Talking Textiles with Kelli Wilson: Room for the “Blues”


With the passing of blues legend B. B. King, I’m in a space of reflection about his legacy and about the blues–even the design blues. Some of the most relaxing and sumptuous homes  I have worked on tend to be built around shades of blue.


Always on trend and constantly being updated, I “fall back” to my go-to color when in doubt if an inspiration. With all the shades of teal blue and turquoise being predominant in outdoor textiles, I sometimes find it difficult to choose just one palette from which to work.


Mixing shades within a chosen hue makes the feel of your space much more interesting.  Layering texture, pattern and color tones of different textiles adds to the luxurious feel of “fullness” in your designs.  Let the “blues” within your spirit guide you to the ultimate comfort of your chosen  design!

Kelli Wilson is the creative mind behind Kelli Wilson Consulting, now based inside Ellen Golden Antiques in Little Rock.

Take Me to the Banquette, with Lindsey Binz


Traditional Home

Dining banquettes are a great way to add some personality and uniqueness to a home.
In addition to style, they add a level of comfort that goes beyond a typical dining chair.
I love how the curved back of this one mimics the lines of the staircase.
The tufting gives it such detail that the surrounding elements can stay clean and simple.
A built in bookcase above a custom banquette adds so much character and function.


Young House Love

Creativity is boundless with a custom banquette.
Adding hidden storage is a bonus that everyone can use.

Evelyn Shun

Not all spaces allow for built in pieces, but you can still get the look with free standing furniture.

Architectural Digest

House Beautiful

Paloma Contreras

If you are wanting something different than your everyday dining seating, try a banquette.
They are great space savers and can bring a cozy feel to any kitchen or dining room.
Lindsey Binz is the founder and principal of Lindsey Binz Home Company,
a firm specializing in helping people find and make their dream home(s).
If they need to sell another one first , LBH can get that done too!
Visit her website at

Outside the Box with D. Keeley: May Update

Well, hello again. I hope you are having a fruitful and enjoyable spring. If you are anything like me (and my garden) you are about to wash away from all the rain! But, as they say: “April showers bring May flowers,” and…well…I suppose all these May storms will just bring that many more blossoms in June! Or, at least we can hope, right? I have been rather lucky, actually, in that I missed much of the dreary weather, having been out of town for half of the past month. Since we last saw each other, I have been traveling quite a bit, mostly for work, and I thought I would share some of my experiences of life on the road (and Outside the Box!).

I started my travels with a trip to Little Rock to give a presentation to the wonderful women of the Little Rock Garden Club. While I failed to take any pictures, I had a great time sharing with them what it means to me to Live Outside the Box, and they were so gracious to welcome me at their monthly meeting.

Next, it was on to Dallas and another group of lovely ladies: The Dallas Garden Club. I was lucky enough to attend their annual flower show with some friends. It was held in the gorgeous home and garden of one of the club’s members, and I managed to sneak a few photographs in between mimosas!







It was such a treat seeing all the special creations and visiting with all the garden-loving gals in the club.


While in Dallas, I found a fun store, Big Mango Trading Company, which imports all sorts of unique items that are great for decorating your home and garden. One of my favorites was this water garden, carved from a single piece of stone.




I also fell in love with this planter, made with real barnacles, and just had to bring it home with me. I love how it looks on the dining room table, filled with graceful orchids.




From Texas, my journey took me for the first time to Santa Fe, NM. While the gardening ‘scene’ is quite different from the lushness of Arkansas, it is beautiful nonetheless, and spring is definitely a beautiful time to be there.

From my hotel room balcony, the sweet scent of wisteria climbing over a neighboring wall greeted me each morning.





And from the vantage point of a rooftop cafe on the downtown square I could take in the beautiful mountains surrounding the town, as well as the steeple of the famed Loretto Chapel.




Nearby, an interesting fountain caught my eye as it filled the cafe with its soothing sounds.




Before leaving town after a memorable weekend, I rode out to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to take a look. This serene sculpture greeted me at the entrance and had only just been installed that day.





The garden is very new and still very much in development. Nevertheless, there were plenty of interesting things to see. This pavilion near the entrance makes use of branches harvested from the garden to create a unique and affordable shade structure.




Just inside, a meadow garden leads to a collection of sculptures carved from huge pieces of stone.





Further down the trail, dry creek beds draw the eye to other points of interest, including an abandoned highway bridge re-purposed for use in the garden.





Along the art trail, I encountered this creature made from branches gathered from the garden. A desert scarecrow, perhaps?





Along the way, I stopped for a rest in the shade to enjoy the view from the inviting pavilions scattered throughout the garden.





