Date: July 1, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
A contemporary lakeside home offers its owners a true escape from day-to-day life
When the owners of this Hot Springs home found an empty lot on the shores of Lake Hamilton, they jumped at the chance to create a vacation home they could enjoy with their two children as well as friends and family. With two directives in mind—a modern structure and four bedroom suites—they reached out to Chris Milligan, residential designer and owner of design-build firm Dwellings, and interior designer Heather Fuller of Fuller Design Co., who worked hand-in-hand on the new build. “Chris came up with the vision for the house and the design evolved from there,” Heather says, noting he has the mind of a designer and the capability of a contractor.
“The whole thought was they live in a traditional home in Little Rock, so let’s make this feel like a true vacation getaway,” Chris says. To accomplish this, they opted for a style that was a direct departure from the primary residence. Heather, who had worked on that home and been friends with the couple for years, knew the feel should still be warm and inviting even though the bend was modern. “She is very practical, and it is so easy to work with her,” Heather says of the homeowner. “I have really come to know what she likes, and that makes the process easy.”
Speaking to this practicality as well as the setting, Chris and Heather selected materials with durability and a natural appeal. For example, Arkansas limestone and ipe wood are introduced on the front exterior and carry through the home. “Ipe is the hardest natural wood,” Chris says. “It’s also resilient to bugs, and you can treat it just once a year to richen its color.” The versatile material can be found everywhere from the primary bath to the platform for the dining room
The mix of wood and stone are also complemented with touches of contrast. “Houses are going back to color,” Heather says. “When a space is this open and white, you’ve got to bring in that depth and warmth,” she adds, referencing the kitchen island as well as the bedding and accessories that provide a dose of coziness throughout the home.
On the Climb
“We were all on the same page about the floating stairs,” Heather says of the concept for a main stairwell that is visible from the entry and the living space. To bring interest below, a wicker console speaks to the causal lake setting. “In contemporary design, the trick is to bring in texture to keep it from getting cold,” the designer says. Heather printed photographs of the couple’s children wakeboarding for personal art on the ascending walls while black-and-white abstracts lead the way to the primary bedroom downstairs.
Paint Color “Alabaster” by Sherwin-Williams
The blend of limestone and wood first introduced on the exterior continues into the open-concept living room along the fireplace wall. Built-in cubbies are a style feature that break up the expanse of stone around the gas-burning fireplace, while floating shelves and cabinetry offer media storage as well as display space. Rather than heavy window treatments, Heather opted for blinds that rise all the way to the tops of the windows to maximize the natural light.
Paint Color “Dovetail” by Sherwin-Williams
“I really pushed for color in the kitchen to make it feel cozier,” Heather says, pointing to the island. Simple, clean-lined cabinetry with minimalistic hardware mixes with the rest of the home’s woods to keep the focus on the view outside as well as the people inside.
Large-scale porcelain tile runs throughout the ground floor, resulting in a look that’s equally low-maintenance and chic.
Room for a Crowd
Knowing the retreat would play host to family and friends frequently, Heather worked with HOWSE to create a custom iron-and-wood table that can seat up to 10. Abstract artwork elevates the feel of the space while adhering to the cohesive palette. Underfoot, a bound-carpet rug further defines the space.
“The whole thought was they live in a traditional home in Little Rock, so let’s make this feel like a true vacation getaway.”
—Chris Milligan, residential designer
In the primary bedroom, hanging sconces stand out against an accent wall. All four of the house’s bedrooms feature floating bedside tables and king-sized beds for comfortable stays. In the adjoining bath, Chris brought in the ipe wood on a feature wall and deck that set the tub apart from the shower. When coupled with the view, these features have a treehouse-like effect. His and her floating vanities line the opposite wall.
Paint Color “Dorian Gray” by Sherwin-Williams
“We thought, let’s keep it really simple here,” Heather says of the upstairs bunk room. Four built-in beds with storage space underneath for overnight bags are a favorite spot for the kids and their friends. Playful bedding and pillows add to the kid-friendly feel.
Builder and residential design Chris Milligan, Dwellings, Inc. Interior design Heather Fuller, Fuller Design Co. Accessories Art of Design, Cobblestone & Vine, Providence Design, and Urban Pad Art Providence Design and Urban Pad Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry Household Solutions Countertops Countertop World Fixtures Falk Plumbing Supply Flooring and Tile Lumber One Home Center Furniture Cost Plus Furniture Warehouse and Urban Pad Lighting Light Innovations Outdoor Furnishings Antique Brick Outdoors Paint Sherwin-Williams Pool Aquatic Oasis Pools and Spas Rugs Cantrell Furniture Design Center Windows Windsor Door Window Treatments Drape & Design Co.