By Nancy Peevy | Photos by Bob Coleman
Jeff and Julie Fackler
A forever home
When Jeff and Julie Fackler got an offer on their first Bentonville home, in the Heathrow subdivision, Julie’s immediate response was, “Sure, we can be out in two weeks!” They had built that home about 11 years before, when they moved to Bentonville with their two children. In 2014, when the offer came, they were empty nesters.
While thinking about where they wanted to move, the couple decided they would enjoy living near downtown Bentonville so they could walk to restaurants and events on the square. They found the perfect lot on A Street near downtown, and enlisted David Harris of Harris Construction to build a home that looked like it belonged in the established neighborhood.
The Facklers envisioned a smaller “forever” home, about 2,100 square feet, where they could comfortably entertain friends and family. The home also needed to serve them well after retirement, so they wanted it all on one level with no steps, everything flush to the ground.
Now that they’ve been in the house for a few years, their home is exactly what they’d hoped for. The floor-to-ceiling windows and doors in the living areas flood the home with natural light and bring the outdoors in. “We love being outside, and so I thought we’d bring as much light as we can inside,” Julie says.
The home surrounds the patio on three sides with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that fully open to the outdoor space from the living area, kitchen and main bedroom. When entertaining, this creates an openness where guests can be in any of the areas and “you still feel like everyone’s together.”
With entertaining in mind, the Facklers created an outdoor living space which is often the site of impromptu barbecues, long hours chatting with friends by the pool, or hang-out time for Jeff’s friends after a long bike ride. Julie, who loves to garden, can often be found tending the vegetables grown in big wooden box beds in the backyard. From functionality to charm, the CitiScapes staff knew it was also the perfect spot to host this year’s Thrill of the Grill event. See our grilling and outdoor living feature on page 64, for details on a fun summer celebration in the Facklers’ outdoor oasis.
For inspiration on a “classic, but not too trendy” style of the home, Julie referred to “House Beautiful,” “Traditional Homes” and “Southern Living” magazines. She prefers neutral colors, but enjoys pops of color here and there, such as the blue knobs in the kitchen that “add a bit of sass.” She also put wallpaper in the guest bedroom, small powder room and laundry. “I love wallpaper and I would wallpaper everything if my husband would let me,” she laughs.
Thoughtful about the art she hangs in her home, Julie asked friend and local artist Allison Hobbs to create two pieces for her home. “I think artwork warms your space,” Julie says. “I want to make sure that when you walk in, it feels warm, inviting and comfortable, and I think art shares that experience.”
Jeff retired from Walmart last March, and after spending so much time at home due to the pandemic, he and Julie were glad they’d created such a comfortable retreat. “The goal was to create a place where Jeff and I could relax, be zen and just enjoy time at the house together,” Julie says. “It’s comfortable. It feels like an old shoe now for us.”
Jeff’s cigar room is his go-to spot. “It’s my man cave,” he laughs. With a custom-built mahogany humidor, two leather chairs, a wine rack, television and mini fridge, Julie knows where he’ll be if she’s looking for him. She points out that the enclosed room has its own heat, air and filter system and is sealed off from the rest of the house.
In designing the home, the Facklers were very purposeful about downsizing and not wasting space. “There’s really no space that doesn’t get used on a daily basis, and that’s a big thing for us,” Julie says. The only real storage space in the house is a small area upstairs above the garage, and that is by design. “That’s genuinely my only storage. I couldn’t be happier. I want to get rid of things. Everything in the house we use. If it doesn’t fit in my storage space, we can’t keep it,” Julie says. “Before we lived in Bentonville, we moved every four years (with the military and with Walmart), and so we were able to weed out things every four years. We got used to getting rid of stuff.”
Jeff and Julie are glad they built their home near downtown. They love the community feel, their great neighbors, walking to restaurants and events or just enjoying their coffee while sitting on the big swing in the sunroom. Julie and their dog, Gracie, walk the Crystal Bridges trail every day.
“There’s never a lack of things to do. If you want to be bored, you can be, but you don’t have to be. There’s always something going on,” Julie says, adding they often ride their electric bicycles, or e-bikes, on the Razorback Greenway all the way to Fayetteville. “We e-bike to the square and grab some brunch in Fayetteville and then bike back. It’s a great time together.”
Whether it’s entertaining friends or enjoying life downtown, the Facklers couldn’t be happier with their “forever” home and its location.
HOME PROS USED
Appliances: Metro Appliances & More
Architect: Kevin Canada
Art: Allison Hobbs, Paul Edelstein
Contractor: David Harris Construction
Countertops: New Century Counter Tops
Electronics & Security: AV Design Consultants
Fabrics, Window Coverings & Upholstery: M Grace at Home
Fireplace: Hearth & Home
Kitchen Design: Kitchen Distributors
Landscape Design: DK Design
Lighting: Lighting Emporium
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Pool: Luther Stem Pools & Spas
Sunroom Swing Pillows: Cobblestone & Vine
Tile: Townzen Tile