At Home in Arkansas: Your home is so pulled together, which hints at years of careful editing and accessorizing. We have to know: new build, or renovation?
Melissa Haynes: It’s a new build in Fayetteville’s Clear Creek neighborhood, but I love that you thought it might have been a renovation. One of the things that was really important to me in designing this house was to draw from the classics—French influence, Mediterranean design, British architecture—and create a house that was timeless and would age gracefully.
When Heather Letterman bought a 1920s-era home in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock six years ago, she had a colorful vision. “I knew exactly what I wanted this house to eventually look like,” says the aspiring interior designer, who works for a pharmaceutical company. “I was constantly pulling pictures out of magazines, finding ideas for the final product.”
When Heather married Jason Letterman four years later, her dreams were realized. Jason, an aeronautical engineer, used his expertise to help lay out their extensive renovation plans. The couple hired a contractor, moved into an apartment and put their furniture into storage while their home was enlarged and updated with an open floor plan and a new kitchen.
As a final step in the transformation, the couple opted for a fresh color scheme. “I love the color orange,” admits Heather, “but we had previously used a bright orange and I wanted to warm up the colors this time around.”
Heather used color liberally throughout the house, starting with the Pumpkin Cream paint by Benjamin Moore in the living room and kitchen, wrapping it around walls and covering the ceilings. The sophisticated shade of orange visually expands the newly opened floor plan and provides a bold contrast to the white wood trim and kitchen cabinetry. “I was going for a French country feeling in the kitchen,” says Heather, who generated many of the decorating ideas, including adding a dark walnut stain in the crevices of the white cabinetry.
Blue accessories, such as a large turquoise-colored ceramic urn as a base for the glass-topped kitchen table, enliven the pumpkin walls in the front rooms of the home, as well as the family room that adjoins the kitchen. Heather selected another favorite color, green, for this space, and chose the soft Brookside Moss hue to complement the intensity of the pumpkin orange.
Neutral-colored furnishings, like a taupe suede sofa in the living area and chocolate sofa and chair in the family room, offer a subtle contrast to the bright walls. “The neutral pieces let us get away with adding some very distinctive paint colors and accessories,” Heather says, “which gives our house its personality.”
Builder Turner & Duncan Design & Construction, Hot Springs
Interior design Rejuvenated Designs, LLC, Little Rock
Building Supplies Buddy Bean Lumber Co., Hot Springs
Cabinetry Hardin & Son Cabinet Shop, Hot Springs
Countertops Marble & Granite Creations, Hot Springs
Furnishings Cantrell Furniture Design Center, Little Rock; I.O. Metro, locations statewide
Lighting Light Innovations, Little Rock
Paint Benjamin Moore Paints, locations statewide
Tile C&F Carpet and Flooring, Little Rock
Windows National Home Center, North Little Rock
Wood flooring Creative Floors, Little Rock
Energy Roof & Walls
Energy Roofs & Walls
“The first two things that come to a lot of our clients’ minds is that they want a roof that supports a clean environment and one that can save them energy. Our ceramic coating, Super Therm, provides both, as we paint and insulate at the same time with a gold-LEED certified product,” says Bob McBryde with Energy Roofs & Walls in North Little Rock. “Instead of tearing off an old tar or metal roof and hauling to the dump, we encapsulate the tar or rusty metal roof in place, and then coat it with the reflective coating Super Therm, helping the environment and saving the homeowner money.”
Paul Page Dwellings
“Clients want to know what I can do to make their homes more energy efficient, such as regressive passive techniques and utilizing local and more sustainable materials,” says Page Wilson of Paul Page Dwellings in Little Rock. “I continue to stress the importance of water conservation and the use of more metal products on exteriors instead of wood.”
Stitt Energy, which developes energy-efficient homes that are environmentally responsible, has seen a record growth over the past year. “Since last year, we’ve experienced a growth of more than 50 percent,” Orlo Stitt says. “We’re doing a lot of design-builds and emphasizing passive solar orientation, rigorous air-sealing and solar water heaters. We’re Energy-Star builders and have committed to only build to their standards.”
Stellar Sun formed in 1991 as a Little Rock based company that specializes in renewable energy technologies with a focus on solar water heating, solar electric systems and engineering design services. Woodglen Park—the solar subdivision that owner Bill Ball is creating in Little Rock—offers homes that meet a high standard of energy efficiency, incorporate passive solar design and produce at least 50 percent of their electrical usage from solar photovoltaics.
To minimize the environmental footprint of your home, Ball suggests looking for building materials that are not a scarce resource, involve the least amount of energy to produce or extract from the Earth and leave little to no damage in the process. “Try to find materials that are high in recycled content and are near or indigenous to your region,” he says.
