Date: May 24, 2012 | Story: Julie Wax | Styling: Mandy Keener |
At Home in Arkansas: How did the waterfront locale influence the design of your home?
Homeowner Kathryn Miles: As soon as we saw the bluff lot, I envisioned a modern house inspired by our Arkansas surroundings and influenced by the architectural design of Frank Lloyd Wright. I refer to our style as organic modern and my husband, Joe, whimsically calls it contemporary prairie—Frank Lloyd Wright with a twist.
What was your goal for the home’s design?
We wanted to open the home up to its natural surroundings and allow it to blend into the landscape. I wanted guests to enter and immediately be drawn through the home to the terrace where they see nothing but the Ozarks—and they are. Guests don’t even notice the house until they return indoors to sit and visit.
You mention entertaining, and your home seems spacious enough to accommodate a crowd.
Our house provides the best of both worlds—it’s both open for entertaining and cozy enough for relaxing. The kitchen was designed to be a part of the living area so that guests can be comfortable anywhere. In most gatherings, guests tend to migrate to the kitchen no matter how large or beautiful the living room might be. Our design allows guests to mingle and still feel connected in a free-flowing space. It works well for parties, or when it’s just the two of us.
You drew the home’s blueprint all on your own, and oversaw the building process from beginning to end. What are a few attributes that made this your dream home?
I knew the location was a dream setting immediately. I went on an exhaustive search for an existing design plan, but found nothing to my satisfaction. So, I purchased a CAD program online and drew a fairly simple plan that takes full advantage of the breathtaking site.
Every room had to have a view of the river and valley below. The design truly meshes with our personalities. It’s open, yet cozy. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow us to always be in sight of the natural beauty of the area. The views are spectacular during all kinds of weather conditions, and nothing is more inspiring than a full moon at midnight.
Those floor-to-ceiling windows encompass much of your home and do offer breathtaking views. Does this provide most of your lighting?
Yes, the bank of windows facing south provides our home with plenty of natural light. We consider the windows pieces of art, with a different landscape scene for us every day.
The mostly neutral color palette indoors seems to mesh with the setting outdoors.
The natural beauty of the surrounding area provided the best color palette imaginable. I took the interior colors from the stone we used in the house, which was quarried in the nearby town of Leslie. It has shades of burnt orange, gray, taupe, tan, brown and black. Original art my husband and I have collected adds a little punch of unexpected and unmatched color to the scheme.
How do you use your home’s outdoor space and what inspired its design?
The outdoors, similar to the indoor spaces, were designed around the setting. The front was landscaped with the contours of the land. Dry creek beds were created along the drainage lines, and a smattering of pine trees and dogwoods enhance the surrounding natural landscape.
Sun-loving, low-maintenance plants and large rocks help to make the yard easy to tend. Near the entrance, a small water feature with goldfish entertains our grandchildren. We usually use the terrace on the south side of the house where the floor is the same native stone as much of the interior. The cable railing is virtually invisible, allowing an undeterred view of the river and surrounding Ozark Mountains.
Where is your respite at the end of a long day?
I enjoy relaxing on the upper terrace and taking in the beauty of the area or preparing dinner while the view accompanies me. Joe typically has his eyes on a book while his thoughts drift downstream on the White River.
Consulting contractor Rip Gresham Construction, Mountain Home, (870) 425-5468
Accessories Earl’s Antiques, Mountain Home, (870) 425-8578; Garrett’s Antiques Prints, Eureka Springs, (479) 253-9481
Appliances Shay’s Appliance, Mountain Home, (870) 425-7911, shaysappliance.com
Audio Crawford Electric, Inc, Mountain Home, (870) 425-4518, crawfordwiringsolutions.com
Cabinetry Greg Davis Woodworking, Mountain Home, (870) 404-4084
Countertops Harrison Granite, Harrison, (417) 353-3977, harrisongranite.biz
Furnishings Ethan Allen, Little Rock, (501) 219-8400, ethanallen.com
Geothermal system Central Heating & Cooling, Inc., Mountain Home,
(870) 425-4717, centralhandc.com
Steel fabrication Clements Welding & Steel Supply, Gassville, (870) 430-7473
Stone masonry Sutterfield Stoneyard, Leslie, (870) 447-2784
Tilework Elisabet Jestice, Bet’s Construction, Mountain Home, (870) 882-9143
Upholstery RC’s Quality Upholstery, Mountain Home, (870) 425-2474
Windows Mountain Home Glass, Inc., Mountain Home, (870) 492-4050, mountainhomeglass.com
Window treatments Interiors & Fabrications Design Studio, Mountain Home, (870) 425-9300, fabricationsstudio.com