Built for a builder

Local builder and developer Keller Johnson gave us a glimpse of his own family’s Centennial Valley home, which he built in 2010. He resides there with wife, Christi, and their daughter, Kinleigh Grace. The couple also has two adult children, Kristen and Kerrick, and one grandson, Jaxson.

Their backyard is a proverbial oasis. The Johnsons worked with Jeremy at Luxury Pool and Spa of Conway to implement the pool and fountains. One fountain cascades into the pool and includes a fire pit on top, which Christi uses as a planter. The kidney-shaped pool is saltwater and has a sun bench at the end. “We chose this pool because it added character and mood and was more of a lounging and relaxing pool. Jeremy did such a great job, and they worked well with Cabe at Conway Sprinkler as well,” says Christi.

Conway Sprinkler & Landscape is responsible for the amazing landscaping, rock work, and sprinkler system. They also rotate the seasonal landscaping and potted plants. “They put so much time and effort into the design to make it an extension of the home,” says Christi. “We tried to balance the colors and textures to give an overall appearance and look that flows well with the design of the pool and the house. Adding things like stepping stones instead of concrete walkways offers a different feel, while saving money,” states Cabe with Conway Sprinkler. “We do the maintenance, keeping it pruned, mulched and mowed, which can also help the landscaping last longer. We also put in all trees on the property and did the irrigation and sprinklers.”

They worked in conjunction with the Johnsons to customize the job to their needs, saying every landscape is different, and each project is unique to the owner’s tastes.

The pool area flows right into the covered patio/seating area, which Christi calls their “happy place.” “We love the beach and would go every week if we could, so we wanted the patio to be reminiscent of the beach. The space is great for conversation or for relaxing, and it gives us a little privacy since we are on the golf course,” explains Christi. The Johnsons’ inspiration for their patio was a tiki hut. “That’s why we went with the natural wood ceilings and accents and cedar beams. It reminded us of places on the beach, but it was also rustic enough to fit in with the house.”

The patio opens to both the living area and the couple’s master bedroom, which includes a travertine walkway leading down the hallway to a half bath, thus providing guests with easy access. “We debated a pool house but didn’t want to take up green space in the yard. It would have also blocked the pool in the afternoons,” explains Christi. The kitchen also looks out onto their backyard paradise and features a cabinet showcasing Kellers’ love for hot sauce in the form of a 200-bottle collection dating back to 1994. “He has always had a love for cooking, and each one has a story, from the ones his dad bought him when he traveled before he passed away in 2000 to friends sharing the enjoyment in finding fun sauces,” she says.

The interior décor was mostly purchased at Hambuchen Home Furnishings and Cajun Bros. Furniture, both of Conway. The foyer is a wooden masterpiece, which took seven weeks to build. “They really put thought into the arches and made the space warm but not too dark,” says Christi. There is a family sitting area to the left that houses heirlooms, memorabilia, and photos. The Johnsons were able to incorporate some of these ideas used for their own home when developing their most recent business undertaking in the form of a new West Conway subdivision.

Keller Johnson Builders, Inc., got their contractor’s license in 2003 and began building residential properties with a goal of moving into development. “We had tenants in a property on Hogan Road who needed to move somewhere with more space. I bought the building at the corner of Prince and College and moved my tenants there. Every week I would see the road cut in at the property there, and I always saw potential,” explains Keller. After purchasing the commercial property, Keller began work on acquiring the 15 acres behind it, which is where he is developing the new subdivision, Princeton Village.

“Our goal for the development is creating a community with a village-feel. There will be around 30 cottage-style homes, all with garages in the back. The roads are already in place, and we are going to put in trees, sidewalks, and streetlights,” he says. “We would like to put a daycare center, a drycleaner, and a place to eat in the front area as well.” The development will offer nine floor plans to choose from. Keller Johnson Builders, Inc. will build the homes, which will be marketed by Matt Grissom of Grissom and Company.

The homes will range from 1,800-2,200 square feet, with customizable interior spaces, and building is planned to begin in the next eight weeks. Princeton Village is Keller Johnson Builders, Inc.’s first subdivision, and they could not be more excited about the undertaking. “We’ve had our commercial license since 1996, which is the year we built our first building.

Now I am working on this development, and my son, Kerrick is working with me as well,” explains Keller of this exciting time. “Our own home is our happy place in the sense that we ensured we could enjoy the view whether inside or outside,” says Christi. The Johnsons are bringing that same sensibility to Princeton Village.

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