Ahhh, Caldwell

I cannot believe I am JUST now sitting down to write to you about my Caldwell project, “THE DREAM PROJECT”. Only…I can believe it because there has simply been no time to SIT or WRITE about “THE” project while juggling 3 other projects (excuses, excuses). You may ask, “Why does this particular project keep getting capitalized, emphasized and all the quotation marks?” Well, I’m trying to help you see how extraordinarily special this particular Storybook project is. There are only a tiny handful of houses in Conway that are on my “Storybook Bucket List”. Every time I drive by one of them, I dream about the potential, if given the opportunity, to renovate. Some are on the list because their very curb appeal has told me their whole story and I’m dying to make it come alive with design- like the house on Donaghey that I swear was moved off the pages of The Little House.

Do you know the one I’m talking about?!?! I’ve been dreaming about putting eyelashes on its windows for years.

And then there are the houses that are on my bucket list because, quite frankly, they are just sooo fabulously ugly. One of my favorite hobbies is daydreaming about how I would help transform these ugly ducklings into beautiful swans. Like the house on… Just kidding- there is no way I would call out my ugly ducklings!

Upon further reflection and refinement, there are still those singular gems that are on the SBL (Storybook Bucket List) because I have the deepest respect for their original craftsmanship and architecture. I would be beyond honored to get to restore such glory and greatness. And this, my Storybook friends, is the list on which we find 2009 Caldwell.

I have loved this house for a quarter of a century since first moving to Conway in 1996. It may be small but its design is mighty in the sea of craftsman homes in old town. A true mid-century design with its ultra-cool monoslope roof (Fact: that roof inspired my own home reno).

Once married, Rory shared my love for this home and later learned the owner was a friend of a friend and approached this owner multiple times about the possibility of buying.

Despite our frequent offers to purchase, it wasn’t until his running buddy mentioned that he had passed on an opportunity to purchase a mid-century home on Caldwell that Rory learned the inside scoop. The seller of this beloved (dream) home was finally ready to sell. Rory called to tell me the incredible news but quickly added that he wanted to keep it as a rental. Um…. I don’t think so. No offense to Rory but I knew that if he wanted to keep it as a rental that would mean minimal renovation. And that plan was no where near the dream reno I had been perfecting for over 20 years! I also knew that once Rory made up his mind about something there was usually no changing it. So I played maybe the biggest card I had…that month was our 20th wedding anniversary. I told him that if he would let Storybook purchase it as a flip that it would be ALL I would want after 2 decades of marriage. He reluctantly agreed, with the one stipulation, I must actually make a profit on this project. (Historic Fact: I kinda have a habit of putting too much into my flips at the consolation of making any profit…darn appraisals).

I will admit that his stipulation did give me at least a 3-second pause. While this house was my DREAM project, it was a terrible investment- and I knew it. I was 1000% making this decision with my heart and not my brain. The purchase price was $80 a sq foot- waaaaaay more than I had ever paid for a flip. It was only 1372 sf, and despite the small size, I knew my renovations always run over $100k. There was no way this one would be different. At the very minimum, I was looking at $210,000 for 1372 square feet. Let me do the math for ya: that’s $153 per square foot….. BEFORE my required profit! Not only was I looking at a price per square foot where no house in Old Town Conway had sold before, it was now a very real conundrum. My heart would never let me do less than my best for this DREAM home. And per past low appraisal trauma (um, 2020), my best was not going to appraise for a traditional mortgage buyer. My greatest hope now relied on finding a buyer who shared my passion for this house and saw it as worthy of the investment with the cash to support the love affair. My Plan B was to make it an Air BnB so I could fully dress it up and love it forever. Both options seemed extremely risky with the latter requiring me to burn through all my savings plus rob a bank to make it happen…. regardless, I agreed to Rory’s terms and sealed the deal with a kiss.

