Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek |
Bright, eclectic, and budget-friendly (yes!), this Hot Springs condo brings a smile to everyone who walks through its front door
Designer Susan Walsh of Little Rock’s Bear Hill Interiors feels like she’s come full circle with this couple’s Hot Springs lakeside retreat. “I worked with them more than 13 years ago on the main living areas of the condo, and recently I got the chance to completely redo the entire place,” she says. The couple had thought of selling the getaway, but when plans fell through they decided to hang on to it and hire Susan to give it a style upgrade.
“She had a budget and we had to figure out where to spend and where to save,” Susan says of her client. Quality upholstered pieces for the living room and window treatments fell into the spend category, while savings were racked up on accessories, rugs, and bedding. “Working on a budget can be done when you’re organized and willing to do your homework,” Susan says. “And we had fun figuring out the best ways to make it happen.”
They also had fun mixing styles to create a personalized look that Susan notes can’t be pegged with any one term. “There’s a little bit of bohemian, a little bit of preppy, a little bit of Southern folk art, and a little bit of shabby chic,” she says of the mix—all of which are loved by the homeowner and her husband. “When we design a vacation home, we really want our clients to feel like they’ve departed normal life,” Susan says. “Even if it’s only an hour away, we want it to be a true escape for them—and a place they enjoy being.”
“She initially told me she wanted the condo to be shabby chic,” designer Susan Walsh says of the owner’s inspiration. “She found the pink rug, and then I added the floral fabrics to coordinate and go for the look she wanted.” The upholstered pieces in the living room are covered with slipcovers, a feature Susan says “gives her longevity on the big-ticket items as well as the ability to easily clean them.”
The footprint of the kitchen did not change; however, new cabinetry that extends to the ceiling was installed and the island was deepened to allow for a dining ledge. “She wanted open shelving, which is something I, personally, love,” Susan says. “We went for it, because I knew she is the type of person who gets that things need to have a place and a look when everything is exposed.” Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove” covers all of the surfaces, while an aqua subway-tile backsplash and mint-green barstools bring in color.
In the eat-in kitchen, a small breakfast table is surrounded by wicker chairs from Serena & Lily. Susan found the vintage lantern at Little Rock’s Fabulous Finds and had it painted to match the color scheme.
“Even if it’s only an hour away, a vacation home should be a true escape.”
– Designer Susan Walsh
A palette of pastels brings a light and vibrant feel to the master suite. The homeowners’ iron bed was updated with new bedding, while a pink rug and lamp add an extra punch of color. The hue carries over to the bath where bubblegum-colored paint—a budget-friendly statement maker—covers the vanity.
For Sleep & Play
The owners’ children and grandchildren are frequent weekend guests, so a space that is kid-friendly and can accommodate everyone was a must. Simple white bunks with sunny yellow linens adhere to the home’s cheerful palette. Susan and the owners opted to spend a portion of the budget on a custom Roman shade, a functional and tailored addition. They balanced this by refreshing an existing chest with a coat of paint and new hardware.
Contractor John Hanks Construction Interior design Susan Walsh, Bear Hill Interiors Accessories Bear Hill Interiors Carpet (stair runner) C & F Flooring and Rug Gallery Countertops Casa Blanca Granite, Marble & Tile Furniture Bear Hill Interiors and Fabulous Finds Lighting Fabulous Finds Paint Benjamin Moore Rugs (kitchen and bunk room) Cynthia East Fabrics Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies