City Family Returns to Country Roots | Season 3

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

Ahead of moving back to the area from Dallas with their three children, Tom and Sondra Puorro purchased a house in Avoca, not too far from Bentonville. The home sits on 62 acres of land where they hope to garden and possibly raise a few animals.

The Puorros wanted help to take full advantage of this home in the peaceful countryside near Beaver Lake. They want dedicated spaces outside to hang out with their children and enjoy the beauty of this part of Arkansas. They love the location and space this house offers, and we set out to help them bring the feel of a big-city home into this country house.



The first request from the Puorros for the exterior was a change to the entry. The brick arch closed off an area that should be warm and inviting. They weren’t fans of the pink brink or the extra concrete slab that used to be a carport. We knew this home needed new character with a place for this family to relax and gather out front.

To get underway, we worked toward a consistent appearance and removed the stone framing the garage, replacing it with brick. By painting all the brick a soft, warm blue with undertones of gray, we gave the exterior a refined farmhouse look.

The small porch definitely didn’t do the house justice, so we took it out and replaced it with an inviting porch that extends across the front. A shed-style roof with cedar posts offered just the right contrast and took the look from standard to sophisticated. By removing the stone border from the garage and changing the shutters from black to white, we transformed the appearance to that of a beautiful and inviting home. 



Coach Lights | Kichler 

Rocking Chairs | Lowes

Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Landscaping | Ground Effects

Back Patio Furniture | Anvil and Oak

Brick Paint Color | F+B Pigeon No.25

Trim Color | BM White Dove

Dining Room


 A few odd designs in the interior needed to be changed to reflect how they wanted to use this house as family time together was of utmost importance. The changes we planned required a lot of demolition, and we set to work removing all the kitchen cabinets, countertops, and floor tile as we knocked down walls and made plans to reconfigure the main living areas. 

One feature Tom and Sondra loved was the warmth and variation of the flooring in the original living room. Since the same flooring was no longer available, we worked with our floor specialist, Tom Stephenson, to find something close that we could use throughout.

Sondra mentioned turning this area into a large dining room that included a sitting area for putting away the electronics and playing games with the family. We felt this room could flow right into the kitchen and almost function as one cohesive space. Lighter walls and floors brighten the look and helped liven the home’s interior in these main living spaces.



Furniture & Rug | Howse

Dining Light | Kichler 

Floors | Heritage Hardwood Floors

Art | Melissa Abide Griffith

Wall Color | BM White Dove

Kitchen & Pantry


The Puorro’s home already had one arched brick opening leading into the new family room that just needed to be softened up. I wanted to tie the original arch in with the new range enclosure in the kitchen to create a eye-catching architectural detail. I love how this small change made such a big impact. It now feels like a beautiful, layered, olde-world kitchen.

I chose a warm blue for the cabinets, inspired by Tom’s favorite space: the old barn out back. Speaking of the barn, we were able to repurpose a gorgeous set of vintage doors Sondra had been storing in the barn to lead into the new pantry. And, this isn’t a typical pantry. We utilized the former dining room to create an incredible walk-in pantry and new laundry room. One other personalized touch is the gallery wall of handmade cutting boards. Dave built these boards as a nod to Sondra’s love of baking and I loved using them to create a unique focal wall in the kitchen.



Island Pendants | Overstock 

Barstools | Howse

Rug | Turkish Trunk

Cabinet Hardware Pulls | Top Knobs

Cabinet Hardware Knobs | Top Knobs

Cabinet Color | 50/50 SW Uncertain Gray & Stardew

Living Room


The sunken bonus room off the garage was the perfect space to create a cozy, welcoming place to relax and read or play games.  A soft wash on the brick arch helped lighten the room’s entry and created a cohesive feel with the new colors in the dining room and kitchen. Decorative trim on the wall adds elegance and sophistication to this cozy room.

A big chessboard, courtesy of Dave’s craftsmanship, serves as a centerpiece for family time in this space. 



Furniture | Howse

Chessboard | Dave Marrs

Art | Juniper Print Shop

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore White Dove

Main Bedroom and Bath


The main bedroom and bathroom didn’t have any character and were pretty small. The bathroom, in particular, was incredibly cramped. We were able to steal space from the guest bathroom (and former laundry room) after we moved the laundry room out of the bathroom to the new pantry. This gave us about 60 extra feet to work with for the new main bathroom and allowed us the space to add a new vanity, a floating tub, and a large walk-in shower. Blue porcelain tile and the custom built shower door panel made by Dave and his brother, Matt, gave this bathroom a peaceful, spa-like ambiance.

Meanwhile, we added decorative trim in the main bedroom to create a serene and elevated bedroom. 



Bedroom Furniture | Howse

Rug | Turkish Trunk 

Fan | Kichler 

Tub Filler | Delta 

Shower Wall Tile | Home Depot

Shower Floor Tile | Lowe’s 

Bathroom Floor Tile | Lowe’s 

Main Bedroom Wall Color | SW Gossamer Veil



The Puorros really wanted to take advantage of the beauty of the land surrounding their new home by maximizing the outdoor space out back. In the summertime, the sun can be brutal so their first priority was covering the space to allow for shade. 

After we created a larger covered patio, we added a living wall with self-watering plants and herbs to create a peaceful ambiance and character to this dedicated, outdoor patio. The refreshed area, complete with a fire pit, takes advantage of the peaceful location and gorgeous rural view. This boring area behind the house has been turned into a backyard oasis for the whole Puorro family!



Landscaping, Outdoor Furniture and Firepit | Ground Effects

We absolutely loved working on a project that encouraged gatherings with family while taking in our state’s beauty. The Puorro family now has multiple areas where they can hang out together, both inside and out. We’re thrilled to welcome them back to Arkansas with a home that meets all their hopes and dreams!