Now my overall plan was not purely based on wishful thinking. I knew my love for this house was not unique but shared by many Conwegians creating a stellar lineup of potential buyers. In fact, just the year before, a lady reached out to ask if I had ever thought about trying to renovate this home. She too had stalked the house and approached the homeowner about purchasing it and had even managed to get some inside pics of the place. Once I had the home under contract, she was one of the first people I contacted to share the good news. This new friend became one of my biggest cheerleaders during the renovtion and even dropped off a pair of mid-century oil and vinegar bottles as a Christmas present to the house.

And another fan left this message, scrawled on the back window. Can you see it? It says, “This is so cool”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_4427.jpg

Yes it is, random vandal, yes it is!

With all of the supporting evidence, I knew, in my heart, that someone would see her innate value and want to purchase the finished project.

Enter Brad.

Now. I have a confession. I ordinarily do not like to bring homeowners into flip projects until all the design decisions have been made and it’s too late to turn back. Because…. well… control issues. For 2009 Caldwell, I knew I needed to find a buyer early on and this find would mean some compromise but I was determined to fight for an overall mid century style. Specifically, I had my heart set on a Palm Springs mid-century vibe. A wink to the desert with all its cacti and terracotta earthiness. So when Brad called and mentioned that he had always been drawn to this house because it reminded him of homes in California where he lived for a number of years, I got excited. But it was only when he asked me if I had ever been to Palm Springs that the heavens opened up and I knew the house had found its perfect match. Interestingly, while both of us had visions of a Palm Springs zip code, Brad’s inspiration was narrowed down to one specific location pin- the past home of one of the original members of the rat pack- Mr. Frank Sinatra.

Within minutes of getting off the phone with Brad, I googled Frank Sinatra’s home and lucky for you and me, it has been turned into a short-term rental and event center. Pics were readily available for inspiration:

photo cred sinatrahouse.com

Yep, I could get on board with all that! I mean, look at that rock wall! Note the chimney! Remind you of anything?!?!

I’ll take you on a full tour in a minute but here is a pic of that rock on the inside of Caldwell:

Long story, short, Brad officially came on board and the renovation began.

Prior to Brad joining the project, the exterior plans had been blessed by the historic council and the bones of the renovation were approved by permitting. Fortunately, there was very little I wanted to do on the outside other than to take out the green trellis columns. I’m not a hater of painted brick, but I personally love how the original brick and rock sang together, so I had no plans to change the color pallet…something I knew the historic council would love and would keep me in their good graces. My only requests were to allow me, pretty please, to remove the green trellis columns and add a waterfall wall on the end. This would highlight my favorite feature of the original architecture. I also requested to add an addition off the back to give this home a proper master suite. Here is a peek at my high tech drawings I presented to historic.

It wasn’t too long into the renovation that I realized working with Brad was going to give me a whole new client experience. So far, in my short career, the biggest challenge in taking on clients has been coaxing them out of their comfort zones. The number one thing I hear from my clients when presenting an out-of-the-box design idea is “I’m afraid I will get tired of that” aaaaand a little piece of my soul dies. But Brad was the complete opposite. This guy wanted to push the design to the limit. He wanted lots of COLOR and he was not afraid of ANYTHING. In fact, any idea I threw at him he was 100% on board and even encouraged me to take it further. There were a few times I had to edit his ideas back a notch or two. I’ll give you a few examples in the “before and after” tour. Speaking of…Let’s get that going!!

A little disclaimer: while the outside had tons of mid-century character, the inside was “wah wah”. To keep you oriented, I’m going to give you the “afters” with the “befores”.

Entering through the front door, you are inside the Living Room with the fabulous floor to ceiling window that you see from the road.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1587.jpg

The living room boasted a fabulous monoslope ceiling and original hardwood floors painted black. My fingers were crossed that I could sand and restore the floors to their original color during the renovation.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1594.jpg
In the far corner was that fabulous rock fireplace straight out of Sinatra’s home. Like 100% of fireplace inspections I have EVER done on ANY house in Old Town Conway, this one was not up to code. But Brad agreed it would be money well spent to replace. My hope was to be able to reuse the rock with the new fireplace insert. As you will soon see, I was not able to make that happen.

Are you ready to see what that space looks like now??? Gosh, I wish I knew how to put music on this thing to build the anticipation….


