A Springdale couple enjoyed life on Beaver Lake so much they traded their suburban home for a primary residence on the water
Vickie Mathews has a boatload of memories from Beaver Lake. “I grew up in Fayetteville, and the lake was just forming when I was young. I remember coming up here and going out on the boat with my family,” she says. Later, when she and her husband Bill began their own family in Northwest Arkansas, the nearby lake became a favorite getaway for them and their two children. “We just always had such good family time here,” she adds. It was this quality time and the memories made on the lake that prompted the couple to make it their home year-round.
Making the Move
Once the couple’s children were grown, they knew the time had come to make the move. “We had built other homes in the past, but we knew this was going to be our forever home, so we spent a full year planning and then another year actually building the house,” Mathews says. During the planning phase, the couple turned to two experts in the field: interior designer Heather Herzik, of Antiquities—Interior Design, and kitchen and bath designer Andi Stephens, of Fayetteville’s Kitchen Distributors. Both designers had worked with the couple on previous homes, so they were familiar with their tastes and eager to help them create their dream home.
Starting with the home’s façade, Mathews searched the Houzz website for inspiration in narrowing down the choices. “I started boards on Houzz.com, and found the perfect design for the outside of the home. Bill wanted more of a Craftsman-style home, and we thought this one was beautiful,” Mathews notes. Kim Fugitt, AIA, used the inspiration images Mathews had found to recreate the look. “It turned out pretty much just as we envisioned and very similar to the home I found,” Mathews adds. From there, they consulted with Herzik to choose the perfect paint color for the newly built exterior. “We painted sample after sample. We must have gone through 40 or 50 colors, and in the end we went back to one of the three original colors I had selected,” laughs Herzik.
To take full advantage of the location, some of the property was cleared and the house was sited for optimized views of the lake and the countryside from the back of the home. This proved to be especially advantageous when it came to installing a pool. “We had seen a pool like this on a trip to St. Thomas. That one seemed to drop off into the ocean, and we thought, ‘Why not create one in our backyard that appears to drop off into the lake?’” The infinity-style pool, which also features a small, built-in hot tub area, is the centerpiece of the home’s backyard and a destination for family get-togethers.
When it came to the interior of the home, the Mathews, Herzik, and Stephens embraced a philosophy of balancing comfort and tradition. “My style is somewhat traditional, but I like everything to be comfortable,” Mathews notes. “Heather took me to market with her and I got to really see all the selections and sit on the furniture to test it out, so I feel like I got to pick out everything in this house, and I really like everything,” she says of the furnishings. Herzik agrees that this type of approach allows the client’s style to resonate throughout the home. “None of my designs represent me; they all represent my clients. It’s so important that their look comes across since it is their home,” she says.
The Mathews were also able to incorporate meaningful pieces into the design, including a pair of tables that belonged to Bill’s grandmother. “She had a boarding house on Cape Cod, and these were used as dining tables there,” explains Mathews. She and Herzik found antique chairs in Dallas, and the pair are now used as game tables at the Mathews’s home when Vickie hosts her bridge club.
Kitchen of Comforts
Perhaps the blend of a traditional style and a comfortable feel comes across most in the kitchen. “I love to feed people and entertain, so I wanted the kitchen to be open to connect everyone together,” says Mathews, who turned to Stephens to bring this vision to life. The kitchen and bath designer added tons of details including glass-front cabinetry doors with Gothic-style mullions, furniture-style millwork (such as turned legs and feet for the island), and a two-color palette to break up the large expanses of cabinetry and give the space a livable feel that also has plenty of visual interest. Aside from the details that meet the eye, organizational features, including a pop-up shelf for a stand mixer as well as pan and lid dividers inside the cabinetry, are details equally important to the room’s function.
As with most master suites, this space is a retreat. Aiming for a spa-like feel in the master bath, crisp cabinetry, white flooring, and a clean aesthetic come together to create an escape that can be enjoyed every day. Due to the location, there’s little need for privacy, so they opted for a freestanding tub placed near the window. The design allows them to enjoy a view of the water while soaking. In a similar fashion, the couple often sit to read or look out at the water and hillside from the comfort of two swivel chairs in the bedroom, making their goal of living on and enjoying the lake achievable from almost any room in the home.
Architect Kim Fugitt, AIA, Fayetteville, (479) 466-8079
Contractors Gary Striegler and Jeremy Lewis, Craftsman Builders, Fayetteville, (479) 841-0767, craftsmanbuildersnwa.com
Interior design Heather Herzik, Antiquities—Interior Design, Springdale, (479) 466-5675
Kitchen and master bath design Andi Stephens, Kitchen Distributors, Inc., Fayetteville, (479) 521-1313, kitchendistributorsinc.com
Landscape design Frank Walburn, Greenscapes, Bentonville, (479) 640-4165
Audio visual AV Design Consultants, Springdale, (479) 365-2201, avdci.com
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 758-1988, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Cabinetry—guest baths and laundry room Verser’s Cabinet Shop, LLC, Rogers, (479) 636-3941
Cabinetry—master bath, butler’s pantry & kitchen Kitchen Distributors, Inc., Fayetteville, (479) 521-1313, kitchendistributorsinc.com
Concrete—decorative Ozark Pattern Concrete, Inc., Lowell, (479) 756-2319, ozarkpatternconcrete.com
Countertops Verona Marble Company, Springdale, (479) 751-3854, vmcstone.com
Lighting Lighting Emporium, Springdale, (479) 751-8184, lightingemporium.com
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Pool Seaside Pools & Spas, Bentonville, (479) 271-9983, Springdale, (479) 756-6543, seasidepools.com