Date: October 1, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Nancy Nolan and Rett Peek |
Inspired by Texas architecture, a young family works with designer Becky Charton to achieve the look in their central Arkansas new build
For many, the use of natural elements like stone and wood might fall into the category of traditional home aesthetics. However, this contemporary new-construction home makes use of both—along with the clean lines and minimalistic polish you might expect to see in a modern design. “They are a little more contemporary in their taste, and this project was really at the beginning of the trend for this style home,” notes interior designer Becky Charton, who had worked with the owners previously and came onboard in the early stages of planning this house.
Both its interior and exterior were inspired by homes the couple had seen in Austin, Texas. To help achieve the look they desired, they sought a Texas-based architect and connected with Janet Hobbs of Hobbs’ Ink. They even went so far as to take an Austin tour of homes with Janet, Becky, and their contractor, Nathan Salter of Conway’s Salter Construction. “Austin has such a different style, and we are still drawing inspiration from that tour,” Becky says. “This being their first build, they really did an amazing job of bringing in all the professionals to get the look they wanted, and the result is awesome.”
Built in a shaded grove of pine trees, a winding drive leads to the home’s front entrance. Influenced by their love of Texas-style homes, the couple chose to use Austin stone on the exterior and paired it with a metal roof that contrasts in color. As with the interior, the addition of wood brings an organic, natural element to the design.
A pivot door welcomes guests in the foyer where a work depicting the property’s pine trees by Arkansas artist Heather Mainord hangs over a wood and steel console.
Located just off the foyer with access to the outdoor area as well as the kitchen, the living room is a true lounge spot with a cozy fireplace and large television. Design elements are reflective of what is seen on the home’s exterior, including the Austin stone, wood, and steel. “We really tried to maximize their budget in this room,” Becky says. For example, a leather coffee table with a sliding wood top was a splurge piece that serves as both an ottoman and a place to rest a drink, while the other upholstered items were opportunities to save.
“Even before the pandemic, they were a family who cooked dinner at home almost every night,” Becky says, “so it was key the kitchen really functioned for them.” Working with Distinctive Kitchens & Baths, the team created a perimeter space with tons of countertop room as well as a concealed entrance to a walk-in pantry. In the center, a T-shaped island features a wood chopping block near the range and an eating space with barstools gathered around a“Patagonia” granite slab at the opposite end.
Becky says the climate-controlled wine room was a “creative problem-solving process” for everyone involved. The desire to achieve a high-end look while maintaining proper cooling standards resulted in a U-shaped cabinetry system designed to conceal an air-conditioning unit. Vented doors and openings in the cabinetry’s bottom panels allow air to flow while a backlit onyx countertop provides space to unbox and pour the latest additions to the cellar. Collected bottles are stored in a sleek organization system that acts as art behind the glass enclosure.
Just for Her
During the design team’s tour of Austin homes, Becky noticed many spaces forwent traditional backsplashes in favor of windows. The option proved to be a perfect solution to bring more natural light (as well as a view of the wooded property) into a chic and feminine office. “Since she has a house full of boys, we wanted this space to be extra girly and just for her,” Becky says.
Room to Relax
An L-shaped ottoman seen at the end of the bed allows space for the couple’s kids to enjoy a movie night as well as a spot for their dogs to nap. Brazilian wood artfully installed by a local furniture maker covers a door that leads to the home office. At night, automated draperies pull closed to create a dark, cozy retreat.
Seeking to give the couple a closet that almost feels like a shopping experience, Becky worked with Little Rock’s Closet Factory to design a shared space that is as attractive as it is practical. “I visited their previous home before we began construction and noticed all the jeans were folded in neat piles,” she says. “I immediately thought, We’ve got to do that in a creative way in the new space.” Floating wire shelves, which hang from the ceiling, proved to be a stylish solution. The space’s two sides are divided by a large central island with a glass top, which allows the owners to see the contents inside the first set of drawers.
Form & Function
The master bath’s layout is the same as in their previous home. “It has his-and-her sides that almost function like two separate baths and worked really well for them in their last house,” Becky says. Floating vanities speak to the design’s contemporary influence while the centrally located shower is all about function. A rain head was placed to fall directly onto the bench for relaxation. A mirror strip, placed at eye level, allows the owner to shave in the shower easily, while also coordinating with the stripe design.
“They wanted to be in central Arkansas but not necessarily in a neighborhood, and this property allowed them to do that.”
—Becky Charton, designer
The interior of the pool is fully tiled, creating an ombre effect when viewed from the living room.
Outdoor Living Room
Tile and Ipe wood, both seen at the front entrance, are repeated on the back porch to create continuity in the design. Opportunities to sit back and relax abound in the space where a daybed-style swing hangs outside the home office and loungers surround the pool. The builder used a piece of wood from the property to create a natural mantel over the fireplace.
Architect Janet L. Hobbs, FAIBD, Hobbs’ Ink Closet design (master closet) Closet Factory Contractor Nathan Salter, Salter Construction Interior design Becky Charton, Table Setters Kitchen design Distinctive Kitchens & Baths Landscape design Scott Connerly, Landscape Associates Pool design and installation Jeremy Lawson, Luxury Pool & Spa Accessories, bedding, furniture, lighting, mirrors, rugs, wallpaper, and window coverings Table Setters Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Lisa Krannichfeld (via M2 Gallery) and Heather Mainord Cabinetry (kitchen) Distinctive Kitchens & Baths Cabinetry (bath) Distinctive Kitchens & Baths and Table Setters Carpet, fireplaces, and millwork Salter Construction and Table Setters Countertops (kitchen) Salter Construction, Pacific Shore Stones, and Table Setters Fabrics Cynthia East Fabrics and Table Setters Fixtures Falk Plumbing Supply Flooring Acme Brick, Tile and Stone and Salter Construction Furniture (kitchen table) Josh Holden, Acacia Builders Hardware PC Hardware Outdoor furnishings Luxury Pool & Spa and Table Setters Paint Sherwin-Williams Painting and windows Salter Construction Tile Acme Brick, Tile and Stone