All in all, Santa Fe was an absolutely thrilling experience. But, as usual, I couldn’t wait to be back at home in Arkansas where my garden greeted me with extra vigor…a result of all the life-giving rains. And, so it is with life Outside the Box!

Stay tuned next month to see what else the season has in store!

Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit  

Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: B+W Goes Wow

Anyone who has been to my house or who reads my posts often knows that I love color. Pastels last month, bright reds, greens and purples every other day of the week. But I am always so intrigued by designers who manage to use the classic combo of black and white and still hold my color-infused attention span. In fact, I’ve written about this dynamic duo before (my first ever post for At Home – years ago!).

Usually making black and white super interesting means incorporating the famous neutrals with new patterns, or with splashes of color. Here I’ve rounded up the black and white rooms that have caught my eye as of late. Enjoy!

Design by Jayne Scott Hodges
Photo by Paul Costello
House Beautiful


Design by Malene Birger
Photo by Polly Wreford


Design by Mary McDonald
Photo by Melanie Acevedo
Domino Magazine 
Design by Malene Birger
Photo by Brigitta Wolfgang Drejer


Design by Nick Olsen
Photo by Reid Rolls

Design by Stephen Shubel


Design by Celerie Kemble
Design by Nick Olsen
Photo by Maura McEvoy
House Beautiful


Design by Steven Sclaroff


Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Permanent Petals


Gardeners tend to embrace seasonal change—love it. even. With each transition comes the opportunity to change out plantings, play up design ideas, or implement new color combinations. And it’s all about renewal, which resonates with all humans. But sometimes, don’t you wish you had something to use that is a bit more long lasting? Impervious to the seasons? Here’s an idea you can incorporate into your planting scheme, and it doesn’t entail construction or site plans. Use cut flagstones to create petals in the outline of a daisy, a nice sort of punctuation to a bed, or bend in the garden path.

Decide how large you want your stone daisy, and create a template to follow to cut out the shape of petals. You’ll want to think about circumference, so petal size and count is important. I had the room, so I created a flower with six good-sized petals. You won’t have to cut out a stone for the flower center because you’ll use that area for seasonal plants.

Flagstones must be cut with a diamond blade, which you can rent, or ask the rock yard to use on flags you purchase. (Most yards or quarries will have one to cut stone.) Here is where having a template to follow for the petals will come in handy.

Because your daisy will be home to concentrated and highlighted plantings, prepare and amend the soil well. Dig deep enough to place two or three concrete blocks just beneath the surface where the petals will rest. The blocks—a crucial addition–will support your petals and keep them from sinking into the cultivated soil.


Arrange the petals with care, working to create a nice round circle that will be planted as the daisy center. Notice I overlapped the petals a bit to create depth. You’ll need to step back from time to time to check the shape of your design, and maintain that round shape for the important flower center.

Once the daisy is assembled, now comes the fun part. Plant the flower center so that it’s almost bursting, with plants selected for tight shape and good color. A mix of foliage plants and bloomers is best. Be sure to finish planting with time-release fertilizer, so you’ll have optimum color throughout the season. Plant around the edges of the daisy ‘petals,’ but not too closely. You want to be able to discern the shape of your daisy and its petals.

The year progresses, and the colors and plants and growth habits change, but you’ll have a garden resident that will outlast them all. And it’s nice to occasionally have something that will make you smile in the garden, like your stone daisy.

Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at

The Art Fix With Joshua Plumlee: Small Wonders

In my last post, I wrote about scale and everything was big, big, BIG!  And I got to thinking. What about all the little guys???

Sometimes an under-scaled piece of art can potentially pack as much impact as a much larger piece. This is especially true when considering placement. For example, last month we learned that an oversized painting can add drama and glamour to an entryway and can command presence in a living area. Check out this wonderfully masculine-chic living setup by dreamboat Nate Berkus…
Architectural Digest, 2012, Design by Nate Berkus, Photo by Pieter Estersohn

Architectural Digest, 2012, Design by Nate Berkus, Photo by Pieter Estersohn

That man mixes his leather and velvet like nobody’s business.  I mean just LOOK at it – black leather and cognac leather in the SAME space?  What???  He totally killed it. But notice how he places that large photograph over the sofa and yet to left he lets this teensy tinsy little picture just linger there. It’s all alone and yet it’s small scale and placement next to a much larger piece makes you want to run up to it, look it in the eye and punch it in the face. Genius.
And here, a small piece is given room to breathe in between a window and a set of etageres…
Elle Decor, Design by Kristen Buckingham, Photo by Simon Upton

