Dr. Junie — short for Junior — and Becky Simpson share a passion for travel. Italy is their favorite destination.
Photography by Janet Warlick
[dropcap]Dr.[/dropcap] Junie — short for Junior — and Becky Simpson share a passion for travel. Italy is their favorite destination.
“My husband’s great-great-grandparents came over from Sicily,” Becky said. “We love everything about Italy, the people, the food and wine, the art and architecture … we’re going back next year.”
For years, they’ve collected Umbrian pottery and photographed architectural elements, bringing back treasures for their dream home. Together with designer Scott Paterek of Massimo Interior Designs of Little Rock, the couple achieved their goal: a beautiful, light-filled abode, ideal for entertaining — indoor and out.
Photo at top of page.
The upper patio, anchored at each end by large copper pedestal urns in a silvery-green patina, overlooks endless forested hills and sparkling water. The covered patio below, a loggia that spans the length of the home, shelters seating arrangements and a cast-stone dining table.
“We spend a great deal of time out here,” Becky said. Nearby, Italian cypresses and Leland cypresses shelter an enormous urn that doubles as a bubbling water feature.
“I was glad to find these trees can thrive in our climate,” Becky added.
At the end of a flagstone path, Hot Springs landscape designer Blake Hawthorn built a tall, symmetrical fireplace of Hackett stone, quarried in Oklahoma and handcut on site. “Becky chose elements from several designs — she liked the keystone mantel and fireboxes on either side,” Blake explained. Beyond a fenced iron border, a waterfall cascades over boulders, splashing into the lake below.
“Junie loves cooking Italian food and collecting wines — he loves to share!” Becky said. Their chef’s kitchen, just a few steps from the wine cellar, marks the heart of the home. Furniture-style cabinetry in a light stain, a large island with carved corbels and overhead, an ironwork chandelier, combine for a serene space to create culinary masterworks and entertain guests.
The master suite’s elegant sleigh bed and antique wardrobe — “A Scott discovery,” Becky said — complement twin burl-veneer inlaid credenzas brought from NOLA for use as bedside tables. Paterek’s eye for detail is apparent throughout the Simpsons’ home and is well highlighted by natural light, which is abundant in the master, where the Simpsons’ enjoy a beautiful view of the lake.
Reverence for Repurposing
Sienna marble in brilliant hues of salmon and rose, another treasure from NOLA, makes a striking dining table. To see more of this beautiful lake home, log on to ayamg.com.