The original floors refinished flawlessly!! And check out that light! The living room chandelier was a gift from Brad’s mom- and oh my goodness, it is one of my favorites!

The rock was too thick to use with the new fireplace insert, sniff sniff. But this tile was a fun way to introduce the semi-circle theme to the main living area of the house. You will see this theme repeated throughout the “after” pics.

The fireplace was lifted higher off the ground to accommodate the future table in the dining area.

Speaking of dining… look at that adorable custom bench that Jeff Perry, my favorite cabinet maker, made!

Although furniture and decor is not my thing, I have always pictured a tulip table sitting in that space. Kinda like this:

Brad did not even think he needed a kitchen table but was so supportive of my dream for the space, that a tulip table was the first piece of furniture he bought for his new home!

Because I wanted the living room chandelier and the fireplace sconces to take center stage, I chose not to hang a chandelier over the dining area. Instead, I opted for a long, arching floor lamp that reaches to the center of the table.

Ok…you ready to go into the kitchen??

Before…the kitchen was closed off from the living space through that door:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1592-1.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1601.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1596.jpg
It was pretty small with the fridge and range just hanging out in the corner like they were being punished.

Sooooo one of my main goals of the renovation was to open the kitchen up to the living/dining area.

This was tricky because the kitchen did not follow the same sloped ceiling line as the living room. My solution was to drop the ceiling to one level, from the kitchen all the way to the fireplace, which also helped differentiate the living room from the dining room.

Ironically, much like the dining table, Brad really didn’t want much of a kitchen. He lives the bachelor life and never cooks. He told me all he really wanted was a fridge and a microwave. During this conversation, I had to focus mightily on not letting my face reflect what my brain was thinking. I had to practice using my client/designer psychology skills to convince him that my, excuse me, HIS dream home NEEDED a dream kitchen. In the end, he gave in to a full kitchen and to thank him, I made sure his kitchen would be a true reflection of his personality.

Let’s pause in the middle of this kitchen tour to discuss color. One thing I quickly learned about Brad was that this guy LOVES color! The brighter and bolder, the better. So when it came time to choose the color theme of the house, I knew the original, muted desert tones I had envisioned for this Palm Springs-inspired home was not going to work for what Brad had in mind. But, I was also not ready to concede that Sinatra would approve of the brightest side of the color wheel either. Thus, my pursuit for the perfect compromise began. When it came time to choose colors, I had spent enough time with Brad to learn that his love of California extended beyond Palm Springs. He also loved the ocean, specifically surfing, and the laid back nature of beach living. I truly think all of these things inspired the final color pallet. Because I LIVE for a good surprise reveal, I kicked Brad out of his house for the final 2 months of the renovation. He had no idea what colors or finishes I landed on until he showed up to see the finished product. The only hint I gave him was this text:

Was he a good sport or what??

Originally, I had Nicolas paint that hand cut brick backsplash white, but I did not think it was bright enough for Brad, so when he came back for final touch- up I had him change it to this yellow. The other thing I did for Brad was to give him that one odd drawer. I had shown him this picture from Pinterest when I was trying to explain the vibe I had in mind for the kitchen.

The mismatched drawer was his favorite part, so I was excited to surprise him with his own “out of place” drawer.

If you are like most of my subcontractors who came in toward the end of the project, the 1 odd drawer and my choice of colors may have you questioning my sanity. When I saw the kitchen come together, I knew, without a doubt, I had nailed Brad’s dream kitchen- the kitchen he didn’t even think he wanted. Other moments on this tour may leave you scratching your head, but actually, these are quite possibly Brad and my own favorite parts of this home. Like the next thing I’m going to show you….

If you open up that upper cabinet….

There is a hidden cat pass through!

That leads into the laundry room…

That formerly looked like this:

But now looks like this!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2009caldwell-42.jpg

“Why a cat door?” you may ask. Well, Brad has 2 dogs and a cat. During the day, the dogs hang out in the laundry room where they have built in dog beds in the drawers under the laundry baskets. The cat is allowed to roam the house. However, the cat’s litter box is also stored inside the laundry room but in the cabinets where the dogs can’t access…

Now if you get freaked out about the cat climbing on the kitchen countertops and going through the kitchen cabinets, please remember that Brad does not intend to use his kitchen to cook. In fact, if you are the next in line to adopt this home, Brad assures me it will be like you have a brand new gas range and dishwasher.

