Story: Tiffany Burgess Adams | Styling: Chip Jones and Mandy Keener |
Architecture, art, and a mix of evocative accessories create a comfortable, personal retreat in a Little Rock designer’s home
“I’m always influenced by the architecture of a space,” says Little Rock-based interior designer and owner of the design shop Massimo, Scott Paterek. This home—his third personal residence to be featured on the pages of At Home in Arkansas—is no exception. The two-story Little Rock townhouse he shares with his partner Jon Norcross is alive with Paterek’s vision, which encompasses his take on personal and well-collected design, a healthy dose of accessories and artwork, and—of course—a deep appreciation of the home’s architecture and history.
History in the Remaking
It was the building itself that originally lured Paterek and Norcross to explore the idea of moving from their 4,500-square-foot home in a somewhat suburban neighborhood to the 2,500-square-foot apartment-like dwelling in the middle of Hillcrest. Built in the early 1900s, the ground floor of the building was originally a store, and the upper level housed a small walk-up apartment for the shopkeeper.
Later, during the 1970s, the property was purchased by an individual and converted into a private residence with the same floor plan it has today. The lower portion of the building (where the store was located) became the home’s living quarters with a large living room, dining room, and a compact but welcoming foyer, kitchen, and powder room. Upstairs, what was once a small kitchen was converted to a master bath, the space’s living room became the master bedroom, and a small dining room became a dressing room. An additional guest bedroom and bath on the upper level were left as they were when the structure was built.
Much like Paterek, the owner during the 1970s renovation had a penchant for detail and looked to the building’s architecture when it came to décor—specifically, a stained wall from a home, likely built during the same period, was brought in to serve as the focal point of the living area. “It really sets the tone for the room,” Paterek says. “The moulding, door height, trim, and probably even the ceiling height were determined by this one wall.”
Playing off the space’s architectural intrigue, Paterek re-imagined each of the rooms using many of the furnishings from his previous two homes—one of which was traditional and one that had a more contemporary flair. Since he and Norcross were downsizing, they wanted to use every inch of this house to their benefit, allowing them to display and incorporate as many pieces as possible. To do so, Paterek filled the home’s vertical space with art, found objects, and collectibles. “It [the house] seems to have this European flat or New York townhouse feel, and we wanted to play up that sort of old English, packed-in flat feel by hanging everything to the ceiling.”
The accessories found throughout the home have a comfortable, yet layered and story-rich effect. For example, you might see an aptly placed lamp and then notice that its modern Lucite base includes architectural fragments and it sits atop a vintage ledger. “The pieces we have weren’t selected because they were decorative, but rather because we like them. We’ve had all of it [the furnishings] a long time, but none of it was organized in this manner before,” Paterek adds. Among the mix are family heirlooms along with art from trips abroad. “Very little has changed from the first thirty days when we moved in. We really eyed the space and thought about what pieces we had and where they would go in here,” Paterek says.
Artists of Preference
Perhaps the couple’s taste is best exemplified by their art collection. “All of the art is personal: It has to speak to us personally or we have to have a connection with the artist,” Paterek says. On the walls you’ll find pieces painted by family members, including Jon’s mother who is a watercolorist, alongside works by Arkansas artists such as Jeff Horton and Eleanor Dickinson—who are personal friends of Paterek and Norcross—mixed with pieces the two have picked up on travels and at local antique shops. “Even though there’s a distinct mix of contemporary juxtaposed with traditional, there are elements that tie the pieces together,” Paterek says.
His Own Spin
Paterek notes that it’s this mix of contemporary and traditional, unchanging and ever-evolving that keeps the home from becoming stuffy. “It’s got to have a little twist or otherwise you’re living in your parents’ house,” he laughs. “I work with a lot of clients who inherit beautiful, traditional pieces from their parents and grandparents, and I say ‘This is wonderful, but this house isn’t as much fun as you are. Let’s keep these things, but spice it up a little bit, make it more reflective of you.’” From the looks of this home, it’s easy to see Paterek follows his own advice.
Interior design Scott Paterek, Massimo Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com
Framing Hillcrest Gallery Custom Framing, Little Rock,
(501) 664-7900, hillcrestgallery.com
Fabric Cynthia East Fabrics, Little Rock, (501) 663-0460, cynthiaeastfabrics.com
Furniture Massimo, Little Rock, (501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com; Roy Dudley Estate Sales, Little Rock, (501) 666-5856, roydudleyestatesales.com; Sweet Home Furnishings, Little Rock, (501) 296-9198, sweethomefurnishings.net
Lighting Lamp Shades Etc., Little Rock, (501) 664-5363, lampshadesandtheaccessory.com; Massimo, Little Rock,
(501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com
Mirrors Marshall Clements, Little Rock, (501) 663-1828, West Little Rock, (501) 954-7900, marshallclements.com