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*Subject to credit approval. Not all applicants will qualify. Min monthly payment required. See store for complete details. Prior sales excluded. Art only representation, actual product may vary. All beds not available in all stores, but may be ordered at customer’s request. Free delivery on any ticket above $499. Excludes $19.99 removal/recycling fee.

Mees Tile and Marble 645 South Broadway Lexington, KY 40508 859.252.4545

Ceramic Tile & Porcelain Showroom 4536 Poplar Level Road Louisville, KY 40213 502.969.5858

Natural Stone Showroom & Fabrication Shop 4700 Astor Road Louisville, KY 40218 505.515.7878

Discover the Character of unique, one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories from around the world 4660 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40207 Just off Bowling Blvd next to Urban Active 502-895-3151


Recognized for its quality and exquisite design, Wedgwood fine bone China adds a touch of sophistication to your table. The new Equestria pattern features a contemporary feel with elegant details of the sport.

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Kentucky Homes & Gardens Sept/Oct 2012 Volume 9 Issue 5

On the Cover:

Photograph By: Walt Roycraft


The white cabinetry in the kitchen is surrounded by soothing aqua paint on the walls, which is reminiscent of the water in the Boston Harbor the homeowner enjoyed so much when he lived in New England. Turn to page 36 to see more.

14 Antiques

The Story Of Imari Porcelain

16 Landscapes

Strong horizontal lines in the porcelain ceramic tile work to accentuate other elements of this chic modern space, such as the window and the recessed niche. The room has a distinct spa-like feel, including a therapeutic pebble stone floor and open shower space with a natural stone counter and threshold. See More on page 26.

From Big Brown to Spring Green

18 Homescapes

From Smart Phones to Smart Homes

22 Gardens

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

32 Art

Pastel Painter

64 Discovering Kentucky

Fabulous Fabric Art

26 Showered In Luxury

Shower design can help to rejuvenate both mind and body.

36 Love of Land and Water

The homeowner’s original intent for the architecture was a French country design. He has heard it called a craftsman style, but prefers to think of his stone house in Fayette County as “American French country.”

44 A Heartfelt Homecoming

Situated just steps from Louisville’s stunning Olmstead-designed Cherokee Park.

52 Old World Treasure A half-dozen dogs show off their sense of humor in the 24” x 34” “Tailgate Party” painting.See More on page 32.


High polished bronze sinks, and matching toilet, adorned with fleur de leis, are both bold and subtle in this luxurious master bath. The floor, a high polished yellow travertine is a nice contrast to the black galaxy tile featuring flecks of gold. See More on page 52.

Store owner & decorator, Jamie Montgomery gives a sneak peak inside his own private wonderland

Nature’s Expressions

Outdoor Design & Construction

Sit back and relax.

Nature’s Expressions builds outdoor living spaces with everything from grass to gravel,

furniture to foilage and walkways to water features. Plus, we build it all year long. | 859-885-0015



Published by RHP Publishing, LLC PO Box 22754 Lexington, KY 40522 859.268.0217 Publisher: Rick Phillips

Landscape Remodeling

Associate Publisher: Carolyn Rasnick Associate Publisher: David Bishop Circulation and Distribution: Advertising Sales: Rick Phillips 859-268-0217 Advertising Sales: Mimi Leet 859-273-7616 Editors: Rick Phillips, Carolyn Rasnick Senior Associate Editor: Kirsten E. Silven Photography: Walt Roycraft Contributing Writers: Kirsten Silven Bill Henkel Kathie Stamps Christina Noll Jerry Shrout

Art Direction & Design: Tim Jones Printing: Freeport Press 121 Main St. Freeport, Ohio 43973 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. Subscription price: $24.95 for one year (six issues). Single copies: $8. Kentucky residents add 6% sales tax. Subscriptions and change-of-address should be sent to Kentucky Homes and Gardens, Subscriber Service Center, PO Box 22754, Lexington, KY 40522


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KENTUCKY HOMES & GARDENS Reach over 100,000 customers in print and online. To place your ad, contact: Advertising Sales Rick Phillips 859.268.0217

