Valari and Allen Bristol create home of tranquility

By Stefanie Brazile

This time last year, Valari and Allen Bristol broke ground on their “Be still and know” home in Van Buren County. Valari affectionately refers to their vacation home this way because it’s tranquil.

“We wanted something where we could get away and sit back and relax,” she said. “The home has a gorgeous view. It’s a little glimpse of God’s handiwork, and I call it my ‘Be still and know’ home based on my favorite verse from Psalm 46:10.”

Photos by Mike Kemp

The couple has lived in Greenbrier for many years, and Allen runs his business, Bristol Fabrication, Inc., from shops on the property. He is also a deacon at Bethlehem Baptist Church, and Valari is the treasurer. She is also a sales manager/mortgage loan officer for Bank of England Mortgage in the Conway Branch. They have two adult sons who live out of state.

The couple enjoys interacting with people during the workweek but decided they needed a place to escape on the weekends.

After months of searching, they found an acre on an overlook where they could see a mountain and three rivers. Construction started in March 2021 and was completed in November because of supply delays. A general contractor built the home, and Allen put his welding and fabrication skills to work to finish the trim, make a unique bed, and the legs/framework of a one-of-a-kind dining table.

A cottage-style, 1,400-square foot home, it has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The vaulted living room ceiling and tall windows allow them to enjoy the natural setting. “It’s a gorgeous view. As we talk, I’m watching an eagle fly by,” Valari said.

She enjoys looking beyond the cozy fireplace through the large windows. Allen trimmed out the fireplace in a shiplap style and made the mantle. “For me, it’s been really nice,” she said. “My husband hasn’t gotten to relax yet because he is still finishing some projects.” He will add decks and an outdoor space and has already created a custom fire pit.

The Bristol’s “Be still and know” home is decorated in a coastal style, with lots of Pure White and Repose Gray (Sherwin Williams’ colors). Valari added Chinese Porcelain Blue (PPG Paints) in the kitchen on the bottom cabinets. The floating shelves, range hood, and a sliding barn door are made of alder wood and stained mocha brown. The backsplash is tin ceiling panels that were powdered coated white by Allen. He also built the barn door.

“In my work as a mortgage loan officer, I’m looking at real estate a lot, and I’ve noticed that white appliances are coming back, so I used them in the home,” Valari said. She chose white quartz for the cabinet tops and decorated the home in a river theme, with coastal and grassy items and boat oars, all items symbolizing a relaxing retreat.

They hosted close family on Christmas Eve and friends on New Year’s Eve.

“We feel very blessed to have this home to share with our family and friends,” she said.

In the meantime, they plan to escape on the weekends and be still and know that God is all around them as they enjoy the beautiful scenery that He created in Van Buren County.