River Rock Builders
Keith Wingfield, certified green building and certified green professional, of River Rock Builders in Little Rock, began focusing on green building several years ago with an interest in energy-saving features. “This is why River Rock Builders joined the Energy Star program in 2006,” Wingfield says. “Energy Star is a program created through the EPA that establishes guidelines for energy performance. Building our homes to the Energy Star certification rules ensures that the energy performance of the home is 15 percent more efficient than the National Energy Code requires.”
One key to Wingfield’s high energy efficiency lies with the materials he chooses, including Thermawrap from Dupont. “This is a highly reflective moisture barrier that we wrap each house in to prevent moisture intrusion,” he says. “We also install tankless water heaters, low-E argon gas-filled window and door glass and high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment.”
Pella’s Designer Series wood patio doors were featured in one of the first single-family home remodeling projects that met the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard for homes. Pella also offers a wide selection of windows and doors that meet the Energy Star guidelines, including triple-pane and Low-E insulating glass. Available at Pella Windows & Doors in North Little Rock and Springdale.
Bray Sheet Metal
Bray Sheet Metal in Little Rock receives daily inquires regarding green roof products, and they’ve expanded their offerings to include Energy Star-rated metal roof systems with reflectivity that meet green standards. They also utilize recyclable materials within the insulation and roofing system.
Stallman Construction offers clients a variety of energy-saving building materials from vinyl siding to replacement windows. Their siding is virtually maintenance free and won’t warp, rot, chip or peel. It also provides better insulation and protection for your home in harsh weather conditions. Their replacement windows are a wonderful investment thanks to their maintenance-free reliability and energy savings year round.
All Marvin windows and doors can meet Energy Star requirements in all four regions of the country, and they can be an integral part of a projects’ LEED certification. With Marvin’s support of sustainable forest management, and their facilities’ recycling methods and waste reduction, you can rest assured that every aspect of your windows and doors are Earth-friendly. Marvin windows and doors are available at Greenfield Millworks in North Little Rock and Kaufman Lumber in Little Rock.
Middleton Heat & Air
Ron Humphrey, installation manager with Middleton Heat & Air in Little Rock, has seen a definite increase in green home building. “More and more of our customers want to go green,” he says. “Many want the new Energy Star-rated, higher efficiency ozone-friendly refrigerant systems and heat pumps equipped with a high-efficiency filtering system. These are also controlled by an Energy Star-rated thermostat for a completely green system.”
Bio-Foam Insulation of Arkansas affords homebuilders and remodelers a unique insulation system based on the rapidly renewable resource of soybeans. This spray-on insulation easily fills all cracks and crevices in your home to lower energy costs, improve indoor air quality and allow for a downsized heat and cooling system. Bio-Foam insulation is an important component of any LEED certification considering it utilizes a renewable resource; it provides entire-house energy efficiency; and it’s manufactured only 150 miles from central Arkansas.
Andrea Cornwell, ASID
Interior designer Andrea Cornwell, ASID, says it’s an exciting time for sustainability. “To be green is becoming the standard,” she says. “I think we’re at a point where sustainable design in not a specialty area. It’s just good practice.” Cornwell finds that designers are embracing technologies, ideas and products that further green design, and she sees the movement lasting for generations to come. “I often utilize cabinets made from wheat, countertops made from recycled particleboard laminate sealed with a water-based sealant, linseed oil flooring and plumbing fitted with aerators to significantly cut water usage.”
Currently, Cornwell is working as the interior designer for Ruskin Heights, a mixed-use, new urban neighborhood development in Fayetteville. “This development was chosen to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development pilot program,” she says. “This project will give the community many options for living an urban lifestyle in convenient, pleasant and sustainable spaces.
Rowe Furniture has recently launched the EcoRowe line, which offers more than 200 natural fiber fabrics, including certified organic cottons; wood from replenished and domestic forests; and the choice of two eco-friendly cushion cores, which contain plant-based, renewable materials that replace the petroleum-based filler used in standard foam cushions. Available at Cleo’s West, mertinsdykehome, Phoenix Design & Interiors and Tobi Fairley Interior Design in Little Rock, DeMadera Furniture in Hot Springs, Swank in Jonesboro, Kimberly Harper Interiors in Rogers and Kordsmeier Furniture & Appliance in Conway.
NaturalLee furnishings offer many eco-friendly materials for a one-of-a-kind green design. The seat cushions are made of Preserve foam core with fiber wraps in 100-percent cotton down-proof ticking. The fibers are 80-percent regenerated fibers and replace the petroleum-based ingredients with a renewable soy-based BiOH polyol. The backs and throw pillows are made of 100-percent recycled fibers, while the seat deck and trim pad are made of 80-percent regenerated fibers.
All LEE frames use only water-based frames and the wide variety of fabric choices is all made from organic and natural fibers. As a continued commitment toward a greener future, one tree is donated to American Forests for each piece of naturalLee furniture sold. Available at Cobblestone & Vine, Cobblestone & Vine Loft, Bear-Hill Interiors and Tobi Fairley Interior Design in Little Rock.
