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Most of the interior walls are made of concrete. Hayley used textured rugs and various layers to create warmth.

Featured Article

Lake House Living

A Renovation with Hayley Davis Interiors

Article by Amy Birdsong Golden

Photography by Emily Frazier Creative

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

Interior Designer Hayley Davis is a master at blending modern and vintage. A West Texas native, she studied design at Abilene Christian University. In 2007, a job transfer via FedEx for husband Kelby brought her family to Memphis. After stints at World’s Away and with local interior design firms, she started Hayley Davis Interiors in 2017. We explored a renovated lake house retreat and learned more about Hayley’s approach, style and skills.

Tell us about this project

A study in contextualism, it’s a house built into a hill on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The setting became our inspiration; the only exposed side of the property faces the lake. The property’s low-slung rooflines and neutral color palette blends into its lakefront setting with ease. While it was built in the 80's, it definitely has the style of a 70's home. We had designed the homeowner’s primary residence in East Memphis, so we knew them well. They wanted it to be a comfortable, unfussy home. A place to relax.

How does the exterior answer to the interior?

The house in a hill is made of concrete to withstand its natural surroundings. And the rooftop has grass, rose bushes and trees.  We chose the exterior warm gray-green color to reflect the trees around it. The concrete used to build the home also impacted the choices we made on the interiors with lighting and flooring materials. The original sliding doors and windows allowed an abundance of natural light, so we updated with newer more energy efficient models. We went with several shades of white in the main living spaces to reflect and bounce natural light. Inside, we upgraded lighting to have warm light at night. We also used colors from nature like greens, blues, teal and wood stains throughout the home

What are some favorite interior architectural elements that you incorporated into the renovation?

An original detail we couldn’t part with is the large square flagstone fireplace in the middle of the living space. We cleaned it up and designed the entire living and sitting room around it. 

I probably had the most fun with the bathrooms. Lake house meets chic hotel. To stay nostalgic, we used midcentury selections where appropriate.

Design wise, this home lent itself to beautiful custom millwork as we had done in their Memphis home. I knew I wanted stained white oak paneling all around the primary bedroom. In the sitting room we designed custom low bookshelves made with a leather sofa tucked between them. Our clients are big readers and needed a good reading area. Design form should always meet a client’s function!  

How do you pivot for a client’s vacation home? Anything different from a primary dwelling? 

Things to consider… They won't be there all the time so that lends itself to the home being more fun and playful. I'm always thinking of the type of space I want to be in when I travel. It is a space to relax and throw up your feet and cut the noise of daily life. We knew our client didn't like clutter from working on her primary home, so everything from drinkware to accessories needed to have a purpose. Materials need to wear well and be easy to clean. We consider this for all the homes we design, but a lake house has some limits. For example, all the flooring is engineered wood or tile because it wasn't realistic or feasible to use hardwood on the concrete subfloor due to moisture. We sourced as many materials as possible in Hot Springs to give as much business to the town we were working in. 

What are some pools of inspiration for you?

Travel, Hotels (I love Ace Hotels), Fashion and Art

How do you keep it fresh?

If you follow us on Instagram (@hayleydavisinteriors) you have probably seen or heard us say we feel like a chameleon of design. Every one of our clients is so different. Some may love color and lots of patterns where others may not. We design for our clients so you will see traditional, funky, playful or modern homes. We also like to allow for the and/or as we are anything but prescriptive.   

  • Because every lake house needs a bunk room.
  • A custom closet in the primary suite feels like house boat living. There are nautical subtilties throughout the home.
  • Most of the interior walls are made of concrete. Hayley used textured rugs and various layers to create warmth.
  • Hayley added stained white oak paneling around the primary bedroom.
  • Hayley added furniture pieces that feel period but fresh.
  • A vacation home for Memphians in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  • The den and living room spaces are divided by an original stone fireplace. Hayley mixes rattan and soft upholstery with mid-century vintage pieces.
  • The dining space can function for game nights as well. Hayley designed the well balanced dining space as clean but not stark.
  • The house in a hill following the initial paint job. Hayley chose a warm green/gray to reflect the trees surrounding.
  • A total overhaul of the kitchen for a clean, efficient and stunning workspace.
  • Tiles in the kitchen reflect colors of the lake.
  • Hayley desiged all of the custom millwork throughout the home. It was custom built in Hot Springs.
  • To stay nostalgic, Hayley used midcentury selections for the vanity and lighting. The bright blue square in the wallpaper is reflected in the tile.
  • Her color palette was influenced by the changing seasons of Lake Hamilton.
  • Her color palette was influenced by the changing seasons of Lake Hamilton.