How are you doing? Is this tour over-stimulating or are you enjoying the space? Shall we continue?

Before we get too crazy, why don’t I let you see the guest bedrooms? Before, the 3 bedrooms were all green walls and black floors with a few built-ins:

And now, there are fresh white walls with clear oak floors and some new built-ins:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2009caldwell-58.jpg
Before our final stop I want to show you the “before”bathroom of this original 1 (yep 1) bath house:

I truly loved the floor and was really excited about designing the new bathroom around this tile.

Alas, Brad did not share my love for this tile and since he let me put in a kitchen, I decided not to fight him on the tile. And I’ve gotta tell ya, Brad was right on this one! I think the new tile is the shining star of the newly renovated bathroom.

Last on the tour, but certainly not least, is the master suite. There is no “before” picture of the master suite because it did not exist. I mean, the bedroom did, but not the bathroom/closet portion of this suite.

Here is the bedroom:

Below is the bedroom with the wall blown out and the new foundation being prepped for the addition:

And now…..

A Shoji Screen was on Brad’s wish list from the very first time we met. I’ve gotta admit, I did not know how Shoji and Sinatra went together and wrestled with how I was going to give him everything on his wish list in one cohesive design. However, once the house went more Malibu and Tiki, I think the Shoji Screen fit right in. And thanks and kudos to my Dad for building the door!

Behind the Shoji Screen awaits the final surprise of the tour…

What’s that?!?

Is that a floor to ceiling window inside his shower?!?! Why yes it is!!! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the most questioned feature in this home by all who visit. It is one of the many reasons that Brad will go down as one of my all time favorite clients EVER! Brad was all in with having a full window in his shower…a design feature that I have only dreamed about but never would have dared to incorporate in a flip situation. Well because of what most of you are thinking right now. But not Brad! He is all for it! Now, before you think Brad is an exhibitionist, you should know that the window sits in an alcove of the house and is very private. He has intentions of planting a zen garden in the space right outside the window. Come on, fellow Arkansans, how cool is that?!?! Californians would totally be all over this!

And that, my friends, concludes the tour of my Storybook Bucket List house on Caldwell. It may not have been your style, but you have to agree that this one of a kind mid-century home in the heart of Old Town Conway has continued to live out its unique heritage.

I will leave you with a picture of the fully renovated exterior. Because Brad was such a rock star on the inside and gave me complete creative control, I am giving him the same respect on the landscape. Unfortunately, it has been so rainy he has not been able to fully execute his plan. Just know that there is more to come on the outside, but for now, a glimpse of the waterfall front porch come to life.

Be sure to drive by 2009 Caldwell to see what Brad does with the rest of the yard in the coming weeks. Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment on the blog or on FB and let me know what you think of the place!


After Pics: Makenzie Evans

Cabinets: Jeff Perry

Framing: Julio

Trim: Custom Culture LLC

Electrician: Jason Hall

Heat and Air: Freyaldenhoven

Plumber: Robert Shearer

Cabinet Hardware: Jeremey Smith

Shoji Door: Dad

Painter: Nick’s Painting

Flooring and all-around fixer of all the problems on every project: Edwardo David

The Mountain Modern Before and Afters

At the conclusion of this week, the Mtn Modern will be officially adopted by the cutest young couple. It is time for a new chapter to be written within the well-insulated walls and on the firm foundation of this thoughtful, well-built home. True to my Storybook endings, I conclude this chapter with the befores and afters of my one and (hopefully) only pandemic project!

As is tradition, we will begin this before and after tour with the exterior- the first impression of the home.

Honestly there was nothing offensive about the curb appeal of this home to begin with- she was perfectly respectable. In fact, from the pictures the previous owners left for me I could see she was quite the looker at one time.