Unique Designs that Reflect Your Personality and Lifestyle Expertise in Specifying Countertops, Appliances, Plumbing Fixtures, Tile, Finishes and Lighting

Mimi Leet 859-273-7616

The little yellow house of big ideas! Visit our showroom at the corner of Euclid & Lafayette Avenues, Lexington 859-268-0800 | | M. Brent Richards, AIA and Suzie Bello Richards AK&B_KYHG_July2012.indd 1

6/8/12 11:27:07 AM

Bluegrass Cuisine The Bluegrass Region offers a wide variety of some of the most appetizing food. We invite you to visit these locations and find out for yourselves.

Try a different “Surf and Turf” from an “Original Great Steakhouse of North America.” A filet medallion served with our most popular sushi roll featuring cream cheese, crab and scallion tempura-fried then topped with teriyaki and sweet chili sauce. Three Malone’s locations, visit

Executive Chef Lindsay Brooks (Brugh), a Lexington native, earned a Superior Cuisine Medal in Paris, France. Her seasonal menus combine locally grown produce with a selection of artfully prepared premium meats and fresh seafoods. “Kentucky cuisine reaches new heights ... You will be dazzled by traditional Southern cuisine prepared with precision technique ... Enjoy fresh seafood, classic presentations of steak, and Southern favorites like shrimp and grits… Sit comfortably in the dining room amid equestrian art and memorabilia; or on the fabulous covered patio… [A] menu is also available in the Seahorse Lounge, along with fine wine, craft cocktails, and mint juleps made the old fashioned way. The Julep Cup is a Wine Spectator awardwinner that is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s happy hour, a romantic dinner for two, or private parties.”; Michael Lattin, Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs, August, 2012. Reservations: (859) 226-0300 or Facebook us for weekly features.

In a modern world of fast-food and quick fixes, Georgia’s Kitchen is a place that tenderly encourages its customers to reminisce about another era. Guests will find it difficult to leave the cozy tables inside until they see the enchanting garden. The fragrant garden is evolving to become a mini sanctuary, free from daily cares. Located along with Georgia’s Kitchen is Georgettes and Chiffons, a boutique dedicated to a ladylike lifestyle. (859)-252-6837

The ideal place to meet friends for drinks or food. We have the largest selection of wines of any Lexington restaurant that compliments our unique menu. So, stop by for a wonderful meal or pick up something from our retail shop for your tailgating or Keeneland outing. Wines on Vine 400 Old Vine St. Lex., Ky 40507 (859)-243-0017



by Jerry Shrout

1. Japanese Imari Vases, Circa 1870 2. Very rare Imari fish platters. Japanese, Circa 1870. 3. Square Charger, Round Charger with scalloped rim and an exquisite example of a rare form of reticulatedrim Oval Platter. All examples late 19th Century, Japanese.


From Simple to Sophisticated: THE STORY OF IMARI PORCELAIN First created in 17th century Japan, the colorful and elegant porcelain known as Imari became a significant export to the Western World. Originating from the town of Arita, Japan, the type of Imari that has become most widely known to the Western market is characterized by its rich color scheme utilizing an underglaze of cobalt blue and overglazes of red and gold. This pottery was named for the town of Imari, the port from which it was shipped to Europe. Beginning around 1656, The Dutch 1 the high demand for oriental East India Company recognized porcelain, and became Europe’s primary supplier for Imari creations. As demand grew, the artists who decorated Imari porcelain began adding green, purple and yellow to Imari plates in order to appeal to European tastes.


