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Homeowner Lyndsey Lewis is back with an update on the little “green” house (eco-friendly and painted a shade of green too) she’s building in Little Rock through Bret Franks Construction! My, how far her cute little house has come since Lyndsey first started this series with us in November! Stop by next week for a FULL update, part of which you can see on Lyndsey’s personal blog, Little House in Little Rock, right now.
Itâs go-time now. Weâre near the finish line on the little house (less than a month out), and boy is the pressure getting to me. I have projects for my projects at this point! I lie in bed at night, unable to sleep, going through to-do lists. I dream about furniture arranging.
Â Jen Franks [the wife in my husband-wife building team of Bret Franks Construction] told someone, âSheâs a real go-getter. Sheâs doing all kinds of projects for the house and still working her ârealâ job.â
Me: âNo, Iâm actually just a really bad judge of time. I always think thereâll be more of it.â
I decided to try my hand at upholstering my own headboard and ottoman. The headboard was donated by my big sister, Lola, after she decided to upgrade from the covered plywood. The ottoman was actually a wicker storage cube I bought at Big Lots during pharmacy school. The fabric and supplies I purchased for less than $20. Iâd say it’s a decent DIY for an amateur.
Tip: For a bargain on upholstery fabric, try Rushin Upholstery on Roosevelt in Little Rock. They have a whole wall of fabric thatâs less than $10/yard. Is it fancy? No. Does it have to newest prints in Elle DÃ©cor? No. But it is a fun, fun place to hunt and get creative. And no, Iâm not a paid spokesperson… my aunt does commercial upholstery work and told me about the place.
Iâve barely gotten a good start on the twin bed for my loft. (I purchased two twin-sized beds at Habitat ReStore for $50.) Stripping paint is no joke, readers! But, when the bed is decently cleaned, I plan to paint it a color then white-wash it. I may paint words on the footboard tooâ¦ perhaps âSLEEP TIGHTâ or âDREAMâ or âG NIGHTâ in industrial stenciled letters. (Or is that too kitschy?)
Â My mother and grandmother gifted a couple of family quilts to add some extra cozy to my beds.
Ok, back to work for me. I still have to sew curtains, create a skirt for my bathroom sink, stain my dining tableâ¦
Iâve got plenty of time, right?
If you’ve been following our “At Home with Green Design” series, you’ve gotten to know homeowner Lyndsey Lewis, as she’s been writing since November about the certified green home she’s building in Little Rock. Today, the experts at Bret Franks Construction (comprised of Bret and Jen Franks) talk about the process of building Lyndsey’s sustainable home. The key, they say, is in the planning.
PS- Tour Bret and Jen Franks’ own certified green home in our July 2011 issue, here!
The Whidbey, the home plan for Lyndsey’s own green home
Building a custom home always takes careful planning and forethought. Building a tiny home takes the importance of planning to another level. Then throw in Certified Green and Energy Star Qualifications, and it requires special attention to detail to make the dream a reality. In addition to the design, colors, fixtures and finishes that need to be determined, there are building code requirements, space planning, and Green points to consider.
One important aspect of planning a tiny home is to verify that the home plan and location meet the International Building Code Requirements. Bret met with the City of Little Rock Planning and DevelopmentÂ Department before construction began to confirm that Lyndsey’s Tiny Tumbleweed home plan would conform to local residential buildingÂ and neighborhood design requirements.
The design and location of the garage was also critical – not only for the aesthetics of a visible corner lot but for the storage needs of the homeowner. We felt it was important for the garage to be just as unique as the home without overpowering the diminutive size of the home. After discussing the storage needs with the homeowner (including a desire for covered space for two cars), Bret and I designed a single car enclosed garage with an attached carport – sometimes called a “lean-to”. The design was inspired by our recent trip to the South Carolina low country and incorporates space for a single car, a large amount of storage on two levels, a covered area for a grill, and a carport space for a second car which can also be used for outdoor parties with recessed lighting and a ceiling fan. Multi-purpose spaces are integral to tiny homes and their garages!
The kitchen design also required considerable thought and planning. Before the initial cabinet sketches, we had many discussions with Lyndsey about what was most important to her – from the coffee pot location to the built-in trash can (a must when you have two curious dogs living with you!). And small space appliances from GE were also determined before the cabinet design was finalized. Everything in the kitchen was scaled to fraction of inches – because every “tiny” bit of storage space counts when your building a little house.
After seeing its progress on the At Home blog, we were all anxious to see how Lyndsey Lewis’ adventures in green design would turn out. Finally, in July’s “Green Living” issue, we got to see the final result of all her hard work. So we asked Lyndsey to come back to the At Home blog and tell us what it’s like living in Little Rock’s adorable Little House! Take it away, Lyndsey!
The little house project was less about downsizing my stuff and more about restyling my life. The process of building (and blogging) my home really woke up my left brain and reminded me to make time to be creative.
With less time spent working (or driving to work) and less money going to housing, Iâm free to try out new things. My garden, started from seeds, has been a success! Not only does it provide fresh, organic groceries, but it makes the yard look like a domestic oasis.