The only problem with the outside was that it did not match the modern feel I was trying to create on the inside. I went back and forth with my decision to renovate the exterior throughout the entire remodel. In fact, I did not decide to pull the trigger on the exterior until two weeks before the interior was complete. My head knew that the exterior remodel was not necessary and would not add anything to the appraised value of the home. In the end, my heart won out. I could not settle for anything but my best for this home- and that meant seeing my complete vision for the home to fruition.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is briersprings-mock-up.jpg

So I went for it! And I’m so glad that I did!

It turns out both my head and heart were spot on. The new facade perfectly compliments the interior vibe of the home and I truly believe it helped to attract her new home owners. Unfortunately, the appraiser did not have the same affection for her new facelift. My somewhat prideful decision landed this home more on the “flop” side of the flip or flop equation if based on profit alone. Right or wrong, flip or flop, I decided long ago that the “happily ever after” of each storybook renovation would not be determined by profit (or loss) alone but rather the impact her new story would have on her surrounding neighborhood, community, and most importantly the new family she shelters. Despite the fact that we were unable to show her off with our customary community reveal and give her the debut she deserved, her transformation is nonetheless special. Without further dwelling on yet another negative of 2020, let’s step inside!

As you enter the front door, you walk immediately into the living room. Notice in the before picture, a soffit wrapped the perimeter of the living room. It housed a plethora of up-lights and down-lights to add ambiance to the room.

While I appreciated the effort, I decided to let them go during the renovation.

The other BIG change in the Living Room was the fireplace facelift. Before, the home featured a wood burning fireplace flanked by pretty built-ins. But when I had the fireplace inspected by a chimney sweep company I was told it was not safe to use without major repair. Now, normally when I am given this news I simply demote the fireplace from functional to “decorative only” and move on. However, because this home’s story was based in the Carolina Mountains, I could not imagine this home without a real fire blazing on cold winter nights. So I simply had a new modern fireplace built in front of the old.

Because this home boasts a modern open floorplan, this room shares the space with what is always my favorite part of every house tour- the kitchen! Here she is before:

I mean really! Aren’t those some of the coolest cabinets you have ever seen! They kinda reminded me of what you might see in an RV and I seriously contemplated building the design story around them- but when I thought about how that would translate to the bathroom- I abandoned the idea.

Curious about what that arrow is pointing to on the countertop? You can read it about it here.

Out with the old, in with the new! I chose the moodiest dark blue for the cabinets and soapstone for the countertops. Then, I softened up the space with the light ash wood built-in, eat-in kitchen table and shelves. So much light literally pours into this now open, airy space!

If you peek through that pocket door opening to the left of the gas range you can see the new butler’s pantry.

Before, this space was only accessible from the laundry room. And the hot water tank sat loud and proud in the middle of the room.

But now, it functions as an extension of the kitchen and is where I picture the new home owners crafting their coffee and of course, using the microwave.

Aaaaaaand a spot for an extra refrigerator or standup freezer.

Well shoot, I thought I got a picture of the new laundry area, but I forgot! You’ll just have to trust me that now, the hot water heater is hidden inside its own designated closet and the washer and dryer have new cabinetry to house all the cleaning supplies and such.

Because bedrooms can be kinda boring on a before and after tour, especially without furniture, I’ll only show you one example of a before and after bedroom. Just multiply it by 4 in this home. I’m not sure the story of all the holes in the drywall but each room had them.

Aside from the holes, the bedrooms needed little work besides the normal paint and lighting. Aaaaand each bedroom boasted beautiful solid wood doors that cleaned up beautifully and truly became a feature in its Mountain Modern Story.

The final stops on our tour will be the 2 bathrooms beginning with the guest bath. The size and layout of the original bath was great only requiring an update.

Ta Dah!!!

And if you thought that was a fun transformation, check out the master bath. (I used this picture in a previous blog to point out the gift of the toilet paper left by the previous home owners- this was during the height of the toilet paper crisis)

This remodel did require us to borrow some space from the master bedroom and closet but I think it was worth the sacrifice. It now has a private potty room and a new soaker tub.

