Home: Homecoming on the Lake


Gary and Carol Adams met while in college at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Photography by Janet Warlick


Gary’s career choice moved them to Houston shortly after graduation. When they decided it was time to return to northwest Arkansas, they enlisted help from award-winning designer Julie Wait Fryauf to bring their vision for a “mountain craftsman” home on Beaver Lake to life.

The Adams’ refer to their home as a treehouse, due to the spectacular views of the lake and surrounding forest. They wanted the design of the home to reflect the natural elements of the lush environment. Jim Jones Construction put together a team of craftsmen who work in wood, stone and iron and who collaborated with Fryauf to create a home with breathtaking details in every room. Such craftsmanship takes time, and the Adams’ allowed the home to take shape slowly. It certainly paid off.


What You See is What You Get

The exterior of the Adams’ home is every bit as thoughtful and detailed as the interior and introduces the level of design quality visitors will find throughout. Julie Wait Fryauf called upon Susan Jasan of Landscape Creations to create a landscaping design that would add areas of light and color used on the home itself which reminds us of Italy. “We love it,” she said.

Uniquely Welcoming

(Top photo)

The distinctiveness of the Adams’ home is evident as soon as you cross its threshold. Wood above and below, custom iron railings, light fixtures and even details on the newel posts set the home apart. Fryauf keeps in touch with what’s new and notable in the regional arts community and enjoys utilizing locally produced pieces, like the colorful glass piece on the wall of the staircase, in her designs.


It’s all in the Details

The Adams asked Fryauf to create comfort and an “earthy feel” in their home. Gary said, “We didn’t want anyone to be afraid to sit on anything.”

A warm color palette, lots of natural stone and hand-forged iron details on the fireplace all work together in harmony. There is a personal connection to many of the details in the home, like the pecan mantel harvested from a tree in a friend’s orchard.


Gone, but Not Forgotten

Not willing to leave Texas behind completely, there are reminders of their time spent in the Lone Star State throughout the home. The large table in the dining room was constructed of mesquite wood harvested in Seguin, Texas, and its design adds to the organic feel of the open space. The Adams’ didn’t want anything “too fancy” in the dining room, so a metal chandelier that leans toward a more retro/industrial design aesthetic strikes the perfect balance.


Good Times in Any Season

The Adams’ enjoy entertaining and requested an open layout in the kitchen to accommodate large crowds. A family friend from Houston created the faux-painted walls in the kitchen, and throughout the home.

The Adams said there is a spectacular view for miles across the lake during the winter. Gary joked that a zipline off the deck, down to the boat dock, might be next on their project list.


Nights at the Round Table

Gary wanted a place to sit with friends and solve the problems of the world, and the gathering space on the lower level hit the mark. Since returning to the area, the couple has enjoyed reconnecting with friends from college and hosting casual get-togethers in this space. The oil painting of a cove on Beaver Lake was painted by a nephew and is featured beautifully over the fireplace that was designed around it.


Retreat in the Trees

The master suite is the perfect sanctuary with more amazing views. The couple asked for minimal window treatments, and Fryauf approached each room independently, providing just enough coverage without detracting from the views of the Ozark forest they call their forever home.


To Each, His (or Her) Own

The master bathroom needed some help when Fryauf got hold of it.

“The tub was in the middle of the room,” she explained. “It just didn’t work very well. It was unmemorable.”

The new design includes spaces built specifically for each of them – Gary, who is 6’3”, and Carol, who is shorter. The two stay busy with consulting and volunteer work, so the cool granite countertops, custom tile work and travertine floors create a comfortable, elegant place to relax at the end of a busy day.


Getting Dirty Can Be Pretty

Carol’s potting shed is the focal point of a lovely scene along the back of the home, with a stone path framed by hydrangea and an iron fence.

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