy-access storage—as well as display space for the homeowner’s collection of salt-and-pepper shakers. The kitchen island is made from a material called Dekton, an artificial stone meant to mimic concrete. The lower wood portion was cut from a table used in the family’s previous house, and the homeowner says having the low table top is a current trend in Brazilian interiors. Walls are painted “Oyster White”
“It’s her personality integrating with the architecture.”
—Burt Taggart, Jr., architect
The children’s playroom is a celebration of color and the homeowner’s playful style. Portraits of Marilyn Monroe made from Legos and Campbell’s Soup Cans skateboards, both inspired by the work of Andy Warhol, fill the walls, while a curved orange sofa and monkey side table further the kid-friendly appeal.
Room to Grow
The homeowner worked with a friend from Brazil, who is also an architect, to create custom designs for the children’s bedrooms. Built-in shelving along the ceiling provides ample storage for favorite toys and treasures in the boy’s room (above), while twin girls share a dreamy space complete with a slatted wall feature, upholstered headboards, and built-in nightstands (below).
“I wanted to build a house before my kids are in college so they can really enjoy it.”
The primary bedroom is a study of different wood tones, with the same Ipe hardwood used on the exterior featured on the wall behind the headboard. Herringbone-patterned floors in white oak were a request from the homeowner, who says they show the intention behind the design. “I think that any house that has these floors shows that somebody cares about it,” she says. An upholstered bed and layers of texture soften the contemporary retreat.
The Place to Be
In the backyard, an outdoor kitchen and dining area is “100 percent Brazilian,” the homeowner says. “I feel so at home now because of it.” The bar is made of the same Dekton material used for the kitchen island, and tile from a Brazilian company forms the backsplash behind the grill. The space also features a Brazilian rotisserie grill and, just beyond the outdoor kitchen, a turf-covered play area for the kids.
Architect Burt Taggart, Jr., Taggart Design Group Builder Burt Taggart, III, Taggart Design & Build Landscape design Frank Riggins, Crafton Tull Cabinetry Claflin Custom Cabinets Countertops Moix Marbleworks Millwork Harlan Glover Paint Sherwin-Williams Pool & spa Diamond Pools