An Arkansas Dream Home with Aged Elegance

Both a library and study, this comfortable retreat was created from an existing bedroom. Highlighted with an intricately coffered ceiling, the space displays all the allure of an English country house. Red-leather chairs and a plush, velvet-covered sofa are custom-designed by Goddard and his firm.

Photography by Rett Peek

When Chris Goddard was asked to renovate the Clark family’s newly purchased estate, he had a daunting task ahead of him. Given a mere six months to make the place move-in ready, Goddard and his Fayetteville, Arkansas, design firm were charged with creating the impression that the Clarks—Steve, Jamie, and their three children—had lived there for years. “The family intended to bring only their clothes and a few personal items with them,” explains the designer. Because the owners also own a large ranch in Oklahoma, along with a condominium in Fayetteville for quick getaways, they saw this new venture as an opportunity to start fresh.

dining room with checkered floorThe residence, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, displayed many of the hallmarks of a Southern country house, complete with the original stone dwelling that served as its core. Although this portion was built more than a century ago, a previous owner had added side wings and a larger kitchen to the structure. “The overall layout was wonderfully proportioned, but the interiors lacked appeal and graciousness,” notes Goddard. “Steve and Jamie wanted an elegant and comfortable home that was a bit more refined than their rustic ranch, so we embarked on a complete interior overhaul.”

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