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Classic & Current

Publishing Date: April 1, 2024

The best of both worlds combine in a new build helmed by designer Nikki Hastings

It’s no secret that renovations rarely go exactly as planned. However, for this young Little Rock couple, plans for an update turned into plans for a new build. “They were having issues with the structure; and once we got in, we learned the plumbing and electrical weren’t up to code and would have to be ripped out,” explains designer Nikki Hastings. Weighing their options, starting afresh seemed to be the most viable path. “I know there are people who are quick to pull the trigger on just level it and go, but I really feel like we did the due diligence to not have to do that,” Nikki says.

As the principal designer and owner of Tilden House, a name that references the street where she grew up in Charleston, Arkansas, as well as her own “first definition of home,” Nikki has the capability to both draft and design a space from the ground up. For this home, she considered how the couple lives now as well as how they might live in the future. “When I drew the floor plans, there were so many things that we thought about for the future as their family grows,” she says. For example, the downstairs living and gathering spaces flow into one another, a feature that allows everyone to be within earshot without having a completely open-concept home. Additionally, bedrooms and baths are all located upstairs, allowing for close proximity. Nikki also considered the neighborhood setting, creating a traditional yet fresh facade that fits the environment. “They did not want to have to relocate in the future because they love the area, so a lot of thought went into all of this,” she says.

While the owners are young, they lean heavily traditional in their style. “They turned to me for a way to marry classic and traditional with current and youthful,” Nikki says. “They love their grandmother’s antiques and want to incorporate them, but they don’t want it to feel like their grandmother’s house,” she adds. As with all her projects, the designer strived to make the home feel like her clients, asking for a list of must-have features and pieces but also pushing them to embrace color in unexpected places, such as the bookcases seen in the living room. “I mix a lot—I like doing high with low, modern with traditional, antique with new,” Nikki says. She applies the approach to each client’s situation. “Being personal in a design is fulfilling to me, and it’s fun. Knowing that my clients will walk in and can feel at peace in their home—who doesn’t want that? Home should be a refuge, not a headache.”

Maximize Floor SpaceNikki had a custom burl wood coffee table made for the living room. The generous size allowed her to surround it with plenty of seating for a crowd. The couple’s love of the outdoors inspired the quail-patterned drapery fabric. “This was one of the first pieces of the puzzle,” Nikki says. “It has a touch of traditional but is whimsical and feels younger than a heavy woodland print.” The pillows and bench fabric play off of this to accent the neutral chairs and sofas.

To read the rest of this article, visit AtHome Arkansas...

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