A Hilltop Manor
Wes and Keri Morris wanted to build a new home on their hilltop acreage that would both fit their family's lifestyle and afford timeless design elements that mixed their personalities. They interviewed several architects before meeting Albert Skiles of Albert Skiles Architect in Fayetteville. “We visited Albert's home, and it was almost exactly what we wanted,” Keri says. “His style fit so well with ours that we knew it was a good match.” Albert took a lot of time getting to know the Morrises, including their eight-year-old twins, Matthew and Megan, before sketching the home's plans. “We walked him through our old home, and he asked what we liked and what we didn't,” Keri says. “We then spent a lot of time touring the new property, looking at tree lines, views and possible home sites. One day we were coming through the clearing, and Albert said, ‘This is it! This is where the home should sit.' Of course he was right, because it afforded us the ideal views and use of the space.”
Albert found his inspiration for the home from Keri's idea of a modern plan with glass walls and open, uncluttered spaces, and Wes' desire for a more rustic style with exposed wood and stone. “The final design is difficult to classify, although it draws its inspiration from the Prairie School and Arts and Crafts homes of the 1920s and 1930s,” Albert says. “It's a unique blend of both contemporary and traditional elements that respect both the owners' wishes and the nature of the site.”
Inside, geothermal radiant-heat stained-concrete floors provide a consistent element throughout, and Keri even helped design the scoring pattern. “Unlike air systems, with radiant heat, the temperature at the ceiling is nearly the same as at the floor,” Albert says. “You can comfortably walk barefoot anywhere in the home.” The Main Street-style floor plan allows for a wide, open hallway running the length of the home, connecting all the public spaces and dividing the children's areas from the master suite. “Matthew and Megan each have their own rooms, and they have a study/play area,” Keri says. “It's nice because the central hallway allows for their rooms to be on one side and ours on the other.” The living areas boast panoramic views thanks to floor-to-ceiling and corner-to-corner windows. “We decided to lower the swimming pool five feet below the sightline of the living areas so it doesn't interrupt the views,” Albert says. “My favorite aspect of the home is that the Morris family enjoys it. As soon as they moved in, they said it was a perfect fit for their land and their lifestyle, and it really felt like home. That's the best compliment for me.”
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