Get To Know Larry

In the Beginning

How many 3-year-olds do you know who rearranged their Little Tikes furniture and then the way the living room was styled? If you’re the mother of Larry West Jr., you thought that was normal. His mother didn’t know she had a designing wunderkind on her hands as Larry whipped things into shape in their Hickory Ridge, Ark. (population 375 at the time) home.

Larry spent his growing up years in what he calls was the “middle of a bean field and rice field” where his eye was on design (ask his sister about where he placed the furniture in her Barbie house in the early 70s) but also motorcycles and Hot Wheels. A strong work ethic is in his genes as his grandparents owned the town’s Esso service station (which later became Exxon Mobil) which sold everything for the farmer, crop duster and locals in Cross County.

A Stylist is Born

Landscaping and design continued to influence teenage Larry but so did the almighty dollar. Not as something to worship but something to manage. He was encouraged to go into banking, and he spent his first jobs there. It wasn’t until his second year of college that he realized he could actually get paid to design. He was a bookkeeper for local design legend Tom Chandler. Larry pestered Tom enough to finally give him a moment in the spotlight and allow him to redo a library at an Arkansas treasure, the Red Apple Inn. Larry said he was “tossed in with the lions,” and he conquered his quest. All in 45 minutes. Tom fired him from the bookkeeping position and put him to work in his design store immediately and gave Larry his own clients. It might have been a late start for a prodigy; he was 30, but Larry never received the guidance to blossom until he worked for Tom.

His first paying gig actually was at a bank. He designed its Christmas decor but at the same time was redecorating apartments in Dallas. Thus the Dallas to Little Rock connection was established along with a route to Memphis. He still spends a majority of his time in those cities sprinkled in with some Austin, New York City and all points in between. Larry always prefers shopping in Little Rock though. He says, “I don’t spend much time at Dallas market because we have a greater selection of shopping in Little Rock. We have so many boutiques in this town.” Larry is very loyal to local vendors and feels they are the lifeblood of any community.

More Than a Stylist

Then there’s Charitable Larry. Larry is always the guy helping charities especially if there is a design element to them.

From the days of Tabriz to Boo at the Zoo to the current stalwart of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Designer House, Larry West Jr. has chaired these events and taken great interest in promoting them and designing for them. His claim to fame was designing a 3x5 ft. bathroom under a staircase in the 90s that put him on the map. It is still talked about.

Social Stylist

Larry was social way before there was social media. His friends are far and wide and love to run their mouths about Larry’s gifting. That’s how he got connected with a famous family of restaurateurs in Dallas. The Campisis are known for their delicious red sauce, crispy pizzas and outstanding restaurants. David Campisi, patriarch of the family now, contacted Larry after seeing his work in a waiting room at a doctor’s office in Dallas. Larry has now designed nine of the Campisi restaurants; the only one that is a no touch is the original location, The Egyptian, just east of Highland Park because of its history. He was only able to redo the party room there.

Awards & Accolades

  • The Heart of the Home Award

    Home for Healing   |   2022
  • Chair and Co-Chair

    Symphony Designer House   |   2016-2020