by Julie Craig | Photos by David Yerby
Functional and fabulous. Anyone who knows the work of Debi Davis Design will agree these words describe any project this team works on throughout Arkansas and the surrounding states. Since 1992, interior designer Debi Davis has transformed both residential and commercial spaces from basic to beautiful through the magic of the team’s subtle, yet striking signature style of a lightweight, airy color palette (think neutrals and very soft creams and whites as well as soft blues, blush and a hint of silver, at times) mixed with eye-catching textures and tonal patterns. This combination has led the design team to create several decades worth of countless projects, taking an idea, a vision and turning it into an amazing, stunning reality.
Many times clients come back to Debi Davis Design for brand-new projects not only because of excellent design, but also an established, reliable relationship and a great work ethic. “We are very conscientious and pride ourselves on providing a fast turnaround time on our projects,” Davis says.
One former client recently contacted the team again letting them know they had bought their “dream home” and had sold the home Davis and team designed 10 years ago. “They said, ‘we want everything different: color, style, a whole new approach,’” Davis says. “Starting with a home already beautiful inside and out is when the fun begins.” Meeting with the clients, the design team discussed the family’s new directions and their routines because fabulous and functional always seem to work together best when it comes to interior design. “Good design should make your lifestyle function very easily,” Davis says. With this home, Davis and team were very practical in certain rooms, choosing upholstery and certain carpet choices where the homeowners’ two young boys reside, along with places for CG, the dog.
And with function also comes fashion — in the Debi Davis design world, it’s always timeless, not trendy. “I don’t like fads or temporary trends since they’re gone as fast as they appear on the scene; therefore, it’s never a consideration.”
A home’s color palette can truly lend itself as one of the most transformative details and this particular home is no different. “I love all the different patterns we used, while still keeping within the same color palette,” Davis says. Dove blue and cream linen damask really set apart the drapes, while Greek key patterned cut velvet allowed decorative pillows to truly stand out in this home. Furthermore, toile and blue chenille, as well as cream velvet, decorate beautiful washed-out blue and ivory Peshawar Persian rugs. Brown-stained furniture is used sparingly to add the perfect dash of depth in a few rooms and to help tie in the eye-catching wooden beams in the great room. Art selected from an artist in New Orleans hangs above the fireplace for the perfect attention getter and sets the color direction for the room. Suddenly, the mineral color emerges and mixes in a fresh way with ivory and shades of blue to create a masterpiece all its own.
It’s accessories like these that really make a home design unique. The Davis Design team used several antiques in the entrance as well as some in the dining room to add a “wonderful, one-of-a-kind-feel,” Davis says. “The lovely antique settee in the entrance was purchased from a fabulous store in Los Angeles called Melissa Levinson Antiques that is a go-to place for us.”
From art to antiques, incorporating personal and hand-selected pieces always makes a house feel more like a home. “It is always important to incorporate what is meaningful to a client to achieve that personal element, but we have found that editing is very important these days,” Davis says. A word of advice? “Put away some of your collections and don’t include so much excess. Mixing is the key.”
Soft fabrics on painted chairs light up the dining room, while the fabulous Dallas find of an old antique sideboard (that also led to the purchase of the distinctive dining table) adds even more unmistakable detail. The custom-designed chandelier from New Orleans in the same color palette adds to the perfect mix of subtle and regal and meshes with the French flair of the kitchen. The master bedroom of the home features shades of ivory, gray and slate blue, mirroring the palette of the homeowners’ previous home. An impressive antique sideboard and mirror, also from their previous home, fits perfectly in a cutout area of the room.
Another memorable home, located in Rogers and also designed by the Debi Davis Design team, includes a great room chock full of pieces of old and new. It ties together both modern and rustic styles for entertaining, but at the same time it satisfies all the functional needs of a couple in their early 40s with young daughters who have friends and tennis groups over to visit on a regular basis. For example, muted shades of gray, white and cream mix eclectically with splashes of colors in prints on the kitchen chairs and artwork for creativity and elegance. With that in mind, all fabrics throughout the house were chosen with children and pets in mind, creating once again the need for fashion and function that Debi Davis Design accomplishes so well with each project.
Further into the kitchen, an antique table is paired with French raw wood chairs and sleek transitional style host and hostess chairs. A distressed iron chandelier designed by two New Orleans designers lights up the area, finished off with an upbeat pattern in the drapes and art. “[Because of this eclectic mix of textures and pieces], this traditional-style room really comes alive with flair,” Davis says. “I love the mix of all of these elements.”