Date: December 3, 2019 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
Inspired by her love of traditional design, Searcy designer Amy Williams creates a classic Southern home—complete with Christmas décor—for her family
Timeless design has always held an appeal for Amy Williams. “I’ve always been interested in classic homes and interiors. In college, I even considered majoring in interior design,” she says. Ultimately, she chose to pursue a degree in elementary education and spent a number of years teaching first grade before staying home with her own children, Grace and Jack. However, her interest in design never left her as she continued to decorate and remodel the family’s homes.
“As our kids grew older we decided we needed to move to a home that better fit our family’s needs,” Amy says. After weighing their options, she and her husband, Buddy, decided to build in a nearby neighborhood in Searcy.
During the build, Amy’s love of design was rekindled even more so, and those around her took note. “When we were working on our home, the contractor’s wife liked what I had done and said, I’ll pay you if you’ll help me,” Amy recalls. From there, Amy Williams Design took off and has continued to grow over the past six years.
“I have always loved a traditional, family friendly, Southern home,” Amy says of the elements that stand out throughout her house. She points to details such as the tongue-and-groove ceiling treatment in the mudroom, the walnut countertop in the kitchen and coordinating cabinetry in the master bath, the use of lanterns throughout the home, and a neutral color scheme that is accented with a range of blues. “There’s a soft blue gray that runs throughout the house and adds life to the design,” she says. “When we painted the walls, my painter laughed and said, You like ‘no color’ color, because of all the neutrals I chose,” Amy relays. “But I wanted the bones of the house to be good, classic elements that I could punch up with color; I didn’t want anything to feel dated.”
The same goes for the home’s holiday décor. Since moving in, Amy has called on the talents of Tanarah Haynie of Little Rock’s Tanarah Luxe Floral to help her decorate for the season. “Floral design is not my expertise, so I was happy to have them onboard to help execute the vision,” Amy says. Using the home’s palette and the family’s beloved ornaments and stockings, Tanarah and her team accented the spaces with a light layer of holiday wreaths, garland, and greenery. “I wanted the Christmas décor to have a very Southern, Low Country feel,” Amy adds, “which I think complements our house beautifully.”
Dressed to Dine
As is the case with many homes, Amy says her dining room gets the most use during the holiday season. “I wanted the table to be accessible, so having a small centerpiece was key,” she says of the mix of greenery, magnolia leaves, and berries tucked inside a ginger jar.
The pairing of blue and white with a festive red-and-green plaid speaks to the home’s holiday color scheme.
“I wanted the holiday accents to have a very Southern, Low Country feel.”
Cooking Up a Classic
“I chose the color for the kitchen cabinetry and walls (Benjamin Moore’s ‘Halo’) because it moves with the light,” Amy says. “Even six years after building, when I walk into this room I think, Man, I like that color.” The lanterns were a favorite piece she had selected before beginning the home. “I love the charm they bring and used lantern-style lights in several other places in the design,” Amy says. Blue and white ginger jars with greenery and tulips give the room a light dusting of Christmas décor and help carry the theme throughout the house.
Amy notes she’s not a fan of completely open floor plans, but rather prefers a home with a natural flow. Case in point, you can see a portion of the living room from the kitchen, but there are still walls to separate the two spaces. Features such as the use of marble (Calacatta Gold in the kitchen and Danby on the living room’s fireplace surround) make the rooms cohesive in the overall design scheme.
“I wanted the bones of the house to be good, classic elements that I could punch up with color.”
In the Zone
During the build, the Williamses vacationed along Florida’s 30A and had the chance to visit a Coastal Living Idea House designed by Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors. “That house had shiplap in the hall and inspired me to use it here,” Amy says of the mudroom and drop zone, which has access to a side stoop entry as well as the garage. Lockers for each family member offer a place to drop backpacks, purses, and outdoor gear.
All is Calm
The home’s blue accent color carries into the master bedroom in a lighter form. Here, Amy paired favorite timeless pieces, such as gourd lamps and block-print textiles, with practical design elements like the indoor/outdoor dog-friendly rug and woven shades, which allow filtered light into the room.
In the adjoining master bath, walnut cabinetry and a marble countertop echo the materials seen in the kitchen. Shapely mirrored medicine cabinets add style and function.
Interior design Amy Williams, Amy Williams Design Contractor Connell Construction Christmas décor Amy Williams Design and Tanarah Luxe Floral Accessories Amy Williams Design Cabinetry Bluehole Custom CabinetsCarpet, flooring, and tile (kitchen backsplash) White River Flooring Countertops Triton Stone Group Countertops (installation) Custom StoneFireplace Congo Fireplace & Patio Furniture Amy Williams Design, Bassett Furniture, Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, Sowell’s Furniture, and White FurnitureLighting Amy Williams Design and TEC Electric Millwork Connell Construction Paint Benjamin MoorePainting Pierce Painting Tile (bathroom) Acme Brick and Tile & Stone