With the exception of wedding ware, early Imari plates were generally not marked on their bases. The wedding ware were marked with images of cranes or turtles. In Japanese culture, these animals symbolized contentment and longevity. Later, marks began to appear identifying the facility from which the porcelain was made or even, in some cases, the individual potter who crafted it. Other examples of markings include stamps which showed the port of shipment. Classic European forms began to surface within Imari production. Although the oldest pieces of Imari were of simple design and were sometimes only blue and white, Imari would go on to progress not only into much more complex color schemes but also feature elaborate ornamentation depicting various flowers,


patterns, animals or other symbolic figures. In addition, Imari plates might sometimes take the form of a fish. Imari bowls were made, and even Imari teapots with swan-necked spouts. The heyday of Imari production came during the time that, due to damage to many Chinese kilns during various conflicts on the Asian continent, China was no longer exporting to Europe. During these years Imari dominated the market for Asian export porcelain. Imari’s downfall as the dominant player in the market

came in the mid 18th century when China started exporting to Europe again and the Japanese were not able to compete with China’s pricing, due to the high cost of Japanese labor. At the same time, European kilns, including Meisen, began to copy and produce Imari designs. It was not until the late 19th century that the design phase of “Japonism” began to take Europe by storm, and export of Imari again thrived. During the period known as Japonism, Japanese art and design played a prominent role in influencing Western tastes. Today, the influence of Imari design is still felt. Due to its classic, rich color scheme, Imari and its reproductions continue to impact modern design. From authentic 3 old Imari plates and chargers, to contemporary adaptations of Imari as lamps, this centuries old design theme transcends well into many homes – from classic to contemporary – elegant to casual. Jerry Shrout is the proprietor of Thoroughbred Antique Gallery in Lexington. He can be reached at 859-233-9375 or



by Bill Henkel

enough, they were often fast and hard causing lots of run off. Because of that type of rain, the roots of our trees and shrubs could not take up enough moisture to maintain plant growth.Then add in the triple digit temperatures and a lot of our landscape, gardens, shrubs and trees, simply burned before our eyes. Even though it’s hard to look at the bright side when all you see is brown and burnt landscape and gardens, sometimes opportunity comes disguised as misfortune and perhaps this is the time to rethink that tired porch landscape and do something new, different and exciting. Instead of building a landscape for our neighbors – let’s think of landscape that’s special to those that live within the home. Perhaps now is the time to design a hidden entry garden that is visible only when you pass through it or is visible from your favorite window. Consider planting trees for shade around the patio or deck that you couldn’t use this summer because of the afternoon heat. Now is the time to remove the dead materials, the dying and any bedraggled plants and get them out of the garden so we can clearly see what we have to work with. Observe from afar and from all angles and think about your needs and wants from your landscape. Perhaps your front garden is flat with no mystery, no

FROM BIG BROWN TO SPRING GREEN Transforming Tired Bluegrass Gardens Having spent the last 36 years designing, building and managing gardens and landscapes in the Bluegrass I have seen a lot. This year at this time I am seeing a lot of brown, dead and drying trees and shrubs. The rains that rolled in have breathed new life into our bluegrass and fescue lawns, however they came too little and too late for some of our trees and shrubs. Fortunately or unfortunately, we are now faced with decisions about tress and shrub replacement this fall. If it is brown now and throughout the entire plant – remove it, more than likely it is gone forever. Let’s look at how this happened, kind of a deadly perfect storm for our gardens. The winter was very mild and we essentially skipped spring and blasted into the summer, 30 days ahead of normal schedule. It was hot in May with ample rain producing a most incredible display from our spring bulbs and hydrangeas. Plant growth had gone wild all too soon, then July arrived dressed as August bringing hot, dry and then hotter weather than we have seen in many years. Even though rains were frequent


Dream big! Start with a list that clearly defines your landscape needs and work to embrace the new exciting lawns and landscapes that can grow from this. If you know enough to design your garden go forward, otherwise your best bet is to hire a seasoned landscape architect with a specialty in garden designs for homes. These professionals can guide you through an exciting process of bringing your dreams to life. Your landscape plan should be like a map. Start with your destination (goal) and the routes (phases) you plan to take before arrival. It will force you to think – and think differently about your home and garden. Keep in mind, gardens and landscape continue to give season to season, year after year and they are never finished. Bill Henkel- Registered Landscape Architect Owner – Partner @ Henkel Denmark, Lexington, KY

intrigue and no sense of welcome. If so this might be the time to design a strong entry courtyard that projects an invitation to come in. Designing spaces and separating functions is one way to add interest and creativity that our landscapes so badly need. Lawn maintenance is one of our most costly landscape expenses and if that expensive lawn of brown is more turf than needed, now is the time to add to your landscape and garden beds by reducing your lawns.



