Date: March 18, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Parkinson Building Group and Providence Design team up to create a classic, livable home
“This is our forever home, and we wanted to get it right,” one of the owners of this west Little Rock house says. Having raised their now college-age son in a tight-knit neighborhood, the couple looked forward to wide open spaces and natural views for their next phase of life, along with a home that would complement their down-to-earth, Southern style. After finding the perfect lot with a view of a pond and a natural hillside, they turned to Bill Parkinson and the team at Parkinson Building Group to get the ball rolling.
“We knew we wanted an open plan; we aren’t a formal family,” the homeowner says, noting the dining room in their previous home was underused. After seeing another home Bill had built, they fell in love with its floor plan and made a few tweaks to customize it. “It’s really helpful when a client can walk through a previous build we’ve done and use it to help visualize their home and gain inspiration,” Bill says.
As for the aesthetics, “traditional yet casual” was a phrase repeated again and again. “We wanted something that would stand the test of time. I do not want to redo this in 10 years,” one of the owners says. The owners of Providence Design, sisters Talena Ray and Mona Thompson, helped them achieve the look. “Everything is about the setting here, and the entire design is oriented toward that,” says Mona, who took the lead on this project. “They wanted a timeless, classic home that was not trendy but still current—and everything had to be comfortable,” she says.
Part of this lies in the neutral palette, which is accented with the traditional pairing of blue and white throughout the home. “The palette was easy to come up with because she loves blue and white, and has a collection of pieces she wanted to display and mix with new ones as well,” Mona says. These calm, natural hues point back to the reason the couple fell in love with the setting initially. “We enjoy sitting outside, fishing, and just the quietness of this property,” one of the homeowners says.
In the foyer, a wooden interior door was designed to mimic the exterior glass one so the two align perfectly, yet light can stream into the space when desired. Draperies frame the door, softening it and turning the area into more of a room rather than an entry.
In the kitchen, the island’s stained cabinetry is topped with marble, while the painted perimeter cabinets have a soapstone countertop. “The contrast of the two is really pretty together, but it’s also a good balance for functionality,” Mona says, noting the marble requires more caution and care while the soapstone can stand up to pans straight from the oven. The home’s only dining space is located between the kitchen and living room. Upholstered host and hostess chairs and an eye-catching chandelier help to define the area in the open floor plan.
Reclaimed brick floors and wooden doors leading to a working pantry off the kitchen give the room the feeling of having been in place for decades. “If we have the opportunity, this is a space we try to incorporate in every home because it is just so versatile,” Mona says of the area, which includes both a wine fridge and coffee bar as well as an abundance of storage.
“Obviously, this room is set up for symmetry,” Mona notes. “In long living rooms, you often have so much space in the middle that you can’t get the perfect sofa or coffee table, but you can do pairs.” The focal point, a wood-burning fireplace, heats the house efficiently. “Since I work from home and like to split wood, this was a must-have for me,” one of the owners says. “Because it’s sealed you can keep it going all day and the heaters will rarely come on.” Leather-bound books and commissioned pieces by local artist Tanya Sweetin fill the custom built-ins on either side of the fireplace and help artfully balance the television on the right side.
“They wanted a timeless, classic home that was not trendy but still current—and everything had to be comfortable.” —Mona Thompson, designer
The back porch offers an unobstructed view of the property’s pond, which can be taken in from a swing bed or rocking chairs.
“This room is just so serene,” Mona says of the master bedroom. A Providence Design custom iron bed is complemented by an iron bench that was powder-coated to match. A mix of linens dress the bed. “The look we were going for wasn’t just beautiful; we didn’t want something that was stiff and formal. The bedding had to be cozy and comfortable,” Mona says.
In terms of space and materials, the master bath is one of the most luxurious rooms. Large-scale Calacatta porcelain tile gives a seamless presence on the floor and leads the eye to the tub where elegant draperies frame the window. “This started out as shutters because they were worried about privacy,” Mona says. “It took some convincing for us to go with the drapes, but it has turned out to be a favorite spot,” one of the homeowners says.
Tailored to Her
One of the changes the couple made to personalize the floor plan was the addition of his-and-hers master closets. “This was a must-have for me,” says the wife. “I love fashion, and when I come in here to get ready, I can see everything at once. It’s almost like I’m shopping my closet each morning.” Bill notes the addition of the Putnam rolling ladder was a “fun touch” for his team to add. “We planned for this from the beginning to ensure it could be installed without issue at the end of the build,” he says.
“It’s hard to say what is a favorite in this house—even the laundry room is amazing.”
—Mona Thompson, designer
Practical Made Pretty
True to the home’s form, everything in the laundry room is oriented to take advantage of the view outdoors. The reclaimed brick floors seen in the pantry and soapstone countertops from the kitchen are repeated here alongside workhorse features like an apron-front sink, individual pullout baskets for each person’s laundry, and plenty of hanging, drying, and storage space. A custom-built table on casters can be used for folding clothes and also rolled out to the adjoining porch when entertaining. A vertical shiplap accent wall and café curtains bring flair to the workspace.
Contractor Bill Parkinson, Parkinson Building Group Interior design Talena Ray and Mona Thompson, Providence Design Accessories, bedding, furniture, lighting, mirrors, and wallpaper Providence Design Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Providence Design and Tanya Sweetin Cabinetry Duke Custom Cabinetry Countertops Triton Stone Group Outdoor furnishings Antique Brick Paint Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams Painting (decorative) Phinality Design Rugs Hadidi Rug Gallery and ProSource of Little Rock Tile ProSource of Little Rock Windows Lumber One Home Center Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies