A historic Fayetteville home begins a new story starting with an interior and exterior renovation
Sometimes life makes a complete circle. For Bill Hardin, that meant coming home to the neighborhood where he grew up. “My son called to tell me that the brick house on the corner was for sale. I had always thought it was an interesting place, so I knocked on the door,” he says. Hardin got the full history of the home from its then owner, whose father founded and chaired the Department of Entomology at the University of Arkansas and built the house. “She was able to give me the original blueprints, so we knew how the house was intended to be,” says Hardin. The circa 1939 two-story house had good bones and a generous yard, but it needed some work to make it efficient for modern life.
To begin the renovation, Hardin called in designer Dale Trice, whom he had worked with on several previous homes. Trice was careful to create a balance by retaining and enhancing the charming details of the home while removing the old-fashioned oddities. Downstairs, he highlighted the original plaster walls and millwork with a fresh coat of paint in a pearl finish. In the den, he painted the cozy—but dated—pine paneling a bold shade of marine blue and removed a set of dingy built-in bookcases. In the tiny powder room, Trice replaced what he calls a “strange little sink” with a custom concrete creation that appears to float on the wall. The home’s wood floors were refinished with an ebony wash, providing a lovely contrast to the light walls. Perhaps the happiest discovery was that a curved plaster wall matching the staircase wall was hidden behind drywall in a spare bedroom. By retaining the most interesting architectural details, the house now feels unique and custom.
While the footprint of the lower level remains the same—except for the addition of an outdoor room—the second level underwent several changes to give it a more modern flow. Originally one portion of the upstairs had two small bedrooms with a shared bath that opened into the hall. In one bedroom, Trice opened a closet into the bath and closed off the hall entrance for added privacy. In the other, a small sitting area was absorbed into the bath and closet to create a more comfortable master suite.
“Mr. Hardin has a very keen eye for design,” says Trice, “he wanted the interiors to feel updated; not necessarily modern or traditional, but somewhere in the middle.” A variety of elements including velvet, linen, animal hides, and natural wood offer texture and a nod to the outdoors, while sleek lighting, metallic shades, and bits of Lucite add a luxurious touch. In the small kitchen, Trice replaced the dated cabinets with a free standing shelf and a stainless steel island. A vintage bar-height table contributes to the industrial feel.
Outdoors, the red brick façade got a fresh coat of neutral paint. Fayetteville exterior designer Daniel Keeley helped turn several decades of garden additions into a simple, low maintenance outdoor space. Gravel paths add charm and what Keeley calls an element of “casual elegance.” Hardin, who has two sons and a grandson, says he is as likely to host a viewing party for a Razorback sporting event as a hot dog roast for a rowdy group of 11-year-olds. “I have really enjoyed this house,” he says, “Nothing in it is off limits.”
Exterior designer Daniel Keeley, DK Design, (479) 443-9002, dkdesignoutdoor.com
Interior designer Dale Trice, Design Services of Florida, Seagrove, Florida, (850) 231-6842, designservicesfl.com
Contractor Tim Janacek, Janacek Construction, Rogers, (479) 621-0565, janacekconstruction.com
Accessories, furniture, and outdoor furnishings Dale Trice, Design Services of Florida, Seagrove, Florida, (850) 231-6842, designservicesfl.com
Art Boswell Mourot Fine Art, Little Rock, (501) 664-0030, boswellmourot.com