by Julie Craig // Photos by Chris White with 3wire Photography
Many homeowners seek out a variety of attributes when building a new home to specific wants and needs, but, no doubt, one common denominator among them all is that of quality. Finding the right builder in the beginning stages of the process can be a daunting task, so it’s important to assess the company’s priorities and work ethic.
Dustin Hennard has been in the homebuilding business nearly his entire life, growing up in DeQueen and building homes as a teenager. He went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton with a degree in surveying and engineering technology. For the next seven years, Hennard worked for Vratsinas Construction Company (VCC) in Little Rock as superintendent and project coordinator. In 2010, he started Dustin Hennard Homes, branded as Hennard Custom Homes, creating a portfolio of beautiful custom homes in a variety of styles, and the company is now one of the top residential custom home contractors in the area. Hennard’s homes are based on quality above all else, and he takes pride in setting high-class standards for clients in central Arkansas and its surrounding areas. “I like the design aspect [the most] — the lines of the house, the aesthetics,” Hennard says. “Inside the layout, I like ceiling treatments from different versions/designs of coffered ceilings, to floating beams and even timber framing, specialty accent walls made from trim and, of course, cabinetry. That’s what I like to focus on.”
The attention to quality and superb details is apparent after reviewing Hennard’s work. The team recently collaborated with a Little Rock homeowner over a span of about 11 months to achieve the highest standard in both quality and beauty. The four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home complete with two offices is nestled atop a mountain and rests on five green acres of pristine land. The rugged exterior built with LP SmartSide exterior siding, Choctaw dark chopped stone plus brick to make up a quite impressive facade, perfectly meshes with its environment. The spacious backyard makes the outdoors come alive with the addition of an outdoor sitting area with fireplace, kitchen, pool and hot tub — perfect for entertaining year-round.
Visitors are immediately drawn to rustic features upon entering the knotty alder wood front door. Throughout the interior of the home, Hennard uses a plethora of these rustic details to add the perfect outdoorsy charm — from chopped stone to echo the exterior and dark stain trim to wide-plank wood floors with an antique character finish; a red, burnished paint glaze in the powder room and complete craftsman accents like the glass barn doors that open into the hearth room topped with a vaulted ceiling, creating a sort of “lodge” feel that surely makes those who enter the space feel as if they’re escaping into a new, serene adventure.
The kitchen provides a stark contrast to the common areas with a color palette that’s much brighter and a mix of modern. Clean-lined cabinetry is awash in Sherwin-Williams Alabaster and walls are Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa, while the electric blue island provides a pop of color in Sherwin-Williams Naval. A backsplash draws in more rustic details with a tumbled brick natural stone (in a brick pattern) with a herringbone inlay just above the cooktop. Even beyond the kitchen though, captivating details are at play. The dining room incorporates a dark brown, faux paint on the walls to mix with an eye-catching coffered ceiling. In the two home offices, Hennard uses shiplap, a kind of wooden board that’s often used for constructing sheds, barns and other rustic buildings. This unique touch really brings in the excellent craftsmanship and adds a nice farmhouse appeal.
The master bedroom uses the same Sherwin-Williams Naval blue to fill the walls with a contrast of Alabaster trim and dark wood accents. Inside the master bathroom, cultured stone in a Bucks County hue and a ledgestone cut provide an intrinsic appearance just above the free-standing tub. It’s these types of details Hennard loves to work with homeowners on to reach their final goal. Hennard says his own goal is “to create an amazing finished project for customers.” To achieve this, he says it’s important to choose a builder you feel comfortable with right away and that it’s also a good idea that who you work with has built homes similar to what you might want.
Hennard considers himself an “upper-end custom home builder.” As executive officer and a board member on the Home Builders Association of Greater Little Rock, Hennard is always up on the latest trends and homebuilding news. “I pride myself on giving the customer what they want with great subcontractors and vendors,” he says.
And what about the budget? He mentions “budget” is a relative term in a custom, or even semi-custom, home. “The customer is in control when finishes are concerned,” he says. “We get a ‘bottom line’ number that the customer wants to spend, and then we build the entire budget around that number. In other words, we allocate the most we can in allowances to coincide with the overall budget the customer sets.”
At the end of the day, Hennard Custom Homes wants to work with homeowners on a dream design plan custom to any homeowner’s needs — from mid-range to deluxe luxury. “If you can dream it, we can bring it to reality,” Hennard says.