Story: Lacey Cain | Styling: Mandy Keener |
In Magnolia, designer Courtney Smart creates a cheerful, sophisticated girl’s room
“We wanted fun patterns that exuded energy, excitement and movement,” says Courtney Smart of El Dorado-based Sydney Murphy Designs. The charming young designer recently created a vibrant yet mature space for twelve-year-old client, Elise McWilliams, in her family’s Magnolia home.
“Children and teens usually have an idea of the colors or theme they’d like but it is often communicated through the mom, who has final say,” Smart explains. In this case, Mom—also known as Nicole McWilliams—had impeccable taste as well as confidence when it came to making decisions. The pair worked closely together on the project and an ease of friendship soon developed, making the process both comfortable and enjoyable.
Instead of sticking to one trademark style, Smart is passionate about exploring and expressing each client’s aesthetic. But she does share, “I love tall ceilings, architectural details, clean surfaces, patterns, depth and surprise!” For this space, there was definitely a surprise in store. After viewing a plethora of options, Nicole had soon formed a clear vision for the room—and it included a pink ceiling. “This was the only absolute Nicole had when planning,” remarks Smart. So that’s where they began the design process.
With that detail in mind, a color palette of black, grey, pink and white, with accents of orange, soon emerged to create a sophisticated space for Elise. Black-and-white patterned curtains make a bold statement in the space and set the tone for fun and whimsy. “The fabric was so striking we needed an equally outstanding headboard that would not distract,” Smart explains.
She was able to skillfully incorporate multiple patterns without a hint of discord. Smart learned this trick from working with designer Sydney Murphy, who she refers to as the “master of patterns.” “She has given me the confidence to mix large- and small-scale patterns of different textures and colors.”
The room is completed with bright harlequin pillows, a zebra-print reading chair, colorful artwork and a bold rug. Elise gave her full approval of Nicole and Smart’s selections throughout the design process. And the finished product? Smart says, “She was thrilled with the results.”
Interior design Courtney Smart, Sydney Murphy Design, El Dorado, (870) 863-6625, sydneymurphydesign.com
Fabric, furniture, art and accessories Sydney Murphy Design, El Dorado, (870) 863-6625, sydneymurphydesign.com
Fresh floral Tipton Hurst, Conway, (501) 329-6663, Little Rock, (501) 666-3333, North Little Rock, (501) 753-0709, tiptonhurst.com