Cooking has always been a hobby, but it has a whole new dimension now that Iâm using produce from the garden. I also experimented with sewing (see kitchen cafÃ© curtains), which is frustrating, challenging, and extremely satisfying when things actually turn out (mostly) correct.
Living in the little house, I really challenged myself to redesign the norms of my day-to-day tasks. For instance, caring for the âgirlsâ (see photo above) reminds me to think twice before choosing meat over other foods. I also try to make time to walk to work in the mornings now that Iâm living close to work.
Even the way I do my laundry has been modified. Most of the time, the sun does the work instead of my dryer. Besides saving electric energy, thereâs something really pleasant about watching clothes flutter on the line.
Having less space has meant buying less stuff. Iâm struggling to master the art of window shopping. However, I do not count bartering as shopping. Mandy Keener (At Home Stylist) swapped me an awesome pillow (see photo above) for a box of glass pharmacy decanters like the one on my side table. I rescued the containers from the âtossâ pile at workâ¦And voila! I now have style in the living room for free. (Thanks Mandy!)
Homeowner Lyndsey Lewis: I actually get that question a lot and it’s more of a combination of the two reasons. I was living in a traditional home in Maumelle. It was very nice and I liked the neighborhood, but I had an entire upstairs floor that was never used. I also work a lot and wanted a home that I could really enjoy when I was there, rather than constantly worrying about maintenance. In this house, I can do an entire deep clean in just an hour. When it comes to environmental responsibility, I believe in living with what you actually need, not what people think you should have. I wouldn’t consider myself to be an extremist by any means, but I do think it’s important to be responsible. Building a home that will last for years to come and that meets eco-friendly standards is a big part of that for me….
A Little Rock couple calls on an old friend to design a new-construction home packed with personality
When Lisa and David Trent first started thinking about building their dream home in the Heights, there was no question about who to call to help make it happen. Lisa had been friends with designer Kevin Walsh since college, and she knew she could trust him to bring her vision to life. “Kevin and I were fast friends when we first met. We clicked immediately,” Lisa says. “Plus, I love his work and knew he would guide me in the right direction.”
While this house was built from the ground up, Lisa had owned a smaller cottage on the same lot for years. Her and David’s main motivation for building new was for a more spacious home suitable for the kind of casual, everyday entertaining they enjoy. Another request was to keep the master bedroom on the ground floor. Kevin worked with a draftsman to incorporate everything on the Trents’ wish list, all while keeping a sizable front lawn and outdoor living space in the back. “We didn’t even initially talk about a second floor. We came to that once we started laying things out and seeing what sizes rooms should be,” Kevin says of the space-planning stage. …
One mom’s love for tailored, traditional design shines in her newborn’s nursery
Creating an elegant, playful, and sweet space was the objective for both designer Chandler Bailey and her client Jessica Koehler when embarking on this nursery design. “She thought she was expecting a little girl, so she would send me inspiration boards that were all pink and flowers,” says Chandler, who had previously worked with Jessica and her husband, David, to refresh other spaces of their home. “Jessica has a traditional, feminine style, so even when she found out they were having a little boy, she felt she could bring in some of her favorite softer elements.”…
From Chenal to downtown, the capital city has endless appeal. Here are just a few of our picks for shopping, dining, and staying | A Special At Home in Arkansas Promotion
Botanica Gardens Home
Whether you’re hoping to spruce up your yard with fresh landscaping or your interiors with the addition of a few houseplants and stylish planters, Chris H. Olsen’s Botanica in the Riverdale district is a one-stop shop for all things gardening. botanicagardens.com
Cantrell Furniture Design Center
This showroom features all styles of furniture and accessories, from traditional to contemporary. Looking to make changes underfoot? Head to Cantrell Furniture’s connected sister store, Arnold’s Flooring America, to peruse the latest in hardwoods, tile, and carpet. cantrellfurniture.com…
Designer Katie Rees employs a light palette and industrial accents to bring transitional style to a formerly dark lodge
East of Little Rock sits a picturesque country retreat with an abundance of outdoor amenities and no shortage of peace and quiet. “We really fell in love with this property and wanted to be here all the time,” says one of the owners of the land and an existing home, which was originally meant to be a getaway. They sold their main residence in 2009, made a few practical updates to the cabin-like house, and moved there full time. However, after nearly a decade they were ready to give the space new life.
“It started with me coming out to tweak the kitchen and paint. Over time it turned into much more,” says designer Katie Rees of Katie Grace Designs. “They wanted it to be right.” After several conversations and with proper respect to the setting and the home, they settled on a style one of the owners refers to as a “modern farmhouse with industrial flair.” “We were going in a million different directions with ideas when Katie came along. She really helped us to pull it all together.”
Little Rock-based designer Shayla Copas has announced the release of two brand collaborations that she hopes will carry her love of colorful Southern style into even more spaces. The first is a line of accent furniture, lighting, mirrors, and accessories with manufacturer Chelsea House. “The collection is full of color and pattern, and it has a really fresh spring vibe. The pieces are very classic with a touch of glam,” Shayla says.…