Date: November 2, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
A beloved setting turns out to be the perfect homesite for designer Heather Fuller’s comfortable and casual family home
When Heather and Bryan Fuller were married in a west Little Rock barn 21 years ago, it wasn’t in the plan to move to the property where they said I do. “I never would have guessed we’d be living here and the barn would be a part of our lives forever,” Heather says of the picturesque property that is close enough to the city to allow for an easy commute but far enough away to reap the benefits of country living. “There was nothing out here at that time, and this piece of land had the barn and a cabin that was a bed and breakfast,” she recalls.
The property had been offered to the couple before; however, in 2018 the timing seemed right, and they embarked on a journey to build a home reflective of their family, which includes teenage daughters Molly Kate and Parker and son, Jake. “I wanted a farmhouse, but I didn’t want it to be too farmhouse,” Heather says. “We were also trying to get into a smaller house; we wanted to go back to every space having a purpose, and this is where we landed.” Using exterior pictures she liked, Heather—who works with Finley Design Group—drew the interior plan herself, then took it to an architect to modify. Shortly after, builder Chuck Collins, a close friend of the couple’s, began to bring the vision to life.
In terms of style, Heather calls the look “rustic, boho farmhouse.” “My family is from New Mexico and Texas, and I still have so much of that in me. I grew up riding horses and being out in the country,” she says in regard to her influences. This shows up in the material selections where small doses of shiplap speak to the farmhouse aesthetic, while cedar brings a rustic element to the balance. “I didn’t want the house to be so trendy that it wouldn’t age well. It’s comfortable and not so put together that you’re afraid to touch it,” she says.
From the front drive you can see the top of Pinnacle Mountain peeking over the house. The mix of cedar, navy, and white seen on the front exterior is reflective of what’s to come in the home’s interiors. “I am one that wants my house to be the same on the outside as it is on the inside, and I want it to be fitting wherever it is located,” Heather says.
Wide Open Space
Walking in the front door, the living space, dining room, and kitchen are combined into one large yet cozy area. A central fireplace gives definition to the different zones while providing both ambience and heat. The cased openings are covered with wood from a friend’s family farm, while the horns over the fireplace came from Heather’s grandfather’s farm. “Almost everything in this house was found somewhere,” she says. These pieces coupled with new upholstered furnishings create a relaxed vibe that doesn’t skimp on character.
The Fullers’ Goldendoodle, Ruby, leads the way to the kids’ space upstairs.
“I try to push my clients to get away from monochromatic designs, so I said I will have some color in this kitchen. I literally picked this one and never looked back,” Heather says. Floating shelves near the range and the massive island, which seats five, provide ample storage. A light stain on the hood allows its grain and knots to stand out. To maximize the view of Pinnacle Mountain, Heather opted for large-scale windows rather than upper cabinetry.
I didn’t want the house to be so trendy that it wouldn’t age well. It’s comfortable and not so put together that you’re afraid to touch it.” —Heather Fuller, designer and homeowner
In the Mix
In the dining room, a long, wooden table and upholstered chairs pair with airy, woven pendant lights from Ikea and a grandfather clock handed down to Heather from her mother. Portraits of the couple’s three children—each at age 3—hang over one set of doors leading to the screened porch.
In the master bedroom, white walls and window treatments mimic the bath’s clean, refreshed feel. The chandelier over the bed belonged to Heather’s grandmother’s, while the mirror has lived in different rooms in the family’s previous homes. Years ago, Heather managed the now-closed local home store Carissa’s Antiques and Armoires. She won the leather chair and ottoman in a sales competition and has hung onto it as a special memory of that time in her life.
“We wanted the master bath to be really simple and functional and have tons of light,” Heather says. While the key elements are all white, there are variations on the hues, textures, and applications to bring visual interest. For example, subway tile in a herringbone pattern extends to the ceiling to draw the eye up, while a rich cream grout separates the tiles.
From stringed instruments to the piano, the entire family is musically inclined. Upstairs, a central space between the kids’ rooms offers a lounge spot where they can play together.
Classic & Clean
Simple, basic, and industrial were Heather’s goals for the laundry room. Rolling baskets, one for each child, can be stowed under the counter and out of the way while clothes wash and dry. A farm sink speaks to the house’s style, while patterned flooring is equally practical and pretty. “We are big animal people and boot people so this was a great option for the floor,” Heather says. “Plus, it has a little personality!”
For All Seasons
Bryan enjoys working on the home and building furniture like the porch swing seen here where the couple’s daughter, Parker, is relaxing. The screened porch also has a dining area and a fireplace. “We like to open the doors and make this space feel like it’s a part of the house,” Heather says. “The breeze comes down off the mountain, and it stays really cool out here almost year-round,” she adds. The wrap-around side porch seen in the background holds a trio of hammock chair swings, another favorite hangout for both Heather and the kids.
Architect Nathan Alderson, Alderson Design Company Contractor Chuck Collins, Chuck Collins Construction Interior design Heather Fuller Landscape design Richard Steppach, Pat’s Landscape Accessories Cobblestone & Vine and Providence Design Appliances Metro Appliances & More Bedding Cobblestone & Vine and Pottery Barn Cabinetry Duke Custom Cabinets Carpet, flooring, tile, and windows Lumber One Home Center Countertops A1 Granite Man Fabrics Cynthia East Fabrics Furniture Cobblestone & Vine, Cost Plus Furniture Warehouse, HOWSE, and Providence Design Hardware Duke Custom Cabinets and Lumber One Home Center Lighting Light Innovations, Lumber One Home Center, and TEC Electric Millwork Paige Timberworks Mirrors Pottery Barn and Staley Glass Paint Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams Window coverings Laura’s Draperies & Blinds