Date: March 27, 2019 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Kevin Walsh |
Bear Hill Interiors helps a Little Rock couple freshen their 1920s home with a youthful palette and contemporary accessories
Julie Sloan hadn’t intended to hire a designer when she visited Bear Hill Interiors. However, after talking with William Lendermon and the store’s owner, Kevin Walsh, she had them over the next day to measure for drapes in the living room of the 1920s Little Rock home she shares with her husband, Walker. Drapes turned into furniture placement, which turned into adding a few new pieces, which led to accessories, rugs, and art. “We did one thing at a time, and they never made me feel rushed,” Julie says. “They really helped me prioritize what I needed to do next. And, I saved money because I wasn’t making mistakes by trying to do it on my own.”
Palette was one of the defining features of the design. “I always had a set idea of colors I wanted in my mind: blueberry blue, raspberry pink, and vanilla ice cream,” Julie says. With white as the base color in the home’s public spaces—which flow one into another with a foyer separating the living and dining rooms—pink and blue were used freely in fabrics and accessories. “The house is very traditional so we wanted to stay classic but infuse a little youth with color,” William says. “Walker loves blue, so I knew he would love the blue and cream, but I’m grateful he didn’t object to the raspberry,” Julie says. “In fact, he loved it when it was installed.”
As a part of this take on the new traditionalism—and Bear Hill’s approach to design in many of their projects—William also mixed vintage pieces with contemporary finds. For example, the dining room is home to both classic oil paintings by Arkansas’s own Barry Thomas and Arden Boyce (which the couple already owned) as well as a more contemporary monochromatic canvas by New Orleans artist Mallory Page. In the living room, a vintage mirror and coordinating sconces complement a custom Oushak rug in the room’s choice hues, while classic furniture frames blend with more contemporary fabrics on pillows.
“There are always things to do when you live in an old house, and I had a budget so I couldn’t move quickly on everything. They allowed me to work piece-by-piece, but made it look pulled together at every stop along the way, and they kept me focused on where we were going with the overall design,” Julie says.
“I looked at this for more than a year in Bear Hill’s shop,” Julie says of the Mallory Page abstract that takes center stage in the dining room. “I would joke, someday that is going home with me. It really makes this room,” she adds. The modern painting is mixed with traditional furniture covered in a vivid fabric to coordinate with the painting and fulfill Julie’s desire for a raspberry element. She transformed the existing brass chandelier with white paint, which makes it seem to disappear against the walls and ceiling.
An iron bar cart provides an extra surface for serving drinks or desserts when the couple entertains. An oil painting by Arkansas artist Barry Thomas hangs on the wall, hinting at the home’s traditional roots while adhering to the palette.
Living with Color
Silk drapes with a Samuel & Sons fretwork trim were the starting point in the living room. Traditional furniture frames pair with gold and glass accent tables, blending classic and contemporary. Two armchairs, borrowed from the dining room, provide extra seating near the fire. The original mantel was retained and covered in white paint, while its former mustard-hued tile surround was replaced with statuary marble. Julie selected the pattern and colors for the room’s custom Oushak rug.
French doors at the far end of the living open to a sunroom with a slightly more relaxed feel. Julie used the neutral furniture from her previous home’s living room, and William helped add character to the space with a vintage bone and mother-of-pearl inlay coffee table. The blue hues of the living room carry into this space through accessories and the bands seen on the drapery panels.
Interior design William Lendermon, Bear Hill Interiors Accessories, art, fabrics, lighting, rugs, and window treatments Bear Hill Interiors Furniture Bear Hill Interiors and Cobblestone & Vine