Date: June 25, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Pam and John Morton create a timeless retreat on the shores of Greers Ferry Lake
Greers Ferry Lake has always been a special place for Pam and John Morton. “John grew up in nearby Higden, and we have played on this lake together for 37 years,” Pam says. It was during their early years of marriage when they happened upon a peninsula with uncleared lots. Situated on the edge of town as well as the edge of the water, they were taken with the location. “John’s uncle was able to tell us a man from California owned the property. We tracked him down, and he said he wasn’t interested in selling; but two weeks later he called back, and the rest is history.” In 1998, the couple built what was then their primary residence on the pristine lots.
As the owners of central Arkansas’s Lumber One Home Center, they had some ideas in mind for the house, but hired architect Sallie Overbey to draw the original plans. These included plenty of space for houseguests in the home’s five bedrooms as well as a common entertaining area that flows graciously. After more than 10 years in the home, they embarked on a style renovation to refresh the interiors. “Because of our line of business and the fact that we had decided this would again be our house full-time at some point, we felt it was time to update,” Pam says.
“The design world went from dark, warm, and heavy to light and bright,” she says of their inspiration. “For this house, it was an easy transition to make because of all the windows.” To complement the new scheme, one of the biggest changes came in painting the interior walls a lighter version of their original dark taupe color. They are now covered in Benjamin Moore’s “Collingwood.” The furnishings also received a refresh with favorite antiques being paired with contemporary accent pieces and lighting as well as upholstered goods. “I hope it feels beautiful when people walk in, but more so I hope it feels inviting—a place where you can put your feet up and make yourself at home,” she says.
Bold Meets Bright
The hues and veining in the kitchen’s countertop (Roman Imperial quartzite) were the starting point for the entire remodel. “This was such an easy choice for me. It demanded that I bring in some color throughout the rooms, and the house just flowed from there,” Pam says. “I believe natural stones are jewelry in a house, and I like ones that really speak to a home’s style.” In an effort to bring in more natural light—and give a better view of the outdoor living area and lake beyond—the Mortons traded a small window over the sink for three larger ones that span the wall.
A space formerly used as a breakfast nook is now a keeping area adjoining the kitchen. Comfortable sofas and chairs, as well as a view of the lake, make it a favorite hangout.
“We don’t need a lot of art because of the beautiful, ever-changing view out of the windows.” —Pam Morton
In the dining room, Pam departed from the home’s neutral wall color, choosing a blue-gray she pulled from the veining in the kitchen countertop. The color not only highlights the modern light fixture and table, but also speaks to the home’s natural setting.
A Step Up
During the renovation, the Mortons’ brother-in-law, ironworker Kenny Cartwright, updated the railing on the front entry’s stairway to lend a more contemporary feel. “He is an incredible artist and such a creative force,” Pam says. “I often consult with him on design projects.”
A desk and faux fur-topped chair create a glamorous workspace outside the master bedroom.
In the original plans for the home, the master bedroom was located on the ground floor. However, Pam climbed a ladder with a contractor to check out a space designated as a workout room, and immediately called her architect. “I saw the view and knew this had to be our master bedroom,” she says of the change to the blueprint. Comfortable chairs offer a place to relax and look out on the water while heavy drapes draw closed at night for sleep.
In the master bath, a built-in deck tub was replaced with a more contemporary freestanding option. The flooring carries up the wall to create a functional and attractive splash guard around the tub while built-in niches provide storage for shampoo and soap. Pam notes the mix of neutral tones throughout the space and how they complement each other to keep the design visually interesting yet calming.
Architect (original) Sallie Overbey Interior design Pam Morton Remodel contractor John Hope, Hope Construction Landscape design P. Allen Smith Accessories, bedding, and furniture Cobblestone & Vine Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry, carpet, countertops, fixtures, flooring, hardware, lighting, millwork, mirrors, paint, rugs, and tile Lumber One Home Center Fabrics and upholstery Cynthia East Fabrics Ironwork Kenny Cartwright