A Home for Family and Business
Local builder creates award-winning home where his personal and professional lives can flourish
By Nancy Peevy
Photos by Beth Hall
As a homebuilder, Scott Johnson dreamed of building his own home one day.
Professionally, he wanted to build a home that he could live in — one that would give him an opportunity to experience the homebuilding process from a client perspective. He also wanted a place where he could show clients the quality and detail he builds into his homes.
Personally, he wanted a to build a home with indoor and outdoor spaces that he and his wife, Kara, could enjoy with their three boys: Campbell (6), Bennett (4) and Wells (18 months).
Scott grew up in Rogers and attended the University of Arkansas — where he met Kara at a Razorback football game. After they married, the couple worked in Bentonville but lived in Fayetteville to enjoy the restaurant and entertainment options there. Eventually growing tired of the commute, they rented a house in downtown Bentonville before buying a home in Cave Springs’ Hyde Park subdivision.
Eight years ago, Scott decided to leave the supplier industry and join his dad, Randy, as co-owner of Johnson Builders Group — a small, boutique, homebuilding company that Randy started 20 years ago. The pair now focus on larger homes, building fewer than 10 a year. “We don’t want to be a big company. It’s just us two,” Scott says. “We do what we can do well. We want to be on the jobsite and available for clients, so we make it a good experience for them.”
In 2018, Scott finally got the opportunity to build his own home in Bentonville’s Scissortail subdivision.
Johnson Builders Group was one of eight partners selected for building in Scissortail by developer Bob David, so the Johnsons were familiar with the area. They loved the location, wooded lots and amenities, which include a clubhouse and two pools, and Campbell’s elementary school was across the street. Perfect!
Scott also built many of his neighbors’ homes. He says, “It’s fun because we knew from the beginning that we would be neighbors. It’s a good way to get to know one another!”
At a little over an acre, the Johnsons’ lot has natural space on either side of the house and trees along the back of the property — which Kara loves.
The couple met with local architect David Schmidt to tailor a home floor plan for their needs. “Having an architect makes the plan easy. He effortlessly takes all the information you share with him, about how you live and what you want in a home, and somehow pulls it all together and delivers exactly what you asked for,” Scott says.
Marla Webb of Marla Webb Interiors helped the couple with their interior design choices. She assisted with furniture and fabric selections as well as features like paint color, stain and tile.
“We involved Marla early on, so she could execute our tastes. That’s something we like to do for our clients as well. She took it from the beginning of construction, to furnishing the home and window coverings,” Scott says. “We tried to create ‘special’ moments in the house, putting money where it counted to make an impact. For instance, there’s a lot of variance with door handles. You can get basically the same look and quality at a third of the price. Is that something people will notice as much as your wood floors, cabinetry details or beam work? Probably not.”
Since Scott is the professional, and his wife admires his work, Kara left many of the homebuilding decisions up to him. One decision, however, was important to her — she wanted an office where she could edit photos for her photography business.
The result is a quiet and tucked-away office space, adjacent to the boys’ playroom, where Kara can work while the boys play. And she loves it!
The Johnsons wanted the home to be both livable and durable, so Marla chose easy-to-clean furnishings. She also incorporated storage areas for toys, baskets by the door for shoes, and drawers for the boys’ dishes in the pantry.
The home is 5,346 square feet with an open floor plan and is decorated in a transitional, classic style with neutral bases and pops of color that give it a warm, cozy feeling.
“I like a classic style because we can enjoy it for a long time and never get tired of it,” Kara says.
Kara comes from a long line of women who love to garden, which is why she chose to work with Doug Chambers at Four Seasons Landscaping on their home’s outdoor spaces. She wanted to make sure the yard would be colorful at any time of year.
“Some people think of jewelry and chinaware as family heirlooms, but for me, it’s flowers. Some of the irises in our yard originally came from my great-grandmother. My grandma planted these irises in her yard, then decades later gave some to my mom before my mom gave some to me.” Now the irises are blooming outside her new home, along with peonies and hydrangeas.
The couple chose to keep the natural tree line behind their home. “I wanted it to feel like Crystal Bridges,” Kara recalls. “Real and natural, but with a pretty flower here and there.” She also had the landscaper add trees that turn red, orange and yellow in the fall.
The Johnsons enjoy spending time outside on their covered patio, savoring the sights and sounds of nature. The patio features a built-in grill, outdoor fireplace and TV.
Scott and Kara feel like they got their home just right for their family and their business. Evidently, others think so, too. The house won “Best Overall” in the Parade of Homes’ Million Dollar Plus category in 2018.
Home Vendor List
Designer: Marla Webb (Chris Hartley, design assistant)
Builder: Johnson Builders Group
Architect: David Schmidt
Interior Decorator: Marla Webb Interiors
Appliances: Metro Appliances & More
Bricks: Ryder Brick, Inc.
Cabinets: Verser’s Cabinet Shop
Flooring: M&M Tile & Carpet | Townzen Tile & Laminates Distributing
Décor/Furnishings: Bassett Home Furnishings
Landscaping/Lawn Care: Four Seasons Landscaping