For interior designer Tom Chandler, of Chandler and Associates in Little Rock, great design is not always about purchasing an entirely new house full of furnishings. “We really pride ourselves on taking into consideration what the client already owns,” he says. “More times than not, we can create a totally new feel by simply rearranging the client’s existing items and adding a few key pieces.” This is what he and his team were able to accomplish for Jim and Joyce Faulkner. “We looked around our house and said, ‘Well it looks like we have everything, but it’s not in the right place,’” says Joyce. “That’s when we knew to call Tom.”
“The Faulkners had wonderful art already,” Tom says. “We rearranged everything except the dining room table and master bed.” Tom’s approach to reworking a home begins with analysis of traffic flow and moves to purposeful furniture groupings and the home’s visual vistas. “I consider the architecture of the Faulkners’ home timeless, and they have great taste, which offered us wonderful items to work with,” he says. “The first thing I considered when placing furniture is traffic flow. This should be the springboard for everything else. Secondly, I focused on crafting areas of purpose that are obvious to people as they enter the room. It should be discernable that there’s a specific area for conversation, a music space, a game space, a bar area, a writing area and whatever else the room calls for.”
Tom then moved on to the details of each of these designated spaces, making sure the design is independently strong. “Each grouping needs appropriate lighting and a usable surface,” he says. “I define this surface as anything flat as long as it would accommodate a scotch on the rocks, a Bible or both.” In the Faulkners’ home, Tom took cues from the fireplace and windows when designating furniture placement. “We concentrate on the vistas provided by the house, and this is really anything that stops the eye,” he says. “A fireplace suggests a primary conversation configuration, and we take care not to obstruct any views from large windows.” Tom’s team was able to create an office space in the master bedroom, casual seating around the fireplace in the den and more formal offerings around the fireplace in the living room. He also took care to place the Faulkners’ works of art in prominent places. “I particularly enjoyed working on this house,” he says. “I enjoyed the people and their beautiful possessions. Their range of fabulous art from paintings to sculptures and accessories presented on pedestals allow for an almost gallery feel, while still being very welcoming and comfortable.” The Faulkners were amazed by their new home. “Everything was perfect,” Joyce says. “We built this house 20 years ago, and many people who come over think we purchased all new furnishings. Re-envisioning a space is truly one of Tom’s talents.”
Working with a Fayetteville family in designing their home from the ground up gave interior designer Dixie Pittillo of Shepherd’s Interior Design in Pine Bluff an added advantage when it came time to design the outdoor space. “I drew a lot from the home’s design when we turned our attention to the outdoors,” she says. “They wanted the house to be very open, and with the back side mostly windows, the exterior had to visually blend with the interior.” One reason the homeowners chose to purchase the site was the expansive backyard and views, and Dixie wanted to highlight that in her design.
Dixie collaborated with Seaside Pools in Springdale, Sharum Landscaping and Design in Springdale and Landscape Associates in North Little Rock, to create a large, versatile space centered on spending time with family. “These homeowners are all about family, and I wanted to give them plenty of room to enjoy each other and to entertain,” she says. The pool features an extended shallow end for a game of volleyball, and the hot tub, located closer to the house, is ideal for relaxation.
By building varying levels on the slightly slopping lot, Dixie gave the homeowners various areas that can be used separately or together. “We extended the space surrounding the pool to allow lots of seating room, and we included an outdoor kitchen with stainless-steel countertops, by L&L Metal Fabrication in Springdale, where they can cook and entertain with easy clean up,” she says. “Down the steps from the pool is an open area for sports and games, while the fire pit offers seating around it.” Durability and beauty played a role in choose the furnishings. “We of course wanted the space to be beautiful, but we also wanted the furnishings to withstand kids and lots of use,” Dixie says. “It’s also easy to maneuver and relocate throughout the space, depending on the size of a dinner party or family time on the yard. Flexibility was foremost in my mind for this family.”
Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four, Job McCully of Bigelow survived chemotherapy, radiation treatments and a bone marrow transplant before starting elementary school. Though the treatments saved his life, they also severely damaged his fragile lungs, and in February 2007, Job’s condition rapidly deteriorated when he was diagnosed with a fungal lung infection. The likely source: Job’s own home.
His mother Tina explains that the family’s 50-year-old house was plagued by mold and mildew. “When the house was constructed, they built it into the hillside, but they weren’t concerned with drainage,” she says. “Water was running down the hill and sitting under the house.” Amid worries over Job’s critical condition, which they learned would require a lung transplant and an extended hospital stay, the McCullys now had to find a safe home for their son.
Fans of the ABC television program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the McCullys’ friends were convinced that they could get them selected for the home renovation show. “They got everybody to send in letters within ten days,” Tina says. “We later learned that their volume of mail actually shut down ABC’s mailroom.”
The network contacted homebuilder Jack Wilson of Woodhaven Homes, and the experienced builder, whose past projects include the Country Club of Arkansas and Majestic Pointe in Maumelle, didn’t shy away from the fast, large-scale project. “We had approximately 30 days from the time they contacted us to be ready to build,” he says. “Within a matter of hours, we had ABC people at our business helping us with strategy and getting us the information we needed to be able to move forward.”
On a morning in mid-August 2008, the McCullys’ prayers were answered as they were greeted by a team of volunteers, contractors, builders and camera crews outside their home ready to work. “You have all this hope that it’s going to happen, but you just don’t know for sure until the work crews arrive,” Tina says. The build week was a whirlwind of activity, and while the McCullys received a much-needed vacation in California, crews worked around the clock to demolish their old home, construct a new foundation on their property and build a completely new house from the ground up. “We actually built the home in 98 hours,” Jack says. “We had never done anything similar to that before, and we found out that anything is possible if you get the right people together.”
The most remarkable part of the process, apart from the sheer speed with which the home was constructed, was the generosity of the vendors and volunteers who participated in the project. “Probably 80 to 85 percent of the building materials were donated by local people,” Jack says. “We had people lining up to participate. I’ve never seen as many people step forward and be a part of something. It was really heartwarming to watch.” Arkansas-based retailers like I.O. Metro, Cynthia East Fabrics, National Home Centers, Angelfish Studios and a host of others gave freely of their time and supplies.
The home itself, which Jack describes as an eclectic re-interpretation of the French country style, features an open floor plan perfect for a family with young children, because the kitchen is open to the great room with areas for family seating, a dining table and an office. “It seems like we’re together more as a family,” Tina says. The custom-designed bedrooms created for Job and his sister Nicole are testaments to the personalization and attention to detail from the crews.
Job’s pirate-themed getaway is constructed like the deck of a ship, complete with a fiber-optic ceiling to resemble a starry sky above the ocean. Six 32-inch, flat-screen televisions line the walls and play a specially designed video program, making the screens appear to be portholes overlooking the ocean on one side and the shoreline on the other. “I’ll never forget the look on Job’s face when they came home, and he got to see his house,” said Jack. “From age four to 10, he spent most of his time in the hospital, and it’s neat to see him have his own space.” Woodhaven Homes has set up a fund to benefit the McCully family. To make a donation, visit any branch of Community Bank, First State Bank or Twin City Bank.
Special thanks to these partners:
Alex Larzelere’s family has worked with interior designer Debi Davis of D&D Design in Little Rock on many projects throughout the years, and when Alex purchased his condominium in the 300 Third Tower in downtown Little Rock, he enlisted her design expertise. “This is the first time I’ve been able to work with Debi directly, and it was wonderful since I was already so comfortable with her,” he says. “I love living downtown because it allows me to walk everywhere, and when there’s a concert close by, you can hear it from my balcony.”
