The home of Brandi and Chris Wylie, sits on nine acres of picturesque land that includes a pond, five-stall barn and three-acre horse paddock.
“We were in process of building our dream home, when Chris found this property and fell in love with it,” Brandi said. The home was already built and its setting scenic. “The house is a bit more rustic than we would have designed it, so we mixed our modern furnishings and design with the existing design. Tweaking it, to make it our own.”
The Wylies enlisted the help of Loren Layton with Antique Brick Outdoors to perfect their outdoor living space and designer Carrie Kidd to ensure the interior of their home reflects their design style and lifestyle.
Brandi said, “We wanted our children to really be able to enjoy the outdoors, so our first order of business was to get outdoor furniture.” Their two children love being outdoors, and this home affords them the opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature to the utmost. “There’s a treehouse and a creek that runs around it and the pool. They love it.”
The family also has a swingset and a large fire pit that sit near the pond. “We stocked the pond as soon as we moved in. Chris fishes and throws them back. We also have three koi, which, thankfully we’ve not caught,” Brandi said, jokingly. “My husband is so much more relaxed here.”
Resin wicker furnishings softened with patterned pillows and ceramic drums from Antique Brick Outdoors, sister company of Antique Brick and Block, create an ideal welcoming space, reminiscent of the hospitality for which the South is known. The trio of windows is flanked by moss-colored shutters that play against the rustic elements brought in by the brick flooring and wood ceilings. A pair of ceiling fans ensures a breeze for Arkansas’ balmy summers.
Antique Brick and Block provided the brick for the front porch and rear patio and its gas fireplace. Layton said, “To furnish the space, we chose a concrete dining table. It’s earthy and very clean with the white finish. The color scheme creates a flow from the master bedroom and is a reflection of it.” They mixed textures with the wicker, aluminum and concrete. “We went with a bench for a bit of whimsy for the kids. The three chairs opposite are actually aluminum; they’re great for outdoor living as you simply hose them down to clean them. The cushions are made of fabric by Sunbrella, which is durable and has UV protection so it doesn’t fade.”
Atop the table are an oversized, footed platter with pieces of driftwood, and reclaimed demijon cloche jars that once contained wine sit on the place settings.
A pair of teak chairs, just outside the master, has been outfitted with darker gray cushions to carry the color scheme.
Layton dressed the Wylie’s existing chaise lounges with Sunbrella pillows and ceramic stools finished in a metallic gold.
Wylie and Kidd began their design work with the bedrooms. “We started there; we felt we could go to bed comfortably after working hard on the rest of the house,” Brandi said, laughing. Chris gave Brandi carte blanche with the master bedroom, so she decided to create a sanctuary.
“Brandi wanted this room to be as airy and light, feminine, sophisticated and with elements of modern chinoiserie,” Kidd said. Chinoiserie is a style of ornamentation characterized by intricate patterns and motifs, often Chinese in origin. “We used orchid accents to prevent the room from becoming to ‘matchy matchy.’ This color works well with the grey-beige color scheme.” Custom drapes fashioned of fabric by Mary McDonald for Schumacher and trimmed in Greek key trim add to the elegance.
Chris really wanted a television in the room, Wylie and Kidd wanted “pretty,” so they added this lovely seating area, also a mix of traditional and modern with a Moroccan bone bench cushioned in lavender, a conventional and modern styled chairs.
In this room, the barn-style frames were replaced with white molding, lifting the color scheme and weight.
This couple loves to cook together, and Wylie said the kitchen was one of the features that drew them to the house. “We were wowed by the granite counter on the island — it’s one piece, which is rare in a slab this size. We love the layout and openness — we can watch TV and talk to our guests while preparing food. There are a lot of specialty drawers and cabinets, and I love having a pot filler and farmhouse sink.”
While the couple will probably change the color scheme of the kitchen, the functionality, size and layout of the room has been perfect for their family and for entertaining.
“The walls were gold when we moved in; we changed them to this great cream color and it already feels like me. I like the process and taking my time to design it,” Wylie said.
Taking hints from the brick of the fireplace and the concrete mantle and hearth, Kidd wanted to lighten and soften the living room as the pine floor and beams gave it a lodge-like feel. While she chose a neutral sofa, a pair of Mary McDonald pillows and collection of blue and white china, a gift from Wylie’s mother, brings the splashes of color needed to add excitement. A set of faux-finish lamps set upon mirrored metal tables flank the sofa and a coordinating coffee table claims attention while providing display space for a few accent items.
By Angela E. Thomas, photography by Janet Warlick