Whew! This renovation was truly unlike any other I’ve ever done as the world shutdown and tentatively opened back up to a whole new normal. So thanks for going on this tour with me today- I was so sad I could not show her to you in person. If any reno deserved her moment in the sun, it was certainly the Mtn Modern. Nevertheless, she stands proudly at the end of her wooded cul-de-sac as a reminder that beautiful, important things can flourish in even the hardest times.

In the Kitchen with Storybook Homes…

Welcome to Niki Thompson’s Kitchen! Niki is the Founder and Designer behind Storybook Homes.

If you’re reading this, you’re on a journey with us through life on this planet. Through the ups and downs, there are people, places and moments that we value. Crafting a beautiful, functional kitchen, the heart of the home, to be able to tell your best stories is the goal of each Storybook Homes Kitchen. Above all, we want our homes to help you tell an overall meaningful story with friends, family and neighbors. From special celebrations to weeknight meals, the kitchen hosts both the large and small moments and everything in between.

Is there truly a better place to initiate the plot than in the kitchen? Intentional, well-designed, uniquely detailed kitchens build community and encourage storytelling. Let’s begin ours.

Many of you have anticipated this story…the Storybook Storyteller’s own story (no pressure, Niki!). And I, Sarah Henry, get to weave this tale. As you’ve driven down Carl Stuart, I’m sure you’ve imagined what the layout and design concept must be behind the beautifully modern painted brick and stained wood exterior. Well, here’s a snippet of what we’ve been waiting to share.

The mid century modern vibe is strong in Niki’s kitchen. As the owner and designer behind Storybook Homes, Niki had a clear picture of what she wanted in her own home kitchen. Her idea of home cooked meals in the context of a gorgeous space and a place large enough for family and friends and baseball teams to gather inspired the design and renovation. With a nod to history but with obvious modern conveniences, each choice from floor to ceiling was intentional and filtered through Niki’s unique design concept. The black and white contrast. The warmth of the precisely stained wooden floors and cabinets. The white marble countertops both beautiful and utilitarian.

I spent hours daydreaming about how I wanted my kitchen to both look and function. I knew that the kitchen was one of the first things you would see when you walked in the front door so I wanted to make sure it had enough “wow factor” to distract from the inevitable dirty dishes. And because the kitchen shared the open concept space with the living room, I wanted the cabinetry to feel more like furniture. Besides the gas range tucked in its alcove, I was mindful to keep all other appliances hidden behind cabinetry from the living room sight lines.

Niki Thompson, Homeowner/Girl Boss Designer and Founder of Storybook Homes

The openness of the kitchen is stunning and encouraged by the absence of walls and the slope of high ceilings. The abundance of natural light floods through bare windows trimmed in a bold black making it easy to conserve energy and at the same time, grow herbs and plants perched on the open wood and metal shelving. The design highlights and celebrates functionality in style.

The sleek cabinetry was built by Jeff Perry, a name you may recognize from previous SBH projects. The mid century modern style is characterized by highlighting natural design elements such as wood grain. The absence of hardware is intentional and allows the precision and artistry in woodworking to shine.

Built-in custom organization keeps everything in its place.When and where you can, customize these details. They are an easy and convenient upgrade.

The Designer behind the design…“Nothing gets my heart more a flutter than a good organizational system. Thanks to pinterest for the ideas and Jeff Perry for the implementation. Now every item has its place within the drawers of this kitchen.”

The view from the handcrafted concrete dinner table is gorgeous. A thoroughly modern staircase leads to the upstairs bedrooms and ultimately, across the enclosed breezeway to the “man cave” located above the garage. A pot filler makes cooking convenient at Niki’s “dream stove”. The industrial details like the coated steel vent hood and stainless commercial stove keep the look of the kitchen stylishly modern where the mid century modern style could trend more nostalgic. No nostalgia here, guys. Industrial beauty and function reign supreme.

To the right of the stove is the laundry and mudroom. Again, tons of light from the windows!Step to the left, and through the doorway is a pass through, true Butler’s pantry. Let’s explore.

This hardworking little nook of a Butler’s pantry boasts another dishwasher, sink area, open wooden shelving, a coffee bar and refrigerator. This is a wonderful convenience for large families or for those who entertain often. Again, if you have the space and room in the budget, this little addition makes a world of difference and increases the value of your home immeasurably!

