Date: March 17, 2018 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
An empty-nest couple enjoys all the amenities of downtown living with the bonus of a fully functional outdoor area
Dr. Debbie and Chris Cerrato have fallen hard for downtown living. Since moving from a home in North Little Rock to a condo across the river, they’ve enjoyed walking to restaurants and events and taking in the scenes of the city. However, their previous condo was missing one key element: an outdoor space. Four months ago, they remedied this with a move to a different building that offered an expansive view of Little Rock’s cityscape along with a blank-slate terrace that could be outfitted any way they saw fit.
“We loved the idea of being able to flow from inside to outside,” Debbie says. However, Chris, who owns Evo Business Environments, admits laughingly that at first, “We were so excited just to have an outdoor space that other than chairs and a grill, we really had no vision.” The feel of a favorite downtown hangout, Rebel Kettle Brewing, which features turf and Adirondack chairs, proved to be inspiring.
The couple did some online research and found two- by two-foot, wood-look panels and large-section turf, both of which they could order and install on their own in any desired configuration. “We sat down with the iPad and drew out several versions,” Debbie says. In the end, it took placing the panels by hand to get the look they wanted, but the result is a space where the couple’s grandchildren can play and they can entertain guests or relax after work.
A fire pit, which the Cerratos found at Ken Rash’s Arkansas, helps make the space usable in almost all four seasons. They also added a bit of character with a pair of benches shaped like airplane wings, a nod to one of Chris’s favorite pastimes.
Of course, the focal point that really shines is the view. “We have a northeastern view, so we have a beautiful sunrise and we get shade for afternoon guests,” Debbie explains. “It’s really the best of both worlds.”
Accessories Antique Brick Outdoor, Arkansas Arts Center, and Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Gift Shop
Fire pit Ken Rash’s Arkansas