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Hot Springs Life & Home magazine April 2010 : Page 34

The sunny foyer features an elegantly curved entryway, patterned tile floor, and opaque alabaster chandelier. Getting a KICKOut of Life The Maffit family opens their home and hearts to share the fun and fitness of soccer. By Denise Parkinson Photography by Todd Marchese M arian and Will Maffit moved into their spacious Red Oak Ridge “smart home” just last Fall, but already the bright and cheery place is a magnet for gatherings that include soccer teams, lots of teenagers, and a small menagerie of some of the friendliest pets in Garland County. Set atop a hill overlooking one of Red Oak’s lakes, the home towers over walled borders of exquisitely curved, tiered landscaping – the forsythia already budding in splashes of yel- low. “Marian and I worked on the design for a year,” says Will, “and we worked with Ralph Hughes [of Hughes Design and Construction] for three months before we broke ground.” Their goal of a green “smart home” with energy-saving features was beautifully achieved to include a geot- hermal heating and cooling system and special foam insulation that cuts an additional 10% off the cost savings of operating the geothermal system. Compact fluorescent and LED lighting; energy-saving windows; low-flow faucets and energy star appli- “We wanted a home we could grow old in.” ances all contribute to the Maffit’s proactive plan. They were also proactive about their future together, designing rooms, bathrooms, and the overall floor plan accordingly: “We wanted a home we could grow old in,” Will explains. But those days are a long way off, judging from how this active pair spends their time supporting the Hot Springs Soccer Association. On a recent blustery Saturday morning in early Spring, Marian was working the sign-up table, taking paperwork and handing out shoes and shin-guards to smiling kids and groggy parents. Will, along with several teenagers that have been in the program since kindergarten, was guiding the newest batch of soccer players (the co-ed 4-5 year old group) around the field. A bear of a man, Will is more like Gentle Ben, and the kids were happily running and kicking despite the chill. The soccer field, located behind Lake Catherine Family Footwear Outlet on Malvern Avenue, has enough room for several

Getting a Kick Out of Life

Getting a Kick Out of Life

Marian and Will Maffit moved into their spacious Red Oak Ridge “smart home” just last Fall, but already the bright and cheery place is a magnet for gatherings that include soccer teams, lots of teenagers, and a small menagerie of some of the friendliest pets in Garland County. Set atop a hill overlooking one of Red Oak’s lakes, the home towers over walled borders of exquisitely curved, tiered landscaping – the forsythia already budding in splashes of yellow.

“Marian and I worked on the design for a year,” says Will, “and we worked with Ralph Hughes [of Hughes Design and Construction] for three months before we broke ground.” Their goal of a green “smart home” with energy-saving features was beautifully achieved to include a geothermal heating and cooling system and special foam insulation that cuts an additional 10% off the cost savings of operating the geothermal system. Compact fluorescent and LED lighting; energy-saving windows; low-flow faucets and energy star appliances all contribute to the Maffit’s proactive plan. They were also proactive about their future together, designing rooms, bathrooms, and the overall floor plan accordingly: “We wanted a home we could grow old in,” Will explains.

But those days are a long way off, judging from how this active pair spends their time supporting the Hot Springs Soccer Association. On a recent blustery Saturday morning in early Spring, Marian was working the sign-up table, taking paperwork and handing out shoes and shin-guards to smiling kids and groggy parents. Will, along with several teenagers that have been in the program since kindergarten, was guiding the newest batch of soccer players (the co-ed 4-5 year old group) around the field. A bear of a man, Will is more like Gentle Ben, and the kids were happily running and kicking despite the chill.

The soccer field, located behind Lake Catherine Family Footwear Outlet on Malvern Avenue, has enough room for several teams at a time and used to be a softball field for employees. “Don Munro and the Munro family have been very generous,” Will says. “His grandchildren have all played with us.” Having served as president of the Arkansas State Soccer Association (I’m currently the President) and coached here in Hot Springs for 15 years, this spring Will is taking a break from coaching, serving as a referee mentor and helping out with other teams. Daughters Rebecca and Ashley were coached by their Dad – he offers a bit of advice on how to handle coaching one’s own children: “Get an assistant coach,” he says with a laugh, “Don’t talk to your own kids, and vice versa!”

