Rural roads and pastoral landscapes mark the path to Spring Hill, Arkansas, a small community located just outside the Hope city limits. It’s here in this idyllic setting you’ll find the home that Jamie Pafford and Ben Gresham share with their young son and teenage daughter. Part local after-school hangout, part refined entertaining parlor, the home overflows with a mix of laughter, grace and gentility.
“The home was meant to have different areas for different purposes,” says Little Rock-based designer Kaki Hockersmith, who not only designed the interiors, but also oversaw the initial plans for the home. “Because they love to entertain on many different levels, we wanted them to have a place for everyone to feel comfortable,” she adds. The home does just that while still staying true to the family’s fondness for the regal Georgian style.
To get the look and accommodate the family, Hockersmith and her team started from the ground up, literally. “Planning was the key for this home,” she says “and we spent months and months getting the floorplan exactly where it needed to be.” Using her knack for details and working off her clients’ wishes for an authentic and unparalleled result, Hockersmith meticulously planned the home’s exterior, interior flow and even small details from the placement of windows and columns down to the moulding. “It’s so important to start with a good base,” she notes.
Having designed the home’s layout and knowing the family’s vision for the space also proved to be useful when it came to the home’s interiors. Because Hockersmith and her team were intimately familiar with each space, they were able to curate each room with pieces they acquired or collected during construction. “While the home was being built, we searched for the perfect pieces for each space,” she says. Both Pafford and Gresham played a large role in the search as well, taking trips to Dallas and St. Louis to find pieces of antique furniture and even chandeliers they liked and wanted to include in their new home.
Going back to her original design assessment for the client, Hockersmith began working room-by-room to create a home that echoed the style and feel of a Georgian colonial home. Starting with the spaces that are most visible for guests and used for more formal entertaining, such as fundraising dinners or holiday parties, she began to dot the blank canvas with signature elements. For example, a gilded mirror over the mantle sets the tone for the elegant formal living area, while a pair of sofas face inward to create a cozy conversation area.
Upon entry, guests take notice of the details in the space, whether they are acutely aware of it or not. Architectural flourishes such as ornate moulding, the view of the hallway chandelier from both the living and dining areas and the subtle border along the entry’s tile floor add to the symmetry characteristic of this style. The symmetrical layout of the home also lends itself to large archways that look through to each room and a linear floorplan in each of the home’s front rooms.
In the dining room a 14-seat table runs the expanse of the space, while a custom-made buffet provides a place for serving. The wallpaper, which was the original inspiration for the room, was discontinued halfway through the selection process. However, Hockersmith was able to convince the manufacturer to produce it for the project. “It matched the drapery fabric beautifully, so fortunately they agreed to one more run for us,” she says.
While the entry rooms seem to naturally invite guests into the home, there are also plenty of spaces for the family to relax and enjoy downtime together. A large, yet cozy den is the perfect spot for them to curl up for a movie night by the fire or enjoy a view of the pool during warmer months. Similarly, the kitchen’s large center island and barstools offer a place for homework, quick meals or simply telling stories to entertain the chef. “They love to cook and often have two or three friends drop in for dinner, so it makes sense for the kitchen to be comfortable,” says Hockersmith.
In keeping with the home’s flow of elegance and comfort, the large master bedroom and bath offer both. A palette of tranquil blues produces a calming effect, while a blend of both new and antique furniture, art and accessories make the spaces unique to the couple and their style.
Interior design and project management Kaki Hockersmith, Kaki Hockersmith Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 666-6966, kakihockersmith.com
Appliances Lafferty’s, Texarkana, (903) 794-2581, laffertys.com
Flooring Acme Brick, Tile & Stone, Maumelle, (501) 812-5574, acmebricktileandstone.com
Furnishings The Antique Company, Little Rock, (501) 666-0339; Hamilton-Mayton Antiques, North Little Rock, (501) 851-0039; Kaki Hockersmith Interiors, Little Rock, (501) 666-6966, kakihockersmith.com
Millwork White River Hardwoods, Fayetteville, (800) 558-0119, whiteriver.com
Mural Bruckman Studios Limited, Little Rock, (501) 650-0304, bruckmanstudios.com
Paint Pittsburgh Paints, locations statewide, ppgpittsburghpaints.com
Upholstery Brockington Upholstery, Sherwood, (501) 835-4403, brockingtonupholstery.com
Stained glass Soos Stained Glass, Maumelle, (501) 758-8641, soosstainedglass.com
Window coverings Creative Installation, Little Rock, (501) 664-6954