At Home in Arkansas is excited to have Steph Smith join the magazine staff as our new art director! To help you get to know the most recent addition to our creative team, we asked Steph a few questions about her background, her home, and her passion for design in all its forms.…
Welcome to Our New Editor
We’re glad to welcome Stephanie Maxwell to the At Home team as our new editor! Read on for a peek into Stephanie’s personal style and experience.
How would you describe your home and style?
My fiancé and I recently moved into a little yellow house in Hillcrest that’s within walking distance of our favorite coffee shop. Ever since we unpacked, blending our styles has been a fun and interesting challenge – I love contrasting textures, bold patterns, and funky vintage finds, and he has more of a minimalist approach to décor. I think we’ve found a sweet spot where our tastes overlap – you’ll see lots of clean lines, black-and-white accents, and walls filled with local art. My goal is to make a home that is inviting and comfortable but also totally us.
What’s your favorite room in the house?
Right now, I’d have to say the living room. It’s not only where we spend the most time together, but it’s also where we have most of our books – to me, a house just is not a home without books on the shelves. I’ve been known to spend hours arranging my books by color … which sounds incredibly tedious, but is actually so much fun.
What’s been your most interesting living space?
I spent a little over a year in London after college, and that third-floor Victorian flat I shared with four other girls would definitely qualify as interesting. It had wonderfully tall ceilings and a tiny galley kitchen where one wall opened up to look into the crowded living room. The place wasn’t in great shape, but it had amazing potential – and you can’t beat the location.
Will readers recognize you from any other publications?
For the past couple of years I’ve been working in the marketing department at Garver, a locally based engineering firm. Before that, I wrote and copyedited for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s niche publications; in fact, copyediting the weekly Homes Arkansas section of the newspaper served as my primer on interior design, architecture, and gardening techniques. My writing has appeared in Sync, Arkansas Life, Arkansas Money & Politics, and The Idle Class, as well as on designsponge.com.
What makes you most excited about being editor for At Home?
Some of the most inspiring, creative, and talented people I’ve ever met have been right here in Arkansas. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share their stories far and wide!
The At Home team would like to welcome our new Art Director Lauren Cerrato. She comes to us with experience in graphic and interior design, printing and photo styling. We thought a little Q&A would help you get to know the newest member of our team.
You’re a graphic artist with a passion for interior design. Can you tell our readers how your personal and professional life blend the two?
I’ve always been obsessed with making a space my own. Even if it was church camp for a week, you could spot my bunk from the rest. When my husband and I bought our first home in West Little Rock, I finally had some freedom to do that. Shortly after, I left my design position at an advertising agency to start my own business. I began making custom art prints so my clients could have a space that reflected them, as well. I had found my niche, and I was blending my graphic design experience with my love for the home.
When the house next door to my husband’s brother became available in Hillcrest, my husband and I now had complete free reign to customize our space. We gutted our 1920s Craftsman and got to call the shots from floor to ceiling. Renovation has quieted down and we are left with only a few more cosmetic projects and furniture decisions.
Now another great opportunity has presented itself and the At Home Art Director position has become available. Another piece of the puzzle has fallen right into place. I’m a firm believer in the effect that your environment has on you. I’m very passionate about anything that has to do with the home so I’m grateful and honored to contribute to the number one home design resource in the state.
Your fixer upper has its own eclectic style. Do you feel like there’s a way to describe it?
I call it rustic modern but there are also vintage finds (our living room rug and our church pew) or industrial touches (our concrete fireplace.) So, I guess we should stick with “eclectic.” Again, I just try to find pieces and make design decisions based on what will represent my family and tell our story. My husband co-owns a Herman Miller dealership. So, we have access to some amazing mid-century modern furniture. We also love being outdoors and that’s reflected in our style, as well. You’ll find a tree stump end table (from a tree that fell on my dad’s hunting land) next to a modern chair. There’s a gnarled piece of driftwood (from the shore near our family’s lake house) as the centerpiece on our sleek, white oak dining table. I think the contrast all works together and every detail tells our story.
Who is your interior design style icon?
Amber Lewis is the designer at an LA-based design firm called Amber Interiors and she’s pretty amazing. None of her spaces look alike yet I can spot one of her rooms in a sea of Instagram photos. I would never try to duplicate (because that’s not very unique) but I definitely get a lot of inspiration from her. Her spaces are clean and bright and she mixes unusual colors and patterns that always turn out great together.