Kentucky Homes and Gardens January/February 2024

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On the Cover: Scandinavian Elegance Meets Kentucky Charm pgs. 32-39 Photo by Walt Roycraft


January/February 2024 Volume 21 Issue 1

Home Improvement 18 Homescapes: Securing Your Home in the Digital Age

Special Features 13 Gardens: Shady Suburban Sanctuary


20 Feature: Gourmet Kitchens 28 Artist: Don Ament

Homes 32 Scandinavian Elegance Meets Kentucky Charm 40 Majestic Bluegrass 13



50 Somerset’s Crown Jewel

Go Kentucky! 16 Cooking in Kentucky: BOUQUET of Covington 63 Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Berea

6 Kentucky Homes & Gardens January/February 2024

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January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens




Published by RHP Publishing, LLC PO Box 22754 Lexington, KY 40522 859.268.0217 Publisher: Rick Phillips Associate Publisher: Carolyn Rasnick Circulation and Distribution: Account Executives: Rick Phillips 859-797-3705 • Terri Carpenter 859-806-6123 • Aaron Peoples 859-229-8216 • Editors: Rick Phillips, Carolyn Rasnick Senior Associate Editor: Kirsten E. Silven Photography: Walt Roycraft Contributing Writers: Ray Hunter Kirsten E. Silven Art Direction & Design: Meghann Burnett Printing: Freeport Press 2127 Resier Ave. SE New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663 Kentucky Homes and Gardens is published six times a year by RHP Publishing, LLC. 859.268.0217 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.


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January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


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January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


12 Kentucky Homes & Gardens January/February 2024

1 This vibrant amaryllis was moved from its former home in a pot to a raised garden bed in spring, and obviously loves its new home!


Shady Suburban Sanctuary S

By Kirsten E. Silven Photography by Walt Roycraft

ituated on a small suburban lot in Lexington’s Southland neighborhood, this enchanting garden offers a delightful array of surprises despite its modest size, including a whimsical cedar gardening shed surrounded by a heated birdbath, a popular hummingbird feeder and variety of pollinator-friendly plantings, as well as a shaded raised patio and a magical water feature. Seeing it now, it’s hard to imagine that the lush, mature plantings visible today are a far cry from the virtually barren lot that owner Ric McGee started with back in 1980. “There was really no landscaping to speak of,” she said. “I leave an expanse of lawn open so our dogs still have room to roam, then layer plantings to create a sense of depth around the perimeter, providing color, texture and screening for the fence.” Growing up in Miami, Florida, McGee was accustomed to working with tropical plants, so it was truly a fascinating learning experience when she suddenly found herself gardening in Lexington’s Zone 6B. “I started with just a vegetable garden, but eventually expanded to other plantings in the quest to create a more picturesque look and feel,” she shared. “Our yard is in the shadow of a neighbor’s 50-foot pin oak, so shade loving plants do best here.” Today, tucked into a back corner of the yard, a charming rustic cedar gardening shed is Ric’s favorite thing about the garden. Adorned with window boxes that are abundant with creeping Jenny, the shed was a gift from her son and daughter-in-law, and panels on top allow the sun to

warm up the interior, making it the perfect cold storage spot for certain plants to spend the winter months. The area around the shed is also home to a wide variety of plantings, including pollinator-friendly coneflowers and a small chaste tree, along with hydrangeas, ferns, azaleas and a nandina, while a white Kousa dogwood provides some shade in the summer for a raised patio situated nearby. “We love watching the hummingbirds close up at the feeder near the shed,” shared Ric. “I also find great comfort watching the critters in and around our diminutive pond just outside the sunroom.” The garden was featured on the Lexington Council Garden Club’s Open Gates to Bluegrass Living Garden Tour, which highlights some of the area’s most inspired exterior spaces and also serves as a fundraiser, providing support for a wide variety of educational opportunities, community outreach and beautification efforts throughout the city. For more info, visit


Garden Credits: Plants Two Brothers Garden Center January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


2 2 The charming cedar shed—a gift from garden owner Ric McGee’s son and daughter-in-law—is situated in the back corner of the yard, and also happens to be her favorite addition to this beloved outdoor oasis. Window boxes hold creeping Jenny, while the bird bath is plastic, making it easy to clean daily and heated, so water is available all winter. The area also supports coneflowers and a small chaste tree—both pollinator favorites—along with hydrangeas, ferns, azaleas and a nandina, while a white Kousa dogwood provides shade in summer for the raised patio that is just visible to the left in this view.

3 An aged artificial heron keeps the real great blues from finding a meal at the ornamental fish pond, surrounded here by hostas and Solomon seal, while mountain firetail fleece flower blooms near the corner of the fence.

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4 A section of the shade garden and raised bed, featuring woodland poppy, epimedium, pulmonaria and brunnera. Garden phlox and black eyed Susans are also visible in the foreground, overshadowed by a massive elephant ear, while oakleaf hydrangea and a screen covered with sweet autumn clematis are just visible in the background. 5 Clematis covers the east side of the garage, lending texture and visual interest even after the main blooms have gone. 6 Nestled just below the sunroom for maximum visibility, the fish pond is home to one baby koi, sixteen goldfish and, last year, a frog named Fiona. 7 A climbing hydrangea grows on the west side of the garage along the home’s main entrance, above several varieties of hosta, while liriope, ferns and several hellebores surround a Natchez crepe myrtle.

8 8 Looking across the expanse of green lawn toward the west end of the garden, plantings include a Japanese maple, hydrangea, nine bark, Boomerang lilac and barberry, while Joe Pye weed is just visible behind a secluded bench. A Hemingway euonymus covers the section of fence nearest the raised beds, while the tree to the right in the foreground is a Sunset maple surrounded by ajuga.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens






1 Featuring a rotating variety of cheeses, cured or smoked meats, seasonal jam, salmon mousse, gourmet mustard and a mouthwatering array of pickled accoutrements, the Motherboard at Bouquet is a truly delightful charcuterie experience. 2 Featuring layers of luscious mousse, peach jelly, speculaas spiced sponge cake and a tempting chocolate-apricotcookie crunch, the chocolate hazelnut mousse at Bouquet unveils a new dimension of taste and texture with every bite; a testament to the artistry of Chef Stephen Williams. To further elevate the experience, this exquisite dessert is paired with refreshing peach sorbet.

3 A succulent Eggleston Farm chicken breast is paired here with radish spigariello, garlic-lime crema and mango pico de gallo. 4 Gluten-Free focaccia is paired with an ever-changing selection of spreads. Currently featuring garlic oil, baba ganoush, and a vegan boursin cheese, these delectable combinations highlight the restaurant’s commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients. 5 At Bouquet, duck is almost always on the menu, dressed with whatever fresh veggies happen to be available. Currently, the Maple Leaf Farms duck is being prepared with mushrooms, sweet potato sage rouille, blistered shishitos, cauliflower, beluga lentils, fall walnut chutney and an orange cider reduction.

Enjoy a Symphony of Flavors at


of Covington


By Kirsten E. Silven Photography Courtesy of BOUQUET of Covington

ouquet Restaurant in the heart of Covington, Kentucky, is a celebrated dining destination known for innovative cuisine and a deep commitment to farm-to-table principles. Opened in 2007 by Chef Stephen Williams, Bouquet has established itself as one of the first restaurants in the area to prioritize local and sustainable farming. This commitment is evident in the ever-evolving menu, which showcases the freshest ingredients sourced from dozens of local farmers and purveyors. “Bouquet has always been known as a locally sourced and farm-to-table restaurant,” shared proprietor and director of operations, Chef Stephen Williams. “We source from approximately 60 different farms and artisan producers, including our own farm in Williamstown, Kentucky, called Holland Farms. There, we have 12 greenhouses growing everything from herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers, to peppers, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and flowers. We’re planning on expanding the produce side to include an orchard of apples, pears and many other fruit-bearing trees. We also have 600 head of cattle, 300 pigs and chickens on the farm.”

The restaurant offers a diverse array of culinary delights, ranging from charcuterie and small plates to hearty entrees and delectable desserts. Customers can expect a menu that changes with the seasons, reflecting the availability of local produce. In addition to its food, Bouquet is recognized for its extensive bourbon collection, further enhancing the dining experience. “Bouquet has also become very well known for how we handle guests with dietary restrictions and allergies,” shared general manager and event coordinator Lauren Strasser. “The majority of our menu is gluten free, including some breads and desserts. We’ve also become known throughout the greater Cincinnati vegan community as a place where folks following a vegan diet can have a really nice upscale dining experience. Guests know that whatever dietary restriction they have, they are safe and welcome.”

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The menu at Bouquet is constantly changing, especially at the height of the harvest season. “It’s common to have farmers show up at our back door with a bunch of new produce one day, then incorporate those new products into the menu the following day,” Williams said. “We’ve got a few staple proteins that are very popular on the menu, and since everything is made from scratch, its easy for us to omit ingredients, and almost the entire menu can be made gluten free, vegetarian or vegan.” The atmosphere at Bouquet is relaxed yet upscale, making it a fitting choice for both casual dining and special occasions. The restaurant is known for its thoughtful preparation and presentation of dishes, and patrons can expect consistent quality of food and service, creating memorable dining experiences for occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. The location— in Covington’s charming Mainstrasse historic district—also adds to the appeal, offering an idyllic setting for an evening out on the town. “Our in-house sommelier always has an incredible rotation of wines, and our bar team has a blast coming up with fun new beverages,” Strasser added. There’s no doubt that Bouquet restaurant stands out as a culinary gem in Covington, offering a unique blend of locally-sourced ingredients, innovative dishes, and a commitment to sustainability. This, along with its varied menu, extensive bourbon collection and exceptional service make Bouquet a must-visit Northern Kentucky culinary destination for foodies. For more information or to experience the menu and ambiance at Bouquet firsthand, visit or call 859-491-7777.

Thistled Manhattan INGREDIENTS: • 2 oz Angels Envy Rye • 1 oz Cardamaro • 3 dases Angostura bitters PREPARATION: 1. Combine ingredents. 2. Pour over ice and stir. 3. Strain into chilled coupe or martini glass. 4. Garnish with Luxardo cherry. 6 The Thistled Manhattan offers a modern twist on a celebrated classic, featuring Angel’s Envy Rye, Cardamaro and Angosgtura bitters, finished with a Luxardo cherry garnish.



6 4




7 The Blackhawk Farms strip steak is prepared with radishes from Dark Wood Farm, lion’s mane from Guided by Mushrooms near Dayton, Ohio, pickled red onion, turnip, and horseradish cream sauce.

8 Fresh Scandinavian halibut is paired here with potato medallions in a chicken white wine stock, with butternut squash, pickled rainbow chard, caper puree and radish micro greens.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


HOMESCAPES Securing Your Home in the Digital Age By Ray Hunter


n the realm of home security, advancements in technology have significantly transformed how we protect our homes. To understand these developments better, I sought insights from Dan Moore, owner and president of Bluegrass Home Entertainment in Lexington since 1995. Moore’s extensive experience in the industry offers a valuable perspective on the latest trends and technologies shaping home security. One of the most noticeable trends is the integration of conventional home security cameras with mobile applications. “These systems provide video and audio surveillance and feature apps that notify homeowners when someone approaches their property,” Moore said. “This real-time alert system enhances security by allowing homeowners to monitor their property remotely.” Companies like Ring and Nest are at the forefront of this technology. Their systems allow users to view their property in real-time and communicate through the system. “For instance, if a delivery person arrives while you’re away, you can speak to them through the camera’s audio system,” Moore said. “This feature adds an interactive layer to home security, making it more efficient and user-friendly.” Another significant advancement is the integration of home security systems with smart home technologies like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. This integration allows for a seamless control experience, enabling users to manage their security systems using voice commands or through a centralized app. It simplifies the process of monitoring and controlling various aspects of home security, from cameras to sensors and alarms, all within a unified ecosystem. The introduction of cameras equipped with advanced sensors has been a game-changer. These cameras can detect elevated temperatures, moisture levels, and hazardous particles, providing an additional layer of safety beyond intrusion detection. “For example, a camera might alert you to a potential fire hazard or water leakage, helping to prevent disasters before they escalate,” Moore said. The choice between monitored and unmonitored security systems is another aspect to consider.

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“Monitored systems are overseen by a professional security company, which can respond to alerts and contact emergency services if necessary,” Moore said. “Unmonitored systems, on the other hand, rely solely on the homeowner for monitoring and response.” While monitored systems offer greater peace of mind, unmonitored systems have become more viable thanks to technological advancements allowing real-time alerts and remote access. A novel addition to the array of security features is the inclusion of shock absorption sensors in cameras. These sensors can detect vibrations or impacts, alerting homeowners to potential break-ins or disturbances. This technology enhances the ability to preemptively respond to security breaches, adding an extra layer of protection. A notable benefit of a robust home security system is its potential to reduce home insurance costs. Insurance companies often offer discounts to homeowners with advanced security systems, recognizing the reduced risk of theft and damage. “Therefore, investing in a sound security system can be financially beneficial in the long run,” Moore said. The landscape of home security is continuously evolving, driven by technological innovations that offer enhanced protection and convenience. From smart home integration to advanced sensory technologies, these developments improve security and add value to our daily lives. As Moore emphasizes, staying abreast of these advancements is crucial for homeowners looking to safeguard their properties effectively in today’s dynamic world. You can delve deeper into the latest home security trends and technological advancements by visiting the Bluegrass Home Entertainment website at This comprehensive resource, curated by industry expert Dan Moore and his team, offers information on the newest trends in home security systems, including detailed insights into products and services that integrate cutting-edge technology for enhanced safety and convenience. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual keen on the latest gadgets or a homeowner looking to upgrade your security infrastructure, the Bluegrass Home Entertainment website is an invaluable guide to making informed decisions in an ever-evolving technological landscape.

1 The modern era of home security is characterized by the remarkable convenience of controlling security cameras through a mobile app, a feature that has revolutionized how we protect our homes. This integration of technology offers unparalleled ease and comfort for homeowners. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can effortlessly access live feeds, review recorded footage, receive real-time alerts, and even communicate through your cameras’ audio systems. Whether at work, on vacation, or simply in another part of your home, this capability ensures you’re always connected to your home’s security. This level of control enhances safety and provides peace of mind, knowing that you can monitor and respond to any situation at your home, no matter where you are.



2 Integrating cameras equipped with sophisticated sensors for detecting heat, moisture, and hazardous materials represents a significant technological leap. These multi-functional cameras go beyond traditional surveillance, offering an advanced layer of protection. Heat sensors within these cameras can alert homeowners to unusual temperature fluctuations, potentially signaling a fire hazard. Moisture sensors play a crucial role in the early detection of water leaks or flooding, helping to prevent property damage. Additionally, the ability to detect hazardous materials like smoke or unusual chemical emissions can be life-saving, providing early warnings of conditions that might otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late. This comprehensive approach to security not only guards against intrusions but also monitors environmental conditions, ensuring a safer and more secure home environment. 3 Integrating smart home technology with home security systems has brought about a paradigm shift in how we manage and control our home environments. This convergence allows for centralizing various home functions, including security, into one easily accessible platform. The primary benefit of this integration is the convenience of having complete control of your home’s security at your fingertips, whether through a smartphone app or voice-activated devices like Alexa, Google Home, or Siri. You can arm or disarm your security system, view live camera feeds, control smart locks, and receive immediate alerts about any unusual activity, all from a single interface. This unified control system streamlines the management of your home’s security and enhances the efficiency of responding to potential threats or emergencies. Smart home integration ensures that your home security is adaptable, responsive, and seamlessly woven into the fabric of your daily life, offering both peace of mind and a heightened sense of safety.


January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


1 A study in contrasts, this kitchen serves as a testament to the harmonious blend of modern design sensibilities and classic elegance. The rich, dark cabinetry, characterized by clean lines and a bold profile, anchors the space with a sense of gravitas, while the stainless-steel appliances inject a touch of modern functionality. Above, conical brass pendants hang like jewels, offering a warm, ambient glow that highlights the polished granite countertops. A trio of plush, upholstered bar stools invite casual conversation and culinary spectating, making the central island not only a focal point for meal preparation but also a hub of social interaction. The subtle interplay of textures—from smooth metal to soft upholstery and a rugged stone backsplash—creates a layered visual feast. Photo courtesy of ArchiExpo.

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Gourmet Dreams A New Era of Luxury Kitchen Design By Kirsten E. Silven

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


2 2 Where functionality meets artful living, this elegant kitchen strikes a perfect balance between modern function and timeless charm, featuring pristine white cabinetry complemented by dark wood tones. The space is anchored by a large, multifaceted marble island that doubles as a casual dining spot and prep area. Exposed wooden beams add a rustic touch to the high ceilings, harmonizing with the intricate wrought iron chandelier that casts a warm glow over the room. Stainless steel appliances are nestled among the cabinetry, providing a top notch cooking experience, while the arched doorway invites open-concept living, yet maintains a cozy atmosphere. Photo courtesy of Hillsborough Architecture & Design.


n the heart of every home lies the kitchen, a place where families gather, memories are made, and culinary dreams come to life. Today, the luxury residential kitchen has transcended mere functionality to become a statement of personal style, sophistication and technological innovation.

Characterized by impeccable design and attention to detail, incorporating high-end materials like granite, marble, and exotic woods, high-end kitchens are imbued with a sense of grandeur and timelessness. Color palettes often feature grey, neutral and earth tones, but bold and unique color schemes are also emerging as a trend among homeowners looking to make a statement. “We are seeing a move toward clean, straight lines in kitchen design, incorporating shaker and slab-style cabinet doors,” shared Jack Logsdon of Whitis Cabinets in Somerset. “Painted cabinetry is still popular, but accents featuring warm wood tones are also showing up on places like islands and range hoods, while shades of green, blue and black have been coming on strong as well.” Logsdon said he foresees designers continuing to incorporate more of this stained wood look in kitchens in the coming years, due in part to a growing larger trend of bringing the outdoors in. Perhaps because most of us spend so much time inside, it seems to be some type of subconscious reaction or innate impulse for us to incorporate natural elements in our day to day surroundings.

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“Regarding cabinet organization, tech drawers have also become quite popular,” Logsdon added. “We incorporate charging stations inside drawers, so cell phones, tablets and other electronics can stay hidden to keep a clean, uncluttered appearance in the kitchen.” In fact, technology plays a pivotal role in many aspects of the kitchen these days. State-of-the-art appliances from leading brands are the norm, offering features like smart refrigerators that can keep track of groceries, or ovens that can be controlled remotely. Innovative lighting systems not only enhance the functionality of the space but also contribute to the overall ambiance. “Incorporating intentional layers of ambient, task and accent lighting is key to achieving a well-rounded lighting plan for the kitchen, both aesthetically and functionally,” shared Emily Lopez, Lighting Consultant at Brecher’s Lighting. “LED lighting technology has come a long way in recent years, making it easier than ever to integrate purposeful lighting throughout the space and illuminate focal points.” For example, LED tape lights make it possible to evenly light up glass cabinetry without difficulty, while LED canvas light sheets can be used to backlight a granite countertop and/or backsplash, which can really bring its colors and marbling to life. “Pendants—which are available in a wide array of styles—can provide both task and accent lighting, lending an artistic flair and focal point to any kitchen,” Lopez added.

3 3 Exuding a blend of modernity and warmth, the central island here is topped with a polished white marble countertop, framed by a bold, wooden overhang that adds a natural touch to the kitchen, juxtaposed with the cool feel of stainless-steel appliances. Elegant, plum-colored bar stools line two sides of the island, offering a pop of rich color and a spacious dining or conversation area, while the sculptural chandelier casts an intricate shadow and acts as a centerpiece that ties the room together. Natural light illuminates the clean, white cabinetry and highlights the subtle texture of the backsplash, while dark gray floor tiles provide a grounded sense of contrast. Photo courtesy of Kulzine Home.

“Depending on the size of the island, we sometimes decide to go with two larger pendants instead of three smaller fixtures, which can provide a cleaner, more intentional look and feel. This can also leave room for a decorative range hood to take center stage, creating a beautiful sense of symmetry in the kitchen.” One of the hallmarks of any next-level kitchen is incorporating a high level of customization. Bespoke designs cater to the specific needs and tastes of the homeowner, which could mean anything from custom cabinetry that fits perfectly into the space, or a unique kitchen island that serves as a centerpiece. Personalization also extends to smaller details, such as custom handles and knobs, which add a unique touch to the space. “Regarding trends, an expanded focus will be placed on kitchen islands, which can provide everything from a gathering place and storage, to a cooking, prepping and entertaining space,” shared Gayle Cornett, owner of Gayle Cornett Interiors. “Also, more than half of my clients prefer an eat-in kitchen area over a formal dining room!” Today’s homeowners are looking for spaces that reflect their personal tastes and cater to their specific culinary habits. Whether it’s a built-in espresso bar for the coffee connoisseur or a spacious, multi-functional island for the avid entertainer, the emphasis is on creating a kitchen that is uniquely theirs.

“Of course, white will always be timeless, but right now I prefer Sherwin Williams “Greek Villa,” which presents a warmer, softer feel.” There is also a resurgence of some classic design elements, but with a modern twist. Timeless materials like marble and brass are being reimagined in contemporary ways, blending the elegance of the past with the energy of the present. “Kitchens are also becoming whisper quiet, so I prefer to eliminate noisy appliances and banging cabinet doors, making the kitchen spaces suitable for everything from entertaining and eating, to work and learning,” Cornett revealed. “I think the pandemic brought tremendous awareness to how we use all of our spaces—and especially the kitchen!” The future of luxury kitchen design is all about creating spaces that are as beautiful as they are functional, as personalized as they are universal, and as environmentally conscious as they are technologically advanced. In this new era, the kitchen is not just a place to cook and dine; it’s a sanctuary of comfort, a hub of innovation, and a reflection of the personal style of those who call it home.

“In 2024, cabinetry will be full of warm undertones in shades of taupe, dark rich stains, natural warm hues, timeless black, deep blues and greens— think of bringing the outdoors inside,” Cornett said. January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


4 4 This next-level kitchen embodies modern luxury with bold geometric lines and a sophisticated color palette. At the heart of the space is a sleek island, finished in matte gray with gold inlay that complements the lustrous cabinetry. A dramatic marble backsplash in black with white and gold veins creates a stunning focal point, contrasting with warm undertones in the herringbone wood flooring. A minimalist approach to seating with industrial-style bar stools adds an edgy contrast to the opulence of the gold accents, while a trio of pendant lights with exposed filaments above the island offers a nod to vintage chic. Photo courtesy of StylePark.

5 5 This kitchen embodies the soul of modern elegance, seamlessly blending sleek functionality with the serenity of natural surroundings. Expansive floorto-ceiling windows invite an abundance of natural light and offer unobstructed views of the lush forest, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. The minimalist design is accentuated by the dark hues of the cabinetry and fixtures, providing a striking contrast to the verdant backdrop. Every element, from the sophisticated matte countertops to the sleek, cutting-edge appliances, has been carefully curated to create a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and supremely practical. Photo courtesy of Arrital Designs.

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6 6 Blending classic charm with current sensibilities, this stunning kitchen boasts custom antique white cabinetry with intricate millwork and luxurious marble countertops. The ornate island doubles as a focal point and practical workspace, while the eye is naturally drawn upward to the impressive arched ceiling and brickwork backsplash along the expansive range wall. Industrial chic pendant lights cast a soft glow over the kitchen, while warm, wood-look tile floors complete the look. Photo courtesy of Modani.

7 7 Boasting a harmonious blend of functionality and style, the centerpiece of this contemporary kitchen is an island with a rich walnut veneer, bringing a sense of warmth to the space, which is complemented by the cool, sleek tones of the surrounding cabinetry and appliances. The island also serves as a dual casual dining area and workspace, equipped with a built-in cooktop that allows for social cooking experiences. Black leather bar stools add a touch of sophistication and comfort, while the high-gloss finish of the perimeter cabinets reflects light, enhancing the kitchen’s spacious feel. A subtle artistic touch is added by the large-scale monochromatic wall portrait, which provides an intriguing visual focal point. Photo courtesy of IVK Europe.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens



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10 8 This stunning, open-concept kitchen beautifully blends modern design and rustic charm, with high ceilings and natural wood beams to create an airy, inviting atmosphere, while the sleek black cabinetry adds a touch of contemporary sophistication. An expansive kitchen island with a polished black countertop offers ample space for cooking and socializing, illuminated by stylish, oversized metallic pendant lights. Just beyond the island, the space seamlessly transitions into a cozy living area, where natural light floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows, offering views of a serene outdoor landscape. A double-sided glass fireplace acts as a unique room divider in the foreground, while a built-in wine refrigerator and meticulously arranged open shelving display a keen attention to form and function. Photo courtesy of E&K Vintage Reclaimed Wood.

9 Spacious and meticulously designed, this kitchen is the epitome of modern elegance fused with classic design elements. The expansive central island is topped with a seamless slab of marble, while dark wood finishes on the island base and surrounding cabinets provide a rich contrast to the light grey cabinetry, creating an inviting warmth that permeates the space. State-of-the-art stainless-steel appliances promise culinary adventures, while the subtle gleam of a marble backsplash adds another level of sophistication. Overhead, pendant lights encased in industrial frames dangle with purpose, offering a modern twist to the otherwise traditional ambiance. Photo courtesy of Pedini.

10 Sleek design blends seamlessly with a cozy ambiance in this showstopping kitchen, which is a contemporary design masterpiece that achieves a striking balance of tones and textures. An expansive marble island features a waterfall edge, topped by striking gold pendant lights, while the herringbone-patterned wood-look tile floor adds a classic feel, juxtaposed with the clean lines of custom cabinetry. To the right, a walk-in pantry with glass doors showcases impeccable organization that any home chef would envy. Photo courtesy of Elite Kitchen & Bath.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


1 In the waning days of late summer, Ament captured a striking image in Hisle Park that vividly illustrates the beauty of coexistence in nature. The subject is a wild Passionflower, resplendent in its intricate design and tropical hues, a splash of vivid color against the verdant backdrop of the park. Perched delicately on this exotic bloom is a bumblebee, its presence adding a dynamic element to the scene. Through his lens, Ament transforms a simple scene into a vivid tableau, inviting viewers to appreciate the intricate beauty of nature’s creations.


Don Ament: A Visionary Photographer Who Sees Beyond Limitations By Ray Hunter Photography by Don Ament


n the world of photography, where vision is paramount, Don Ament stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. Born in Northern Kentucky and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Ament’s journey back to Lexington in 1970 marked the beginning of a remarkable career that would span decades and transcend the challenges of partial blindness.

Ament’s tryst with photography began unexpectedly in 8th grade when he filled in for his brother to photograph a basketball game. This opportunity opened the doors to a world where black and white images were meticulously developed in dark rooms, a stark contrast to today’s digital age. Despite being born with cataracts in both eyes and undergoing surgery at the age of three, Ament’s vision, both literal and metaphorical, remained unclouded. His story embodies his belief: “We can do things that maybe we thought we weren’t able to do.” Ament’s career path meandered through the realms of engineering, where he repaired X-ray equipment. However, the allure of his artistic abilities was relentless. Eventually, he succumbed to this calling and ventured into the art fair scene as a professional photographer. His focus is capturing the serene beauty of nature and landscapes. His canvas stretched across the country, with him traveling far and wide for shows. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, brought unprecedented challenges, particularly to the art fair scene. Adapting to these changing times, Ament shifted his focus to local endeavors, a decision that birthed his most recent project, “Nature’s Radiance.” This series is a celebration of the natural environmental wonders of Fayette County, with three large-scale photographs set to be installed at the Lexington Senior Center. “Nature’s Radiance” is not just a collection of photographs; it is a journey through the seasons and landscapes of Fayette County. Starting in July, Ament plans to capture 12 pictures, one for each month, showcasing the county’s natural beauty. The project commenced with a stunning portrayal of the Cane Run watershed on the Legacy Trail titled “’Twas a Sunny Day.” August saw the addition of the lush “Greens of Summer” at West Hickman Creek in Veterans Park. “Golden” is the September piece featuring the wild Goldenrod at Hisle Farm Park.

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Ament’s motivation stems from a deep-seated desire to highlight the natural beauty of areas known and undiscovered in Fayette County. He recognizes a growing concern for environmental protection, a sentiment increasingly echoed by the government. Moreover, Ament’s project holds a special place for the senior community. He understands the physical limitations that age brings, and through his photographs, he aims to bring the beauty of nature to those who might not be able to experience it firsthand. This ambitious project is supported by a $1,500 LexArts Community Arts Development Project grant. The photographs, measuring 40 x 60 inches, are mounted on Dibond aluminum, a choice that speaks to the quality and durability Ament seeks in his work. Yet, the project’s vision extends beyond the financial constraints, with Ament hoping to secure $5,000 to bring his complete vision to fruition. Reflecting on his journey, Ament shares his excitement about focusing his lens on the local environment. His travels and experiences have enriched his perspective, yet he finds a unique joy in capturing the essence of his home county. Through “Nature’s Radiance,” Ament aims to showcase the beauty of Fayette County and inspire a collective effort to preserve and protect the local environment. His photographs are more than just images; they are a call to action, a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us, and a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. For those captivated by the artistic journey of Don Ament and eager to explore more of his mesmerizing works, a visit to his website at offers a window into his world. The website showcases a diverse range of his photography, providing a digital gallery for enthusiasts and collectors alike to admire and engage with his captivating visual narratives. .

2 Don Ament stands proudly in front of his three remarkable photographs from the “Nature’s Radiance” series displayed at Lexington Senior Center. These large-scale images, each a window into the diverse landscapes of Fayette County, bring the beauty of the outdoors to those who cherish nature but cannot venture into it themselves. Together, they create an immersive experience, allowing seniors to connect with the natural world from within the center’s walls. It is a thoughtful gift to those who yearn for the tranquility and beauty of nature but are limited by physical constraints. As Ament stands there, his satisfaction is palpable, knowing that his art is not just seen but deeply felt and appreciated, offering its viewers a sense of escapism and peace.

3 “Golden,” is the piece chosen for September in Ament’s “Nature’s Radiance” series and eloquently captures the glorious beauty of wild goldenrod sprawling across a field in Hisle Park. This expansive park, spanning over 200 acres, bears the legacy of its past as an agricultural farm before being generously donated to the city of Lexington. In this photograph, the goldenrod, a symbol of late summer and early fall, basks in the warm, soft light of the setting sun. Ament’s image is not just a visual feast but also a powerful testament to the resilience of nature. The flourishing goldenrod, thriving in what was once farmland, illustrates how ecosystems can recover and flourish with care and conservation. This photo invites viewers to reflect on the beauty and adaptability of nature, highlighting the positive impact of human efforts in ecosystem restoration.



4 In early December, Ament captured a deeply evocative photograph of a stream in Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, symbolizing the rejuvenation and persistence of life. This scene is enriched by the natural rock shelves that flank the stream, each layered with vibrant, verdant moss. The moisture from the rain brings out the intense green hues of the moss, creating a striking contrast against the darker, wet stones. Ament’s photograph captures the physical beauty of this moment and embodies the deeper essence of nature’s resilience and its perpetual cycle of renewal.

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5 This captivating shot features the delicate blueeyed Mary wildflowers, a serene tribute to the natural beauty of Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. In this stunning composition, a peaceful trail meanders gently through a vibrant carpet of these petite flowers, inviting the viewer into a world where tranquility reigns supreme. The path, bordered by the soft blues and greens of the wildflowers, creates a harmonious blend of color and form, evoking a sense of calm and introspection. 6 In another striking example of Ament’s mastery over his craft, he beautifully captures a stream in Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, where the rocks lining the stream are cloaked in a lush, verdant moss. This scene offered Ament an exceptional opportunity to experiment with the interplay of color and light, focusing on the various shades and textures of green. The moist, moss-covered rocks provide a rich tapestry of emerald and jade hues, contrasting dynamically with the gentle, translucent flow of the stream.



7 In April 2023, Ament captured the essence of spring’s awakening in a stunning Raven Run Nature Sanctuary photograph. This image features a natural stream, its clear, meandering waters flowing gracefully over layers of ancient limestone, each stratum telling a story of geological time. Ament’s skillful composition highlights the harmonious relationship between the enduring strength of the rock and the fleeting, ephemeral beauty of water.

8 “Field of 10,000 Spiders,” a mesmerizing photograph taken by Ament, encapsulates a moment of natural magic in Hisle Park. Captured in the early morning hours of August 2023, the image reveals a breathtaking scene where countless spider webs, delicately woven across the field, are adorned with glistening dewdrops. As the first rays of the sunrise pierce the horizon, each web transforms into a shimmering masterpiece, reflecting the light in a myriad of sparkling hues. Ament’s ability to seize this fleeting moment of natural wonder showcases not just his technical prowess but also his deep appreciation for the often-overlooked intricacies of the natural world. The photograph’s magical quality invites viewers to pause and marvel at the delicate beauty and complexity woven into our everyday surroundings. 9 “Ginkgo Magic,” a captivating photograph Ament took in November, beautifully captures an annual natural phenomenon on Catalpa Road in Lexington. For a fleeting period of two or three days each year, the Ginkgo trees along this street undergo a remarkable transformation. They shed their bright yellow leaves in a stunning display, creating a vibrant shower that blankets everything beneath in a golden hue. The leaves, scattered across the road, pavements, and cars, create a surreal landscape that blurs the natural and artificial lines. Unlike most of his works that focus primarily on natural settings, “Ginkgo Magic” stands out as one of the few pieces in Ament’s portfolio that incorporates elements of the urban environment. This image not only celebrates the beauty of nature in an urban setting but also highlights the striking visual impact when the natural world intersects with our daily lives. “Ginkgo Magic” is a testament to Ament’s ability to find and showcase nature’s beauty in all contexts, inviting viewers to appreciate these magical yet often overlooked moments. 10 “Greens of Summer,” Ament’s August submission for his “Nature’s Radiance” series, is a poignant portrayal of West Hickman Creek, capturing the essence of late summer with a focus on environmental awareness. This thought-provoking image shows the creek’s water at a low and serene state, mirroring the trees above on its still surface. The reflection creates a mesmerizing interplay between the sky and the water, blurring the boundaries between the two. Surrounding the creek, the lush greenery is in full bloom, embodying the vibrancy of summer while subtly hinting at the delicate balance of our ecosystems. Ament’s choice to capture the creek in this tranquil state speaks to the broader environmental narrative, emphasizing the importance of conserving such natural habitats. The calmness of the water, juxtaposed with the verdant surroundings, invites viewers to contemplate the serene beauty of nature and the critical role we play in preserving these precious environments. Through “Greens of Summer,” Ament showcases his artistic prowess and reinforces the urgency of environmental stewardship.




Scandinavian Elegance Meets

1 The Lagrew family home in Versailles is a magnificent embodiment of modern Scandinavian style melded with the rustic charm of a barn home. Encompassing over 7,000 square feet, including a finished basement, this expansive residence is set on ten and a half acres of Kentucky’s quintessential rolling hills. This home is not just a structure; it’s a testament to the Lagrews’ passion for design and a sanctuary that intertwines the simplicity of Scandinavian aesthetics with the traditional beauty of Kentucky’s countryside.

Kentucky Charm

By Ray Hunter Photography by Walt Roycraft

2 2 The formal dining room is a stunning representation of design finesse, where modern elements meet Southern traditionalism. Dominated by a striking black recessed ceiling adorned with sleek molding details, the room exudes sophistication and style. The space is further accentuated by floor-to-ceiling Tibetan drapes featuring an Asian-inspired print with a tiger motif, a detail that stands out as Amber’s favorite staple. This combination of diverse design elements creates an elegant dining area with a unique character, reflecting the family’s distinct aesthetic preferences.


estled among the rolling hills of Woodford County stands a breathtaking example of modern Scandinavian architecture blended seamlessly into a rustic barn home aesthetic. This stunning property, the proud creation of Amber and James Lagrew, not only serves as a family haven but also marks the beginning of the couple’s passionate journey into building and design.

One of the most unique features of the house is the observation room, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. This space embodies the home’s design philosophy, blending indoor comfort with the natural beauty of Kentucky’s landscapes.

The home’s design takes cues from the Scandinavian style, known for its minimalism, functionality, and connection to nature, all while incorporating the warmth and charm of a traditional barn home. This unique blend is visible throughout the structure, creating a stylish and comfortable space.

“The entire creative journey of crafting and constructing our home ignited a fervor for building within me,” Amber said. “Currently, I’m delving into promising business prospects in construction, remodeling, and design. As a stride towards embracing these opportunities, we’ve opted to list our present home for sale in the fall of 2024, paving the way for a new home project.”

The home’s outdoor centerpiece is a striking 15 by 30-foot rectangular pool, designed with a black granite color that mimics the serene appearance of a “From the very beginning, our vision was to create a home that harmonized natural Kentucky pond. Perched atop a hill, it offers a majestic view of the with Kentucky’s traditional scenery. We wanted it to mirror the simplicity surrounding scenery, embodying a blend of modern sleekness and natural and beauty of the backs of barns, which are so emblematic of our region,” beauty. Thick concrete pavers complement the pool area and provide a conAmber said. “It was important for us that our home felt like a natural part temporary yet harmonious extension to the rustic landscape. of the landscape, blending the rustic charm of Kentucky with our love for Scandinavian minimalism.” Amber, James, and their son and daughter have found more than a house on this property. It has become a home where memories are made, each room Amber and James embarked on a journey to create their dream home four tells a story, and the warmth of family life is felt in every corner. years ago. What began as a blank canvas of 10 acres of picturesque land was transformed into an impressive 7,000 square feet of living space, a testament Creating their dream home ignited a passion for building and design in Amber to their vision and dedication. The couple’s commitment to detail and design and James. They loved every step of the journey, from conceptualizing the is evident in every corner of this expansive property. design to watching their ideas come to life.

With five bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms, the residence caters to the needs of a modern family while providing ample For those captivated by the beauty and elegance of the Lagrew family home, space for relaxation and entertainment. The great room, a highlight of further exploration is just a click away. Readers can view more pictures and the house, boasts a pool table and is a perfect spot for family gatherings. follow the story of this stunning Scandinavian-style barn home on Instagram at @KentuckyScandanivianFarmhouse. The Lagrew home is designed with versatility in mind. It includes an office for focused work, a total gym for fitness enthusiasts, and a dedicated movie This home is more than just a structure; it celebrates family, design, and the theater for family movie nights. A playful and imaginative room offers a beauty of Kentucky’s landscape. Amber and James Lagrew have not only space for creativity and fun for the children. built a house; they have created a haven that reflects their dreams, tastes, and the joy of family life. 34 Kentucky Homes & Gardens January/February 2024

3 Crafted from glass, the front doors bathe the space in natural sunlight, highlighting the entryway hall’s inviting ambiance. Adorning the walls are vibrant and playful artworks created by Amber’s aunt, local artist Georgia Henkel. These fun and colorful pieces, including one depicting two bears against a vivid blue background and another portraying chickens on an orange backdrop, add a lively and personal touch to the space. Underfoot, the floor boasts reclaimed wood from a barn in Salvisa, expertly laid in a herringbone pattern that extends throughout the first floor.

3 4 The home office is a space that brilliantly reflects the family’s vibrant personality and love for playful yet sophisticated design. Amber chose rich indigo walls adorned with gold accents to infuse the room with fun and creativity. This lively backdrop is complemented by custom-built bookshelves, showcasing the family’s diverse interests and achievements. At the heart of the office is a large desk, serving as the central hub for both professional work and the children’s homework sessions. Adding a touch of uniqueness, the chairs are upholstered in a Tibetan tiger fabric, a design Amber is particularly fond of. This fabric adds a luxurious texture and ties in with her affinity for bold and distinctive patterns.

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5 5 The great room is a masterpiece of open-concept living, where each area seamlessly connects to create a harmonious and inviting space. On the left, a cozy lounge with a TV and fireplace is perfect for relaxation and family movie nights. In the center, a well-appointed table and chairs stand ready for heartfelt conversations and casual dining, serving as the heart of the room. To the right, the space transitions into an entertainment zone featuring a pool table and a bar, ideal for hosting friends and family gatherings. Adding to the room’s rustic charm are the beautiful hand-hewn hemlock barn beams that traverse the space, lending a touch of historic elegance and character.

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6 The bar area is a haven for relaxation and social gatherings, thoughtfully designed to cater to every need. It features elegant quartz countertops, which pair beautifully with the custom cabinets, offering ample space for storing glassware and bar essentials. Fully equipped with a beer tap and refrigeration ensures that various beverages are always ready. Including a sink transforms it into a full-service bar, perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying a quiet evening at home. One of the most striking features of this space is the bi-fold doors that open up to the porch, seamlessly integrating the indoor and outdoor environments. This design choice enhances the bar’s functionality and frames the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, creating an inviting and picturesque backdrop for every occasion.

7 7 The kitchen effortlessly continues the open concept theme, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. Currently adorned with bright green wall accents, it brings a lively and fresh atmosphere to the area, although the couple plans to transition back to a more neutral palette in the future. This heart of the home is equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, including a double-door fridge and an induction stove, catering to the family’s practical needs and culinary explorations. The large island, boasting a stunning quartzite top, stands as the centerpiece of the kitchen, providing ample space for meal preparation and casual dining. Adding a touch of elegance and personality, the Hygge & West black and gold wallpaper behind the glass doors of the cabinets offers a striking contrast and a sophisticated visual appeal.

8 Amber and James designed the living room with an eye for comfort and environmental consciousness. Dominating the room are floor-toceiling Sun windows, acclaimed for being the highest-rated energy efficiency on the market. These windows ensure optimal thermal comfort and protect the interior furnishings from sun damage, blending practicality with preservation. Within this bright and airy space, substantial leather couches offer an inviting setting for family relaxation or hosting guests; all centered around a large TV for entertainment. A focal point of the room is the elegant limestone fireplace, crowned with a barn beam mantle that adds a touch of rustic charm.

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9 The primary bedroom exudes a serene and elegant charm, perfectly encapsulating the Scandinavian design ethos with a touch of rustic flair. One of the room’s most striking features is a wall made entirely of limestone, adding a natural and textured element that anchors the space. The room is further enhanced by vaulted ceilings adorned with barn beams, lending an airy and spacious feel while paying homage to traditional architectural elements. Central to the room is a king-sized bed with a headboard and footboard, which serves as a focal point of comfort and style. The bed’s design aligns seamlessly with the Scandinavian theme, known for its simplicity and functionality. Adding to the room’s character is an antique bench, a piece that provides additional seating and brings a sense of history and warmth. A large rug ties the entire room together, harmonizing the various elements and colors and creating a cohesive, tranquil, and inviting space that reflects the Lagrew family’s taste and commitment to comfortable, stylish living. 10 The primary bathroom is a sanctuary of relaxation and elegance, thoughtfully designed to take full advantage of the property’s stunning natural surroundings. The centerpiece of this luxurious space is a large stand-alone tub, perfectly positioned to offer breathtaking views of the sunset and rolling hills through an enormous window, inviting a sense of serenity and connection with nature. The room is bathed in natural light, thanks to its abundant windows, creating a bright and uplifting atmosphere. Located on the first floor, the bathroom features an exquisite herringbone pattern tile in black and white, adding a classic and sophisticated touch to the space. Complementing this design is the custom Mouser Cabinetry from Creative Kitchen and Bath, which provides elegance and functionality.

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HOME CREDITS Builder Steven Poor Custom Homes Custom Cabinetry Pam Newton, Creative Kitchen & Bath Custom Windows & Doors Sun Windows, Owensboro, KY Interior Design Amber Lagrew

Landscaping Glynn Young’s Landscaping Hammond Landscaping Pool Jason Mayo, Paramount Pools Pool Patio Brinley Masonry, LLC Floors Tillman Hardwood Flooring

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Majestic Bluegrass By Kirsten E. Silven Photography by Walt Roycraft

1 The Orr home is reflected here in near-perfect detail, in one of the property’s three connected ponds. Situated in southeastern Kentucky near the Daniel Boone National Forest, this striking new 15,000-square-foot home features impressive natural timber framing architectural details both inside and out. The massive Douglas Fir timbers were hand hewn, engineered and installed by Homestead Timber Frames in Crossville, Tennessee, and the home’s overall design was inspired by the captivating architecture of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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ituated in southeastern Kentucky near the Daniel Boone National Forest, this sprawling new home enjoys breathtaking vistas of a surrounding 96-acre farm, which belongs to homeowner Lori Orr’s family. “We are a tight-knit bunch and enjoy living close to one another,” shared Lori. “Our property is nestled among a number of other large family-owned farms.” The home’s design was loosely inspired by the majestic homes of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which often unite elements of both European chalets and classic American cabins. It boasts striking architectural details both inside and out in the form of colossal natural Douglas Fir timber frames, which were hand hewn, engineered and installed by Homestead Timber Frames in Crossville, Tennessee. Spanning 15,000 square feet under roof and 8,000 square feet of living space, the home took about 18 months to build. “I have always been captivated by the architecture out west in places like Jackson Hole,” Lori said. “We were excited to bring elements of it home to Kentucky.” Inside, the massive timber beams continue, lending a grounding effect to the soaring ceilings and floor-toceiling windows, serving to create a cozy, intimate feel throughout the home, despite the grand scale of its main living areas. Custom cabinetry and built-ins also lend a sense of continuity to the home’s interior spaces, which serve to bring the outside in with ample natural light and a wall of doors that opens completely in the main living room to allow for seamless flow between the interior spaces and exterior porch. “We really enjoy seeing all of the wildlife outside,” Lori shared. “Turkeys, deer and coyotes are abundant.”

2 The stunning front entryway is enhanced by the warm welcome of a double-sided fireplace that brings cozy character to the family living room. 3 Soaring ceilings enjoy a grounding effect from the natural wood finish, while a wall of custom built-ins complete with an electric fireplace offers ample storage and serves as a focal point in the formal dining room. The space also enjoys plenty of natural light in the afternoon, giving it a bright, airy feel, and the butler’s pantry is just visible through the doorway seen here.

Inside, custom touches abound at every turn, and no detail was left overlooked. From boutique style closets in her daughter’s bedroom, to a gorgeous en-suite bath featuring custom navy cabinetry and marble flooring adjacent to her son’s bedroom in the lower level, comfort is key and unfussy luxury is the standard. The finished product is indeed worthy of its exquisite surroundings— and is undeniably spectacular!

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4 This cozy living room adjoins the kitchen and has a warm, intimate vibe despite the grand scale of the space, which also boasts enormous natural Douglas Fir ceiling beams and a wall of windows and doors overlooking an expansive porch, that also open completely to allow for a full indoor-outdoor experience when the weather permits. 5 Striking hand-hewn Douglas Fir ceiling beams lend a dramatic effect in the kitchen, which boasts two oversized islands, quartz countertops and copper sinks, along with custom antique white cabinetry and antique bronze hardware throughout. 6 A second-floor landing serves as a casual reading and television nook for homeowner Lori Orr’s daughter, with engineered maple hardwood flooring in a “strawberry blonde” finish and gorgeous views of the bucolic countryside.

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7 7 The primary bedroom features a soothing color palette with “Quietude” by Sherwin Williams on the walls, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. The coffered ceiling lends added visual interest to the space, which also features comfy seating and views of the picturesque backyard pool area.

“I have always been captivated by the architecture out west in places like Jackson Hole (Wyoming),”

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8 8 This bedroom belongs to homeowner Lori Orr’s daughter and features ample boutique-style closet space (not pictured) along with built-in shelving for added storage.

“We were excited to bring elements of it home to Kentucky.” -Lori Orr

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9 Inspired by the classic aesthetic of Ralph Lauren, the den is truly a study in elegance, with navy blue walls and natural wood tones on the ceiling lending a pleasing sense of contrast to the space. Just outside the oversized window, a bubbling rock water feature adds its soothing singsong sonnet to the mix, while a gas fireplace nestled into the wall of custom built-ins creates the perfect ambiance on a cold winter’s night. 10 Located in the lower level, this family room features a linear gas fireplace and theater-quality surround-sound, along with plenty of table space for board games, making this a favorite spot to just hang out and watch movies.

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Builder Eddie & Billy Todd, Todd Builders Interior Design Joyner Design Group Custom Cabinetry Schrocks of Walnut Creek Landscape Design Earthadelic Landscape & Construction Smart Home Tech 46Solutions Interior & Exterior Framing Homestead Timber Frames Interior Trimwork Joe Stackpole

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1 The exterior of the Alderdice estate presents a stunning first impression, harmoniously integrating elegant design with the natural beauty of its surroundings. A prominent feature is the circle driveway, an inviting path that gracefully leads to the home’s grand entrance, offering both convenience and a touch of sophistication. Complementing this is the attached three-car garage, a practical yet stylish addition that blends seamlessly with the home’s architectural design, providing ample space for vehicles and storage. Beyond the immediate structure, the beauty of the surrounding area is breathtaking.

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Somerset’s Crown Jewel By Ray Hunter Photography by Walt Roycraft

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n the heart of Kentucky’s scenic landscapes, nestled within 47 acres of rolling fields and framed by a classic blackboard fence, stands a remarkable dwelling that redefines the essence of luxury and bespoke architecture. Susan Alderdice’s custom-built house in Somerset is more than just a residence; it’s a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that harmoniously blends luxury, comfort, and artistry.

Spanning over an impressive 7,200 square feet, this magnificent Somerset estate exemplifies grandeur and spacious living at its finest. Each room in Susan Alderdice’s home is a testament to luxury, designed with meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of sophisticated living. The sheer scale of the property ensures that every family member and guest can find their own space to relax, entertain, or enjoy the serene beauty of Kentucky’s landscapes. With generous living areas, multiple bedrooms, each with their own en-suite, and expansive outdoor spaces, this home is an unparalleled retreat. The journey into this architectural marvel begins with the double mahogany front doors adorned with exquisite leaded glass, setting the tone for the elegance that lies within. Upon entering, you are welcomed into a two-story entry foyer crowned with a barrel-vaulted ceiling, instantly conveying the grandeur and meticulous attention to detail that characterizes this home.


2 Upon entering the home, the grandeur of the foyer immediately captivates the senses. Dominated by the striking double-barrel vault ceilings, this entryway is a masterpiece of architectural design, blending elegance and grandiosity. The wide mahogany double doors, an epitome of classic luxury, set a stately tone for the home. Above the doors is a magnificent bank of windows, crowned in the center by a captivating circular window that bathes the space in natural light. Central to this majestic foyer is a fancy hanging chandelier which cascades light throughout the space, accentuating the opulent feel and illuminating the intricate details of the ceiling.

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The formal dining room boasts built-ins and custom ceiling millwork. Wrapped in rich green walls, it is a space of classic elegance. Built-in bookcases flank each side of a large mirror, expanding the space visually while adding functional beauty. It’s a space that promises to turn every meal into a celebration, perfect for hosting intimate dinners or grand gatherings. The family room, with its comfortable leather sectional and playful zebra print chairs, embodies a relaxed sophistication. A wall of windows bathes the room in natural light, highlighting the hardwood floors and the brick fireplace, around which a cozy sitting area is arranged. In the living room, a gas fireplace adds warmth and ambiance, creating an inviting space for relaxation. Nearby, the powder room features a specially ordered sink, a small but significant detail that enhances the home’s unique character.

The library is a hallmark of the residence, an intellectual oasis with round bookcases designed by Hahn Wood Products and accented by a mesmerizing stained-glass window. In the family room, the presence of 11 windows invites natural light, while a second gas fireplace adds warmth and ambiance. The kitchen, a chef ’s dream, is equipped with mahogany cabinets, a well-appointed pantry, and all necessary appliances. This space is functional and aesthetically pleasing, perfect for culinary explorations or casual family meals. The owner’s suite is a sanctuary within the sanctuary. It includes a sauna, two walk-in cedar closets, double sinks, a shower, and a jacuzzi. French doors open to a sitting porch, offering serene views and a perfect spot for morning contemplation or evening relaxation. Ascend the winding staircase, with its meticulously designed lighting and trim, to discover the second floor. It houses two bedrooms, each with built-in cabinets, full baths, walkin closets, and access to the front balcony. The two-story turret sunroom is a highlight, offering panoramic views of the fields, mountains, and sky under a striking copper roof. Doors open to a vast deck, creating an ideal outdoor living and entertainment space. The walk-out basement, with its arch brick column and winding staircase, leads to a realm of entertainment and relaxation. The custom bar, adorned with granite and cabinetry by Hahn, is a centerpiece. The hand-painted Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs mural adds a touch of local heritage. This level also includes an open family or recreation room with a fireplace, built-in bookcases, two bedrooms with full baths, a powder room, and two mechanical rooms. In summary, Susan Alderdice’s house in Somerset is not just a dwelling but a testament to what can be achieved when vision, craftsmanship, and a love for the finer things in life come together. It’s a home that doesn’t just meet standards of luxury; it sets them. This exquisite property is on the market, listed on This listing presents a once-in-a-lifetime chance for discerning buyers to own a piece of Kentucky’s finest real estate, a true jewel in Somerset’s crown.

3 3 In the top level of the turret, the sunroom is a luminous gem offering a sanctuary of light and unparalleled vistas. Surrounded by custom-made Palladian windows, this circular haven presents a 360-degree panoramic view that captures the essence of Somerset’s breathtaking scenery. From the lush, rolling hills to the distant mountains, each glance out of these windows offers a moving portrait of nature’s beauty. The design of the windows, with their elegant arches and clear panes, allows an abundance of natural light to flood the room, creating a bright and refreshing atmosphere. With its airy ambiance and stunning views, the sunroom is a perfect retreat for quiet contemplation, reading, or simply basking in the fresh, sunlit space. It’s a special part of the home where the outside world seems within reach, blending the comfort of the indoors with the splendor of the outdoors in a seamless, harmonious embrace.

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4 The formal dining room is enveloped in rich green walls, a color choice that adds depth and character while evoking a sense of tranquility and sophistication. This distinctive hue is a perfect backdrop for gatherings and fine dining, creating an ambiance of refined grace. The built-in bookcases on either side of a strategically placed mirror add to the room’s grandeur. The mirror, a clever design choice, expands the visual space, reflecting light and the beauty of the room, thus enhancing the overall dining experience.

5 At the heart of the kitchen’s design are the custom-made mahogany cabinets by Hahn Wood Products in Somerset, renowned for their craftsmanship. These cabinets exude a deep, rich warmth, creating an inviting ambiance while offering ample storage and unparalleled durability. Complementing these exquisite cabinets is a suite of updated appliances, including a state-of-the-art Sub-Zero fridge and double ovens catering to both the casual cook and the gourmet chef. The full pantry provides additional storage space, ensuring all kitchen essentials are organized and easily accessible. A striking feature of this kitchen is the coffered ceilings, which add architectural interest and a sense of grandeur. At the center, the large island serves as a focal point for socializing and meal preparation, making it perfect for entertaining. The island not only provides additional workspace but also acts as a gathering spot for guests to mingle and enjoy the heart of the home.

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6 The family room is a harmonious blend of comfort and style, designed to be the heart of the home where relaxation and togetherness are paramount. Dominated by a luxurious leather sectional, the room invites you to sink in and unwind, offering ample space for family and guests. A striking feature of this space is the wall of windows that flood the room with natural light, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere. These expansive windows offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and connect the indoors with the beauty of nature outside. The room is grounded by elegant hardwood floors, which add warmth and a timeless charm. The brick fireplace, wood-burning and cozy, forms a focal point for gathering. Around it, a sitting area is accented with playful zebra print chairs, adding a touch of whimsy and contrast to the room’s overall sophistication.


7 The winding staircase is a breathtaking architectural feature that gracefully connects all three levels of this magnificent home, embodying elegance and craftsmanship. Crafted from the finest Honduras mahogany, each step of the staircase radiates a warm, rich hue, complemented by the wood’s natural grain that adds depth and character. This choice of material speaks to the home’s quality and luxury and ensures that the staircase stands as a one-of-a-kind work of art. As it spirals upwards, the staircase creates a visual spectacle, its fluid form and exquisite material inviting admiration and awe. The craftsmanship in shaping and installing this Honduras Mahogany masterpiece showcases a dedication to unparalleled artistry and attention to detail. This winding staircase isn’t just a means of moving through the house; it’s a central feature that encapsulates the unique beauty and grandeur of the Alderdice estate, making it a talking point for visitors and a source of pride for Susan.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens


8 9

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8 The primary bedroom is a masterpiece of design, blending luxury, history, and architectural intrigue. At its heart lies a majestic king-sized bed boasting a striking leather and metal headboard and footboard that exudes modern elegance and sturdy comfort. Complementing the contemporary bed is a magnificent antique dresser, rich in history and character. This dresser, a cherished heirloom passed down through generations, adds depth and personal history to the room, its aged patina telling a story of family legacy and time-honored craftsmanship. One of the most distinctive features of this primary bedroom is its attractive pitched vault ceilings. With their unique angles and elevations, these ceilings create a dynamic and spacious atmosphere, adding an architectural element that transforms the room into an extraordinary living space.