by Christina Noll

FROM SMART PHONES TO SMART HOMES: NEW TECHNOLOGY IN HOME ENTERTAINMENT Is it ridiculous to want to watch a movie in your bathtub? What about controlling your door locks, lighting and temperature from a 1000 miles away? Or maybe you just want to listen to your new favorite song and check your email, without having to get out off the couch. New technology in home entertainment allows us to do all this and more. So much more, in fact, it’s almost impossible to keep up. “Technology is moving so fast and there are so many things we can do now,” explains Barney Miller, owner of Barney


Millers in Lexington and an expert in home technology. “Even better, everything has become more reliable and less expensive than it was even a few years ago.” Take music for example. “Music has really changed over the years,” says Miller. “We’ve gone from radio, albums, cassette tapes, analog stuff to digital with CD’s and now computer music or streamed music is the popular thing.” There are several ways to stream music and create great sound all controlled right from the phone or web tablet in your hand. One way is to use

a streaming box, the most popular made by Sonos. A digital audio converter provides a warmer sound that’s not so harsh and digital. Add to that an amplifier, plus some nice speakers and you are set. “Back in the day, 10 or 15 years ago, people would have cringed if you told them you were plugging your phone into the front of your amplifier. But that’s how everyone wants to do it,” says Miller. “Now you can plug right into the front of an amplifier and it’s designed to make digital music coming out of your phone, out of a Sonos box, or out of your computer all sound fantastic.” Best of all, you can still hold your phone and use it to check your Twitter feed, surf the internet or even make an actual phone call. Television is another area where technology has come a long way in a short time. Most TV’s today include some sort of smart technology. Virtually every brand now has local area dimming which gives incredible contrast. Some flat paneled TV’s now include a fourth color pixel, yellow, which greatly increases the color spectrum for a better picture. “The Elite TV by Sharpe has both of those things. It’s the best TV in the world, in my opinion,” says Miller. “The color accuracy and picture detail is just smoking. You’re going to pay for it, but it’s worth it.” Three dimensional television, voice recognition and motion activated control, built in cameras and internet capability complete with “App” stores are all part of what television has to offer consumers today. You can even share photos and videos right from your phone to the TV screen, instantly. Those extras are fun, but Miller says, “If you’re on a limited budget, I would

recommend a more basic TV and spend money on other things like sound and control.” While flat panels can be pretty big these days--up to 90 inches--if you want to go even larger, there are front and rear projection screens. Rear projection screens, where the projector sits several feet behind the screen, work well in basements where there is a utility or storage room behind the screen. “The advantage is that there is self-contained light back there, so you don’t have the ambient light in the room messing with the picture,” explains Miller. Projection screens can be very large, without the associated cost of a similar sized plasma screen. Screens can be perforated, similar to a screen in a movie theatre, which gives the ability to put speakers right behind the screen, and and allows for a wider screen in the room. Rear projection screens can be made of glass, providing a durable surface that stands the test of time. “Dual subwoofers, rear speakers, one remote solutions and acoustic panels on the walls--it all makes a nice home theatre,” says Miller. “This is the place you want to watch a movie or a concert.” All weather TVs are another terrific option for those who enjoy outdoor living. Today’s models come with fans and heat sensors, louder speakers and anti-glare screens, in sizes from 32 inch all the way to 65 inch. “You could spray a hose at it and it’d be okay,” laughs Miller. And while you’re outside, you’ll want outdoor speakers, in ground sub woofers and a control system that let’s you adjust your landscape lighting, change your music and surf the internet all from your phone or tablet. “Networking, whether it’s for indoors or outdoors is really popular because so much of what we do rides on the home



by Christina Noll

network now. Whether it’s wired or wireless, it’s the backbone of home technology,” says Miller. Networks can work off switches, routers or access points. Miller says wired is always the best because it’s the fastest and the most secure. “If using wireless, you want your coverage really good, especially if you


