News About Touring & Tickets

Q&A: Marlene Small and Carole Harston of Heritage Interiors

Marlene Small (left) and Carole Harston (right)

The upcoming Fort Worth Magazine Dream Street is set to feature three stunning, multi-million-dollar homes in the new Colleyville residential community, Oak Alley. The homes, which will open for touring beginning this October, and will benefit local charity a Wish with Wings will showcase the latest in home building technology and interior design.

Marlene Small and Carole Harston, two members of the Heritage Interiors team, are working on the home, dubbed English Arts and Crafts, being built by Nick Smith and Kensington Custom Homes. The pair took some time to talk to Fort Worth Magazine about their process, their vision for Dream Street, and where they see interior design headed.


FW: Tell me a little bit about your process at Heritage Interiors?


Marlene Small: We’re not just there to pick out paint colors and pretty lighting and say, “Oh, let’s go get some tile.” We are aligned with the architecture team (Heritage Design Studio) often from the beginning. Often from bubble diagrams or the first meeting with the client. That, I believe, is one of the beauties and what sets Heritage Interiors apart because we’re there from the beginning.


Carole Harston: Typically, also, interior designers are involved in all the furnishings and furniture placement, furniture selection, custom pieces in the way of upholstery or case goods. The art, the rugs, the accessory. And that’s probably what’s more typically thought of in interior design. And we certainly do that part as well, but we’re kind of above and beyond that service.


MS: Carole and I both have so many years of experience in this industry and have worked with multiple clients and multiple areas of the country and different builders. We’ve seen a lot. We’ve learned a lot. And I think our alignment with the American Society of Interior Designers and our active enrollment and engagement with that organization makes us lifelong learners.


FW: So what can you tell us about your upcoming home on Fort Worth Magazine’s Dream Street?


CH: Well, the architecture team (Heritage Design Studio) was very instrumental in determining that this would be an English Arts and Crafts-inspired residence. So that truly set the tone and we kind of took it from there. And the exterior design is really a reflection that, even though it’s a more transitional style. But you see the English influence and the arts and crafts movement in it.


FW: So what makes something English Arts and Crafts?


MS: My impression of it is that it has more florals, botanicals, and animals. There are more curves to it than American Arts and Crafts, which is very geometric straight lines.  There’s always, within English Arts and Crafts and within English architecture, unexpected nuance within the home. ‘Cause there’s always a window that’s not quite where you expected it to be. Or a door that’s at a different height because there’s a story with the homes.


FW: What do you see as current design trends? Where do you see things going as far as interior design is concerned?


CH: Well, from my viewpoint, design has been walking that line between traditional and contemporary. I’m starting to see a bit of a pendulum swing back towards some traditional avenues.


MS: We are seeing less geometric shapes, and we’re starting see more curls, swirls, and curves. Color is certainly back, and pattern is coming back. People who bought the house that’s black and white and gray are now saying, “This is boring.” There’s nothing interesting about it. I think, particularly since COVID, people are wanting a place that’s a respite. They’re wanting a place that has some color back.