Marian and Will host buffet-style postgame meals and get-togethers in their show-stopper of a kitchen that features twin islands of beautifully veined granite that make perfect station-and-serving areas. Double rows of amber pendant lights define the workspaces. Darkstained bamboo flooring (another green feature that is visually identical to wood flooring) features an inlay of intricately braided tile patterning. This is just one part of the attention to detail to be found here, as is the backsplash – polished granite makes a seamless surface from counter to ceiling. The open floor plan offers a view of the living room’s woodburning fireplace surrounded by a classic mantel and into floor-to-ceiling bookcases that echo that dark stain of the kitchen cabinetry. The outdoor kitchen with a view of forested ridgeline has all the bells and whistles, including slushie machines and a gazebo area. An outdoor fireplace, ringed in granite that resembles tumbled agate, is raised for safety’s sake – Will and Marian did not want to fret about kids stepping too close to the fire during cookouts.

The 6,000 square-foot brick home features 12-foot ceilings and wide trim and mouldings A chef's delight, the kitchen offers two granite-topped islands, Energy Star appliances, and furniture-style cabinetry. In fresh white contrast to sunny wall colors. A wine-red formal dining area features a chandelier of opaque alabaster, as does the foyer. Paintings purchased at annual Sweetheart Ball auctions add splashes of color throughout, and Marian’s fondness for mosaics can be found throughout the home. “We like to go to Mosaic Madness,” explains Marian of the crafting studio where she, her mother-in-law, and daughter team up for crafting mosaics to make pebbled mirrors and the like. A modern abstract sculpture of embracing forms was a gift from Will’s parents. Art glass and pottery adorn built-in shelves set into the walls of the great room and adjacent hallway, while two offices occupy space on either side of the foyer. “That ensures domestic tranquility,” Will quips.

The master bedroom’s built-in cabinetry lines a wall, while the view of the woods adds a tranquil air to a serene space. “We designed the master bath so that if necessary we can add a walk-in tub,” Will says. The roomy bath and shower room includes access to a large walk-in closet that is super-reinforced to double as a storm shelter. The Maffit’s furry canine friends – Ella, Daisy, and Sugar – have their own master bath so to speak: in a corner of the utility room is a convenient “dog sink” where showering off the pets often includes the family Siamese cat. “She just loves water,” explains Marian with a shrug.

This “smart home” has features designed by a company in Little Rock that specializes in total automation systems for the home. Will’s goal is to be able to operate every electronic portal, item, or security gadget in the entire house from one handy remote control. To demonstrate the power of such wizardry, he leads the way to the ultimate man-cave: the Theatre Room. The all-black room with recessed indigo lighting can seat more than a dozen, thanks to roomy leather love-seat style chairs that recline and actually rumble along with the bass from the surround sound audio. As Will activates the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and we sink into our seats in front of the 126-inch screen, I am suddenly flying over an arctic landscape with the feeling of turbulence emanating from the too-comfyto- escape-from chair. “The Blu-Ray discs are really amazing,” Will hollers over the symphonic soundtrack. “Marian noticed when we were watching “Top Gun” that you could see Tom Cruise sweating!”

Much too soon, we leave the theatre room to continue our exploration. One of the things that Will and Marian wanted was storage and they got it in spades with the 4- car garage area, a huge space with built-in shelving that accommodates all of their soccer team gear. “In the planning process we wanted the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC all located out of the house, in the garage,” Will explains, opening doors to various closets housing water heaters, hardware, and the high-tech automation system. As we circle back through the ground floor, we find the girls’ rooms on the opposite side of the house from the master bedroom (more built-in domestic tranquility). The girls’ rooms, connected by a “Jill-and-Jill” bath with pebbled shower floor and heated towel racks. “The floor heats as well,” says Marian, referring to the home’s geothermal system (actually it’s a separate electric system. But it’s OK to leave it this way if you want). Both daughter’s signature color palette adds personality to the spaces that also feature well-organized, roomy closets.

As we head upstairs to the home’s top level, the doggies must remain below. We are entering the teenage sanctuary, complete with leopard-print carpeting, a ping-pong table, and sectional furnishings that operate as instant sleep-over pallets, futons, and the like. This inner sanctum makes another great hideaway, so much so that, as Marian says, “Rebecca wishes we had built the house before she left for college!”

Clearly, it is all about family for the Maffits – and that is one of the reasons that these native Californians chose to move to Hot Springs when they began their life together. (We’ve been married 24 years; we actually we moved here 17 years ago to start Delta Plastics. I was one of the partners that started the business here) “Hot Springs is a much better place to raise children,” Will muses. “There’s a better quality of life. There’s always a set of eyes to keep watch in the community [over our children]. And, we have gotten to know so many great people through the soccer program here.”

Read the full article at http://online.hotspringslifeandhome.com/article/Getting+a+Kick+Out+of+Life/372767/36225/article.html.

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