Dwell: Rustic Contemporary In Goshen
The Arkansas Ozarks Have Seen A Recent Surge In Beautiful, Rural-Inspired Modern Homes. This Ranch-Style Dwelling, Designed By Albert Skiles, Displays Interesting Western Accents and all the Luxury Amenities of a Modern Home.
photography by Beth Hall
Keri and Wes Morris built their dream home together in Goshen, Ark., in 2008. Armed with a folder of magazine clippings and ideas, the couple approached Albert Skiles of Skiles Architect in Fayetteville to develop what they had in mind. Keri, an educator, mother, quilter and animal lover wanted lots of windows and open spaces. Wes, a Tyson Foods executive, who grew up on a farm, craved a western-style home with lots of exposed wood and stone.
“We called Albert, and he asked what kind of style we were looking for; it was hard to describe exactly,” Keri Morris said. “My husband told him, ‘Someplace where redneck meets modern,’ and Albert replied, ‘That’s my specialty!’”
Though Skiles’ official description of the project is more along the lines of “rustic contemporary,” according to Morris, he knew exactly what they were looking for and nailed it on his first draft of the blueprints.
The Morris family, which includes the couple’s 12-year-old twins, has been happy in their beautiful home, nestled near a hilltop with panoramic views of the White River Valley. At 7,800 square feet, plus a two-story living quarters attached to the stables, and a guest home, which is under construction, there is plenty of room for this active family and all their pets … six dogs, five cats, eight horses … and don’t forget the cows, ducks and rabbit.
Equestrian Living Quarters
“We originally constructed this as a place to sleep near the stables if a pregnant mare was near her delivery date,” Morris said. “Of course, the plans for the simple room grew into a two-story, separate living quarters with a kitchen and bathroom.” This space is perfect for overnight guests as it sleeps seven, not including the 70 hunting trophies also inhabiting the rooms. “My husband and son are big hunters. They’ve traveled all over the world on expeditions. I am a big lover of animals, so I’ve given them this space, away from the main house, to display their trophies,” she said, laughing.
Morris enjoys cooking and spends the majority of her time in the family’s modern kitchen. “The living room and den are on either side of the kitchen, so it’s easy to communicate with the family while I’m cooking. There is comfortable seating as well, so the kids will often join me and sit and talk.”
The dining room, complete with Scandinavian-style dining table, is the first room you encounter upon entering the front door. A hutch lit with a WAC, an energy-saving decorative chandelier, and the richly-textured rock tiles above the “floating” sideboard immediately draw the eye.
Rugged, durable finishes, such as stained concrete floors, were used to accommodate the outdoor-loving family. Cedar harvested from the home site was used in the construction of much of the home, including the mantle and built-ins in the living room. “We hired a saw mill to come out during construction. We wanted to incorporate our land into the home as much as possible,” Morris said.
The Morris family chose this site in rural northwest Arkansas for its feeling of seclusion as well as its close proximity to the city. They were careful to preserve as many of the trees as possible and used wood and stone harvested from the site.
At 7,800 square feet, plus a two-story living quarters attached to the stables, and a guest home, which is under construction, there is plenty of room for this active family and all their pets … six dogs, five cats, eight horses … and don’t forget the cows, ducks and rabbit.