By Linda Bowers-Miller
Natives of Clarendon, Jason and Leann Skinner lived in the city of Conway for three years before they began searching for a location to build their new home. Their desire for quiet, country living led them to the tiny community of Wooster, situated seven miles northeast of Conway. The Skinner's two story, 5400 sq. ft. painted brick and cut stone residence is positioned on twelve acres at the end of the cul-de-sac in Oak Harbor Subdivision.
Jason and Leann explained how two years of research and planning equipped them to design their dream home. While most couples find a construction project of this magnitude difficult and stressful, the Skinners consider it a project they undeniably loved. Leann insists, "There is absolutely nothing we would change." The original estimated completion time was 15-18 months; however; builder Luke Porter of Conway exceeded all their expectations by finishing the home in only ten and one-half months.
As the Skinner family moved into the home in March 2008, Jason and Leann wondered how children, Joshua, 11, and Bailey, 9, would adjust to country living. As it turns out, Joshua likes the extra room outdoors to run, play, and ride four wheelers, while Bailey has adapted much better than first expected. Bailey started riding four wheelers with Josh, something Leann thought she would never see happen. Bailey loves to have her friends around, so she invites them over frequently.
Inside the home, decorated entirely by the Skinners, you will notice a certain rustic but elegant charm. The spacious entryway is accented by an impressive design carved inside a circle etched beautifully in the stained concrete floor. From the entryway, a fantastic hardwood stairway leads to the upper level of the home. In the dining room, a chandelier highlights a dramatic textured ceiling with a faux crackle finish.
The entire first level of the home is flanked with acid etched stained concrete floors which gives a "stone like look" carrying the rustic elegance appeal throughout the home. Each room displays a distinct floor design fashioned by Creative Concrete Solutions of Conway. Leann's favorite floor design is the bold diamond pattern found in the main downstairs bathroom.
The theme of rustic elegance continues to flow into the kitchen where impressive antiqued cabinetry adorned by a hammered copper sink set the stage for another of Jason's talents as family chef. An antiqued walnut cabinet enhanced with a butcher block top creates a centrally located work island. Some of Jason's specialties include chili and etouffÃ©e prepared on the commercial size dual fuel range that includes a griddle and a grill.
The fully furnished game room includes a game table, a regulation size pool table, and a 52 inch LCD television with Blue Ray for video games and family movies. Bailey's favorite feature in the game room is the full size popcorn popper.
Upstairs, you'll find the most unique room in the house. Large, eye-catching pink, brown, and turquoise polka-dots embellish the ceiling cleverly designed by Jason. A sheer drape of pink nylon tulle cascades over Bailey's adorable turquoise trundle bed. The bed was built and painted by Jason who is also a furniture building enthusiast.
Down the hall, you'll find Josh's room decorated with black distressed trim, black furniture, and a very unique accent print of the United States in collage form made from pieces of license plates from each state. Josh's room boasts the best view in the house overlooking the pavilion, the pool, and the pond.
The outdoor pavilion, just off the patio and next to the in ground pool, is a family favorite. The pavilion houses a fully equipped kitchen including cypress cabinets topped with slate tile counter tops, a 51" gas grill, a BTU burner, refrigerator, sink, dining table, and a bar. When the weather is warm, Jason and Leann spend most of their time enjoying being outdoors in the open air pavilion listening to music. Leann prefers Jason's culinary expertise rather than going out to eat. His grilling specialties include steak and ribs.
The predominant focal point of the Skinner's elegant home is the obvious family oriented atmosphere. There is an overwhelming feeling of contentment in the home created by Jason and Leann's obvious devotion to Joshua, Bailey, and each other.
Jason, an Emergency Room Physician at Conway Regional Health System, is also active with the Boy Scouts. Leann, a Medical Technologist in the Clinical Laboratory at Conway Regional Health System, is an active member of the Junior Auxiliary. The Skinners spend several weekends annually traveling to National Pow Wows teaching Native American crafts and demonstrating Native American dance.
When asked what their favorite thing about the new house is, Jason and Leann unanimously stated, "The outdoor pavilion." When asked why the pavilion was their favorite, they commented, "The quietness."