A family falls in love with their home all over again after designer Tobi Fairley combines bold color and tailored furnishings to give it a fresh, functional update
As lifelong residents of Sheridan—and inhabitants of the same home for the past 23 years—Vicki and Wade Lunday truly love where they live. However, as their three sons grew up and the family’s needs changed, they realized their home needed to evolve as well. And—as often happens in the process of a renovation—one thing led to another, prompting the Lundays not only to make a few structural changes to the home but also to infuse it with a more current, fresh take on their traditional style.
Luckily, they knew just the person to help them every step of the way: designer Tobi Fairley. “Tobi had decorated our home previously and we liked it so much we were hesitant to change anything,” Vicki Lunday says of the family’s relationship with the designer. “She understands us and what we like and need.” Using her knowledge about the family and how they live on a day-to-day basis, Fairley created what she—and the Lundays—hope will be a haven and gathering place for the next generation of their family.
Fairley took the home’s main floor “down to its studs” to streamline its functionality. For example, they took in a patio to create a larger sitting area in the kitchen—meaning guests can now all gather in this hub. Additionally, the fireplace in the family room was resituated to allow more natural light into the space and realign the room’s focal points. The home’s more private areas also received a refresh. A maze of walls was eliminated in the master suite to make the space less compartmentalized and to create a more natural flow between the bath and the bedroom. Additionally, its dark paneling was traded for a light, neutral backdrop. “When you work on a remodel, the people living there know what works and what doesn’t, so you can really address those problems and find solutions that are a perfect fit,” Fairley adds.
When it came to the design style, “the goal was to create a traditional home that looks fresh,” Fairley says. She eliminated dark, heavy fabrics in favor of lightweight textiles and a less saturated color palette. “There’s still a lot of color, it’s just a palette that is more current,” she notes, adding that bursts of teal in the family room make for a more up-to-date take on classic blues. “Teal is a color that can appeal across genders and age groups,” she adds. Fairley, known for her fun and fearless use of color, strategically placed accent colors—including the teal, along with orange and a vivid green—throughout the home’s common areas, which feature red and white as the predominant scheme. Because of its setting, the home lends itself to a country feel. “The legs of the kitchen island are painted in a shade of green that really brings in the land that surrounds the home and adds to the traditional look,” Fairley says.
With a husband and three sons, Lunday has always needed a space that felt like her own: the kitchen. “I call it my ‘Cinderella room,’” she says with a laugh. Since she spends so much time in the space, it was important that it be a reflection of her own personal style. “I wanted to infuse some feminine details,” Fairley says of the colorful gingham and floral fabrics seen in the kitchen and breakfast nook, “but the scale of the pieces is not delicate, so men feel at home here, too.” As with many houses, the Lundays’ kitchen is frequently a gathering spot during family dinners and parties, so it was important to have plenty of seating and room to move about freely. The bar area and banquette provide for this and appear to pop against the neutral backdrop, thanks to eye-catching fabrics.
All the Comforts
While style and function topped the list of renovation must-haves, comfort was also key. In the master suite, Fairley used rich creams and blues to create a tranquil space that, while still in the same color family, veers from the boldness used in the common spaces. “This is my husband’s favorite room in the home because it’s so restful. It’s really a retreat for us,” Lunday says.
In a similar fashion, the furniture and fabrics Fairley chose for the entire home invite everyone to kick back, put up their feet, and not fret about getting pieces dirty or ruining a finish. It’s this relaxed vibe—along with the home’s reimagined floorplan and cheerful palette that make it so welcoming. “We are really all about family and home, and I think everyone truly enjoys being here as much as we do,” Lunday says of the end result.
Interior design Tobi Fairley, Tobi Fairley & Associates, Little Rock, (501) 868-9882, tobifairley.com
Contractor Joe Huggins, Huggins Construction, Sheridan, (870) 917-5267
Accessories, bedding, fabrics, furniture, lighting, and wallpaper Tobi Fairley & Associates, Little Rock, (501) 868-9882, tobifairley.com
Bound rugs and carpet C&F Flooring and Rug Gallery, Little Rock, (501) 399-9909, candfcarpet.com
Flooring and backsplash Inside Effects, North Little Rock, (501) 954-8866, insideeffects.com
Mirror tiles Jones Glass, Benton, (501) 315-6600, myjonesglass.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com