Story: Susan Darcey | Photography: Nancy Nolan |
A Bentonville couple downsizes and embraces the thriving lifestyle of downtown living
Upon a leisure visit to Charleston, South Carolina, this Bentonville couple strolled past the Mitchell Hill showroom and gallery and spotted the perfect sofa. After returning for a design consultation, Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, Charleston interior designers and owners of Mitchell Hill, were hired to help design the couple’s condominium in Charleston. The success of this project lead to another, more detailed project for the couple’s home in Bentonville a few years later.
With the resurgence in the downtown area of Bentonville, the couple decided to downsize and purchase a house in the thriving downtown community. The house they chose had an ideal location that would allow them to walk to restaurants, the square, and Crystal Bridges Museum, but not a workable floor plan, and needed a complete renovation. The once single family home previously had an addition of a garage apartment added on splitting it into two residences. “It was an original 1950s slab built ranch style home,” Mitchell explains. “We worked on the floor plan and decided what walls would go where and how the space would be reconfigured and remodeled it back into a single family home,” Mitchell says. With grown children and grandchildren who visit, the couple wanted a space that was comfortable and stylish, but lived well and also allowed for entertaining. “The idea was that the house could accommodate a lot of people so we designed all the public spaces around the center courtyard. We reconfigured into more of a sophisticated cottage,” Mitchell emphasizes. The designers framed the courtyard by removing the small existing windows in the surrounding living room and kitchen and replaced them with French doors that open out on to the courtyard creating a quaint, inviting outdoor area. “We opened it up and really made it a feature and made it speak to the rest of the house,” Hill says.
Bold color greets guests as they approach the house and get a glimpse of what is to come. “When you come up the walk, the house starts to tell the story with bold turquoise planters on the outside,” Mitchell says. “I believe when you’re doing an outdoor space it should relate to what’s going on in the home”.
A vibrant palette exudes throughout the interior as well. The color scheme developed after the homeowner fell in love with Schumacher’s “Chiang Mai” fabric, which was used for the draperies in the living room, and progressed from there. “We knew we wanted to use those rich, jewel colors,” Mitchell says. From there, the tufted, velvet aubergine sectional from Hickory Chair was added. The addition of the music alcove, once a single car garage, allowed the designers to open up the space and add the monochromatic gray bookcases and fireplace. “In doing a small space, I really like to do the cabinetry and mantles a shade or two lighter or darker than the walls so they don’t become so important. This way everything sitting on the shelves just falls into the wall and reads soft and sophisticated,” Mitchell adds.
In keeping with their design philosophy that every piece is important in smaller spaces, Mitchell and Hill chose a neutral gray backdrop for the walls, using variations of this color in most of the rooms, to allow the accessories—art, rugs, lighting fixtures, cabinets—to take center stage. Each room showcases bold, eye-catching features that join all the rooms together. The art in the master bathroom, which pops with the bright blue vanity in Sherwin Williams’ “Naval,” ties it to the chic, upscale feel of the master bedroom. Since the house is smaller with fewer spaces, color and similar patterns were shared among some of the rooms to create unity and relate to what was going on in the rest of the house. Mitchell and Hill carried the Schumacher “Birds and Butterfly” wallpaper used in the guest bathroom to the draperies in the guest bedroom tying those colors with the living room. All the hues selected complement the homeowners. “These clients are happy and colorful people and that speaks to how we chose these colors,” Hill says.
Interior design Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, Mitchell Hill, Charleston, South Carolina (843) 564-0034, mitchellhillinc.com
Home design Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, Mitchell Hill, Charleston, South Carolina (843) 564-0034, mitchellhillinc.com
Contractor Bill Faber, Bill Faber Construction Company, Bentonville, (479) 903-2947, billfaberconstruction.com
Architectural Embellishment—Barn Door Olde World Door and Sunshine Glass, Rogers, (479) 273-9218, oldeworlddoor.com
Art, fabrics, furniture, lighting, mirrors, wallpaper Mitchell Hill, Charleston, South Carolina (843) 564-0034, mitchellhillinc.com
Cabinetry Verser’s Cabinet Shop, LLC, Rogers, (479) 636-3941
Countertops Verona Marble Company, Lowell, (479) 751-3854, vmcstone.com
Fixtures—masterbath Ferguson, North Little Rock, (501) 375-7389, Springdale, (479) 927-1688, ferguson.com
Floors—tile Tom January Floors Inc., Fayetteville, (470) 521-2422, tomjanuaryfloors.com
Flooring—hardwood Red Oak Floor Co., Bentonville, (479) 273-2788
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Windows Metro Applicances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 758-1988, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com