A central Arkansas family creates a weekend retreat in downtown Fayetteville that’s primed for entertaining, celebrating, and giving back
Designer Becky Charton has what some may refer to as an out-of-the-box approach to design: She puts relationships first. “Our style is very personal, and I tell my clients that we go on a journey of self-realization together,” the owner of North Little Rock-based Table Setters, Inc. says. Perhaps because of this, Charton has developed a handful of clients—which she laughingly refers to as “lifers”—who she works with time and time again. This group includes Conway businessman Todd Ross and his wife, Kristie.
“More than a decade ago, Todd called me and said he liked what I had done in another commercial office and asked if I could help him with his office,” Charton says. From there, she worked on the couple’s personal home, as well as several other properties before tackling this high-rise weekend retreat located in the heart of Fayetteville in The Dickson. Here’s how they combined four separate units to create a welcoming space for entertaining with a flair for all things Razorback.
Uniting four condominiums may seem as simple as tearing down a few walls; however, staircases, chases, and utility locations made for more than a few challenges. Charton saw these as opportunities rather than obstacles. Perhaps the most unconventional feature is an under-condo wine cellar (housed in the stairwell of one of the former individual units) with a glass ceiling that looks upward into the dining area. “They are really some of the most stylish people I know. They let me take risks,” the designer says.
Charton also wanted to make sure the family—and their guests—took full advantage of the property’s sweeping view, which boasts Old Main to left and Mount Sequoyah to right. “When you come in the space is kind of moody and dark so we wanted to direct you to the light at the front of the unit,” she notes. Additionally, to get plumbing and electrical to all the spaces, the entire center of the condo is raised, meaning you step down to access individual rooms.
It’s hard to imagine a getaway home in the heart of Fayetteville not paying homage to “The Hill.” Charton notes that the Rosses’ daughter Sydnie attended the University of Arkansas and the family has “always been involved in the athletic foundation and been supporters of the University.” To showcase their pride, the designer incorporated nods to the Razorbacks and the institution throughout the spacious retreat. “We wanted to celebrate the University without being too cheeky. That was one of our goals—to do it without there being logos everywhere,” she says. Small touches carry the theme throughout the space: in the wine cellar, red sconces and LED lights allude to the school colors; an installation of white snouts on the fireplace call to mind the mascot; and a red WPS monogram on the chair at Kristie’s dressing vanity is a nod to the beloved Woo Pig Sooie chant.
Repeat After Me
An abundance of repeated elements—fabrics, furnishings, hues, and materials—give the condo the feel of a hospitality space. “I wanted people to say, ‘Is this a personal space or an entertaining space?’” the designer notes. The repetition starts with a continuous palette, which is most apparent in the kitchen, wet bar, dining area, and living room. Specifically, the kitchen features white, gray, red, and wood tones that match all the leather furnishings. “We worked with Andi Stephens at Kitchen Distributors on all of the Wood-Mode cabinetry. She’s very fast; she gets it and likes to try new things with her product,” Charton says of the kitchen designer.
Aside from the palette, specific features appear again and again in these areas: wood grain cabinetry (seen in the kitchen, wet bar, and along the TV wall), hide-on-hair furnishings, the continued use of multiple (and often over-scale) light fixtures, crisp, white high-gloss surfaces, and tan leather seating options.
Harking back to the personal aspect of Charton’s designs, she likes to make sure her clients have the opportunity to select a few of their space’s special pieces. On a shopping trip with the designer, Kristie found a red glass piece that reminded her of a hog. The piece is now prominently displayed in the kitchen. She also spotted the wooden barstools that now grace the wet bar, knowing they were just what the space needed.
Aside from décor elements that represent the owners’ personal taste, an art installation speaks to a more intrinsic quality. “Since the Rosses are such givers and truly wanted this space to be one for others to enjoy, we wanted to speak to that somewhere in the design,” Charton says. She collaborated with Fayetteville artist Brian Hill to convey this. “We went back and forth, and we came up with the idea that giving is a multiplier. When you give it blesses someone, and they can pay it forward,” Charton explains. To represent this idea, the art installation—which greets guests at the front entry—features four groups of stainless steel balls. The first includes three balls to represent Todd, Kristie, and Sydnie. The next features six balls, the third 12, and the fourth and final one has 24, including a larger ball to represent Sydnie’s husband, Sean. “We call it The Giving Wall. It’s really understated yet meaningful,” Charton says of the piece that beautifully represents the idea of giving that the owners wanted to relay with their space.
Architect Tim Maddox, deMx architecture
Contractor Salter Construction Inc
Interior design Becky Charton, Table Setters, Inc.
Kitchen design Andi Stephens, Kitchen Distributors
Accessories, bedding, fabrics, fixtures—bath, furniture, and rugs Table Setters, Inc.
Appliances Metro Appliances & More
Art—entry Brian Hill
Audio visual Deboard Electronics
Cabinetry Kitchen Distributors
Carpet C&F Flooring and Rug Gallery
Fixtures—kitchen Falk Plumbing & Supply
Flooring and tile Acme Brick, Tile & Stone
Hardware Lighting Emporium
Lighting Table Setters, Inc. and TEC Electric
Millwork Quality Millwork
Outdoor furnishings Lacuna Modern Interiors
Painting—decorative Burnett Painting
Window treatments Designer Effects and Interior Creations