Date: November 1, 2023 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Stephanie Maxwell Newton |
In Fayetteville, designer Jeremy Carter turns a meandering house into a charm-filled home for a new-to-town couple
The lure of grandchildren brought Jodie Root and her husband, Greg Gilmet, to Fayetteville where their daughter is a professor at the University of Arkansas. With numerous moves—both in the U.S. and abroad—under their belts, they were no strangers to the process of relocating. However, they looked for 18 months in Northwest Arkansas’s tight housing market before stumbling onto a home that had been for sale for a while yet overlooked.
Originally a 1940s bungalow just blocks from Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, the home didn’t have the curb appeal it undoubtedly once possessed. The structure itself had been added onto and reworked with each of its previous owners, resulting in a meandering flow with more dedicated bedrooms than gathering spaces. Greg immediately saw its potential. “And I thought, Here we go,” Jodie recalls.
Knowing they would need help with the renovation, Jodie picked up a copy of At Home in Arkansas where she was drawn to an ad featuring Jeremy Carter of The Shade Above. At their first meeting an instant connection was made. “She had blueprints in hand when we met,” Jeremy recalls, “but we changed everything once I came on board; it was an extensive remodel.” The new owners desired a great room, larger kitchen, sun porch, and reworked facade to transform the house to reflect their current lifestyle.
Throughout the construction process, character remained at the forefront. “They are very eclectic and love art and travel,” the designer says of his clients’ passions. Additionally, Jodie and Greg valued the home’s original aesthetic. “I wanted to keep the patina and charm but update and repair everything,” Jodie recalls. This matched perfectly with Jeremy’s “curated and collected” style. “He got what no one else I had talked with did,” she says.
For Jeremy, his experience with Jodie and Greg is indicative of the goals for every project he completes. “I want to listen to my clients, learn from them, and make them feel like their voice was heard; I want the design to feel like a reflection of them,” he says.
Going for an English cottage feel, Jeremy left the home’s original catslide roof intact and highlighted the siding exterior with yellow Shaker shingles and a custom arched door. French doors in the dining room open to the small patio made from Arkansas flagstone, creating an indoor-outdoor space for entertaining. The exterior is painted “Straw” by Farrow & Ball, and the shutters are painted “Studio Green” by Farrow & Ball.
A Welcome Addition
The great room and adjoining breakfast area were part of the home’s addition. Striving to create a look that had evolved over time, Jeremy opted for materials that appear to have been in place for decades, including Douglas Fir beams and a soapstone fireplace surround. The couple’s artwork and accessories had been in storage since their move. “We were both in awe when we opened the boxes—me because I was seeing so many treasures for the first time, and her as she remembered each piece,” Jeremy says.
The Sewing Room
Jodie began sewing at the age of 12 when her father promised to buy her all the fabric she wanted if she made her own clothes. One of the home’s existing bedrooms was transformed to create a space for her beloved hobby. She selected the vintage Ralph Lauren drapes as a starting point and further displayed her creativity by hand painting the floors. Through the years, Jodie also picked up quilting, an art her great-grandmother enjoyed as evidenced by the quilting-stand-turned-table that once belonged to her as well as the handed-down, folded quilts underneath it. “This room is very dear to Jodie’s heart,” Jeremy notes.
In the Zone
“This is one of my favorite kitchens ever,” Jeremy says. “Jodie is a gourmet cook and one of the most organized people I know.” To this point, the design has zones for baking, cooking, and cleanup. Three different countertops—black soapstone, walnut, and a “Sea Pearl” quartzite—top the cabinetry while a mix of solid wood, glass, and brass wire appear on its doors. “In a cottage, it’s important to mix materials so the design appears to have happened over time,” Jeremy says. A cast-iron fireplace back serves as an art installation amidst the honeycomb backsplash tile.
Located on the front of the home with doors that open to the patio, the dining room has an elegant, graceful aesthetic. “I’m not afraid to use color,” Jeremy says, pointing to the aubergine in the rug where the palette originated as well as to the birds in the customized wallcovering. The designer added dimension to the fifth wall with a modified, flattened coffered ceiling treatment. An antique regency buffet and empire table that expands to seat 10 adhere to the design concept.
“I wanted each room to have its own character and personality.”
—Jodie Root, homeowner
A New Chapter
Previously the home’s formal living room, what is now the library is a cozy nook for reading, paying bills, or writing notes. A mix of grasscloth and earth-toned green paint (“Card Room Green” by Farrow & Ball) trim the walls while an olive wood secretary pairs with artwork and artifacts from the couple’s world travels.
Gather & Grow
Located off the library and primary bedroom, the sun porch was another addition during the renovation. It serves a dual purpose, providing space for Jodie’s orchid garden as well as a lounge area and game table for Greg and the grandkids to best one another at checkers. Jeremy selected the starburst pendants to mimic the design on the tile. Vintage wicker and decorative birdcages add to the evolved feel.
In the primary bedroom, Jeremy paired the couple’s iron bed with nightstands they found on a trip to Asia. He created the lamps from antique terracotta finials. Open-weave, raw silk sheers soften the room, while art installed over the pleats creates a focal point at the back of the bed. A Fortuny accent pillow and coverlet add an extra layer of luxury to the calm retreat.
Interior design Jeremy Carter, JC Designs and The Shade Above Contractor Douglas Kidd, R.D. Construction Appliances Metro Appliances & More Bedding Jayson Cain Interiors and JC Designs Brick and tile The Tile Shop Cabinets Stronghold Woodworks Countertops New Century Countertops Fabrics, Wallpaper, and window coverings JC Designs Framing Frame Fayetteville Furniture DP Designs, Fabulous Finds, French Metro Antiques, Providence Design, and The Shade Above Mirrors Jayson Cain Interiors Paint Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball Windows Windsor Windows