Peren­nial Fa­vorites

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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...

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