Date: July 30, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Hope Johnstone |
Harper Howey Interiors rethinks the floor plan and updates furnishings to personalize this Fayetteville home
Less formality and more family spaces were the key directives designer Kimberly Harper received when she began working on a renovation of this home. The family, which includes a teenage daughter and two young sons, was relocating to Northwest Arkansas from Chicago. “They wanted this house to be comfortable and kid-friendly,” Kimberly says.
The homeowners found Harper Howey Interiors through word of mouth and began having virtual design meetings with Kimberly to get the ball rolling before they moved. Previously the home was configured for empty nesters who entertained frequently, and while its new owners loved the gracious style, they knew they needed more space for everyday living.
“We went through a pretty extensive remodel to update the flow and configuration,” Kimberly says. For example, the formal living room was previously an expansive space with multiple seating zones. Since the family wanted to create more casual, open areas, Kimberly transformed part of this space into a dining room and used the rest to create a smaller formal living room. This allowed the former dining room to become a low-key family room. In the kitchen, walls came down to create a large area that flows from a keeping room and breakfast nook into the kitchen and beyond to the aforementioned family room. And, upstairs, a library was converted into a bedroom and en-suite bathroom for the couple’s daughter. While the owners’ former residence had a more traditional flair, Kimberly used transitional furnishings to match the updated feel of this home.
Previously, a wall of cabinetry separated the kitchen from what was a hearth room. Cabinets were removed, a fireplace was enclosed, and space was reconfigured to create room for a large island with barstools as well as an adjoining keeping room and breakfast nook for everyday meals. “Since they are a large family, it was key for them to have plenty of places to sit and to eat in this space,” Kimberly says. Soapstone countertops remained in place on the surrounding cabinetry and were paired with a light quartzite with a waterfall edge on the island to create an uninterrupted visual flow from room to room.
An Open Nook
In the newly created breakfast nook, an iron table with a stone top pairs with chairs and a banquette covered in high-performance fabrics. “They didn’t want to be worried about spills and needed fabrics that would hold up to everyday wear and tear,” Kimberly says. The designer decided to forego window treatments and opted for an airy light fixture to maximize views of the wooded area behind the house.
Hang Out Here
Formerly the dining room, a space adjacent to the kitchen was transformed into a casual, comfortable family room. Walls came down to create one large area that flows from the breakfast nook through the kitchen to this room. Easy-to-clean slipcovered pieces mean it’s OK to prop your feet up and relax. To provide ample walkways and keep the space clutter free, the television was installed into a paneled wall.
Less Formal, More Family
In the formal living room, which was downsized in the renovation, a brick fireplace surround was exchanged for a natural stone option. Kimberly added a punch of style through a graphic molding ceiling treatment and walls covered in “Naval” by Sherwin-Williams. “We wanted to bring in color here, and this plays off a navy wallpaper seen in the adjoining dining room,” she says. “‘Naval’ is a color I keep going back to in a lot of my designs when clients want a great navy. When you find one you like, you hold on to it.”
“Their previous home was very traditional, and we moved in a slightly different direction here.”
—Kimberly Harper, designer
A lighter shade of blue, “Tempe Star” by Sherwin-Williams, enlivened built-ins in the home office. Kimberly covered the back walls with “Kissimmee” by Thibaut to add pattern and texture. The cabinetry conceals a printer and filing drawers, while a quartet of landscape prints and silk drapery panels with a cloud-inspired motif lend a serene feel to the hardworking room.
While the home’s basement was finished, the previous owners used it primarily for storage. Initial plans included a basement renovation down the road, but the young family realized quickly they needed a spot for their kids to host friends and hang out together sooner rather than later. Kimberly opted to keep the concrete floors but painted the walls and installed updated light fixtures to add style. The custom ping-pong table has a removable net, allowing it to quickly transform to a snack table when nearby stools are pulled alongside it.
A Space of Her Own
Kimberly transformed a spacious second floor library into a bedroom, closet, and bath for the couple’s teenage daughter. “She’s a dancer and requested pink for her room, so we went with this pretty ballet pink,” Kimberly says. Black accents, an iron bed, and abstract pillows add an edge to the space. The black and white palette carries through to the galley style bath to create continuity in the design.
Architect (original) Terry Parker, Parker & Associates Architects Contractor Roger Griffin, Legend Builders Interior design Kimberly Harper, Harper Howey Interiors Accessories, bedding, fabrics, furniture, hardware, lighting, mirrors, rugs, and wallpaper Harper Howey Interiors Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Allison Hobbs Art Cabinetry Justus Cabinet Shop Flooring The Wood Floor Gallery Countertops National Marble & Granite Fixtures Ferguson Plumbing Millwork Osage Custom Trim Paint Sherwin-Williams Tile Encore Building Products and Harper Howey Interiors