Regarding the Butler’s pantry, Niki says, “Honestly, as a Registered Dietitian I am more qualified to cook in the kitchen than design one. Up until about 5 years ago, along with weight management consulting, I also cooked healthy meals for families as a side gig. The worst part of that job was the clean-up! It would often take me at least 3 runs of the dishwasher to clean up after my weekly marathon cooking session. It was during that time in my life that I vowed one day I was going to have a home with 2 dishwashers. The butler’s pantry was the perfect spot to make that dream a reality. I know that it seems a little extravagant not that I’m just cooking for our family of four but I’m here to tell ya- I run that second dishwasher ALL THE TIME!”

Here’s a little gem of a recipe that Niki, the Registered Dietitian, uses consistently in her home during the summer months. It’s perfect for a family of 4 but easily doubled to feed a crowd!

Arugula Pear Salad is refreshing and full of flavor and packed with good fats and nutrients.

Ok, Storybook Friends…the time has come to bring this kitchen design tour to a close. But the ongoing story doesn’t have to end here! As many of you know, there’s another modern Storybook Home renovation in the making. The Mountain Modern in BrierSprings. Best completion estimate is end of July. If you like the look of Niki’s own kitchen, you’ll love the one in BrierSprings. And THIS home is available! Think of it as an incredible return on a wise investment. Niki has seen the future and this next story’s outcome, much like each home she designs, is bright.

The developing Mountain Modern…

Storybook Homes needs a buyer with extraordinary vision and a deep desire to invest in a home that writes a unique and incredible story. Let me introduce you, dear reader and Storybook Friend, to the Mountain Modern. Originally and carefully designed and built in 1990, this home is nestled into a wooded lot in the back of a quiet cul-de-sac in an established Conway neighborhood. It honestly feels like you’re in the mountains of Colorado. If school zones are an important factor in the purchase of a home, you’re in luck. This home is zoned for Julia Lee Moore…one of the best in Conway! Convenient to shopping and coffee, the Tucker Creek Trail, the Faulkner County Library and Bell Urban Farm, this home is close to everything. Just imagine being the first in line on a Saturday morning to purchase the stunning but elusive Bell Urban Farm fresh floral bouquet. Winning!

Logistically, this home boasts a new geothermal unit. It is extremely energy efficient. The original owners took great pride in the construction of this home and really went the extra mile. The bones are good! It is literally “built like a tank”. From the pictures provided to Niki at closing, it appears that the original builder was a female. One who took charge while showing up professionally with her stuff together and in her trusty hard hat. What a coincidence that 30 years later, another girl boss would be writing this home’s next chapter?

Back to the developing Mountain Modern storyline…If you like modern design like Niki’s own home on Carl Stuart Drive, you’ll love the open concept, clean lines and simple design of this house. Each Storybook Home is unique but there are some features in her home that she loves so much that she decided to share them with this one. Two of those features include both the linear fireplace and the butler’s pantry with extra fridge storage. According to Jae Curtis of freshome.com, a few unique design features of the Mountain Modern is the unique exterior with sharp, modern edges, an uncluttered layout, natural light from large windows and texture over color…building materials such as glass, wood, stone are emphasized. It is among the newest trends and the most sustainable lending itself to minimal to maximize the built in extras.

The complete story includes extensive interior and exterior renovation including a carport addition. This majestic Mountain Modern will include within its 2233 square foot footprint, 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. A Master Suite with a woodland view. The exterior of the home will make a bold modern statement that will lead seamlessly to the interior. It is the complete package. And it’s almost finished!! The interior is 98% complete. The updated exterior is over halfway done and more than meeting expectations. This project is special.

A precedent has been set with Storybook Homes. When you invest in a Storybook Home, your investment is met with a guaranteed delivery of all that you expected and more.

If you would like more information about this project give Niki a call at (501) 472-3310 .

Ready to re•home and begin a new Story on Lee Street?

