At Home in Arkansas: Tell us about the background of this Eden Isle home and how the renovation project began.
Designer Heather Chadduck: The house was built in the 1960s by Dallas-based architect David George, who also designed the Red Apple Inn, Eden Isle’s iconic lodge. The house was in need of some major repairs and renovation when my clients, who live in Little Rock, purchased it. The wife is a close childhood friend, and she immediately enlisted my help. One of the first descriptions she gave me was that it’s the kind of place you want your ashes scattered—it’s that peaceful and beautiful.
It seems your clients immediately connected with the site. How did they envision using the house?
The house was intended as a weekend getaway destination for their family, which includes three children. My clients wanted the house to be comfortable, approachable and not too decorated. They envisioned bringing extended family and friends up for long weekends on the lake, which made comfort and durability a must.
What updates were needed to make this house an accommodating getaway?
There’s a main house and a guesthouse. We decided to update the guesthouse first so the family had a place to stay while the main house was under renovation, which lasted an entire year. The guesthouse received a new roof and we refurbished the kitchenette and bath. My client had the brilliant idea to turn an unused closet into a stack of three built-in bunk beds for their children, complete with a ladder to access the bunks.
The main house needed a new roof and modernizing throughout as well, with plumbing, tile and countertops updated. We upgraded the kitchen with new appliances, a Carrara marble backsplash to lighten the room up, a grid of nautical lighting and hand-poured concrete countertops to blend with the stone columns flanking the kitchen.
The living and dining spaces needed a cosmetic overhaul, with fresh paint and repairs to some leaking windows. My clients opted to add a new fireplace on the screened porch, as they envisioned gathering around it often. We mimicked the fireplaces throughout the house and added a large hearth for seating. The most major overhaul was the master bathroom, which suffered from an unfortunate 1980s remodel.
What had been done and how did you modify the space?
The master bedroom has a stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a beautiful view to the lake, but the bath had been renovated with low sheetrock ceilings and a difficult floor plan. We opened the space up to the bedroom with a series of barn-style sliding doors on center with the window, for views to the lake. The low ceilings were removed to expose the same roofline seen throughout the house. A fabulous freestanding Waterworks tub was installed to ground the space and a pair of custom his-and-her vanities were tucked into opposing sides of the room. An oversized, handmade chandelier and custom sconces were added along with a wall of gorgeous white draperies for privacy. In the end, the most problematic room became a favorite spot in the house.
The rocky waterfront setting is reflected in the architecture of the house, with wood and stone used prominently. How did that figure into your design process?
With so much glass and rock used in the building of the home, there is an indoor/outdoor feeling that could not be ignored. That figured into our color palette of green, gray, white and blue, which the homeowner and I pulled directly from photos we took outside of mossy rocks, dogwood trees, the sky and the water. There’s also a strong symmetry to the architecture, which made furniture placement fairly straightforward, and an open floor plan, which demanded a natural and consistent color palette that flows seamlessly.
What elements did you incorporate to help this house hold up to heavy waterfront use?
I worked closely with the homeowners to handpick each piece of furniture, fabric and the decorating details to make sure each would stand up to frequent use and accommodate family and friends. In the living room, sofas are long enough to fit many guests, but streamlined so they don’t appear oversized. The adjacent dining room is narrow, so we custom made a long table that fits the space, yet can easily seat 10. We also added a zinc top to the table for durability. Side chairs are an easy-to-clean painted finish, and host and hostess dining chairs are upholstered in outdoor fabrics, as are many of the furnishings throughout both the main house and the guesthouse. My favorite is the faux ostrich fabric on the stools in the bar and kitchen—you can wipe it clean easily. On the screened porch, we used teak furnishings and ceramic garden stools to hold up to the elements. Sunbrella fabrics cover the cushions, and underfoot a striped all-weather rug reinforces the color palette. These spaces became so comfortable that the family spends as much time as possible here, even holidays.
Interior design Heather Chadduck, Birmingham, AL, (214) 215-4260, email@example.com
Contractor Ike Harcourt, Mountain Home, (501) 607-1776
Draperies Linda McNeill, Decorative Home Accessories, Batesville, (501) 206-5867
Plumbing fixtures PC Hardware/Light Innovations, Little Rock, (501) 223-9026, blog.light-innovations.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com