Elle Decor, Design by Kristen Buckingham, Photo by Simon Upton

By the way, how much do you love those brass etageres against those black walls?  Is it chic and elegant, or trashy and horrible?
And remember, art doesn’t have to live on the walls. It can also serve as brilliant table-top accessory and bookshelf stuffery.  Jot that down on a cocktail napkin, why don’t you.
Look at how a pair of miniature etchings, framed and paired on a bookshelf make a perfect foil to hand-turned pottery and wide-spined books…
One Kings Lane, Design by Susan Feldman and Alex Reid, Photo by Nicole LaMotte

One Kings Lane, Design by Susan Feldman and Alex Reid, Photo by Nicole LaMotte

And don’t forget about table-topping.  In this vignette, smaller pieces of art make an unusual contribution to a wonderfully eclectic grouping.
Architectural Digest, Design by Jeffrey Bilhuber, Photo by William Waldron

Architectural Digest, Design by Jeffrey Bilhuber, Photo by William Waldron

So go–right now–and find a teeny tiny painting or a little bitty piece of sculpture and buy it. Do it.
But remember, don’t go TOO small. Much too small…
Active in the Little Rock design scene since 2006, Joshua Plumlee is passionate about reimagining elegant interiors with a focus on original artwork and an unconventional approach to luxurious style.

Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energy in Your Home, with Andrea Brooks

Have you ever wondered why when there’s a little tension in a relationship it can actually be a good thing? It adds interest and depth and a touch of the unexpected. It grabs your attention and leaves you wanting more. It can also be that natural balance of feminine and masculine energy. In my experience, the same rule applies to interiors! You want to keep a good balance of the Yin and the Yang—but the question is: How? What primary characteristics should you be looking for in your various design elements? What details are the most important to include when merging masculine and feminine?

I’ll use one particular home design to illustrate my points. In this particular family the husband has long been “outnumbered” by his wife and two daughters, but I’ll show you why he still feels right at home in his own home.


Photography: Nancy Nolan


In the master bedroom, I’ve balanced the more feminine, softer blues and yellows with the masculine, darker wood of the nightstands and curtain hardware. The rough texture of the concrete side table is counterbalanced by a flirty floral arrangement. Even the more masculine lines of the Neoclassical lamp pair just perfectly with the soft blue/gray color. The textured modern art piece also has a more masculine energy. I added in a vintage, pink-and-linen pillow to add a little something unexpected and to keep the room from being a little “too” perfectly matched.


Photography: Nancy Nolan

Photography: Nancy Nolan


The deep, regal purple upholstery juxtaposed with the intricately carved bench and the hand-painted Chinoiserie textile keep this vignette fresh.



Photography: Nancy Nolan


The color blush is making a huge splash at all the latest design-industry markets. Though this bedroom reads very pink, I’ve actually layered texture and color to bring balance: the curtains are a linen/cotton blend in blush; the velvet bed pillows are a deep, manly oxblood; the animal print throw introduces even more texture and subtle masculinity, as does the Celtic quatrefoil design of the poster bed. The overall look is still very feminine but not sugary sweet.



Photography: Nancy Nolan



Photography: Nancy Nolan


The strength of navy blue, along with the wide stripes and scale of the bolster pillow, balance the Damask pattern on the headboard and the floral watercolor painting above the bed. I love everything in this mix of the modern print in greens and blues above the lavender desk with studly brass accents and guilded vintage vanity chair.



Photography: Nancy Nolan


The hard edges of the octagonal dining chairs, the overscaled modern art, and the boxy lampshades, contrast with the pink Chinoiserie lamps and the graceful glass chandelier. Again, bringing in the dark wood dining table. Also, even though the wall color reads an ethereal blue – it is a more toned-down version than you would think of compared to a sky blue.



Photography: Nancy Nolan



Photography: Nancy Nolan


The straight lines of the brass barstools and the over-scaled, hammered texture in the lighting contrast with the orchid upholstery and fanciful, floral window treatments.



Photography: Nancy Nolan


In the living room, the drapes are made of wide stripes of navy and off-white, and the repetition of the octagonal shape fretwork, backed with antiqued mirror in the built-in.

Now that I’ve given you examples of how to create this balance between the masculine and feminine, do you think it’s something you would want to attempt to bring to your own home? Why or why not? Can you find more examples in these pictures than what I’ve described?


