Date: September 5, 2023 | Story: Rebekah Hall Scott | Photography: Rett Peek |
Interior designer Katie Rees infuses a Heber Springs new build with warm, classic style and cherished pieces
After raising their family and spending 30 years in their former house, Sissy and Scott Jones were ready for a new chapter. They called on Katie Rees of Katie Grace Designs and David Hill of D. Allen Construction to help usher in the next phase with a new-construction home in Heber Springs. “Building something fresh and new was a long time coming for this couple,” Katie says. “She has really pretty antiques and classic style, so when I started designing it, I wanted to stay true to it being timeless and not trendy.”
The Joneses have a big family whom they love to host, so the kitchen needed to include the capacity for gathering. To accommodate this, two large islands—one for dining, one for prep—ground the space while still offering plenty of room for traffic to flow around the kitchen and into adjoining rooms. Next, Katie enhanced the welcoming feel through material selections, starting with a honed marble featuring a subtle copper veining for the countertops and backsplash. Rift-sawn white oak with a custom stain on the islands and pantry doors offers contrast to the white walls and cabinetry, while a faux-finish range hood mimics the tone of the faucet and pot filler. Katie also incorporated the homeowners’ antique rugs and barstools, whose familiar character complete the space. “We’ve collected furniture over the years, pieces that we really liked and cherished, and we wanted to continue to use those pieces,” Scott says. “At some point, we’ll pass them along to our children and grandchildren, and Katie was instrumental in helping us incorporate them.”
Looking for opportunities to reuse beloved furnishings was a theme the team carried into the bathroom, where Sissy’s vanity stool was recovered in a soft blue-and-white fabric to suit the new space. “If there are pieces from a former home that our client wants to use, I think that makes it even more special because it brings the home that they lived in for so many years to this new place,” Katie says. “Even though we freshened it up, it’s still nostalgic for them and has their touch.” Paneling details and a privacy window with an antique-inspired pattern contribute to the room’s classic design, as do the polished nickel sconces and hardware. Honed marble was used for the floors and shower, giving the space a crisp, luxurious feel.
“We love the entire house, and there’s nothing we would change about it,” Scott says. “It’s comfortable, spacious, and exactly what we were looking for.”
“Every time we come up the driveway, I think, ‘I cannot believe we live here,’” Sissy says.
The honed marble used for the countertops and backsplash was one of the first materials chosen for the kitchen, and Katie says it “really set the tone” for the room’s warm palette. Double pantries provide storage for go-to ingredients, additional appliances, and serving pieces. The star of the show is a custom hood built by Bray Sheet Metal and painted by AF Decorative to appear naturally patinaed. The Cabinetry is painted “White Dove” by Sherwin-Williams.
Katie says she wanted the new home to “feel like it’s been here for a long time,” so she designated a traditional style of millwork to help it appear established. Overhead, white oak tongue-and-groove boards in the kitchen’s coffered ceiling keep the large space from feeling overly expansive. A wall of cabinetry along the back of the kitchen provides more than ample storage, and a paneled refrigerator blends seamlessly into the design. Katie also used the homeowners’ antique rugs and barstools to bring the family’s history into the space.
Katie took inspiration from the classic style of the homeowners’ previous house when designing their dreamy primary bath. “There’s nothing in that bathroom that would be out of style in 20 years; it’s all just completely timeless,” she says. Overhead, a sculpted metal light fixture balances the room’s traditional elements to keep it feeling fresh.
“I tried to play with natural materials and make it feel a little more dressed up.”
—Katie Rees, designer
Builder David Hill, D. Allen Construction Interior design Katie Rees, Katie Grace Designs Accessories and lighting Katie Grace Designs Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry Logan Cabinet, Inc. Fixtures Falk Plumbing Supply Paint Sherwin-Williams Painting (decorative) AF Decorative Windows Pella