A young family creates a comfortable, maritime-inspired retreat near the shores of Greers Ferry Lake
In the Eden Isle community, nestled against the trees along the shoreline of Greers Ferry Lake, sits the weekend home of a young Conway family. “We wanted a place where we could unwind together as a family and get away from the demands of everyday life,” says the homeowner, who grew up near the water and wanted the same experience for her children, ages six, four, and eight months. “During the fall and spring we take walks and ride our bikes, and in the summer the marina is a quick golf-cart ride away.”
To make the home reflect its surroundings, the owners solicited the help of designer Tami Risinger, who filled the spaces with familiar pieces such as bunk beds and wicker dining chairs to give it functionality for the active family and to instill a sense of nostalgia appropriate for a family vacation spot. Throughout the house, pale walls are outlined with warm gray trim. Simple details such as beadboard and wide-planked hardwood floors give the home a cottage-style appeal.
“Tami knows our casual lifestyle,” says the homeowner, who met the designer through mutual friends. “She knows how we live, and we trusted her to create something that would fit into that. The house is comfortable and cozy, but also feels polished.”
Although the house is used primarily for weekend getaways, the well-appointed kitchen and baths provide all the comforts of home. A united color scheme of gray, cream, and navy is punctuated with red and accented with nautical accessories such as oars, model boats, and even a hand-painted compass in the bunk room. “Designing a second home is fun,” Risinger says. “This one has more of a theme and a more colorful palette than I usually work with.”
In the family room, a delicate pair of spool chairs provides juxtaposition to the double-story stone hearth, while a large CR Laine sectional offers ample seating for the homeowners and their guests. To stand up to the demands of this young and active family, Risinger called for durable, washable fabrics and finishes wherever possible.
In the adjacent kitchen, children and guests can gather around the island as meals are prepared. Simple cabinetry with inset panels is painted the same color as the trim throughout the house, and a large window over the sink looks out onto the backyard. The room’s crisp feel is a contrast to the family’s full-time residence, which features dark granite and wood cabinets. “This just feels so cool and clean to us,” the homeowner says. A custom, upholstered banquette anchors the dining area around a stainless steel-topped table—yet another durable choice for a family with small children.
Risinger’s biggest challenge was to give the family plenty of space—along with room for guests—with just three bedrooms. A playful bunk room helped solve that dilemma; the space features the most literal take on a nautical Americana scheme thanks to a wall mural by artist Jan Mallett. Two sets of custom bunks are topped with sailcloth pillows trimmed with grommets and rope.
Along the stairs leading to the loft playroom, a rope stands in for a banister. Sliding barn doors allow the balcony space, which overlooks the family room, to either be open for parents to keep an eye on the kids or closed to conceal the room. “As the kids grow, this will probably become more of a hangout for them,” the homeowner says, “but for now, if we aren’t out on the boat, or taking a walk, or riding our bikes through the neighborhood, you can find us all piled on the sofa watching a movie together.”
When it comes to rest and relaxation, the master suite, which features shades of gray, cream, and blue, is a retreat in itself. The elegant en suite is a bit of a departure from the rest of the home with metallic wallpaper, modern fixtures, and silver travertine floors—all meant to pamper the homeowners at their vacation home.
Just outside the bedroom, a screened porch offers a small table for quiet moments with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and a custom swinging bed has room for the entire family. A larger porch with an outdoor fireplace overlooks the tree-covered backyard. “The yard is the reason we purchased this lot,” the homeowner explains. “It’s very serene and quiet here, nestled up to the woods. We don’t have that at home, but we wanted our kids to experience this environment as they grow up.”
Contractor Keller Johnson Construction, Inc., Conway, (501) 697-7233, buildingconway.com
Interior design Tami Risinger, Risinger Interiors, Conway, (501) 454-2575
Kitchen and bath design Krystal Weaver, KB Designs, Cabot, (501) 339-3378
Landscape design Chris Olsen, Russellville, (479) 970-4394
Accessories, art, bedding, countertops, fixtures, furniture, hardware, lighting, mirrors, outdoor furnishings, rugs, tile, and wallpaper Risinger Interiors, Conway, (501) 454-2575
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 758-1988, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Cabinets Netzel Cabinet Sales, Gentry, (479) 736-3040
Flooring Ridout Lumber, locations statewide, ridoutlumber.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Painting—decorative Jan Mallett, Conway, (501) 472-6147
Window coverings Possibilities Unlimited, Conway, (501) 472-5189