A house with brilliant river views gets a polished old-world makeover
High on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River in Little Rock, designers Scott Paterek and Tammie Weaver of Massimo Interior Design turned a home into a little slice of Europe. After the home’s reconstruction, the central Arkansas-based design team was brought in for what the homeowner calls “phase II,” the interiors of the home. Paterek and Weaver took inventory of the homeowner’s collection of antiques and set to work to create an elegant, yet relaxed space for family and friends.
“Jack Hartsell had just completed the remodel, and it was time to focus on the interior,” recalls the homeowner. One fateful day she accompanied a friend to check on progress at her home. It was here that she met Paterek. “I suddenly connected the dots between my friend’s designer and a magazine feature that I admired on Scott’s home, and the rest is history.”
“We wanted to give the house a subtle old-world feel that was updated and not stuffy or period,” Paterek says. To do so, they cleared the main floor of furniture, relocating treasured pieces to other areas of the house, and added seating space to better accommodate guests.
“I have been collecting antiques throughout my lifetime,” says the homeowner. “They incorporated what I had, and added some new pieces.” While her previous homes have featured everything from a traditional Colonial style to both Spanish and Italian, this new space is decidedly French in inspiration.
In the foyer, an antique French buffet was brought in from the dining room and topped with a gilded mirror and pair of sconces from Trianon Antiques. Overhead, a French crystal chandelier from the homeowner’s collection adds refined sparkle. Down a corridor, the home opens up to the living room, dining room and kitchen, all with views to the river valley below.
“We didn’t want to compete with the view, so we weren’t going to do anything too strong in this space,” says Paterek. Since privacy is not an issue, the windows were intentionally left bare to allow the homeowner to enjoy nature’s seasonal scenery. Limestone floors set the tone for a soft color scheme of blues and beiges throughout the home. The result is a peaceful, calming retreat, which is also welcoming.
Paterek and Weaver maximized seating in the living area by removing a piano and adding a tuxedo-style sofa, a pair of club chairs, a pair of modern wing chairs and a tufted ottoman, all from Paterek’s Little Rock shop, Massimo. “The sofa reminds me of an old classic, but it is an updated version,” says Paterek, who is known for his ability to fuse traditional interiors with more transitional pieces.
Beyond the sofa, soft arches and a pair of columns define the dining area. The homeowner’s previous rectangular table was exchanged for a round pedestal one to allow for better traffic flow and dinner conversation. Reproduction chairs are covered in a Highland Court print and an elegant French Regency iron-and-crystal chandelier hangs above the table to intimately illuminate dinner conversations. On the walls, a delicate set of hand-painted plates the homeowner found while vacationing in Ravello, Italy, hangs with a custom still-life painting by Jonesboro artist Nancy Zimmerman.
The kitchen marries the home’s old-world style with modern convenience. The homeowner fell in love with a slab of granite with deep blue veining, and it became the starting point for the scheme of the room. Cabinetry by Woodunique feels more like elegant paneling than utilitarian storage. The range hood—which is flanked by windows to display the room’s expansive view of the valley—features a hand-painted mural. Here, Paterek replaced a crystal chandelier with a more casual pair of iron-and-wood chandeliers.
The master suite—also on the main floor—is swathed in hand-painted wallpaper and linen draperies, and features handsome bleached walnut flooring. “They used such a soft palette, and it just complements one of the most beautiful spots here in Little Rock,” says the homeowner. “The bedroom is really my haven.” A dark four-poster bed by Noir lends a slightly more modern and masculine touch, while a daybed and pair of Bergère chairs gather around an ottoman with Lucite legs. “We placed the bed to best view the pool and terrace beyond the doors,” says Paterek. “The retreat is light and airy and largely traditional, but with a little twist.”
The home’s downstairs area offers a more casual spot for relaxing, and incorporates brighter punches of the home’s cool-toned palette. Crewel drapes provide color and movement against the linen-hued walls. To combat unusually low windows, the draperies were hung just below the ceiling and the additional wall space was covered with roman shades.
Nearby, the guest bedroom has a pair of upholstered headboards with a Greek key detail below an antler mount. “I don’t think she expected me to find a place to use them,” says Paterek of the wildlife horns, “but I liked the shape with the square headboards.” True to the home’s overall design, another antique chandelier gives the casual room a touch of sophistication, tying all the pieces together. In the end, the design duo gave the homeowner exactly what she desired: a retreat than honors the best life has to offer, including a recollection of memories and past experiences along with a place to create new ones with the next generation.
Contractor Jack Hartsell, Little Rock, (501) 376-2871
Interior design Scott Paterek and Tammie Weaver, Massimo Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com
Accessories Bear-Hill, Little Rock, (501) 907-9272, bearhillinteriors.com; Marshall Clements, Little Rock, (501) 663-1828, West Little Rock, (501) 954-7900, marshallclements.com; Massimo Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com; The Accessory, Little Rock, (501) 664-5363
Cabinetry Woodunique, Inc., Mountain Pine, (501) 767-6216
Decorative painting—kitchen mural Bruckman Studios Limited, Little Rock, (501) 650-0304, bruckmanstudios.com
Fresh floral Tipton Hurst, Conway, (501) 329-6663, Little Rock, (501) 666-3333, North Little Rock, (501) 753-0709, tiptonhurst.com
Furniture Marshall Clements, Little Rock, (501) 663-1828, West Little Rock, (501) 954-7900, marshallclements.com; Massimo Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 664-0355, massimointeriordesign.com; The Accessory, Little Rock, (501) 664-5363; Trianon Antiques, Little Rock, (501) 666-0339, trianon-antiques.com
Lighting Trianon Antiques, Little Rock, (501) 666-0339, trianon-antiques.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Rugs Hadidi Oriental Rug Company, Little Rock, (501) 225-8999