Located in west Little Rock’s private, exclusive Belle Pointe addition just north, of the Villages of Wellington, this multilevel home built by Patty and Keith Wingfield of River Rock Builders features decks for days and a spectacular view as one of the highest points in the city of Little Rock.
Like a breathtaking scene straight from a movie or award-winning artwork masterpiece, this jaw-dropping home that took an entire two-year process to finish captures a view of the skyline and the rolling hills in the background of the beginning of the Ouachita foothills. “We worked with the owners, Diana and Randy Ragsdale, to create their special space using the awesome views and creating the outdoor space that really makes the home unique,” Keith says.
The son of a full-time design engineer for Alcoa and a part-time builder in the ’60s and ’70s Keith credits his father for much of his career path. “He taught me a lot and helped me after he retired from 1999 until his death in 2006.” Patty’s father was one of the founding members of the Arkansas Home Builders Association in the early 1950s and the developer of a large single-family home subdivision in Sherwood. Neither has ever been strangers to homebuilding and combined their backgrounds in the industry to start River Rock Builders together in 1999.
“The goal is always the same for us — 100 percent customer satisfaction,” Keith says. “We strive for that, and although we aren’t perfect, we are always headed that direction. [Here] we wanted to utilize the topography to create an outstanding view of the scenery while enjoying the outdoor elements added.”
And what a way to enjoy a sunset. The home is a “walk-out basement home” that consists of two levels, mirroring the hills of west Little Rock and western Pulaski County. “This type of design is very much our wheelhouse of typical projects as we have much sloping topography and many who like the walk-out basement space as another living level,” Keith says.
While some builders might run from a difficult hillside job site, River Rock embraces it. “It’s a challenge,” Keith says, “but I employ professional engineers, surveyors and geotechnical engineers to make recommendations on how to build a foundation and structure.”
Completing the awe-inspiring, multi-level deck, a luxury pool, constructed by Diamond Pools, is the center of attention with natural stone that abounds to provide a rustic and natural experience, mixing alongside the vintage French Country style of the home. For cool spring evenings, a dip in the hot tub or a relaxing evening by the outdoor fire pit make for more items on the agenda, while sipping a favorite beverage and enjoying the amazing view doesn’t get any better.
“I really like the outdoor deck area off of the great room with the vaulted ceiling and wood trusses,” Keith says. “It’s a great way to enjoy a sunset.”
On the exterior, a mix of masonry veneer with white mortar creates an aged architectural appearance, while cedar trusses complement this unique styling along with tongue and groove siding for rear gables — all to achieve a warming invite for that great, outdoor experience.
Awash in neutral and warm tones, guests feel a sense of calm relaxation on the interior as well. Lots of prefinished hardwood and tile reduce the amount of carpet and the trapping of particles within, while the stained concrete floor on the lower level is perfect for the game room activities of shuffleboard and billiards because, as anyone can see, this home is made for entertaining.
Glass is one material that plays a huge role in this home build. For instance, custom-cut mullions to match the shape of the front door make for an out-of-this-world dining room window design. “It’s a very large piece of glass requiring very precise installation,” Keith says.
And because much of River Rock’s specialty is going green and sustainability, materials such as glass are an important aspect to a project such as this one. “What many customers don’t know is the improvement of the efficiency in glass protects their furniture, saves on their utility bills and allows for the ultimate comfort in their new home,” Keith says. “Premium Low-e glass with argon gas between the double panes provides the protection from the heat of the summer and loss of heat in the winter. This is what we live and breathe; it’s the building science of the home.
“We understand the availability of better Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) in glass and can explain it to our customers in a way they can understand. We also provide shading for much of the rear glass with overhangs. Our architectural software can show the shading on any given day or time of the day, so we can customize the overhang and roof along with the glass. It’s all about the building science and our understanding of it.”
Besides the just-right materials, a dream home is also about proper function and aesthetics, and both the kitchen and master bathroom showcase these things. The gourmet kitchen employs a massive island with custom millwork and handy bar space alongside striking appliances and a massive, contrasting vented hood. Using the same neutral tones, the master bathroom features furniture-grade cabinets with quartzite countertops, while the master whirlpool soaking tub is beautifully arranged in an alcove with yet another amazing spot to catch a grand view.
“The owners love the warm and inviting spaces of their home and the connection to the outdoor space,” Keith says. “One of our subcontractors commented when we completed the exterior, ‘River Rock Builders doesn’t just build a home, they build an oasis.’
“I never thought about that, but I used to hear that a person’s home was their castle. I think I’d rather have an oasis.”