have outdoor entertainment. You want to aim it back toward your house, not toward the street,” he explains. Once your network is set, a home control system allows you to enjoy the latest technology with the greatest ease. “Think of it as a remote control for your home,” says Miller. Basically, these systems allow you to control everything in your home from either an in-wall touch panel, Smartphone, web tablet or computer screen. From security cameras and the temperature of your home, to music streaming and watching a movie on Blu-ray, everything has a cohesive look and can be controlled from your phone, computer or TV screen. “And you can expand on it,” explains Miller. “You can add custom buttons that give multiple commands, such as ‘Good Night’ which would turn off lights, lock doors and more.” With so much available now in home technology and home control, the options are only limited by our imaginations. Whether you start small, or update everything at once, the key to doing it right is working with a professional with the expertise to design, program and install it properly.

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by Kirsten E. Silven


THE WESTERN KENTUCKY BOTANICAL GARDEN OF OWENSBORO Photography: Courtesy of Western Kentucky Botanical Garden A work of art that is always in motion, this community garden space offers countless educational opportunities and provides easy access to the beauty and wonder of our natural world. The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden encompasses nine acres that have been carefully designed to create a variety of unique areas. Dr. William Tyler and his wife Susie, who now serves as the garden’s volunteer director, donated the land to the City of Owensboro in 1994, helping the Daviess County Master


Gardeners achieve their dream of creating a botanical garden in the region. Since then, the garden has literally blossomed under the guidance of its dedicated board of directors and also thanks to the hard work of countless local horticultural professionals and volunteers. “The land was previously used for growing soybeans and corn, so we had to start from scratch,” shared Susie. “We were




1. Lively red and yellow Appledorn tulips wind their way gently through the garden, leading the eye to the educational building and conservatory beyond. 2. The rose garden is truly a spectacular sight to behold, with red Floribunda ‘Betty Boop’ and ‘Red Knockout’ roses, as well as white hybrid Tea ‘Pristine,’ Floribunda ‘Iceberg’ and miniature ‘Green Ice’ roses. Two of the garden’s five Wind Sculptures™ are also visible in the background; created by Lyman Whitaker and a gift from the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation, the kinetic sculptures were found in a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


3. This shade structure blends in nicely with the natural surroundings and is covered in graceful purple wisteria. Assorted bearded irises in the foreground blend with azaleas and rhododendrons in the garden beyond, bringing additional color, while large natural boulders from the surrounding countryside provide texture and frame a small water feature. 4. Part of the Moonlight Children’s Garden, the charming Playhouse in the Garden serves a variety of purposes and is available for parties and other private functions. A yellow brick road meanders through zinnias, purple hardy begonia and a redbud ‘Hearts of Gold,’ while a wooden sculpture that was created by Monty Helms and artists from the Owensboro Community and Technical College for the annual Scarecrow Festival provides added visual interest.


interested in providing opportunities for people to learn about plants, nature and preserving the environment.” The garden’s offerings include special programs for adults and students, such as educational tours and classes, a reference library and a conservatory, which houses a variety of orchids and other tropical plants. The garden also demonstrates practical solutions to the gardening problems that are specific to this region and has worked to develop educational programs that are designed for seniors and area schools, as well as for other groups, such as the Girl Scouts.


5. A koi pond in the Moonlight Children’s Garden is surrounded by Tuscarora crape myrtle, zinnias and blooming spearmint.

Today, the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has become an important center dedicated to growing and displaying hundreds of outstanding plant selections, as well as a popular location for social gatherings, weddings, receptions and meetings. The different themed gardens include a rose garden, a large herb garden, a daylily display garden, an iris garden, a rain garden and a small Japanese memorial garden in memory of Ikebana flower designer and author Mary Takahashi. In addition, there is the remarkable Moonlight Children’s Garden, in memory of Hugh (Pappy) and Catherine Bosley,

6. Fernleaf dill can be seen blooming in the herb garden, along with Korean hyssop and an assortment of daylilies beyond. The large gazebo has become a popular venue for weddings, dances and parties. 7. Beckoning visitors to explore the rose garden beyond, this decorative arch is covered in ‘New Dawn’ climbing roses and was donated in memory of Nancy Murphy. The fountain was a gift from long time garden supporter and board member, Betty Sue Hill. 8. This armillary was a gift from Owensboro’s Fleur de Lis Garden Club and is seen here nestled among the herb garden’s deep pink Globe amaranth ‘Strawberry Fields’ and bright purple Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria.’



that includes its very own maze, koi pond, rainbow walk and butterfly garden. One of the most notable features of the children’s garden, however, is the Playhouse in the Garden, which was donated in honor of renowned Kentucky attorney Morton J. Holbrook, Jr. The structure is open by appointment and is also a popular destination for children’s parties. A yellow brick road leads the way to the playhouse, which features charming yet age-appropriate décor, as well as a full kitchen. A historic country doctor’s building, originally found in western Daviess County that dates back to the 1890s, was moved to the property and is situated near the herb garden. The preservation of this structure is important because it represents an era when herbal medicine was actively practiced throughout the region. The welcome center is also housed in a structure that was moved to the property and contains a horticultural library. Originally a family home, this building was moved to the garden in 2000 and was donated by Dr. Artis and Allison Truett. The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden is located at 25 Carter Road in Owensboro. It is open daily throughout the growing season from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Friday in the winter months. For more information, call 270-852-8925 or visit




by Kirsten E. Silven


1 1. Multiple body sprays and a handheld showerhead create a pleasurable experience in this urban oasis in a design that embodies modern industrial sophistication. The sliding shower doors add visual interest, while the wooden accents bring texture and provide a grounding element. Photo courtesty of Basco Shower Enclosures, submitted by Brock McVey.


Showers have become more important than freestanding tubs and more popular than tub-shower combinations in recent years, as homeowners have embraced the fact that a luxurious shower can transform an otherwise ordinary bathroom into a truly remarkable space. Showers are used much more frequently than tubs and can create a transformative experience, helping to jump-start your day on a positive note and providing the perfect place to recover from a hectic schedule. “Size is the biggest change we’ve seen in recent years,” shared Todd Meyer, CEO of Mees Tile & Marble. “Today’s showers often incorporate two or three shower heads, ample seating and plenty of shelving.” Large walk-in showers can also improve the resale value of a home and provide enough room for other features, such as waterproof televisions, multiple body sprays and bench seating. When remodeling an existing bathroom, one way to create a larger shower space is to remove the tub, while incorporating frameless glass creates an open, airy feel, making even smaller spaces seem larger. According to Gwen Fowler, a designer with Architectural Kitchens & Baths, another popular trend is the use of digital control systems, which can operate multiple aspects of the user experience including sound, lighting, flow rates and even the length of time that a shower is in use. “Heated floors are also popular,” shared Fowler. “Not just in the bathroom, but also in the shower area.” If relaxation and stress relief are high on your priority list, a steam room system is an excellent addition to any shower area. In as little as 10 to 15 minutes these home systems will create a therapeutic atmosphere worthy of any commercial



“TODAY’S SHOWERS OFTEN INCORPORATE TWO OR THREE SHOWER HEADS, AMPLE SEATING AND PLENTY OF SHELVING.” spa. An added bonus? Today’s steam showers typically use less than two gallons of water per session. “The size of the hot water heater and the amount of water pressure that is available are two important considerations for showers with


multiple body sprays,” shared Pete Ostaseki of Ferguson Enterprises. Homes that operate with cisterns or well systems will not be able to push water as forcefully as city water lines, so a booster pump may be necessary. Also, opting for a tankless water heater will ensure that you do not run out of hot water. Aging in place is another important consideration for today’s shower designs, according to Susan and Doug Young, co-owners of Showcase Showers. For example, a curbless design provides a streamlined look that is aesthetically pleasing and also makes it easy to get in and out of the shower, since there is no barrier to step over. The shower floor is an often-overlooked yet crucial element of the design process that can serve both a functional and a decorative purpose. Not only is it essential to get the slope just right, but choosing the right materials for a shower floor is imperative. “Flooring can be a highly visual aspect of the overall design,” shared Kathy Hays, owner of Unique Tile. “Especially if there is a




