A style-setting Little Rock mother blends contemporary and vintage furnishings to create a personalized, comfortable home for her family
Lauren Strother knows a thing or two about home design. She first became acquainted with the discipline while following her mother, a former interior designer, on jobs. She has also previously worked with At Home in Arkansas and currently serves as the marketing director at Emporium Home, the wildly successful home furnishings and accessories wholesale brand founded by her sister Ashley Childers. These experiences have culminated in a style all her own that seems to blend contemporary with classic—much like the inviting home she shares with her husband Lee and their two young children, Liam and Livingston.
The House on the Corner
Prior to moving to this home in Little Rock’s Heights neighborhood, the family—which at that time had only three members—lived just a few streets away in a home they had recently updated but which began to feel small as their son grew. “When we started looking, so many of the houses had small spaces or the kitchens hadn’t been redone. The kitchen and master bath in this house had just been beautifully renovated by Tobi Fairley, and it had a garage, so we jumped on it,” Lauren says. The home sits on a corner lot; however, the front of the house faces a side street, making the entry area slightly more discreet and less busy with traffic. “We love that Liam can play out in the side yard and in front of the house, too. That’s another one of the reasons we picked this home,” Lauren says.
The Gathering Places
As noted, designer Tobi Fairley had recently completely a kitchen renovation for the previous owner. Lauren brought in new barstools to make the kitchen their own but otherwise left Fairley’s design intact. From the kitchen, you can see through to the connected dining room and living area, where a palette of blue, white, and cream continues. Both spaces feature furniture, lighting, and accessories from the Emporium Home line along with pieces of art that Lauren and Ashley created.
With busy schedules and two small children, the couple wanted a place of their own to relax. Much like the home’s common spaces, the master bedroom is bathed in neutral hues and accented with blue. The gray wall color was an existing one that Lauren fell in love with and decided to keep after moving into the house. The master bath was also part of the previous owner’s renovation under the direction of Fairley. Its white and gray hues flow seamlessly with the style Lauren has infused into the home.
Little Boy’s Lair
Upstairs in the Strothers’ son Liam’s bedroom, a map-lined wall sets the tone for what appears to be a globally inspired room. A zebra-print rug, a buffalo-check Roman shade and accent pillow, and bold gold-and-green Emporium Home lamps set atop a vintage dresser (which formerly belonged to Lauren’s mother) all add to the eclectic look of the little boy’s imaginative space. “I didn’t lay all of this out in advance. It just kind of came together,” Lauren says. “I find things I like, and if it works, it works, and if not, I’ll move it somewhere else.”
Sweetly Styled Nursery
Upon first moving into the house, the Strothers chose a small downstairs room (which had previously been a home office) positioned just off the master bedroom and bath to make a nursery. “The way the house flows is very family friendly. All the spaces are open and lead to one another,” Lauren notes of this arrangement. After learning they were expecting their daughter Livingston, their son moved to a new bedroom and Lauren, inspired by the Quadrille fabric seen on the glider, redesigned the nursery with a sweetly feminine feel. “This fabric is discontinued and it was the last eight yards to be found, so I had to maximize it and think about where it would be impactful and if I could move it to another room,” Lauren notes. An existing daybed was outfitted with a tassel-embellished duvet and accent pillows—offering a nook for relaxation as well as a bed for Livingston when she’s older. Over the crib hangs a trio of ballerinas sketched by Ashley as a nod to the family’s dance background (Lauren was on Razorback Pom and previously served as Executive Director of Ballet Arkansas). “I love this room—which is good thing because I spend a lot of time in here!” Lauren says.
Kitchen and bath design Tobi Fairley, Tobi Fairley Interior Design
Accessories Cobblestone & Vine, Mid-Towne Antique Mall, and Roy Dudley Estate Sales
Bedding—custom pillows, fabrics, and upholstery Cynthia East Fabrics
Framing M2 Gallery
Furniture Bear Hill Interiors, Cobblestone & Vine, and Emporium Home (available through Phoenix Interiors)
Lighting and mirrors Emporium Home (available through Phoenix Interiors)
Rugs Hadidi Oriental Rug Co.
Window coverings Cynthia East Fabrics and Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies