Sitting down with Mark and Melissa “Missy” Clark is as inviting as the luxury home they designed.
Located in the prestigious double gates of Vintage Valley of Southern Highlands, 12 Chalk Hill Court is a personal depiction of the couple’s casual lifestyle.
Candidly, the couple shared their experience building their first home together, the challenges they faced during the pandemic, and why they chose to sell only months after completion.
“The reason we decided to do the home together is Missy has been around my building and designing things for 20 years, but she hasn’t been through the whole process,” Mark Clark said. “We had a lot of fun with it and we’re so in tune with each other’s thoughts and tastes.”
The couple spent six months searching for the right location to build. The double-gated security and site orientation drew them to the Vintage Valley lot, which they purchased in January 2020, just prior to the shutdown.
“We liked the proximity of the neighborhood and the security it afforded us,” Mark Clark said. “We also like to spend a lot of time outside and this lot is situated perfectly with northern exposure to have the afternoon shade.”
The home took about a year to design. Breaking ground in March 2021, construction finished up earlier this year.
Mark Clark, who has over 40 years of experience in Las Vegas building hotels and casinos, developed the floor plan based on their lifestyle. Currently, he is a senior development manager for Apple Inc., building stores all over the country.
“We really wanted a home that checked all our boxes,” Mark Clark said. “We thought this was going to be our retirement home. When we designed the home, we put together everything we wanted and put that into the plan.”
The couple took an unconventional approach by developing a cohesive, “no-regret” design based on a room-by-room bucket list of wants. The extensive list included seamless indoor/outdoor living, a warm, inviting open floor plan, two primary suites, chef’s kitchen and a garage worthy of Mark Clark’s car collection.
“The home is a collection of personal spaces designed to enhance how we live. We like to cook, entertain and enjoy the communal approach to family gatherings and get-togethers,” Mark Clark said. “Missy is a great cook, hence the killer kitchen.”
Missy’s “killer” kitchen features oversized dual waterfall porcelain islands. The front party island boasts a rich darker tone, Epic Pietra Gray, counter complementing a secondary lighter Epic Statuario prep island.
“The waterfall island porcelain is book-matched,” Missy Clark said. “All the different veining. That was important to me.”
The thoughtful design boasts custom wood cabinetry, integrated Thermador appliances, including a French door oven, built-in coffee station, and a pass-through window for easy access to the exterior cooking area.
“I wanted a space where we could all be together,” Missy Clark said. “I could still be at the prep island cooking and have conversations with my guests in the great room.”
The expansive outdoor barbecue island, under a large, covered patio is highlighted by striking green amazonite counters.
“I like to grill outside; it reminds me of camping,” Mark Clark said. “So, we have a great barbecue island with a griddle for my world-famous pancakes.”
The “show-off” garage” is Mark Clark’s favorite space in the home. The temperature-controlled, five-car man cave has room to expand to seven vehicles with the installation of a two-post car lift. Designed to showcase his car collection, Mark Clark created a front drive-through garage.
“I really like the drive-thru aspect,” Mark Clark said. “I’m a car guy. I have three old Broncos and a ’69 Camaro SS.”
Other highlights include the spacious main living area. Graced by oversized porcelain tile flooring, the inviting space features a great room with a stone fireplace, glass-enclosed wine cooler, formal dining and kitchen. The spacious interior seamlessly opens to the lush exterior.
“We put up this 24-foot sliding glass door,” Mark Clark said. “And you really feel like the outside comes in and the inside goes out. I think we nailed it.”
Mark Clark describes the home’s design as “Tuscan meets modern.” Fusing these iconic styles involved integrating natural stone finishes, rich woods, custom iron elements and a neutral color palette with hints of blues.
“We wanted it warm and inviting but we also wanted a little bit of color,” Missy Clark said. “And have a little fun because it is Vegas, so you have to have a little fun.”
The backlit ceiling soffits serve as a subtle architectural feature, enhancing the warm ambiance in each room.
“I even took the ceiling soffits and ran that outside,” Mark Clark said. “So when you walk outside it almost feels seamless. And we placed the clerestory windows above the sliding door so you can see the soffits.”
Building during the pandemic presented the same challenges as everyone was experiencing, such as shipping delays, product unavailability and pricing increases. Even with the challenges, the couple selected the home’s finishes quickly, selecting things within a week.
“It was easy and quick for us,” Mark Clark said. “We’re very decisive people. We knew what we wanted and found it with people we trusted.”
Needing to be flexible, Missy researched and selected alternate choices when material delivery stalled.
“Because of COVID, we had a lot of problems getting things in stock,” Missy Clark said. “That was frustrating because you find something you like and then you can’t get it for six to eight months, so we had to switch gears and find other things.”
Another challenge was the higher cost of building materials. The significant increase resulted in the couple spending more than expected.
“We certainly couldn’t envision building for such a high cost,” Mark Clark said. “We overran our budget by a good 35 to 40 percent.
“That was hard and frustrating because you have a budget,” he said. “You don’t have a choice. If you want to finish it and finish it right, then you pay what the pricing is.”
Through it all, the project was completed quicker than anticipated, leaving them with a hard decision.
“We are selling the home for a couple of different reasons,” Mark Clark said. “First, our son is still attending high school in Illinois, so we finished the house faster than we thought.
“Second, Missy’s folks are farmers, and they still need help,” He added. “We just decided the timing isn’t quite right, so we’ll do it again.”
The single-story, 5,086-square-foot property was listed for $5.2 million through Darin Marques of the Darin Marques Group of Huntington and Ellis. On the market for 33 days, the home closed on June 14, selling for $4.75 million.
“It sold in four weeks,” Marques said. “Which is significantly lower than the average for this price point.”