Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
A Rogers family discovers local history and nearby natural wonders after remodeling their dream home-away-from-home
Jay Howard, the founder and CEO of HOWSE—a furniture line and store with locations in Arkansas and beyond—had been looking for a house on the lake close to his home in Rogers for five years when he stumbled upon this one. He and his wife, Christine, snapped it up before it even hit the market. “We knew it was a hidden gem,” Jay says. “We fell in love with the mid-century modern style, which is very rare in Arkansas, and particularly on Beaver Lake.”
With the help of Steve and Lisa Harper, also members of the HOWSE team, the Howards embarked on an extensive to-the-studs remodel, which included adding two more bedrooms to the previously one-bedroom home without adding much square footage.
Having been in the house less than a year, the Howards are discovering there’s even more to love about life on Beaver Lake than they expected, including the proximity to Hobbs State Park, Hobbs Nature Center, and War Eagle Caverns. “We have lived in Northwest Arkansas for 14 years and had no idea all that Hobbs State Park has to offer. It has literally been our most pleasant surprise of this lake house,” Jay says.
The surrounding natural wonders only add to the joy this lake abode brings the Howards. With floor-to-ceiling windows in every room facing the lake, a spacious deck, and furnishings from their own company to perfectly suit their style, the family has found a place to call home away from home for years to come.
A foursome of black-and-white chairs served as the starting point for the home’s tailored yet approachable design. “It is important to us for the design to be comfortable,” Jay stresses. “We have a 2-year-old, and lake life is supposed to be fun. There is nothing in our home she cannot touch.”
This house is just steps from a private dock on the water, and the Howards spend as much time on the boat as possible. However, when they need a break from the lake, the next best thing is sitting on this back porch, relaxing and taking in the sunset through the trees.“
“The Internet service options are pretty poor out here, which is perfect.”
– Jay Howard
Simple & Sleek
Concrete countertops by Bentonville-based Forever Design offer a sleek workspace for the updated, open kitchen that, like much of the rest of the house, offers a stunning view of Beaver Lake. A delicate display of octagonal white marble tile finished with gold grout is an unexpected take on a traditional tile backsplash.
A spiral staircase in the center of the house serves as a reminder of the home’s history: According to neighbors privy to its past, the staircase was carried into place by a helicopter before the roof was installed. “So we, of course, had to keep that and really made it the focus of the home,” Jay says. A coat of gold paint gives the railing new life and ties this centerpiece to metal accents throughout the rest of the home.
Jay’s advice for working gold into an everyday, casual atmosphere: “Always use metallic and bold colors as the pop for the room and keep the backdrop very neutral. It is much easier to change out art or a few pillows rather than paint an entire space.”
A landing just off the central staircase opens up to an adjacent family room and nearby guest suite downstairs. Jay and his team kept the home’s history in mind when choosing furnishings to reflect its mid-century origins; for example, the tapered legs and simple silhouettes of this table and chairs hint at the house’s 1969 construction.
The home’s extensive remodel included a complete transformation of the master bathroom, which before was carpeted and walled in floor-to-ceiling wood paneling. Floating vanities and brushed brass fixtures from RH, Restoration Hardware along with white walls, white tile, and light hardwood flooring give the space an easy, sophisticated feel.
The home’s neutral palette continues into the master suite, where more of Jay and Christine’s favorite HOWSE pieces make an appearance. “While we didn’t want this to feel like a stereotypical lake house with a nautical theme, we did want to make sure the design connected with the outdoors,” Jay says. Shades of brown and gray, wood finishes, and pops of green help tie the interiors to the environment clearly seen through the home’s many windows.
During the home’s remodel, the Howards turned the original 3,500-square-foot one-bedroom house into a three-bedroom 3,900-square-foot house. To create more sleeping areas, they installed a glass wall in the massive downstairs living area, thus separating it and creating this defined guest room.
“It is important to us for the design to be comfortable.”
– Jay Howard
Room for Comfort
A U-shaped sectional and pair of ottomans offer ample seating around a television in the family room. “We kept the upstairs as a media-free space so that our focus up there is having fun with our family, entertaining friends, and simply taking in the downtime,” Jay says. “For rainy days or movie time, the downstairs is our go-to with the down-filled leather sectional and large TV.”
Interior design Christine Howard Contractor Lisa and Steve Harper Appliances Metro Appliances & More Art, bedding, furniture, and rugs HOWSE Carpet and flooring Abbey Carpet & Floor Countertops (kitchen) Forever Design Fabrics and window coverings (master bedroom) M Grace at Home Mirrors Ace Glass
Want to see more? Check out our blog post featuring before photos from this lakeside transformation.