Date: July 25, 2014 |
An attractive area of rapid growth and abounding culture, Northwest Arkansas is home to several thriving downtown areas with expert design resources, an eclectic art scene, innovative eateries, and unrivaled boutiques. Join us in discovering this dynamic region.
EATS & SWEETS
To fuel up before you start your adventure, there’s no better spot to snag a sweet breakfast than Fayetteville’s own Rick’s Bakery. Step inside, and Razorback-themed décor greets you along with the comforting scent of fresh-baked goods. You’ll feel inexplicably drawn to the rows of donuts, muffins, bagels, and pastries. Be sure to purchase a few petit fours for the road. The bakery also creates fabulous wedding and specialty cakes and offers delicious salads and sandwiches for lunch.
When you’re ready for a midday bite, we recommend the healthy fare at Greenhouse Grille, a restaurant that creates “conscious cuisine” through the use of fresh ingredients—including local and organic products whenever possible—and sustainable business practices. On the day we dined, we had the Parmesan and herb risotto balls, which were spectacular! We also loved the fresh fish tacos with organic hummus paired with a glass of natural orange soda.
For a delectable dinner, venture into downtown Bentonville to the charming Tusk & Trotter restaurant where you’ll experience award-winning cuisine. This place is sure to impress even the most widely traveled foodie, yet the casual, family-friendly atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable. Owner and executive chef Rob Nelson serves up an exquisite charcuterie and cheese board, a bacon and melon salad reminiscent of Tuscany, and—most notably—entrées including pig “wings,” pig ears, and baby-back ribs. This Northwest Arkansas joint offers Southern grub with sophisticated flair.
You simply can’t visit Fayetteville without celebrating the Hogs. Sara Kathryn’s Ltd. (479-444-9991, sarakathryns.com) has a new collection of Razorbacks gifts, just in time for summer birthdays and tailgating. The gift shop now offers online bridal registry, which includes anything a newlywed could need: china (to which you can add the couple’s monogram!), flatware, table linens, stemware, home accents, luxury bedding, and more. Sara Kathryn’s also offers free shipping for online orders. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or shopping for a special gift, you’re sure to find a cherished piece that will last a lifetime.
While we’re talking about weddings, we know just the place for brides and guests to find the perfect dress. Visit Northwest Arkansas’ premier bridal, formal, and occasion specialty boutique, Tesori (479-966-4622, tesoribridalformal.com). Brides, you can make an appointment online, and the talented and attentive staff will assist you in your quest for a dream dress from lines such as Hayley Paige and Nicole Miller. While you’re visiting the Fayetteville shop, you can also find dresses for your bridesmaids.
If you’re in the market for more casual, fun-loving pieces, step next door to The Pink Pig (479-287-4141, thepinkpigar.com), Arkansas’ only Lilly Pulitzer boutique, where you’ll find pretty patterns and vivid colors.
From there, head to Fayetteville’s square, where the windows of Riffraff boutique (479-571-4000, shopriffraff.com) are sure to catch your eye. The bright and welcoming displays reflect the mod store within. Owner Kirsten Blowers stocks the shop with cute tees to celebrate your state, your sorority, and the South in general, along with on-trend styles such as dip-dyed and crochet dresses, beach tunics, and playful rompers. Pop in, and the stylish staff will help you find the perfect outfit for a weekend getaway, a girls’ night out, or any local event.
Step next door to The Independent Denim & Essentials (479-301-2114, theindependent-man.com) to find your man new casual attire. He’ll look dapper in dark indigo jeans, oxford shoes, and VK Nagrani socks. The shop also offers quality swim trunks and aviator sunglasses for summer weekends at the lake, as well as a variety of gifts including flasks, iPhone accessories, leather watches, and more.
If you’re a lover of furnishings with character, you must visit French Quarters (479-443-3355, french-quarters.com) while you’re in Fayetteville. The antique shop is packed with amazing pieces. Named one of the “Top 200 Places to Shop in the South” by Southern Living, the store carries antiques from 18th- and 19th-century France and other parts of Europe. Owners Chris Bronson and Storm Carr personally hand-select each piece on their travels abroad. Chris’ more than 25 years of experience as an antique buyer and decorator allow her to bring a taste of chateâu into your home.
Whether you’re hosting a holiday get-together, refreshing your space, or looking for a great gift, Winterberry Home (479-715-6009, winterberryhome.com), located in Rogers, has everything you need. When we visited, we were charmed by the light and airy space, along with a lovely tablescape that had us dreaming of al fresco evenings. Wander through the store, and you’ll find furnishings, accessories, rugs, bath and beauty products, candles, and many more goodies. The back of the store features new bedding by Pine Cone Hill and Pom Pom, and they also carry dinnerware by Vietri, Juliska, Arte Italica, and Beatriz Ball.
Calling all lovers of cooking and home goods! The darling shop Euna Mae’s (479-419-9690, eunamaes.com) offers heirloom-worthy kitchenware that is both handsome and practical. Owner Amy Nelson Hannon stocks the shop with character-rich newly made goods. She and her team also offer warm, fresh-made biscuits paired with local jellies every Saturday from 10-2 in their in-store kitchen! It’s impossible not to feel delighted in this shop, which is located in a lovely white building just off West Sunset Avenue in Springdale.