9 The primary bathroom showcases exquisite features and top-of-the-line amenities. One of the standout elements is the innovative use of glass block, which enhances the bathroom’s aesthetic appeal and allows for a harmonious play of light, creating a serene and tranquil ambiance. Central to this spa-like retreat is the wet/dry sauna, equipped with steam coals, offering a perfect escape for rejuvenation and relaxation. This feature adds an element of indulgence and wellness reminiscent of a high-end spa. Additionally, the bathroom boasts a Jacuzzi brand tub with jets, a symbol of luxury and comfort. This tub, designed for therapeutic and relaxing soaks, invites one to unwind in style. The space is further equipped with Kohler sinks, known for their quality and elegance, ensuring every aspect of the bathroom exudes sophistication. Completing this opulent bathroom are his and hers cedar closets, providing ample storage with a touch of natural wood elegance.

10 The upstairs bedroom is a marvel of space and style, offering a luxurious retreat combining grandeur and a whimsy touch. This expansive room, generous in size, features a large walk-in closet, providing ample space for wardrobe and storage. The room’s decor is a delightful fusion of fun and elegance, with animal prints tastefully integrated into the design. The cream palette is a perfect backdrop, lending the room a serene and calming vibe. With its unique blend of fun decor and luxurious space, this bedroom is not just a place to rest but a personal sanctuary that reflects a creative and spirited sense of style.

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11 11 From the back, the Alderdice estate unveils a breathtaking view of its three distinct levels, harmoniously blending into the serene backdrop of Somerset’s landscape. On the left, the home’s architecture is crowned by an elegant turret, a striking feature that adds a touch of historic grandeur. The bottom level, a robust brick and stone foundation, provides a sturdy base and enhances the aesthetic appeal, adding a rustic charm to the modern design. With its lush greenery and sweeping views, this outdoor haven offers a perfect escape into nature’s embrace, reflecting the home’s seamless integration with its surroundings.


Architect William Lucas Contractor Joe Daulton and Sons Cabinetry Hahn Wood Products Lighting Judy Cappon, Cumberland Electric Painter Connie Heatherly Designer Brenda Pence Mural of Churchill Downs Artists Peggy Sherry and Ken Wesley

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Susie Rodes Associate Broker Associate Broker ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES

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1 Owsley Fork Lake, located just a short drive from the heart of Berea, is a serene and picturesque destination perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This beautiful reservoir, surrounded by the lush landscapes of the Kentucky hills, offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as fishing, kayaking, and picnicking along its peaceful shores. The lake’s clear waters and scenic backdrop make it an ideal spot for photography or simply soaking in the region’s natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to cast a line in the early morning mist or paddle through the gentle ripples of the lake, Owsley Fork Lake provides a delightful and refreshing outdoor experience in the heart of Kentucky’s countryside.


Exploring Berea

Kentucky’s Hidden Gem of Art, Culture, and Community By Ray Hunter Photography Courtesy of Berea Tourism


erea, a charming town in the heart of Kentucky, is a hidden gem offering a unique blend of arts, culture, and history. Known as the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky,” Berea is a vibrant community with a rich heritage and a solid commitment to sustainability and social justice. Dani Gift, the Assistant Director of Berea Business Development & Tourism, shared insights into what makes Berea a special place to visit and live. Berea’s identity is deeply intertwined with folk arts and crafts. The town is home to the renowned Berea College, which has played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting traditional Appalachian crafts. According to Gift, the Berea College Crafts program is more than just a platform for showcasing skills; it’s an integral part of the town’s ethos. “Berea’s commitment to the arts is evident in every corner of the town,” Gift said. “From our artisan villages to the workshops and studios, there’s a story behind every craft that speaks to the region’s history and the talent of our local artisans.” Berea is not just a haven for skilled artisans; it’s also a paradise for art lovers. The town’s Artisan Village is a bustling area where visitors can watch artisans at work and purchase unique handmade items. This interaction between artisans and the community is crucial to Berea’s charm. “The connection between the artisans and the visitors is palpable,” Gift said. “It’s not just about buying a piece of art; it’s about understanding the process, the tradition, and the passion behind each creation.” Berea stands out for its commitment to sustainability and social justice. Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, remains a beacon of these values. The college’s no-tuition promise, supported by its endowment and donations, ensures that education is accessible to all, regardless of financial background. “Our town embodies the principles of equality and sustainability in every aspect,” Gift said. “From the college’s unique educational model to our community initiatives, Berea is a place where these values are not just spoken about but actively practiced.”

Berea’s cultural scene is as diverse as its community. The town hosts numerous events throughout the year, including music festivals, art shows, and cultural celebrations that reflect the rich tapestry of its inhabitants. “Diversity is celebrated and embraced here,” Gift said. “Our events are a reflection of Berea’s inclusive spirit, where everyone’s heritage and story are valued.” Surrounded by the rolling hills of Kentucky, Berea is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town offers a range of activities, from hiking and biking trails to exploring the lush landscapes of the nearby Pinnacles. “Berea’s natural beauty is another reason to visit,” Gift said. “The scenic views and outdoor activities provide a perfect balance to the artistic and cultural experiences in town.” Berea’s culinary scene is as vibrant as its arts and crafts. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes, the town offers a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes. The focus on local produce and traditional recipes adds an authentic flavor to the dining experience. “Our restaurants and cafes are a big part of Berea’s appeal,” Gift said. “They provide a taste of our local culture and the richness of our agricultural heritage.” Berea is more than just a destination; it’s an experience. Its unique blend of arts, culture, sustainability, and natural beauty makes it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the heart and soul of Appalachia. As Dani Gift aptly puts it, “Berea isn’t just a place you visit; it’s a community you become a part of.” With its rich history, vibrant community, and stunning natural surroundings, this town offers a unique and enriching experience that stays with you long after you’ve left. Berea is not just a dot on the map; it’s a journey into the heart of Kentucky’s artistic and cultural heritage.

January/February 2024 Kentucky Homes & Gardens



2 The Historic Boone Tavern in Berea is not just a place to stay; it’s a journey into history and hospitality. Established in 1909 and named after the American pioneer Daniel Boone, this elegant hotel is a landmark of Berea’s rich heritage. Owned and operated by Berea College, it offers a unique experience where refined comfort meets the educational mission. The Tavern is renowned for its exquisite Southern charm, beautifully appointed rooms, and exceptional service. Each detail reflects the town’s commitment to arts, crafts, and sustainability, from the handcrafted furniture made by Berea College students to the locally sourced, gourmet Southern cuisine served in its dining room. Guests at Boone Tavern are treated to a luxurious stay and become part of a storied tradition that epitomizes the spirit of Berea.


3 3 Berea’s culinary scene is a delightful reflection of its rich cultural tapestry, offering diverse dining experiences that cater to all palates. The town takes pride in its farm-to-table ethos, with many restaurants and cafes sourcing ingredients from local farms, ensuring fresh, seasonal, and sustainable meals. Berea’s culinary landscape is diverse and inviting, from cozy, family-owned eateries serving traditional Southern comfort food to contemporary cafes offering innovative fusion dishes. The town’s commitment to supporting local agriculture is evident in the flavors of its dishes, which often feature a unique Appalachian twist. Additionally, Berea’s food scene is complemented by a variety of local bakeries, coffee shops, and farmers’ markets, making it a must-visit destination for foodies looking to explore authentic Kentucky flavors and artisanal culinary craftsmanship. 4 Berea, often called the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky,” is a vibrant town celebrated for its rich blend of arts, culture, and Appalachian heritage. Renowned for its strong commitment to sustainability and social justice, Berea is home to the historic Berea College, known for its progressive ethos and tuition-free education. The town thrives as a hub for artisans, offering a unique experience where visitors can engage directly with crafters in studios and artisan villages. Beyond its artistic allure, Berea boasts a diverse cultural scene, with numerous festivals and events reflecting the community’s inclusive spirit.

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5 5 Berea is renowned for its vibrant community of craftsmen and artists, a group deeply rooted in the region’s rich Appalachian heritage. These skilled artisans keep traditional crafts alive, ranging from woodworking and pottery to weaving and glassblowing. Each craftsman and artist in Berea brings a unique blend of creativity, skill, and passion to their work, often drawing inspiration from the area’s natural beauty and cultural history. Many of these artisans are connected to Berea College’s celebrated crafts program, which fosters the preservation and evolution of folk arts. Visitors to Berea can witness these artists at work in various studios and workshops scattered throughout the town, offering a rare glimpse into the meticulous process of crafting by hand. This vibrant artisan community adds to Berea’s charm and plays a crucial role in maintaining and celebrating the town’s artistic legacy.



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