Award-winning Hot Springs interior designer Sandy Sutton will once again showcase her work in the Arkansas Symphony Designer House this year.
All in the name of children's education, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild has presented the Designer House every other year since 1974, featuring Little Rock homes that have been decorated by Arkansas' premier designers.
The guild chooses some of the most exquisite homes in Little Rock to be "made over" by top designers from around the state, resulting in a monthlong event that features parties, tours and lectures.
This year the guild chose an upscale home located at 8 Valley Creek View in west Little Rock to serve as the heart of its largest fundraiser. The home will be presented for the first time on Thursday at the guild's invitation-only Crescendo Preview Party, and will open to the public on Friday.
Over two dozen designers were chosen to spruce up one area of their choice within the 8,500-square-feet home. Areas of the house ranging from laundry rooms, hallways, bedrooms, living areas and outdoor spaces are chosen, and the designers revamp the areas as they see fit.
Sutton and her team chose a landing area at the top of a staircase.
"It's a very odd room; it's at the top of the stairs and basically it's like a large landing, because on the left of it there are bedrooms and a game room, and on the right side there's a theater room and a children's room and an office, so it's really like a big hallway," Sutton said. "It was a real challenge of how to address that space and still be able to flow on each end."
Sutton was voted in the Top 5 best interior designers in the state this year, an accolade that the guild looks for when choosing the individuals to represent the Designer House. Sutton has been part of the Designer House since 1997 and has been named one of the Top 5 designers in Arkansas for over 20 years.
"They want to put in designers that are going to draw people in," she said. "It's kind of a drawing card. It's an honor to be selected because it's just a handful."
Upon completion of the home and the event, the house will be placed on the market, and Sutton said the home already has a prospective buyer.
"It is a sensational house and everybody that they have chosen to be in there has really done an outstanding job," she added.
The Designer House will be open to the public from Friday until May 13. Guests can visit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The house is closed on Mondays.
"People can buy a ticket at the door, there are refreshments, and you can go and have lunch. There are lecture series that you can attend. It's a really nice affair," Sutton said. "They, of course, don't encourage little children coming through because it's very valuable, all the pieces that are in this house, so they want to be careful about that."
During public tour hours a docent is stationed in each area of the house to answer questions and speak on the designs.
Sutton has been an interior designer in Arkansas for over 32 years. She owns The Design Center at 4112 Central Ave., which provides complete design services from project development to project management.
When speaking on her design style, Sutton said functionality of the spaces she creates is among the top most important things to her.
"I kind of hesitate on what my style is because I want to think that I'm listening to my client and finding out what their style is and creating it to the best of what it can possibly be. My style is, for me personally, I definitely want things to look beautiful and be tasteful, but I want it to function. That's the most important thing, and I want it to be safe. You can have a gorgeous room but it may not be serviceable, and that is a waste of space and money to me. It needs to fit the lifestyle of who's living in the home," she said.
Businesses that have contributed to Sutton's part in the Designer House include Hadidi Oriental Rug Co., which supplied the rugs; Gallery Central, which supplied the art; Phoenix Furniture and Interiors, which supplied all of the furnishings; and glass artist James Hayes, who created a one-of-a-kind chandelier.
"We have a good team with us," Sutton said.Local on 04/09/2018