For an educational stop, head to The Walmart Museum (479-273-1329; corporate.walmart.com) in Bentonville, which is housed in the location of Sam Walton’s original 5&10 on the town square. The store will transport you back in time, and the interactive exhibit gallery will teach you how the dime store became the global leader in retail. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Spark Café Soda Fountain, which offers old-fashioned treats—perfect for a sweet afternoon pick-me-up.
MAKE IT HOME
Creating or updating your nest in Northwest Arkansas is easy to do when you know the right people to call. We paid visits to our favorite design resources on our trip, and we’re sure you’ll love what they have to offer.
You must see Goddard Design Group’s (479-521-2592, goddarddesigngroup.com) 2,000-square-foot Fayetteville showroom where you’ll find floor-to-ceiling shelving that houses one of the largest fabric, wallpaper, and furnishing sample libraries in the state. The mixed collection of ultra-contemporary and antique furniture, as well as art, embodies principal designer Chris Goddard’s eclectic style, which is based on savoir faire and l’art de vivre—the arts of knowing and living well. This extensive showroom offers an inspirational setting where you can meet with the talented team and discuss their design services that will help you achieve your dream space.
Next, visit the newly opened IF&D Home (479-444-0222), located beside its sister shop, Interior Fabrics & Design (designerdiscountdraperies.com), on North Steele Boulevard in Fayetteville. Here, not only can you enjoy the largest fabric showroom in Northwest Arkansas, with designer fabrics direct from the mill, but you can also browse the newest, quality home furnishings available at the lowest prices in the home goods store. Owner Patricia Clinton will assist you in finding the best new drapes or room refreshers for any space.
If you love color and value livability, reach out to Katie Henry of Katie Grace Designs (479-466-1069, designsbykatiegrace.com) for a timeless-yet-inventive look for your home. Based in Fayetteville, the designer serves clients throughout Arkansas as well as many surrounding states. Unafraid to take risks in pattern and fabric, Katie is sure to create a one-of-a-kind space that reflects you and the story you wish to tell. Striking a balance among carefully chosen vintage, modern, and custom pieces, she’ll create a design for your home with personality and variety. Plus, she is a huge fan of updating existing pieces or flea-market finds with fresh coats of paint.
Classic, fresh, and sophisticated, the interior style of MH Design Inc. (479-286-2244, melissahaynesdesign.com), based in Rogers, will please those who prefer a modern approach to traditional design. Since 2007, owner Melissa Haynes has created chic spaces that incorporate playful color and pattern as well as subtle trendy details. Her full-service residential and commercial design firm covers all aspects of interior design, including historical renovations, new residences, urban condominiums, rural farmhouses, and upscale commercial spaces.
With full-service design consulting for residential and commercial properties, as well as 3,000 square feet of showroom space, Fayetteville-based Whiteline Designs (479-287-4222, whitelinedesigns.net) produces clean and elegant spaces. Pay a visit to owner Lee Anne Henry and her talented staff for an expert consultation as well as a wide selection of furniture, accessories, flooring, fixtures, tile, wallpaper, and more. To experience their style first-hand, see the in-store, full-scale master bath and kitchen, which mix traditional style with contemporary flair. What’s more, you can shop local in the Arkansas-made art gallery!
No matter if you’re rejuvenating your space with accents and art or searching for new lighting and furniture, I.O. Metro (479-521-1297, iometro.com) in Fayetteville has a variety of easy home refreshers. You’ll be pleased to find your ideal piece of local art or a cozy and chic accent chair. Many of the upholstered items in their showroom are customizable, and the store offers a free design service to help you plan your new room.
If you’re making a few quick updates, be sure to visit Christopher Allen Decor (479-301-5022, christopherallendecor.com) in Fayetteville. The recently opened shop offers a carefully curated selection of home accents, rugs, lighting, original paintings, faux botanicals, James Hayes blown glass, candles, gifts, and more. We were particularly fond of a cute set of dogs made from wicker when we visited, as well as the great selection of colorful pieces—all displayed in coordinated groupings for easy shopping.
On our trip, we also had the opportunity to attend a fabulous event at Springdale’s Harper Howey Interiors (479-750-7300), the alluring design shop owned by Kimberly Harper and Cynthia Howey Tune. Located in a charming, vintage schoolhouse, the homey space features a collection of well-known furniture brands and decorative accessories, many of which the pair use in their interior design projects for clients around the state. If you like the store’s calm and cool feel, consult with them on your own home renovation.
Finally, if you’re looking for the best in local car dealerships, we recommend Everett Chevrolet (479-431-6554, everettchevroletnwa.com) in Springdale, located just off Interstate 49. Browse their extensive selection of new and pre-owned vehicles to find the perfect choice for all of your Arkansas travels. The friendly staff is sure to make your next car buying experience easy and enjoyable.