Under Wraps

From Dark and Dated to Modern Mediterranean

February 12, 2018

A yellow rocking chair in the children’s bedroom is perfect for dad and mum to share bedtime tales when it is after hours.

Entrance to the dining hall is through a heavy wooden door on rolling casters.

The guest bathroom is a delightful spot of nature. Fluttering butterflies and swooping swallows decorate the wallcovering while a nest-inspired mirror adds to that décor.

An island in the center of the kitchen area plays up the idea of casual meals, wine and joie de vivre.

Full of life and vibrancy. Different colours and textures are used to bring out the unique style of the art collecting homeowner.

Part of the home’s allure is in the art displayed in all parts of the home. On the walls of the master bedroom hangs a piece of art that brings in a handful of nature into the home.

Fabrics are all part of the ensemble in the master bedroom. The grand Middle Eastern carpet on the floor, the throw cushions and the cushioned headboard all point to a mood of soft comfort.

Adjacent from the bed, a seating area constructed out of a pair of armchairs and a leather pouf is the setting for late night conversations in the bedroom.

The piano room did not once belong to the living area. Originally a garage, the walls separating the two rooms were torn and the room was made to be a part of the home.

In the living room, sconces were specially designed and built by the Mitchell Hill design team to convey an elegance and poise to the sitting area.

After sticking around in the interior design industry for over 20 years, Michael Mitchell of Mitchell Hill Inc. admits that he has had his fair share of odd requests. But perhaps the oddest request that arrived came in the form of an email that arrived in Mitchell’s personal mailbox with a subject line that read – “Can you keep a secret?” Naturally, that piqued his interest yet provoked quite a bit of apprehension.

Mitchell soon breathed easy after finding out that the mail came from the husband of a client who he had previously assisted in designing their home back in Charleston, South Carolina. It all clicked in Mitchell’s head and it was soon revealed that he wanted to surprise his wife with the gift of a new home in Arkansas before asking how soon Mitchell could jet to Charleston. His reply? A firm and sprightly “be right there!”

Within two weeks, Mitchell and Tyler Hill, co-founders of the Mitchel Hill interior design firm, flew out to do a walk-around on the 26, 000 square-foot estate. It was a large construction with two kitchens, two garages, three bedrooms and two guestrooms, but what they found was that it resembled a house but did not quite cut it as a home. The place had all the makings in the expanse of space but lacked the Midas touch and personalisation to make the house feel snug and homely. Mitchell and Hill next knew immediately what needed to be done – the innards had to be gutted and the place completely renovated for a perfect gift of that caliber.

To pander to the wife’s attraction to art from her experience as an art collector, creativity and vibrancy of life are celebrated in each corner of the home. In the living room, the focal point rests on a moss painting inspired by an artist of the south – large swashes of colour filled with personality and life dictate the happenings of the hosting room. Before anything else, the design team wanted to avoid creating fads that will run out of style in a few years – almost everywhere one turns, the bright hues in the painting are replicated on fabric onto the curtains, carpet and cushions. The dynamic range of colours enlivens the home and kick starts an electrifying relationship between man and environment.

Oddly enough, the piano room was not part of the living hall and was used as a garage. As the clients did not find a use for a second garage, the walls were torn down and made to house a shelved collection and a grand piano for sharing those musical notes of fancy.

“Out with the old and in with the new”, goes the cliché saying, however, when it comes to conceiving a home of love and warmth, importance should be placed on introducing such mementos of personal meaning and tradition. Despite most of the furnishing being curated from New York, the design team intentionally included antiques and artifacts that have been passed down from generations before.

A grandfather clock, handmade by the owner’s grandfather, continued the age-old servitude to the household in the living hall, having been in the family’s possession for centuries. Another precious heirloom introduced into the design is a zebra rug that used to belong to the homeowner’s grandmother, the rug was kept and used while she was in office as the secretary to the governor of Arkansas and now keeps the feet warm of anyone who is admiring pieces of music in the piano room. The owners love amassing items of heritage and tradition and that has kept the overall design dignified and grand while ensuring their roots are not swept under the carpet.

Guests visiting the common bathroom will find the restroom a comforting place of solace with a woodlands-inspired wallcovering, represented by fluttering butterflies and swooping swallows dancing around scenes of a timberland. The wall mirror has been spun into an amusing looking glass girded by a weave of vines. On the ground, the cool touch of the tiled floor is matched with the warmth of a soft and lux sheepskin rug.

With five bedrooms across the floors, there is plenty of room to share even when friends or family drop by for a visit. The upper levels have been reserved for the nightly regulars and have been updated with a constellation of colours that were chosen for their shine when the warm Arkansas sunlight creeps in. The master bedroom is sorted out in fineries – an oversized Middle Eastern carpet marries the casual sitting area and bed together. On one side of the carpet, a set of armchairs and side table encircle a giant leather pouf. On the opposite end, the bedframe with a cushioned headboard speaks a refined language with intricate patterns on fabric.

The children’s bedroom shared between two young ones of the family is efficiently designed with ample storage to minimise any Lego-related mishaps from occurring. Two single-sized beds are kept apart by a combined dresser while additional shelving on the wall display their favourite bedtime stories and keep the room in good order. As bedtime storytelling is an eventful portion of growing up, a sturdy rocking chair with a cushioned backrest gives room for the kids to squeeze in with mom or dad while they go down, down the rabbit hole or off on an adventure in the jungle.

As the perfect gift for thanksgiving, the yearlong preparation culminated in a romantic gesture over lunch. Funnily enough, the client’s wife originally thought that the intention behind the impromptu lunch appointment with her husband was to deliver devastating news. But upon being surprised with the proposal to sell their current home and move downtown to Benton, Arkansas, the revelation warmed her heart instead. The grand reveal over lunch was a sweet surprise and we cannot even imagine what her reaction would be after taking in the sights of her new home.

Mitchell Hill, www.mitchellhillinc.com

Accentuate Administrator

Author: Accentuate

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