A Little Rock boutique owner’s home receives new life with the help of interior designer Krista Lewis
“My home and my style have grown up with me through the years,” Emily Brown says. As the owner of Little Rock’s much-loved women’s boutique, Tulips, Brown knows a thing or two about color, accessorizing, and finding the perfect pieces for your look—and this knowledge isn’t left behind when she exits her boutique and enters her house.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first house Brown and her husband, Mark, have owned on this quiet West Little Rock street. “We lived next door to this very house; we moved off the street for about a year, but had to come back,” she says. “I kind of had my eye on this house and always wanted it.” In 2009, Brown got her wish and the family moved in to the two-story, traditional brick home. In the early years of living there, they made minimal updates to accommodate the family, which includes son Peyton, 10, and daughter Millie, 6, but had not undergone full-scale cosmetic and structural renovations until they started working with interior designer Krista Lewis. “Krista and I went to the University of Arkansas together and have been longtime friends,” Brown says. “The reason I like to work with her is because her work ethic is like mine—super strong. And, of course, she has great style!”
“The kitchen was the first space we worked on together,” Lewis notes. As the centrally located main hub of the home, it was important for this room to be equally practical and inviting for the young family. The cabinetry was updated and a larger island was built to offer workspace and a dining counter, as well as additional storage. The appliances were also relocated to create a better workflow, and lighting was installed over the island to illuminate the area.
Perhaps the area of the home that was least functional was the master bath. “It was essentially two bathrooms before the renovation. There were his and her sides; she had a tub and a big vanity, and he had a shower and smaller vanity. They both had their own closet and water closet, which did not have a door, and everything was carpeted,” Lewis discloses. Realizing the footprint didn’t work for them, the Browns opted to take in a portion of the spacious master bedroom, relocate the bath features to one shared side, and create a closet on the other. The additional space acquired from the bedroom also allowed for the creation of a vestibule, which makes a stunning statement at the entrance to the master suite. “I love this space,” Brown exclaims. “I have my laptop at my vanity in the closet, and I often sit in there at night after my kids go to bed, have a glass of wine, and fill Instagram and internet orders for the store.”
Color It Happy
A light—yet not neutral—palette carries throughout the home, with Sherwin-Williams’ “Contented” on the walls in the majority of the home and also on the cabinetry in the master bath. In the den, this color is complemented with warm corals found on the club chairs—which are covered with indoor/outdoor fabric that is kid-friendly—and in the accent pillows and window seat cushion. “Emily goes to the beach each summer and she loves it, so this room has a bit of beachy influence without being over the top or out of place for Little Rock,” Lewis says.
Upstairs—just as in her boutique—the color pink is a standout in daughter Millie’s room and in the details of the master suite. “Pink is in my blood, and you can’t get it out,” Brown laughs. “People asked me if my husband was OK with pink, and I just tell them that he is married to Tulips so, of course, he is OK with it,” she adds. While a hot-pink-and-white palette can be found in the boutique, lighter shades grace the master bedroom and show up in the bath’s wallpaper. “Bringing it [pink] into the renovation at home just shows how much I love the color,” Brown says.
It almost goes without saying that a strong sense of distinctive style also flows from room to room. For example, there are elements such as the grouping of plates over the kitchen’s banquette or the tulip-patterned wallpaper in the dining room that catch your eye and cause you to pause for a moment. “I try to pick classic pieces that are functional for our life with kids and dogs,” Brown says. “I also like to add a cool twist with an old piece from an estate sale or a framed piece of art from our children’s school. It’s kind of like an outfit from my store—when styling our customers, we always add a wow factor that sets you apart from others.”
Overall, grace and livelihood seem to run rampant from the action of Brown swinging open her front door to welcome guests down to the tiniest well-placed accessory. “My mom always taught me that love is in every detail. Hard work has been put into my business and our home for years, and love is definitely in every detail. I feel it represents us as a family and, most importantly, it welcomes the people that we love to share it with; we are very thankful,” Brown says of the completed makeover.
Interior design Krista Lewis, K. Lewis Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 952-6952, klewisinteriordesign.com
Contractors Jeffery Lee, Pinnacle Home Improvement, Little Rock, (501) 944-1700; Krista Lewis, K. Lewis Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 952-6952, klewisinteriordesign.com
Accessories Cynthia East Fabrics, Little Rock, (501) 663-0460, cynthiaeastfabrics.com; K. Lewis Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 952-6952, klewisinteriordesign.com; Marshall Clements, Little Rock, (501) 663-1828, West Little Rock, (501) 954-7900, marshallclements.com; Providence Design, Little Rock, (501) 372-1886, providenceltddesign.com
Cabinetry—master bath and kitchen Richard Mears, Renaissance Custom Cabinets, (501) 256-3252, cabinetideas.com
Carpet Akel’s Carpet One, locations throughout Central Arkansas, akelscarpetone.com; C&F Flooring and Rug Gallery, Little Rock, (501) 399-9909, candfcarpet.com
Countertops—kitchen Casa Blanca Granite, Little Rock, (501) 744-0387, casablancagranite.com
Countertops and tile—master bath Inside Effects, North Little Rock, (501) 954-8866, insideeffects.com
Fabrics, fixtures, hardware, lighting, and wallpaper K. Lewis Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 952-6952, klewisinteriordesign.com
Fixtures—bath Southern Pipe & Supply, locations statewide, southernpipe.com
Fixtures—kitchen Falk Plumbing Supply, Hot Springs, (501) 321-1231, North Little Rock, (501) 664-3911, falksupply.com
Flooring—wood Akel’s Carpet One, locations throughout Central Arkansas, akelscarpetone.com
Furniture Cantrell Furniture Design Center, Little Rock, (501) 225-0002, cantrellfurniture.com; Fabulous Finds Antiques & Decorative Mall, Little Rock, (501) 614-8181, fabulousfindsantiquesanddecorativemall.com; K Lewis Interior Design, Little Rock, (501) 952-6952, klewisinteriordesign.com
Millwork—closet J&J Custom Cabinets, Little Rock, (501) 766-1870, jjcustomcabinets.net
Mirrors West Little Rock Glass, Little Rock, (501) 223-3034, westlittlerockglass.net
Paint Benjamin Moore, locations statewide, benjaminmoore.com; Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Rugs C&F Flooring and Rug Gallery, Little Rock, (501) 399-9909, candfcarpet.com
Upholstery Howard’s Upholstery Shop, Little Rock, (501) 225-0476
Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies, Mabelvale, (501) 455-2216