Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Angela Alexander |
Casey Sarkin transforms an unfinished Fayetteville house into a stunning, sensible family home
You could call this house a fixer-upper, but not in the traditional sense. Initially started by another individual, the home cycled through three builders before the property owner decided to abandon the project. The aftermath, a 13,000-square-foot partially constructed home, was then available for anyone who was up to the challenge.
When interior designer Casey Sarkin came across it, she knew it was perfect for her new clients—a family of nine, who have an abundance of friends and enjoy hosting get-togethers. However, as you might imagine, a lot of work was needed to make it livable. “It had some stud walls, some sheetrock walls, and some cabinets, but no flooring,” Sarkin recalls. “Some of the electrical was here but it wasn’t finished. It was very much a hodgepodge of styles and in stages of completion.”
The challenge of this home, in addition to its unfinished state, was how to create an elevated interior that matched its scale yet was comfortable enough for the family’s everyday routine. In the end, Sarkin was able to strike that balance: “It’s one of those houses where everything is in its place, where every room is in use,” she says.
NOD TO NEUTRALS
The downstairs living spaces have an open floor plan. To keep the large areas from becoming chaotic, Sarkin employed a neutral backdrop of cream and tan hues, which also adds an inviting warmth. “This was a super dressy house when we got it,” Sarkin says. “I gave them my vision of what I thought about the house, about adding white oak to bring it down a bit.” The oak treatment seen here on the fireplace surround and floors, reappears throughout the house on walls, trim, and staircases, providing a subtle commonality from room to room.
IN THE SWING OF THINGS
Back-to-back sofas break the great room into two sitting areas, one of which is complete with a swing suspended from the 20-foot ceiling. “We had several college boys on this just the other day—don’t worry, it’s not going to fall,” Sarkin says. This unexpected element reinforces the quirky, casual style Sarkin and the homeowners desired in the design.
Another motif Sarkin carried throughout the design was a contrast of light and dark, which begins in the entryway where dark tile flooring and custom iron doors are set against a creamy shiplap wall. Shiplap continues from the foyer into the dining room, where the designer had a wall removed to open up the space between the kitchen, dining room, great room, and family room.
“This kitchen was the starting point for the whole house,” Sarkin says. The homeowners are constantly cooking—after all, they have seven kids and plenty of family and friends coming and going all the time. “We wanted it to be very functional, but at the same time, to have this English country sensibility mixed with almost an industrial feel,” she says. The handpainted tile, custom hood, and patina on the hardware are high-style details that stand out, while white oak-paneled walls keep the design warm and consistent with the neighboring rooms.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Behind the kitchen is a multi-purpose utility room that functions for the entire household, including the family pup. In addition to laundry facilities and a place to sort and fold, this room houses kids’ lockers, tools for cutting and arranging flowers, and a waist-level dog bath for the homeowners’ beloved Goldendoodle.
The centerpiece of this room, a blue-toned painting of a horse, is a treasured piece of art the family had in their previous home. The painting is all the more sentimental now that the homeowner and her daughter have started riding together. Sarkin built this room around the blue of the painting, starting with a bold Loloi rug and then adding a pair of blue armchairs, a leather Chesterfield sofa, and an oversized ottoman that doubles as a coffee table. The feel is sophisticated yet comfortable. “This is where they watch TV every day and hang out,” Sarkin explains. Collected pieces from the family’s trips and homes around the world personalize the room.
SLEEP ON IT
The sculptural frame and stark black of the “Ferret” bed by Noir make a statement amidst the master bedroom’s lighter shades, while lush bedding keeps the room cozy. “I wanted everything in here to have a tactile feel to it, a little bit of texture,” Sarkin says. For example, open-weave silk drapes add another layer to windows shaded with grasscloth blinds.
MEANT TO BE
In the home’s initial iteration, the space that is now the master bathroom had been planned as the dining room—despite being on the opposite end of the house from the kitchen. In order to keep the master suite downstairs and the dining and living spaces closer to the kitchen, Sarkin reclaimed it as the master bath and created a floating vanity with a double-sided suspended mirror for the center of the spacious retreat.
Interior design Casey Sarkin, Casey Sarkin Interior Design
Contractor Roger Griffin, Legend Builders
Accessories, furniture, rugs, and wallpaper Casey Sarkin Interior Design
Appliances Metro Appliances & More
Art George Dombek Studio
Bedding, fabrics, and window coverings Interior Fabrics & Design
Cabinets Jim’s Quality Cabinets
Countertops Verona Marble
Doors Manhattan Iron Door Co.
Fireplace Hearth & Home, Northwest Cast Stone
Fixtures Ferguson Plumbing
Flooring Encore Flooring & Building Products, Wood Floor Gallery
Hardware and tile Encore Flooring & Building Products
Ironwork CNC Metal Designs, Russ Basham Ironworks
Lighting Casey Sarkin Interior Design, Encore Flooring & Building Products
Millwork Osage Custom Trim, Quality Millwork
Mirrors Precision Glass & Mirror
Painting Carlos Morales Painting
Upholstery Emiliano Contreras Upholstery