Welcome Home…

Each Storybook Home story embodies a stand-alone, extraordinary tale to be continued by the people who live and love within its walls and seek to make it their own. In true Storybook fashion and flourish, we will not bore you with a stale “rags to riches”, Cinderella kinda story. The transformation is only the beginning, a jumping off point. With these things in mind, let’s begin…

From shabby to chic, drab to fab, this swanky, fully renovated Ranch to Mid-century Modern home saw its first full transformation in 2016. When Niki Thompson, the fearless woman behind Storybook Homes, was operating under the name “re*home”, she may have been the only one to hear the voice of Dean Martin in her head, singing, “Everybody Loves Somebody” when she gazed lovingly at this tired 1960s Ranch. Nevertheless, undaunted, she began to write a new story for this home as she saw its true potential.

“I had been wanting to try mid-century modern design for a while so when we first looked at this 1960s ranch (style home), something about the skinny brick and faux fireplace of the exterior made me think ‘this just might be the house to give it a go.'” -Niki Thompson, “Farewell to Lee” July 2016

And did she ever “give it a go”. Belting out, “I’ve Gotta Be Me”, while channeling the spirit of the 1950s and 1960s Rat Pack, our charming storyteller wove a tale worthy to be featured in a Bogart film. Niki crafted within this home, a stunning showstopper in a Vegas review with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. at The Sands.

Open, gracious living and dining…kitchen

“Let me just say, the men that worked on this house (including my number 1 man) thought I was crazy when I started bringing brass into instead of out of the house. My plumber, straight up laughed at me and said that he hadn’t installed a brass fixture since the 90s. But as many of you know, brass is making a big comeback, and is HUGE in mid-mod design so I stuck to my guns and now this Lee Street cutie is proudly leading the cause to bring brass back in our neck of the woods.” -Niki Thompson, “Farewell to Lee” July 2016

Gorgeous tile, built-in storage cabinet…
Double vanity in Master Bath
Hall Bath

Niki looked into the future and indeed, it was golden. The warmth of brass throughout the home is perfectly paired with sleek, stained wood, exposed bulbs in glass fixtures and semi-glossy black cabinets. The large windows in the living/dining area look out onto the patio, backyard and wait for it…the Wampus Cat endzone.

Brass Sputnik fixture featured in dining area.

Let’s sit here for a minute. If you’ve ever attended a Conway Wampus Cat home game, you’ve certainly been captivated by the blazing firepit and the tailgating family freely enjoying the game with friends from the comfort of their own patio. Admit it…you’ve been a little envious.

Season ticket, end zone seats in your own backyard

Its location, story, meticulous attention to detail and extraordinary design are what drew the current homeowners to 2303 Lee Street. And, like Sinatra, they’ve done it “My Way” ever since.

Over the past 4 years, the Stewart Family has made this home their own. With an eclectic, colorful style, they’ve embraced the essential spirit of the intended mid-mod style within their home, but elevated it to include space for the additional energy and texture of modern art and functionality. The added value of the home’s generous outdoor spaces allow the family along with their friends to live easily between indoors and out. This home has certainly been cared for as it has cared for its people. It continues to shine and fully possess its intended vibrancy. It lives graciously and large within its open floor plan, 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. The attractive floor-to-ceiling built-ins offer extra storage for this family of 5. The master suite includes the “extras” we’ve come to expect from Storybook Homes, custom sliding doors that open to reveal a substantial walk-in closet with a convenient island. Every detail has been carefully considered and appointed. But the time has come for the Stewart Family to say “Goodbye” to 2303 Lee and build a new story in a different part of Conway.

This is simultaneously your re-introduction and invitation to live large in this Mid-century Modern retreat under the shady oaks of a well-established Conway neighborhood. If you’ve been wanting to continue your story in a Storybook Home, here’s your chance. 2303 Lee Street is only beginning to write a beautiful legacy.

“Everybody finds somebody someplace…there’s no telling where love may appear…something in my heart keeps saying…My someplace is here.” -Dean Martin, “Everybody Loves Somebody”

For more information on how this incredible Storybook Home can be yours, contact Justin Stewart at 501.428.1799.

2303 Lee Street
Conway, Arkansas 72034