Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
A move to Northwest Arkansas prompts a young family to purchase and renovate a home to suit their style
“We’ve lived through several renovations, so a remodel doesn’t scare us,” Brooke McCulley says of her family’s willingness to take on a makeover challenge. “We have an eye for good bones, and it was clear when we first visited this house that it had a good, sweet family vibe.”
Having experience in this realm, Brooke and her husband, Chip, knew the importance of working with a team of professionals to ensure the design was cohesive and that they would be able to move in just 10 short weeks after work began—in time for their two young children to begin the school year in their new city. The McCulleys turned to Katie Henry of Katie Grace Designs to make it happen. “She kept me focused, she kept our project on time, and she did an excellent job,” Brooke says of Katie. “Plus, she’s really become our good friend, now!”
The designer and her staff started on the plans before the closing papers were inked, going off of measurements from a couple of quick visits to the home. “I have a great team, including an assistant in Northwest Arkansas who can carry out my vision at my level of quality,” says Katie, who is based in Little Rock. “Although I was onsite a lot, she was my hands and feet when I wasn’t there.”
To make the house feel like the McCulleys’, every wall was painted, every light fixture was changed out, and the master bath and kitchen were both gutted. “Overall, we simplified the house and gave it a younger feel,” the designer says.
The kitchen was one of two spaces (the master bath being the second) that received a complete overhaul. The hallway was extended to allow for more cabinetry, and the adjoining breakfast nook’s square footage was also added to the kitchen’s footprint. As for the cabinetry, Katie notes its hue (“Cromarty” by Farrow & Ball) set the tone for the rest of the house. “It’s rare that I have a client who will take a risk on cabinetry color,” Katie says. “But I think this resembles the young, fun family they are and also speaks to their love of coastal style without being too beachy.” A ceramic subway tile backsplash, quartz countertops, and concealed appliances finish the polished yet comfortable design.
A diamond motif adds what Katie calls a “splash of fun that is not too traditional and not too modern.”
Star of the Show
“We referred to the dining room’s chandelier as the J.Lo chandelier,” Katie laughs, “because it has a bit of glam and is a focal point in the room.” To balance this with the family’s traditional taste, Katie added a chair rail and wainscoting to the walls and complemented this layer with classic furnishings. “We couldn’t decide on art but I found this wallpaper and put my foot down on ordering it,” Katie says. “It really gives the room something unique. They were on vacation when it was installed, and Brooke called me as soon as they got home to tell me it was one of her favorite things.”
The bed from the couple’s previous home made the move but was updated with new linens. A separate sitting area features two chairs that previously had dark wood and zebra-printed upholstery. Katie refreshed the pair with a coat of paint and a light blue fabric that coordinates with the home’s overall palette. Tall linen curtains lend a casual air to the room. “The master space was lacking in our last house; it was small. So, we had the opportunity to do something we loved here. Katie did a great job making it spa-like,” Brooke says.
The master bath was gutted but retained its original layout. Newly installed matching vanities bring symmetry to the design, while three different kinds of marble add visual interest to the countertops, walls, shower, and floor— without any one area attracting more attention than another. A drum shade chandelier is an understated addition to the scheme, and Lucite sconces at the vanity add a touch of glamour and sophistication.
Laundry Made Fun
The former laundry room was outfitted with dark green cabinetry and an ornate light fixture. Katie retained the room’s layout but updated the space to suit the McCulleys, starting with a blue-green cement tile that was selected for the flooring. The cabinetry received a fresh coat of paint along with new hardware. A ceramic backsplash with a geometric motif and quartz countertops complete the fun and functional space.
On a Whimsy
The McCulleys’ 6-year-old daughter transitioned into a “big girl room” with the move to the new house. “It was really her first time to get to express herself creatively in her room,” Brooke says. The navy and pink palette was inspired by a picture Brooke sent to Katie. A Duralee paisley fabric incorporates a garden-like influence on the draperies and throw pillows, while a unicorn wall hanging and pom-tasseled blankets keep the look light and fun.
Room to Grow
“We went a little older in this room, so he could grow into it,” Katie says of the McCulleys’ 9-year-old son’s room. “Everything Brooke sent me had a lodge/Restoration Hardware feel.” An existing wood-plank wall was retained and complemented with custom bedding and accents that reflect the boy’s love of the outdoors and hunting. “I love that so much of this room is timeless,” Brooke says.
Contractor Abshier Construction Drafting and Space Planning Nikki Hastings, ASID Interior design Katie Henry, Katie Grace Designs Kitchen and bath design Katie Grace Designs with Nikki Hastings, ASID Accessories Cobblestone & Vine, Katie Grace Designs, and Providence Design Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Melissa Abide Griffith Art Bedding Cobblestone & Vine, Cynthia East, Fabric Gallery, and Katie Grace Designs Cabinetry Timber Mill Wood Products Carpet BMC Building Materials & Construction Solutions Countertops and tile (kitchen) New Century Countertops and Tile Fabrics Designer Effects and Fabric Gallery Fireplace Hearth & Home Fixtures Plumb Perfect Furniture Abide Furniture, Cobblestone & Vine, Katie Grace Designs, Lighting Emporium, and Providence Design Hardware PC Hardware Lighting and rugs Katie Grace Designs Millwork Quality Millwork and UDI-Grand Openings Painting Mary’s Painting Tile (bathroom) Triton Stone Group Upholstery Fletcher’s Upholstery Wallpaper Fabric Gallery Window coverings Fabric Gallery and Sheryl’s Sewing Room