Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
A palette of cool hues brings coastal charm to a family’s forever home
Designer Chandler Bailey started working with a family of five on this new construction home in Little Rock in the very, very early stages of planning—in fact, at the time, a completely different house stood in the lot. “I met with the homeowner with just the contractor’s drawings before they’d even torn down the house yet,” Chandler says. Knowing that they loved the neighborhood but not the house, the family brought in a talented team to help create their dream home from the ground up.
With a husband who spends much of his time on the road for work and children in three different stages—infant, toddler, and elementary—the mother of the family, who worked most closely with Chandler on design, wanted a home that made sense for all of their comings and goings. “She wanted super-tall ceilings, and she wanted it to seem really open,” Chandler says. “The big kitchen, living, and breakfast area was so important because she knew that’s where they would spend the most time.”
Chandler took every opportunity to customize this home to the family’s needs, including adding a screened-in porch accessible from the living room and master bedroom, finding smart solutions for storage, and thinking ahead to how the children will use their spaces as they grow. Other tweaks are small but meaningful. For example, she swapped the cooktop’s location on the island with that of the sink overlooking the windows. “She works at the sink more, and she wanted it to look out into the room where the kids would be,” Chandler explains.
A common thread throughout the entire house is the homeowner’s favorite color. “As you can tell, she loves blue,” Chandler laughs. “That was a pretty automatic decision. But we pulled in some light turquoise, some different patterns and textures to give the design something else, and I think it all works really well together.”
Chandler says one of the major challenges that came with this project was in leveling the sloped lot. She and the contractor, Boyce Holmes, moved the home’s footprint closer to the street, which allowed them to level the lot more and also provided space to add a fenced-in backyard where the children can play.
“Her style is very coastal without looking beachy, and we wanted the house to have that look—very simple and semi-modern.” –Designer Chandler Bailey
Party of Five
A multi-functional breakfast area—check out that storage under the benches!—is one of the family’s favorite spaces in the house. “Right now, the kids are so young that they don’t use the bar stools at the kitchen island, but those benches get used a lot,” Chandler says. “They think they’re fun to sit on, and they can all fit around the table. Plus, it’s easy to add a high chair, and we knew the homeowner was pregnant at the time.” The banquette’s table also offers the perfect serving space when the family entertains.
The kitchen overlooks an open living room, so the homeowner can keep an eye on the kids while she preps meals or washes dishes. The fireplace’s tile surround echoes the backsplash in the kitchen, tying the two spaces into one cohesive living area. Chandler incorporated Crypton fabrics and had the furniture fiber-sealed where possible to make the living room extra kid- and dog-friendly.
The formal dining room displays the antiques collected from the homeowners’ parents and grandparents, while a coffered ceiling, statement chandelier, and Mally Skok wallpaper and trim on the drapes modernize the space. Though the family more often dines in the breakfast nook, this room is perfect for special occasions and holidays.
French doors in the living room lead to a second-level screened-in porch, another one of the family’s favorite gathering areas. “When the weather is nice, this is their go-to spot,” Chandler says. The interior’s cool colors and cozy textures continue into this space, which makes it a natural extension of the living room when the doors are open and the family is hosting friends.
Created for Kids
For the kids’ spaces, Chandler’s priority was to design rooms the family’s three children could enjoy now and as they grow. She chose bed frames, custom draperies, and light fixtures that would stay in style while incorporating plenty of shelves and cubbies for toys and books. In the girl’s room, a low bench in front of the window offers a perfect reading nook. Downstairs, Chandler designed a bunk room with many years of memories ahead. “They haven’t gotten to that point yet where they’re having sleepovers, but I think when they get there, they’re going to use that way more than any other room,” the designer says. “And then eventually we were thinking about putting drapes over the bunks in case they ever want to close them off and make that more of a hangout space.”
While the nursery’s crib and changing table are repurposed from big sister and brother’s nurseries, the family’s newest addition had his room personalized with new linens, art by Ashley Saer, and a teepee perfect for tummy time and hide-and-seek with siblings.
Contractor Boyce Holmes, HBH Builders Interior design Chandler Bailey, B. Interiors Landscape design Daniel Lanehart & Associates Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Ashley Saer Cabinets Kitchen & Bath Ideas Carpet and rugs C&F Flooring and Rug Gallery Countertops (bathroom) and tile Inside Effects Countertops (kitchen) Pacific Shore Stones Fabrics, fixtures, furniture, lighting, and upholstery B. Interiors Flooring Carpet Barn Wallpaper (installation) Becky Hardin Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies