The Anatomy of A Room: A Cozy-Chic Family Lounge in Fort Smith, Arkansas

The Anatomy of A Room: Goddard Design GroupPhotography by Rett Peek

A traditional southern estate that dates back to the late 1800s, Free Ferry currently serves as the city residence for a busy family of five. There, the owners enjoy entertaining in an elegantly eclectic environment that showcases their love of English interiors, antiques, and modern art. As executed by Chris Goddard, Founder and Principal at Goddard Design Group, the design is layered with details and statement-making accessories. The result is a reimagined Free Ferry with rooms that have character to spare—including a spacious bedroom that was transformed into the ultimate upstairs lounge space for the entire family.

The pre-remodeled room featured sheetrock walls and shag carpet before becoming what Goddard describes as a “trust your designer” project. The clients described what they wanted, and then he got to work creating a cozy retreat where the family could gather in evenings to relax, chat, and watch television.

In a nod to the clients’ affinity for English interiors, Goddard began with a paneled and beamed design. He installed quarter sawn oak and sandblasted the room to give it age and character. To offset the low ceiling height and make the room feel more open, the wood was then cerused in light tones. The large windows, which let in ample natural light and offer incredible views, help create a comfortable balance in the heavily textured space.

When it came to furnishings, the location of the room, which is situated at the end of a narrow hallway, presented a major obstacle. In order to fit through the hall and into the library, all of the furnishings were custom made; the sleeper sofa had to be completely assembled in the room.

Goddard used a jewel-toned antique rug to anchor the design and give the study a “collected over time” feel. The color palette is a deeper, richer version of the hues present throughout the rest of the house, which gives the space a cozy vibe while maintaining a consistent color flow from room to room. The stylish mix of the clients’ tastes—the wife loves traditional English furnishings, while the husband is a modern art enthusiast—adds to the curated yet comfortable aesthetic.

While it’s currently the perfect family “hangout” spot on the second floor, the space, which also includes bookcases and a niche with an antique desk (not pictured), can lend itself to many future purposes. “As the family’s lifestyle changes with time and numbers, this room can evolve to anything from a personal study to an at-home office to a gallery highlighting the family’s love of collecting books, art, antiques, and horse trophies,” Goddard says. Whatever direction it takes, it’s sure to remain a favorite area in which to relax, recharge, and be inspired.

Goddard Design Group is featured in The Scout Guide Northwest Arkansas. See more photos of Free Ferry in their portfolio.