CarpetSmart cork flooring
The staff at Flooring America by Carpet Smart has seen a dramatic increase in customers wanting to be environmentally friendly in their floor covering selections with two of the most popular choices being bamboo and cork. “Bamboo and cork sales have increased significantly in the past year,” says Joel Yount, store manager of the Ozark Center Point location in Springdale. “Bamboo offers a unique beauty with durability and the hardness similar to many hardwood floors without the environmental impact. Cork floors are also beautiful, and they have the added benefit of being warm and comfortable underfoot. Since both are sustainable and renewable materials, we can offer our customers a high-quality product at a very reasonable price.”
WaterSense, the EPA’s voluntary public-private partnership program, seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs and practices, and Kohler, a global leader in kitchen and bath design and technology, now offers 20 WaterSense labeled faucets, which flow at 1.5 gallons per minute, which is 30 percent less than the federal mandate.
Kravet Green Collection
The Kravet Green Collection of fabrics is made of 100-percent recycled polyester, which is a unique blend of post-industrial and post-consumer fibers. These fabrics are woven and treated with no additional chemicals. Water-based and environmentally approved dyes are also utilized. Available at Larry’s in Little Rock.
StoneImpressions features a new line of environmentally friendly tiles composed of cement strengthened with cellulose fibers. These tiles are hand printed to create endless designs, perfect for kitchen backsplashes or ballroom wall murals. Available at Homeworks Kitchen & Bath Center in Hardy and New Century Countertops in Springdale.
“Many of the framing companies we work with are actively seeking new ways to offer more environmentally friendly framing options,” says Mac Murphy of M2 Gallery in Little Rock. “ One company in particular is Nurre Caxton, and as one of the leaders in the industry, they have introduced ecoCare, which is a line of moulding that’s easy on the eyes and the planet. All of the wood is harvested from managed forests, where they are closely monitored, controlled and grown using many modern forestry techniques. The colors achieved in the moulding are from organic, water-based stains with no chemical solvents or oils used in order to minimize environmental impact.”
The Home Depot
Although painting a room is an easy way to update its design, many interior paints have harmful volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These harsh chemicals contribute to poor indoor air quality and damage the overall environment, inside and out. The Freshaire Choice premium latex paint is a wonderful alternative thanks to its no-VOC base paint and colorant formula. This line of paint also includes drywall interior primer and ceiling paint. Available at Home Depot stores statewide and shown in Afternoon Shade from the Botanical collection.
Benjamin Moore’s Natura Paint
Benjamin Moore Paints
Benjamin Moore’s latest paint line, Natura, is a zero-VOC premium performance interior paint, and with nearly 3,500 color choices and color-matching possibilities, your choices are endless. Available at Benjamin Moore Paints locations statewide.
Smart Southern Home
When you’re outfitting your home with the latest in home automation, home theaters, lighting control and audio and video, choose the greener choices. At Smart Southern Homes in Little Rock, Suzette Davis has seen a growth in the industry pushed by demands from builders and consumers wanting to save energy. “Nuvo Technologies has introduced the first distributed entire-home audio system that has earned an Energy Star rating,” she says. “Crestron, our automation supplier, has also developed products and automation solutions that are Restriction of Hazardous Substances compliant and meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, while Lutron’s Green Design program includes lighting controls, solar shading and more that reduces energy costs while helping the environment.”
SP-Go Green Organic Landscaping
For more than 20 years, SP-Go Green has been one of central Arkansas’ most experienced green industry companies, providing full-service grounds, landscape design and maintenance. They specialize in creating a healthier, greener environment through organic products and services. From seasonal landscaping to custom containers and poolscapes, choose green.
“While most of our clients do not necessarily request green products, there is an inherent desire to connect with nature and to go green, so to speak, in wanting to create a garden or an outdoor living space,” says exterior designer Daniel Keeley of DK Design in Fayetteville. To meet this need, he looks for decking and furniture made from responsibly grown and harvested woods, as well as products that incorporate recycled materials and LED lighting. “It’s not very high-tech or glamorous, but at DK Design we believe strongly in the original green phrase: reduce, reuse, recycle,” he says. “We work hard to reduce waste by composting organic matter and by reusing and recycling other materials whenever possible. We also try to use organic fertilizers and to explore natural solutions to challenges such as pest control. Our greenest products are still the trees, shrubs and other plants we install. In addition to simply being beautiful, they oxygenate the air through photosynthesis and even provide energy savings by shading and insulating the home.”
The Good Earth
The professionals at The Good Earth in Little rock think green both when designing and installing landscapes for their clients. By using native plant materials, they ensure that their designs will require minimal watering, while sprinkler systems are installed to provide the best coverage with the least amount of waste. Choosing plants that do not have consistent pest problems also means using fewer pesticides and chemicals.