Home: Orange Slice of Paradise

Photography by Janet Warlick

John Gibson, interior designer and owner of Urban Pad, a furniture store and full-service design company in Little Rock, Ark., wanted a space of his own, something different from the many  homes he designs.

“I wanted to come home and have my own space. We don’t do a ton of retro homes at Urban Pad, so this was unique to me,” Gibson said.

He happened upon this 1,600-square-foot home, built in 1958, five years ago. The home had to be completely gutted and remodeled, and, after three years of hard work, Gibson moved in to his very own mid-century, orange slice of paradise.

“My good friend is a realtor, and she called me when this house came on the market even though I wasn’t really looking,” he said. “We pulled up, and I fell in love the moment I saw it. I called the loan officer before I even went inside. I’ve always been attracted to mid-century modern homes, and this one had really great bones. I had to have it.”

Custom Kitchen (pictured above)
“Gray is the new neutral, so I used that throughout the home. I needed a pop of color; orange is my favorite, and not a lot of people use it,” Gibson said. He transformed what was a dated, pink kitchen into this sleek, IKEA-built design. Gray cabinetry with maximum storage space, along with IKEA appliances, brings this kitchen up-to-date. Lots of fun, thoughtfully considered splashes of orange make it unique to the homeowner.

Dining Room

Dining Room

Dapper Dining Room

This modern dining area is full of shapes and color. “I’m obsessed with round shapes and circles. I chose the round table, to fit the square room, which is a good design lesson to remember,” Gibson said.

He echoed the spherical sentiment with art and lighting fixtures. Replicas of 50-gallon drum lids hang from the wall, but the main attraction is the orange sculpture acting as a centerpiece not only to the dining table, but also as the anchor to the design of the home. “This was my first ever housewarming gift from a very dear friend,” he said. “The color is what inspired the kitchen.” 

Living Room

Living Room

An Artful Arrangement

Wide glass doors frame the front entryway and reappear in the exit to the back porch. This allows sunlight to pour into the living room, creating a maximum sense of space. Gibson added floor-to-ceiling mirrors to further enhance the effect. This versatile area is perfect for entertaining. Music is piped throughout with a sound system, and the patio doors lead to a bonus deck space arranged by Little Rock-based garden guru Chris Olsen.

Artwork again takes center stage in this room with a human form created from wire. “I just love the human form. This piece is made of wire and takes three days to make. It gets a lot of attention, as does the painting behind the sofa,” Gibson said. “It was commissioned by my good friend Buddy Whitlock, who has done a lot of the artwork.”

Guest Room

Guest Room

Lovely Lodging

Gibson created a serene setting for guests in this well thought-out, five-star-worthy guest suite, which has a private, pristine white-tiled bathroom. The room is decked out in a muted orange and relaxing neutral gray color scheme, and wood grain accent pillows give it a fun, masculine touch. A bedside bench blends with the art and doubles as an excellent luggage rack.

“I wanted this room to be a comfortable, hotel-like experience for guests,” Gibson said.

Powder Room

Powder Room

Principal Powder Room

Gibson maximized this small space with a floating vanity that hovers above the floor, revealing fun and unexpected circular tile beneath. A frosted glass door gives privacy, yet makes the room feel expansive. 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Superior Sanctuary

“This is my sanctuary. This is where I watch TV and can be myself. I had the glass doors added so I can see outside and to let light in. I like to wake up to the sun every morning,” Gibson said.

This space is also very masculine with neutral bedding and an accent wall of the flooring extended vertically to the ceiling. This unique technique gives the room a cozy feeling, while allowing it to still feel spacious.

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