April Designer Show House Preview
A secluded home on Berry Hill Road will open its doors to tours as the April Designer Show House, staged by local interior designers and decorators with furnishings, artwork, wall treatments, lighting and floor coverings to please the eye and perhaps inspire new design concepts in the beholders.
On tour April 2-30, the proceeds of the show house ticket sales benefit Project Compassion, a nonprofit service organization whose mission is to bring joy, companionship and quality of life to residents in long-term care and retirement facilities throughout the area.
More than 300 Project Compassion volunteers visit these facilities to make one-on-one visits, collect meaningful and comforting holiday gifts in their Hearts of Gold drive, plan recreational and healthy activities and make sure no elderly resident feels lonely or forgotten.
A $12 admission ticket (group rates available)?supports this mission while opening the door to both a house and design talents worth seeing. The house itself, built in the late 1950s by the late A.Y. Berry Jr. and Frances “Chee” Berry, is a mid-century modern classic, exemplifying the design style’s timelessness. Several of the designers have taken inspiration from the period, a look that is enjoying a revival and appreciation in contemporary design.
Its open floor plan has long interior vistas, abundant windows that bring the outdoors in, with prominent display of natural architectural elements – richly finished woods, stacked stone fireplaces and fieldstone floorings. A spectacular curving staircase with redwood treads and handrails is a stunning focal point at the entry and atrium, mirroring the natural forms of the grove of trees surrounding the hillside home.
This is the second benefit show house organized by Earl Douglas, a returned Fort Smith native who spent his career in Arizona and has experience in directing charitable events and designer houses in Los Angeles and Aspen. Also, he once helped organize a benefit in Monaco for the International Red Cross.
In addition to the designers credited for the rooms previewed on these pages, others participating are Ann Coleman Interiors – study; Bill Harper Design – family room; and Denise Peacock – kitchen. Douglas has taken the stone-floored entry, placing a painting by Fort Smith artist Ernest Cialone on a custom-upholstered wall Douglas installed. Paintings he selected from the Center for Art and Education hang in other transitional spaces and hallways. Other donors will be recognized onsite and in the show house program.
Visitors can enjoy the home’s distinctive architecture and lake views, as well as the interiors decorated for the tour. Some may fondly recall visiting as guests of the Berry family, who have graciously donated the use of their home. A.Y. Jr and Chee reared six children there and it also was a beloved family home for 24 grandchildren, almost 30 great-grandchildren and many more close relatives.
Admission is $12 per person, available from Project Compassion. Tour hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1- 6 p.m. Sunday. April Designer Show House, 4 Berry Hill Road, Fort Smith, Ark. 479-783-2273