To tour the rest of this lovely home, see the feature in our April issue. To learn more about Andrea and her work, contac Andrea Brooks, Andrea Brooks Interiors, El Dorado,

Talking Textiles with Kelli Wilson: Spa Blue Heaven

By the end of the day, do you want to just relax and totally transform your spirit?  In this master suite, my client and I used a serene blue color palette to transform their bedroom into a spa-like sanctuary. We started by designing a master bathroom that envelopes them with luxury.shower

firedetail  vanitydetail laundry

We selected a white custom subway tile with accents of roped trim with terra cotta marble counter tops. With a free-standing soaking tub centered diagonally in front of a open style walk in shower, we added drama with a large fireplace and hearth to cozy up to after languishing in the tub. Custom closetry on each side house his-and-hers built-ins. There is a laundry room tucked away behind the closets for convenience. This intimate area flows easily into the sleeping and sitting areas that we dressed out in custom drapery and bedding from F Schumacher.

sheers bed fringe crewel bolster rug

We built on the spa feel by incorporating the spa blues along with creamy white linen sheers.  Antique Turkish rugs in the same tones flowed with the tones of blue used in the textiles to unify the dressing of this room. All in all this was one of the most sumptuous master suites I have ever had the pleasure of designing.

Kelli Wilson is the creative mind behind Kelli Wilson Consulting, based in Little Rock. 

Providence Design: It’s Spring and Time to Get Outside!

Spring is our very favorite season…We are so ready to get out and dig in the dirt and enjoy the sunshine after being cooped up all winter!  We love helping our clients plan outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and useful.
Herbs are so fun to plant, and they give instant gratification in this kitchen cutting garden…
It’s time to clean out those fountains and plant annuals you’ll enjoy all season long.  We like to plant in the ground where the sprinkler can take care of them and also in pots, which lets us layer and achieve different heights.  You can also move the pots around to different locations when entertaining.
One of our very favorite spaces to decorate is a cozy porch…Great for relaxing with family or entertaining with friends…
We love, love screened in porches.  We did this one several years go and it’s still our clients’ favorite spot in their home…
Love a fireplace on the porch too…makes everything cozy and beautiful year round…
We like to mix materials and furnishings on outdoor porches just like we do inside the home.  But remember: less can be better or the space can become cluttered looking.  This little courtyard is perfectly manicured and well appointed.  A great spot to enjoy morning coffee…
Always edit…But no reason to skimp on great details like this awesome old concrete statue or the antique iron balcony console with the concrete top…
We furnished the porch off an upstairs master bedroom in Fayetteville in a fresh palette of blue and white.  A perfect spot to sit and watch the neighbors stroll by.
Slip covers can be wonderful used outside…We use them all the time.  So easy to throw them in the washer to keep clean.
Outdoor entertaining is what Spring is all about…Every detail for this party was planned to perfection.  Notice how well the bright colors coordinate and pop off the neutral background.  And again we have mixed lots of different textures for interest.
Set aside a weekend to do some outdoor cleaning and planting…Make a list of a few fresh additions like pillows, lanterns, or garden statuary…When you have pulled it all together… throw something on the grill and invite a few friends over…That’s just a good time waiting to happen.
It’s your turn.  Let’s talk!
Providence Design is Mona Thompson and Talena Ray, a sister duo who are antiques dealers and interior designers. Learn more about them on their website,

Outside the Box with D. Keeley: April Update

Hello, and happy April! Well, it has already been a busy spring here at the Outside the Box House! As you would expect, flowers and plants are popping up everywhere in the garden, and it is a lovely sight!


The tulips are in full swing. I planted a mixture of three white varieties: one early-, one mid-, and one late-blooming, so the show lasts three times as long as a single variety. The first wave has been great, and I can’t wait to see the next two!



In fact, everything has seemed to be blooming at once and came together perfectly for one of this month’s highlights: a garden tour and lunch by the ladies of the Evergreen Garden Club of Little Rock.

Even as the tulips exploded, the daffodils were still in full force, and the dogwoods had just begun to open.





The dogwoods were so lovely that we took some of the branches inside to create a dramatic display on the dining room table.


Elsewhere throughout the house, we made several gorgeous arrangements from various spring flowers gathered and given to me by a friend. Their natural beauty was the perfect way to bring the feeling of spring indoors!





The bath got an arrangement of its own, made from delicate soaps, perfectly molded into realistic leaves.


Back outside, in the courtyard, the ladies and I lunched on delicious boxed meals from Bouchée, a wonderful bistro located on the Downtown Fayetteville Square.




More spring branches and hurricanes converted into terrariums by adding Maiden Hair Ferns adorned the tables.



The weather was perfect, although a tad bit breezy, and the ‘Snowdrift’ Crabapple trees in the fountain garden lived up to their name, showering the whole courtyard with tiny, white petals!



It was a beautiful, fun day, and it was a pleasure spending it with such a wonderful group of fellow garden lovers. I hope you are enjoying this spring, as well, and have the opportunity to get out and Live Outside the Box! See you next month!


Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit