Date: May 31, 2011 | Story: Interview by Julie Wax | Styling: Mandy Keener |
At Home in Arkansas: How did the waterfront locale influence your design? It’s equal parts serene, modern and chic.
Tami Risinger: I love nature and being on the water. Water makes everything so serene. The location inspired me to use watery paint colors and bird-themed art and accessories. The modern twist is definitely my own personal taste, and the chic part? Well, chic is just really fun.
AHIA: Is your condo all about family or do you entertain often as well?
TR: The condo is definitely a gathering place for our family and friends. It has an open floor plan, so everything flows well and it accommodates a lot of people. We have two teenage sons who always bring friends along. In the summer, we have family picnics and enjoy being on our boat and hanging out on the dock. Many of our friends also have condos on the water, so we go from place to place. I always consider someone’s lifestyle when selecting materials, finishes and fabrics. In our case, I selected bamboo flooring, which tolerates water well, and I used slipcovers on my upholstered pieces.
AHIA: You mentioned updating the flooring. Did you undertake other renovations?
TR: The condo was built in the early 70s, so we completely renovated it. I took down walls and opened everything up.
AHIA: Your style is elegantly minimal, yet the condo seems very comfortable.
TR: I’ve always leaned toward clean lines and classic pieces. They never feel outdated and are always livable. Minimal is relaxing to me, especially where nature is a part of the environment. When you use fewer items your eye can enjoy the beauty of each individual piece.
AHIA: The color palette contrasts light hues with dark and even mixes in pops of bright color.
TR: I like soft-colored hues on my walls. I chose paint colors that remind me of the water, and to me, that’s serene and relaxing. It also makes a nice backdrop for art, furniture and fabrics. It really can make color pop in the right setting. I used a slightly darker paint in the family room because that’s where we watch movies and it feels cozy and warm.
AHIA: How did texture and fabrics play a role in your design?
TR: I used very simple fabrics with a lot of cool throw pillows. The throw pillows repeat the shells and water theme. You don’t tire of simple fabrics and you can always change out throw pillows for a fresh look. I brought in texture with the rugs to add interest.
AHIA: The lighting is intriguing as well.
TR: When we bought our condo, there was no ceiling lighting anywhere. We added recessed lighting throughout, and then I added some fun light fixtures for dimension and also to make it light and bright.
AHIA: In the kitchen, the glitzy backsplash is in stark contrast to all of the white cabinetry.
TR: I like white on the cabinets. It gives a very classic and crisp look to a kitchen. Then I added the iridescent glass tile in the backsplash for a modern twist that I love.
AHIA: Accessories are so important in creating a stylish space. What are a few favorite ways that you used accessories here?
TR: I’ve collected much of my art from our travels. I think collecting art makes a home feel very personal. I’ve also collected lots of seashells and coral from various places as well as water-oriented photography throughout the years.
AHIA: It seems there is a place for everyone. Where is your favorite spot at the end of a long day?
TR: Sometimes if we are tired from being on the boat all day, the family room is great for watching a favorite movie. But typically, the living room/kitchen and seating area are where you’ll find me because we have an amazing water view of the lake from anywhere in that space.
Interior design Tami Risinger Design, Conway
Contractor Blake’s Flooring & Interior, Little Rock
Accessories Cobblestone & Vine, Little Rock
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, locations statewide
Art Buddy Whitlock, Maumelle; Justus Fine Art Gallery, Hot Springs
Blinds Dianna’s Custom Interiors, Russellville
Cabinetry Lee’s Cabinet & Millwork, Conway
Furnishings Bear-Hill Interiors, Little Rock
Lighting Light Innovations, Little Rock; TEC Electric, North Little Rock
Paint Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide
Pillow shams Possibilities Unlimited, Conway