Experiment with color, following the lead of an Arkansas floral designer who employs vibrant hues to make his 1940s bungalow shine.
Learn to fashion a stunning arrangement of antiques, salvaged goods and garden-fresh colors from an Arkansas floral designer’s restored 1940s bungalow.
David Kirkpatrick loves to bring work home. Early in his career, the Arkansas-based floral designer worked in a building that also housed an antiques shop and an interior design business. The antiques dealer sold English and French furnishings, and David enjoyed helping the proprietor unpack the goods and arrange the shop displays. When he spied a chair, plate or cabinet beneath layers of packing material, he became intrigued by its history and beauty. Not surprisingly, many of those imported pieces traveled from the shop to David’s home to join his collection of American primitives. Not only did David’s appreciation for imported furnishings flourish, his proximity to interior designers also taught him that balancing colors, patterns and textures were principles that applied to decorating as well as arranging flowers.
Eager for a more visually appealing canvas to work with, David moved from a standard-looking ranch-style home to a character-rich 1940s bungalow in Little Rock where he could display his varied treasures and indulge his flair for color. He was drawn to the vintage appeal of the home’s Arts and Crafts-style cabinets, hardwood floors and front and back porches, even though it needed a bit of TLC. To get the rooms into shape, he refinished floors and removed a wall that separated the kitchen and breakfast room. Then, to emulate the look of country homes that evolve gracefully over time, David layered the rooms with bold colors, architectural elements and eye-catching vignettes. “My design influence comes from surrounding myself with many wonderful things collected over the years and then trying to put some order to it all,” David says of his inspiration.
David’s aesthetic is evident in the kitchen and breakfast area, with its jute brown walls and white cabinetry and millwork. An antique table doubles as an island, and its mellowed patina pairs beautifully with butcher-block counters. The door leading to the back porch boasts David’s favorite color, a regal red that is carried throughout the home.
In the dining room and living room, yarrow and umber hues provide the perfect background for European and American antiques, oil paintings and other collectibles. On the front porch, an eclectic array of vintage furnishings set among lush plants mounted to the screened and brick walls make for a relaxing retreat. “I mix and match colors and textures and keep blending,” David explains. The master bedroom is a serene oasis, with a wrought-iron chandelier suspended above a brass bed dressed in crisp white linens, complemented by yellow-green walls. The room is a bit more subdued than the more public spaces, but is still in keeping with David’s design philosophy: “I look for pieces that make me happy. It is so nice to have things that put people at ease and make your home feel warm.”
When storing kitchen sundries, be creative. Floral designer David Kirkpatrick displays fruits and vegetables in glass apothecary jars in a variety of sizes and tucks wicker laundry baskets under the kitchen island to contain dry goods, utensils or...
Above: Use colors and patterns to create unity between a kitchen and breakfast area. Begin with flooring that unites the spaces, such as the dark brown hardwood that David chose for the heart of his home. Next, paint the walls a rich earthy tone and...