Story: Tiffany Burgess Adams | Styling: Mandy Keener |
Designer Daniel Keeley uses his outdoor living expertise and keen eye for design to update his 1,004-square foot cottage
If you don’t believe a home is a reflection of the person who inhabits it, you should visit Daniel Keeley. The acclaimed landscape and outdoor living designer, who owns and operates Northwest Arkansas’ DK Design, left no space of his newly renovated cottage untouched by his insightful knack for aesthetics and thoughtful approach to design. Incorporating both his passion for gardening and outdoor living, as well as his eye for interiors, Keeley has masterfully transformed a dated 1948 Fayetteville cottage into his charming personal residence.
Quality over Quantity
“It was important to me not to be wasteful,” says Keeley of his decision to downsize to a smaller home and lot. “My previous home had a lot of space, but I didn’t use near all of it,” he adds. When he heard about a home for sale by owner on a corner lot near Fayetteville’s historic district, he knew he was on to something. “It was the first house I looked at and I jived with the seller,” he says of his real estate find. While the location, size and real estate negotiations seemed to be ideal, the house was far from having Keeley’s signature style impressed upon it. “I really wanted to elevate the quality of the home and bring it to the next level,” he says of the fixer-upper. What’s more, Keeley wanted the space to be a true reflection of the way he lives, his work and his interests.
Laying the Groundwork
As with many projects, what starts with one quick fix often turns into a larger set of renovation plans. Keeley knew the bones of the home would need some work, but he ended up replacing the wiring, plumbing and ductwork. Additionally the home had vinyl siding along the exterior. Adhering to his desire to raise the home’s quality, Keeley decided to swap the existing siding for brick. The decision also played into his overall design plan for the home and gardens. “My aesthetic is somewhere between traditional and modern,” he says. The home’s style—both indoors and outside—is a reflection of this with classic pieces blending with contemporary in interesting and artful ways. “Architecturally, I wanted it to look like I bought a traditional shell and put a contemporary spin on it,” he adds.
As for the actual footprint of the house, little had been changed since it was built. However, the plan seemed to work for Keeley’s needs. He closed off one door and opened a wall to turn the second bedroom into a den, but kept the rest of the existing floor plan. Always conscientious of detail, Keeley added large-scale crown moulding throughout the home for a finishing architectural flourish.
Bringing the Outdoors In
When it came time to talk interior furnishings, Keeley knew just where to turn…the exterior. “I always tell my clients to create outdoor spaces that are as high quality and detail oriented as their interiors,” he says, “and with this house, I thought why not make a statement?” Keeley certainly proved his point. All of the home’s major furnishings—yes, even the soft settee in the formal living room and the Louis XVI-style chair in the den—are actually outdoor pieces. He didn’t stop there; the drapes, duvet covers and throw pillows are also artfully crafted from durable, yet comfortable outdoor fabrics.
Knowing the industry and the market so well, Keeley was well aware that today’s outdoor furnishings resemble interior pieces more closely than ever. However, he didn’t sweat the small stuff. For certain pieces, including some of the lighting, the artwork and accessories, he used items he either already owned or that helped to achieve his overall design scheme. This allowed him to adhere to the design plan without being too stringent and without sacrificing personalization—plus, he considers it a responsible practice to use pieces you already own.
A Vision for the Garden
“I did the garden design before I even closed on the house,” says Keeley. “In fact, with all the construction, I had it saved on my computer for a year before they started,” he laughs. Since the garden is Keeley’s natural playground—not to mention a huge part of his chosen profession—it’s no surprise he was meticulous with the planning efforts here. The home’s traditional brick is paired with a more contemporary color choice for the paint, and the large scale of the two classic urns, which flank the teak front door, is decidedly modern—meaning Keeley’s traditional-meets-modern aesthetic begins before you even cross the home’s threshold.
Apart from the structure, other features follow suit. Hedges line the border of the yard, while more capricious ornamental grasses and seasonal plantings in the urns add flair. Keeley’s favorite design motif, the ‘X,’ is seen in both the gate and the railing along the home’s back entrance. The side yards around the perimeter have a continuous design scheme, connecting the front lawn to the back. “The side yards are really the hallways between the home’s front and back lawn,” says Keeley, further proving no inch of space went to waste in this thoughtful, detail-driven renovation.
Interior, outdoor living and landscape design Daniel Keeley, DK Design, Fayetteville, (479) 443-9002, dkdesignoutdoor.com
Millwork carpentry Forrest Lipscomb, Fayetteville, (479) 871-9973
Painter Mike James, Fayetteville, (479) 841-6567
Project manager Eldon Hill, Mena, (479) 381-7996
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 758-1988, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Art Duane Gardener, Fayetteville, (479) 200-8994
Audiovisual Custom Electronics, Springdale, (479) 631-0268, customelectronics.com
Bedding—custom Stitches of Joy, Fayetteville, (479) 595-4581
Cabinetry Jimmy Blew Custom Cabinets, Fayetteville, (479) 466-1693
Countertops and tile New Century Counter Tops, Springdale, (479) 756-0893, newcenturycountertops.com
Fabrics, furniture, outdoor furnishings and rugs DK Design, Fayetteville, (479) 443-9002, dkdesignoutdoor.com
Fixtures Plumb Perfect, Pottsville, (479) 747-9398
Lighting Lighting Emporium, Bethel Heights, (479) 751-8184, lightingemporium.com
Mirrors and glass Fayetteville Glass Co., Inc., Fayetteville, (479) 442-8181, fayettevilleglasscompany.com
Window coverings and custom-upholstered pillows Interior Fabrics & Design, Fayetteville, (479) 444-0222, designerdiscountdraperies.com