When Debi began the project, the condo was in the finishing-out stage. “She was instrumental in choosing the finishes and colors,” Alex says. “It kept the entire look consistent from beginning to end.” For Debi, the overall goal of creating a clean-lined and contemporary space was exciting. “Many people know me for French country or more Old-World looks, but I don’t ever want to constrain my designs. We also shied away from any fads,” she says. “He’s a young man, and we wanted a sophisticated but comfortable look that would not become dated. We kept the colors light so as not to overpower the wonderful view he has.” From the paint colors to the fabrics and custom silk rugs from Hadidi Oriental Rug Company in Little Rock, beautiful and welcoming textures and hues intertwine throughout the space.
For the furnishings, Debi and Alex worked closely with the team at Cobblestone & Vine in Little Rock to order a well-edited collection of furniture. “Alex had an overall style of furniture in mind, and the only piece that we held over from his previous home was a Chinese bed that we used as the coffee table,” Debi says. “It was so wonderful working with him because he has great taste and presented us with thousands of inspiring photographs.”
Artwork, from wall hangings to free-form sculptures, also played a vital role in bringing Alex’s condo to life, and Debi even created some pieces herself. “I came across a wonderful stone statue in New York and cast several molds of it and aged them,” she says. “Then we fastened them on a huge piece of wood and hung it in the mirrored entryway. It’s dramatic like stone, but as light as paper. We always try to make a lot of creative items for our unique clients. We never want to duplicate anything because each client’s home should be about them. Working with great craftsmen and professionals makes this possible.”
Interior design: Julie Wait Designs, RogersWhen Julie Wait Fryauf, ASID, and her team at Julie Wait Designs in Rogers began working on this home for a newlywed couple, they already had a considerable amount of experience working with the groom and his family, but they were anticipating helping the couple find their own unique style. “Since this was to be their first home together, we understood they didn’t have a set lifestyle,” Julie says. The newly constructed home in Springdale includes an open floor plan, allowing the living areas to flow together, including the tailored dining room. In fact, the china that the couple received as wedding gifts provided an element of inspiration for the home’s design. “It was the only thing I was sure about!” the bride says. The chandelier’s silvery finish and the traditionally inspired furnishings are combined with subtle texture and pattern on the wallpaper, rug and fabrics for the ideal blend of youthful and classic styles.…
We may only think about gardening when the weather is warm and the sun is bright, but keeping up with seasonal changes in your outdoor areas will promote healthy and vibrant plantings. We spoke with Kristi Wright of Eminent Terrain in North Little Rock, and she created a month-by-month gardening guide to ensure a well-planned and maintained landscape.
Recycle your live Christmas trees and plant them in your garden.
Plan a spring garden or sign up for a spring garden seminar.
Look for new varieties of seeds in garden catalogs.
Keep an eye on houseplants for pests.
Keep your bird feeders full.
Prune back roses and transplant shrubs before they leaf out.
Check for weeds in your beds.
Edge your flowerbeds with a one-inch trench to prevent sod from creeping in.
Make labels for new plants.
Plant spring annuals and top off mulch.
Stake perennials before they become too tall.
Fertilize trees, shrubs and perennials.
Prune spring flowering shrubs that have finished blooming.
Cut back yellowing foliage from bulbs
Spray roses with fungicide. You can make your own fungicide by mixing 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda with two to three drops of dish soap in a one-half gallon of water.
Pick up a container of ladybugs at your local nursery and add them to your garden to fight insects. Be sure not to spray pesticides!
Fertilize heavy blooming shrubs once a month until frost.
Deadhead spring bulbs that have faded.
Supplement water in containers and baskets.
Harvest fruits and vegetables regularly.
Deeply water beds and sod every few days to promote root development, as opposed to lightly watering every day.
Cut back dried plant tips and spent blooms to promote healthy new growth.
Remove dead potted plants, if disease free, and chop up to add to compost pile. They will biodegrade and provide rich soil for next spring.
Cut back overgrown trees and shrubs.
Plant fall annuals and bulbs for next spring.
Top off mulch.
Winterize sprinkler system and disconnect water hoses to prevent freezing.
Store clay pots in your garage.
Clean gardening tools and store.
Decorate for Christmas!
Carefully knock any snow or ice off shrubs and ornamental trees.