Date: April 26, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek |
Designer Katie Rees employs a light palette and industrial accents to bring transitional style to a formerly dark lodge
East of Little Rock sits a picturesque country retreat with an abundance of outdoor amenities and no shortage of peace and quiet. “We really fell in love with this property and wanted to be here all the time,” says one of the owners of the land and an existing home, which was originally meant to be a getaway. They sold their main residence in 2009, made a few practical updates to the cabin-like house, and moved there full time. However, after nearly a decade they were ready to give the space new life.
“It started with me coming out to tweak the kitchen and paint. Over time it turned into much more,” says designer Katie Rees of Katie Grace Designs. “They wanted it to be right.” After several conversations and with proper respect to the setting and the home, they settled on a style one of the owners refers to as a “modern farmhouse with industrial flair.” “We were going in a million different directions with ideas when Katie came along. She really helped us to pull it all together.”
While new furnishings and functional makeovers—like converting an underused mudroom into a butler’s pantry—were made throughout, one of the biggest transformations came in the palette. Heavy wood stain and dark accent colors were traded for white paint and light accessories throughout the home. “Everything she pinned was all white and had lots of texture,” Katie says of the inspiration.
“We are project people, and in this house and other homes we would get 50 to 75 percent of the way through but never really complete everything,” one of the homeowners says. “We wanted this house to be finished out completely.” To that point, Katie updated every room down to the tiniest of details, leaving no wall blank and even stocking linens and organizing the pantry. “We really love our home, and—especially at a time like this—it’s so nice to have a place where you enjoy being.”
In the living room, one of the biggest changes came in extending the brick surfacing all the way across a focal wall. White paint (Sherwin-Williams’ “Dover White”), which is repeated on the ceiling in between the beams, unified the structural elements and achieved the fresh look the owners desired. The offset hearth was updated with patterned tile while a custom iron firewood holder is as beautiful as it is functional. The owners’ full deer mounts were traded for European versions, which hang near the entry.
The owners knew they wanted to keep the form of the staircase but update its look. The final design, an industrial style, needed to be echoed in other areas to make the home feel cohesive. Numerous pieces, including the light fixtures, side tables, and accessories, carry this vibe throughout the open floor plan downstairs.
A waterfall quartz countertop neatly rounds off the end of the bar while bringing a slightly more modern look to the kitchen.
Cooking Up a Plan
When Katie initially came to the job, new countertops and paint colors for the kitchen walls and cabinetry were the top priorities. However, as the scope expanded, new cabinetry, appliances, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and tile were added to the list. “There is a ton of base cabinetry in this room, so we went with open wooden shelving along the top of one wall, which also feels less heavy visually,” Katie says. In an effort to keep some original parts of the space intact, the brick behind the range remained but was updated with a coat of paint.\\A waterfall quartz countertop neatly rounds off the end of the bar while bringing a slightly more modern look to the kitchen.
A beverage fridge and designated storage for appliances and entertaining essentials as well as food make the new butler’s pantry supremely functional. Shiplap on the back wall and the ceiling were kept in place to retain some of the home’s character.
Good Clean Fun
“I knew we were in trouble when I saw this dog wash station on Pinterest,” laughs one of the owners. The couple has four dogs, and living on rural property where the pups can roam and play means frequent baths. The standing-height tub with a pull-down faucet makes for easy work, and the tile surround can be quickly cleaned. Loads from the dryer can be taken to the opposite wall, which has space for sorting, folding, and hanging as well as concealed storage.
“We really love our home, and—especially at a time like this—it’s so nice to have a place where you enjoy being.”
Bright & Fresh
In the master bedroom, dark wood floors were stripped and re-stained with a whitewash treatment. Overhead, the beams kept the wood stain while the tongue and groove ceiling was refreshed with a coat of white paint. Similarly, rustic-style furnishings were traded for more transitional pieces with a lighter palette. The artwork over the bed was commissioned from Little Rock artist Amanda Kella. “I had a vision of a print in acrylic and shared my thoughts and a couple of fabric swatches with her, and she nailed it,” Katie says.
In the master bath, the footprint remained the same. Mitered white quartz surrounds the tub, while an over-scale custom light fixture draws the eye upward. On the opposite wall an alder wood vanity with a custom whitewash stain speaks back to the whitewashed floors in the adjoining bedroom. “I knew they wanted white and crisp, but with so much detail already in the shiplap, we went really simple,” Katie says. “They will never tire of this.”
Upstairs, separate guest rooms offer a retreat for each of the couple’s grown daughters.
Interior design Katie Rees, Katie Grace Designs Accessories Katie Grace Designs, Providence Design, and Pottery Barn Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art Amanda Kella Art, Lori DeYmaz, and EMD Fine Art Bedding Katie Grace Designs and Sheryl’s Sewing Room Cabinets Custom Interior and Designs Countertops Inside Effects Fabrics Fabric Gallery, Katie Grace Designs, and Laura’s Draperies & Blinds Fixtures Falk Plumbing & Supply Furniture Art of Design, Bassett Furniture, Katie Grace Designs, Lacuna Modern, and Providence Design Hardware PC Hardware Lighting and rugs Katie Grace Designs Metalwork Zack Eaves Metal Masonry Mark Roberts Masonry Millwork Carey Stillman Paint Sherwin-Williams Staircase design Bret Benton, Quality Stair Co. Tile Katie Grace Designs, Pro Source of Little Rock, and Triton Stone Group Window coverings Laura’s Draperies & Blinds and Joe Hicks Window Covering
BEFORE & AFTER