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LIVING SPACES

By Nancy Peevy | Photos by Chadwick Turner

Make Yourself at Home

This couple has created a relaxing, comfortable home to share with family and friends
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The family frequently entertains around the pool, hot tub and firepit. Alex grills a variety of meats and vegetables in the outdoor kitchen. Kandace prepares dips and sauces, and together, the pair creates a smorgasbord of delicious foods for their guests to munch on while seated at the bar, the table, or on the nearby couches and chairs.

 

“We have amazing parties where we will have 15 people standing around the bar area, talking, cutting up, listening to music and just having an amazing time,” Alex said. “The kids are running around, playing in the pool. We wanted to create some really good memories for not only our family, but for our friends and our kids’ friends.”

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Typical gatherings might include extended family, their church group, their daughter’s church group, baseball friends, neighbors, company parties for their two businesses and customers. Alex is a State Farm agent in Fayetteville and also owns a residential and commercial fencing company. Kandace is a pharmacist by training but now stays home, managing the kids’ schedules, helping with the parent/teacher organizations at the kids’ schools or working on Alex’s projects. She also volunteers and was Fayetteville Junior Civic League president this past year.

 

Alex wanted the house to sleep 20 people comfortably in order to easily host family and friends. He accomplished that with three bedrooms upstairs and two downstairs as well as what the family calls the “bunk room,” or the kids’ hang out area.

 

Previously, the family lived in east Fayetteville’s Barrington Parke Subdivision, but as their kids grew up, the family needed more room. They had friends in Waterford Estates and noticed a vacant lot at the end of a cul-de-sac that backed up to the White River. The Baldwins bought the two-acre lot in February 2018. Construction took 18 months, and they moved into their home in August 2020.

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In Alex and Kandace Baldwin’s sunroom, there is a prominently displayed sign that reads, “Make yourself at home.” That is their mantra for guests.

 

“Every time we have a new friend over,” Alex said, “I always ask them, ‘Hey do you know what our number one rule is?’ They look at me like I’m about to be mean. I say, ‘It’s to make yourself at home! We want you to feel welcome. If you want something out of the fridge, you’re welcome to go get it. If you want something to eat, make it. We want you to feel comfortable.’”

 

Creating a relaxing atmosphere for their guests and family was at the top of the list when designing their home. Alex came up with the floorplan with specific ideas in mind. For example, he wanted the bonus room downstairs so that their kids and their friends could have a place to hang out, but he and Kandace would still be able to interact with them.

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One of their favorite aspects of the house is the view from the back, which overlooks the Wyman Valley and the White River, Alex said.

 

The Baldwins like to entertain both inside and outside their home, so they built a sunroom on the back of the house with a separate heating and cooling unit so that the doors could be opened to the outside during nice weather. Alex designed the sunroom to have a speakeasy feel, with dark walls, a dark ceiling and exposed brick. A comfortable 8-foot couch, a chair and huge square ottomans add to the vibe.

The brick wall with the fireplace is a focal point in the room and evokes special memories with rocks and other items cemented into the brick. There are rocks from the Buffalo River and the White River, which the family often frequents; a rock from a hunting camp Alex enjoyed; petrified wood from his grandparents; and a brick from his aunt’s house in Brinkley, Arkansas, which was a special place for him. Canoe paddles made by his uncle lean against the fireplace. Those paddles have been on several canoeing trips to Canada.

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Home Pros Used: 

 

Architect: Mitch Church

 

Appliances: Metro Appliances & More

 

Builder/Contractor: L & L Builders

 

Cabinets: Twin Oaks Custom Cabinets

 

Décor/Furnishings: Lefler Teeter Design

 

Designers: Stacy Sheid Interiors; Lefler Teeter Design

 

Doors/Flooring/Windows: Encore Building Products

 

Electronics/Electrician/Wiring/Alarm System: Pittman Electric

 

Granite/Marble/Tile: Signature Interior Expressions; Signature Granite

 

Landscaping/Lawn Care: Parker Landscape & Design

 

Mirrors/Shower Doors: Miller Glass & Mirror

 

Plumbing/Fixtures: Ferguson; Steadfast, New Construction Plumbing

 

Pool/Pool Service: Megalodon Pools

 

Window Coverings: Lowe's

The Baldwins added lighted boxes on the wall to hold memorabilia. Hanging behind the bar area are many memories, including a custom watercolor painting of the first turkey the Baldwins’ son Bauer shot; a mounted duck Alex shot while hunting with his dad; photos of an annual backpacking trip Alex takes with his dad, brothers and Bauer; Kandace’s painting of a Razorback; and a poster of Ernest Hemingway and Fidel Castro that the couple found while on vacation in Cuba. On the side of the refrigerator, a collection of magnets attests to all the places the family has traveled.

 

While designing the house, Alex and Kandace looked ahead to the time when their kids are grown and married. “We want them to have extremely fond memories of their time at home and all the fun that we had, so they want to come back and spend time with us,” Alex said. “We want it to be big enough so that one day when they’re married with their own kids, we could sleep 20 comfortably. So, if they have a big family, they’re welcome to come.”

 

Whether looking to the future, building friendships now or creating memories for their kids, the Baldwins have created the perfect spot for all those they love to relax, be comfortable and make themselves at home.

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