The oldest surviving state capitol west of the Mississippi, Arkansas’ Old State House is most recognizable as the setting of President Bill Clinton’s two election-night celebrations, and today it houses a multimedia museum of Arkansas history. A National Historic Landmark, the Greek Revival structure was commissioned by Territorial Governor John Pope and designed by architect Gideon Shryock. Although it wasn’t completed until 1842, the first general assembly was held there in 1836, and it remained the state capitol until 1911, enduring occupation by Union Troops, a famous knife fight and nearly constant repairs before the decision to build the new capitol was made.
With the home completed, Kaki and Max enjoy spending time in every area. “We really live in this house,” she says. “We’ll have coffee in the front courtyard, lunch in the pergola and a glass of wine on the second-floor balcony.” While Kaki’s first love is design, she has found an equal affinity for entertaining. “I find that planning a party or an event is very similar to planning a home,” she says. “They are both a creative production with a consistent style, theme and colors, and there is always a team of subcontractors to coordinate, from the caterers to the musicians. I find many parallels, and that’s possibly why I enjoy both so much.”
Through her full-service design firm, Kaki Hockersmith Interiors in Little Rock, Kaki offers her clients a true one-stop shop. “We really work with the client from the initial concept to completion.” Kaki and her team begin with the architectural structure of the project and often hand their drawings and renditions directly over to the contractors. Millwork is a personal favorite of Kaki’s, and she is a hands-on contributor to the design and creation of each piece. “I’m not a fan of the traditional built-in furnishings, but we use beautiful millwork to create pieces that present themselves as furniture, not just storage,” she says. “We also custom-make furniture. We can design any piece of furniture and cover it with one of the thousands of fabrics I offer.” Walking through Kaki’s office, guests find room after room of door samples, fabric books, artwork, hard surfaces and more, including the Wood-Mode kitchen and showroom bathroom. “When we give a presentation to a client, we simply walk in the other room and pull a sample of exactly what we’re talking about,” she says. “Our resource rooms offer clients a hands-on and visual experience. The best part about all my experiences and the friendships with design professionals and business owners I’ve developed over the years and around the world is that I can bring them directly to my clients.”