2. Located in the penthouse suite of 22-story high-rise, this remarkable shower and bath alcove incorporates a variety of natural elements to ground the space and features a masterful blend of horizontal and vertical lines. The granite sink rests atop a sturdy teak countertop, while the tub is finished in durable, bronze-hued enamel. Photo and design by Amélie de Gaulle Interiors. 3. This neo angle corner shower design maximizes the available space and provides a refined look. Layers of lighting provide plenty of illumination, while the large shower tiles and bronzetoned fixtures express popular trends. Photo courtesty of Basco Shower Enclosures, submitted by Brock McVey. 4. This luxurious, rain glass shower door was designed with a rounded, wave-like edge to complement the contemporary feel of the space and features brushed nickel hardware. The shower is designed with a low threshold for ease of entry and is crafted from one-inch tiles in a rich chocolate hue. Photo courtesty of Basco Shower Enclosures, submitted by Brock McVey.

6 large amount of glass on the walls, the floor can serve as a vital decorative element.” Another key element in designing the perfect shower space is the lighting. Without quality lighting, even the most beautiful shower can feel cramped and cave-like. If the space has plenty of natural light during the day, keep in mind that the shower will also be used at night, so carefully planned artificial lighting is essential. “Great lighting eliminates dark spots and will accent the shower’s overall design,” shared Donna Snowden of Brock McVey. According to Meyer, the use of natural stone is another notable trend in shower design. Natural stone can be used on window encasements, shelving, jambs, curbs and benches, as well as on the walls and floors to provide a durable, low-maintenance and visually stunning base to complement virtually any design. In addition, Meyer says he uses a special, quartz-based urethane


grout that comes in a wide variety of gorgeous colors and is highly resistant to mold and mildew. Fowler also mentioned the growing popularity of going green. This can include everything from selecting naturally sourced sustainable materials, to where the materials are purchased, to how the shower performs. “Today’s low-flow showerheads use even less water than earlier models,” she shared. “And purchasing products that are manufactured locally or in the surrounding region has also become a consideration.” When creating a unique shower space, the imagination seems to be the only boundary that exists. The endless possibilities in decorative tile and stone, countless finishes available for fixtures and the impressive versatility of glass all help to push the limits of design and create ever more beautiful spaces.

5. Stunning Calacatta Oro porcelain tiles by Alys Edwards have a distinct creamy white background with veins of gold and grey, bringing unparalleled natural beauty to this cheerful, luminous space. The shower is encircled by frameless glass and illuminated by natural light from above. Photo courtesy of Global Granite & Marble.


6. A striking onyx slab acts as a radiant focal point and is surrounded by monochromatic limestone. Lighting is key to the stunning aesthetic of this shower space, which also boasts a trough drain, floating limestone bench and recessed niche. Design by Robyn Scott Interiors, Tom Cole of Points West Vail Architecture and 186 Lighting Design Group. Photography by Teri Fotheringham. 7. Strong horizontal lines in the porcelain ceramic tile work to accentuate other elements of this chic modern space, such as the window and the recessed niche. The room has a distinct spa-like feel, including a therapeutic pebble stone floor and open shower space with a natural stone counter and threshold. Design by Abramson Teiger Architects, Culver City, California. Photography by Jim Bartsch, Santa Barbara, California.


8. With a glamorous yet functional aesthetic, this elegant shower was part of a master bath renovation project that transformed the space into a chic retreat. The caramel and cream-hued onyx tiles are a visual treat, while the Crema Marfil marble bench and floor tiles are heated for maximum comfort. Photo and design by VeDco Design Group, Inc. 9. A recessed, all-glass shower acts as the centerpiece in this contemporary take on a traditional master bath, designed by Visbeen Architects. Surrounded by three transparent walls and open on one end, the shower does not obstruct the view or break up the room’s capacious design. Photography by W. Patrick Chambers.




