A Colorful Pair

Story: Interview by Diane Carroll  |   Styling: Mandy Keener  |  

At Home in Arkansas: As an artist, has your training and understanding of color  influenced the design of your home?

Homeowner Bill Ratcliff: Because I paint, and I paint with a lot of wild colors, I’m not afraid to use color in my home. I learned color theory from an abstract painter, and in painting over the years, I’ve become more aware of mixing colors. The walls here are all custom mixed shades, and they’re a variety of neutrals. The color comes in with the furnishings, rugs, art and accessories, and they tend to be bold. I’m outgoing and bold colors appeal to me—bold colors, bold personality pretty much sums me up.


Since your husband, Wayne, is the owner of Baumans Fine Men’s Clothing, does his eye for style factor into the design of your home as well?

Wayne does a great job designing spaces. He’s a visual person, and he can see it in his mind. He also likes a very contemporary look, while I tend toward more of a mix. Our style has evolved: I’ve gone from collecting antiques and traditional style toward a more contemporary mode in our previous home, and a mix here.

What originally attracted you and Wayne to this house?

We loved the West Little Rock location, and that it’s on a golf course. Wayne’s a big golfer. It’s a good size for us too, with just enough yard that I can dabble in the garden.


Did you personalize it for how you and Wayne live?

Yes, we needed to make it more like us. We’re casual and didn’t want formal spaces. We turned the dining room into a study, where we can listen to music or converse with friends. What was originally a sunroom became our dining area, and we added a patio adjacent to it. We converted the attic space into my art studio. And we enhanced the kitchen, upgrading some of the elements and adding new counters and backsplash.


That wonderfully large closet must have been customized as well.

We converted a walk-in closet and a very small bedroom into this larger space. Wayne knows just what he wants when it comes to clothing, and we worked with designer Nila Ciesiel at Closet Factory, who planned the space to accommodate what we needed. There’s room to store jewelry, purses and shoes in cabinets and closets so that it all stays fresh and organized, and plenty of space for our clothing. We even purchased special hangers that match the closet color so that it looks tidy. Then I’m the one who coordinates it all, lining up the clothes by color.


Throughout the house, each room seems to have a predominant color, and it varies from space to space. How did you decide which shade to use in each area?

There is a color block effect to the house. I used mostly reds and blacks in our last home, and I grew tired of that, so I began introducing orange, yellow and green here. I base the colors on the mood of the room. The living areas are darker and more nighttime spaces, so they have reds, browns and oranges. The kitchen and sunroom are the daily hangout areas, with lots of sunlight, and they’re bright and cheery with yellow and lime green. To me, the bolder, darker colors are more serious. Since people always land in your kitchen, I used lighter colors to create a fun place to kick off your shoes and relax.


Having mastered a mix of colors in your own home, do you have any tips for others on how to work color into interiors?

I say go with your gut. Don’t ask for too many opinions, since they can steer you away from what you really like. The colors you use and the items in your home should be ones that mean something to you and fit your lifestyle. 


Design Resources

Design consultation Garry Mertins Design, Little Rock, (501) 376-6600, garrymertinsdesign.com

Kitchen design consultation Soho Modern, Little Rock, (501) 372-4884


Accessories Phoenix Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 225-0400, phoenixinteriors.webs.com

Barstools, breakfast room lamp, table Soho Modern, Little Rock, (501) 372-4884

Chairs, candleholders—dining area Bear-Hill Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 907-9272, bearhillinteriors.com

Closet Closet Factory, Little Rock, (888) 666-0168, blog.closetfactoryarkansas.com

Furnishings—bedroom, living room, study, dining area console table Mertinsdyke Home, Little Rock, (501) 280-3200

Kitchen fixtures Falk Plumbing Supply, North Little Rock, (501) 664-3911, falksupply.com

Rug—breakfast room Cynthia East Fabrics, Little Rock, (501) 663-0460, cynthiaeastfabrics.com

Slipcovered armchairs—breakfast room Vesta’s, Little Rock, (501) 375-7820, vestasboutique.com

Sofa—study Hank’s & More Fine Furniture, Little Rock, (501) 954-7130, hanksfurniture.com

Tile Inside Effects, Little Rock, (866) 629-4789, inside-effects.com

Vases—dining area Tipton Hurst, Conway, (501) 329-6663; Little Rock, (501) 666-3333; North Little Rock, (501) 753-0709; tiptonhurst.com


The Layered Look: From playful paint hues on walls to vibrant art, furnishings and fixtures, an El Dorado interior designer’s home exudes color confident style

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