Story: Jennifer Bonds | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Chip Jones |
Designer Pam Nolen helps a fashionable young entrepreneur put a personal touch on her mid-century Fayetteville home
Fort Smith native Anna Cottrell made a name for herself in the fashion communities in New York and Dallas, but three years ago, she returned to her home state of Arkansas and bought into the popular Fayetteville boutique, Lola. Since that time, the store has opened two new locations (Bentonville and La Jolla, California) and Cottrell has been instrumental in connecting and promoting artists and makers around the state.
Now ready to set down some roots in Fayetteville, she called on designer Pam Nolen to help bring some personality to her charming mid-century home. Nolen had assisted Cottrell’s mother and sister with a few projects in their homes, and the pair gifted Cottrell some design hours from Nolen for her 30th birthday while she was renting a small studio apartment. “We worked well together because we have different strengths,” Cottrell says of Nolen. “Pam is really great with furniture arrangements, and thinking of the big picture, while I am very detail-oriented, and can put together the little moments.” For Cottrell, putting an outfit together has always been instinctive. The mix of high and low, structured and feminine, edgy and soft gives her wardrobe interest, and Nolen encouraged her to apply the same formula to her home. “She already has an eye for what is fashionable and unique, I helped her turn that eye to her home—to approach a room the way she would approach an outfit,” Nolen explains. To that end, the pair combined vintage and heirloom pieces with big-box store products to create a home that is cozy and approachable, with a point of view that is decidedly fashionable.
Cottrell made an offer on the home before it was officially listed on the market, thanks to a friend who spotted it and knew it would be a good fit. “I was immediately attracted to all of the natural light from the large windows and to the outdoor space,” she recalls. While 60-year-old fixtures might scream “gut-job” to some, the solid construction and comfortable scale were part of the home’s appeal for Cottrell. “It would have been easy to tear it out and start over, but we wanted to honor the home and freshen it up instead,” Nolen explains. Bold palm-leaf wallpaper brings the hall bathroom’s iconic pink tile to life again, and Cottrell scoured the internet for a set of vanity lights that closely resembled the original, which were no longer functional. The home’s original concrete floors were refinished, and a fence was added to the backyard for Cottrell’s spaniel, George. Otherwise, the changes mostly included brightening up the paint colors and adding furnishings and accessories.
“My passion is for the design plan to reflect the client, not me,” Nolen says. “With Anna, I really wanted the house to begin to tell her story.” Rather than hide her enviable wardrobe in a closet, Nolen put it on display. Vintage cocktail dresses became pieces of art when hung on the living room wall, and Cottrell’s unique shoe collection was given prime real estate on a vintage bamboo-and-glass shelf. One-of-a-kind family heirlooms like a blue velvet sofa, a lamp made from a parking meter (“still full of change!”), and a stack of vintage suitcases mingle with a sleek Crate & Barrel sofa and textural, on-trend accessories from Fayetteville’s home goods shop WITH | home supply. To round out the cozy, eclectic furnishings Nolen and Cottrell brought in a Lucite side table and statement-making arc lamp from local shop 410 Vintage Market. Where possible, Cottrell sourced items from small makers, such as pillows from Oklahoma-based Little Design Co. and pottery from a local ceramicist.
“Each client brings a new relationship and I really do fall in love with each of them, but Anna in particular has been very inspirational to me,” Nolen says. Cottrell’s hands-on approach is especially evident in her home office, where, after she and Nolen discussed several options for creating a focal point on the back wall, she simply began pasting magazine tear sheets to the wall. “I was feeling uninspired and needed to be reminded of something beautiful and artful,” Cottrell recalls. “It started as a small section, but it ended up being a wallpaper-like installation.” Cottrell’s quickness to turn an idea into action—no doubt beneficial in her career—inspired Nolen to wrap up a few projects in her own home that had been languishing. “I loved seeing her home come to life as our time together seemed to ignite her ideas,” Nolen says.
Interior design Pam Nolen, Fayetteville, (479) 422-6820
Architect Cyrus Sutherland, ca. 1961
Accessories 410 Vintage Market, Fayetteville, (479) 521-2224; Lola, Fayetteville, 479-443-5535, shoplola.com; WITH Home Supply, Fayetteville, (479) 304-8446, withhomesupply.com
Art WITH Home Supply, Fayetteville, (479) 304-8446, withhomesupply.com
Bedding—Comforter Flora, Fayetteville, (479) 442-7010, floranwa.com
Fence Contractor Reform Contracting, Fayetteville, (479) 856-2592, reformcontracting.com
Floral Flora, Fayetteville, (479) 442-7010, floranwa.com; Woodbine Mead, Springdale, (479) 751-3390, woodbinemeadflower.farm
Furniture 410 Vintage Market, Fayetteville, (479) 521-2444
Landscape architect Roots Lawn and Landscape, Fayetteville, 479-856-6644, rootslawnandlandscape.com
Lighting—Arch lamp 410 Vintage Market, Fayetteville, (479) 521-2224
Rugs WITH Home Supply, Fayetteville, (479) 304-8446, withhomesupply.com