Beginning again

by RaeLynn Callaway


Linda Koger and her sons, Jacob and Drew, love the beach. Given the opportunity to begin again, she wanted to incorporate that love into her new home. 


Starting with a clean, neutral slate, Linda desired to keep this open floor plan airy and light while infusing it with color. “The space was so open I really didn’t know where to start,” Linda said. 


Having one large space can be overwhelming. Linda and I sat down and talked about how the space needed to function for her, the boys and her two dogs. In this expanse of a room we needed an entry, living area and dining area. Placing the TV above the mantle and arranging the furniture around it helped break up the space while visually keeping it open.


We chose a neutral, solid for the sofas. Keeping in mind how boys and dogs can be rough on fabric, we selected a little darker shade in a resilient fabric. Next we picked an accent fabric for two chairs. They were also neutral, tone on tone but with pattern and a pop of turquoise. 


By making throw pillows for the sofas in a solid turquoise as well as the patterned fabric from the chair, we were able to pull the color across the room. Accenting with a solid rug in turquoise we anchored the space while the vases on the mantle keep the eye on the focal point. 


The white washed coffee table and side tables add to the “beachy” feel with their light stained tops bringing sand to mind. We also added a little unexpected flair with the metallic table between the chairs. 


The openness of the foyer table with its slatted shelves allowed us to use baskets underneath. The baskets brought in some natural texture. An oil painted canvas hangs above the table, and a neutral side chair sits beside with a fun, ruffled pillow to finish the entry. 


In the kitchen, instead of a traditional eating area, Linda wanted to create a smaller, more intimate area for TV watching. We used two soft yellow club chairs she already owned and had custom pillows made to give the area a burst of color along with the bright floral canvas. We added a fun rug and a turquoise table and console to complete the space. 


We used black and white photographs, taken by Linda in Europe and the Middle East, on the walls behind the chairs. With all the surrounding color, they worked perfectly. We also put to use two black leather ottomans. Pushed together they formed the perfect coffee table and place to set a tray. 


“I love it,” Linda said. “As a matter of fact, I was just telling a friend how I sat in here and cried when it was all done! I was so happy! It was so perfect!”


A board certified interior designer, RaeLynn Callaway owns CYInteriors ( She and her husband, Bart, have three children and live in Conway.