by Kathie Stamps


Pastel Painter Kentucky native Debbie Graviss has blended a lifelong love of drawing and her dual training in graphic design and interior design into an enterprise of fine art. Known for her paintings of horses, dogs and cats, Graviss expanded her repertoire to include floral and botanical subjects this year. Growing up, she was always drawing animals. As an adult, she discovered that her grandmother, whom she never met because she died a year before Graviss was born, was quite artistic and had painted pastels of dogs. “Who knew I would end up being inclined to do the same thing?” she said. Her love of animals led Graviss to paint them in a variety of mediums over the years, until she discovered pastels. Since 2006 this has been her medium of choice. “Basically, pastel is condensed pigments with some binding agents,” Graviss explained. A pastel looks like chalk but is really paint. She favors soft pastels, which have more pigment than binder, as opposed to hard pastels or oil pastels. On a trip to Paris, she was captivated by the pastels at Sennelier, an art shop on the Left Bank that was once patronized by Monet and Cezanne. Graviss was later


surprised with a birthday present from her husband: an entire set of Sennelier’s 525 shades of pastels. One day in 2011, Graviss was visiting New Editions Gallery in Lexington. She was flipping through her iPhone and owner Frankie York saw some stunning photographs of flowers. Graviss had taken the pictures and York encouraged her to paint them, offering her a solo show. “She has an amazing ability to bring those animals alive on paper,” York said. “She has done the same thing with the florals.” Graviss eagerly accepted York’s invitation and her solo show, “Garden Party,” in June 2012 featured 20 new floral paintings. “New Editions is one of the finest galleries in our area,” Graviss said. She typically works with 16” by 20” paintings, but has painted portraits as small as 8” by 10” and as large as 36” by 48”. With the larger pieces, she stands when she paints—moving in and stepping back, putting her whole body into it. “If I have to work really small, that takes out that movement,” she said. Graviss rarely uses a fixative on her work, for fear it will dull the vibrant color of the pastels. Museum glass is her preferred selection





4 6


1. Titled “Nature’s Party,” this 24” x 36” painting is of a yellow bird of paradise. 2. EquinePolo The sport of polo comes alive in this 20” x 16” painting called “Hard Right.” 3. “I love, love, love the pastels,” Graves said. “It is like painting with butter.” This orchid painting is called “Exotic Dancer.” 4. Painting brings the artist great joy, which comes across in her work, like this 32” x 24” botanical painting named “Open Arms.” 5. Graviss is known for portraying the personalities of animals, as evidenced in “Lulu’s Smile.”


6. Every picture tells a story. “Seeing Eye to Eye” is an 18” x 22” painting that could entertain a creative writer or storyteller for hours. 7. EquineMorningBath Titled “Morning Bath at Keeneland,” Graviss painted an exquisite equine scene with pastels. 8. A half-dozen dogs show off their sense of humor in the 24” x 34” “Tailgate Party” painting.

Combining her photography skills and original art, Graviss also produces note cards and giclées (digital prints) of her paintings. They are available at local galleries and online at www.

8 for framing. She mounts the image right up to the edge of the glass and has it sealed around the edges with acid archival tape. “Artists hold a responsibility for what they paint and put out for people to see,” Graviss said. “I do believe it’s a God-given gift meant to have a good purpose behind it.” She wants the art she produces to be positive, beautiful and uplifting. “Art can affect people, and I don’t have an interest in putting problems or sadness out there to share with somebody.”




Photography: Walt Roycraft

1 1. The homeowner’s original intent for the architecture was a French country design. He has heard it called a craftsman style, but prefers to think of his stone house in Fayette County as “American French country.”




3 This property in Fayette County combines the homeowner’s love of water and landscaping. Dr. Wayne Colin grew up in New York and lived in Boston for 20 years. His apartment was two blocks from Boston’s Old North Church. “I could see a little portion of the harbor,” he said. He had a view of one of the masts of the USS Constitution warship, known by the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Ever since then, he has wanted to have a home with a water view. His medical career took him to three other cities before he moved to Lexington a decade ago, where he is an ear, nose and throat doctor. After a long search for the perfect property, Colin found a vacant lot near a reservoir. “It’s an acre of land, either a whisper above or below,” he said. He spent the better part of a year in the sketching, planning and designing phase, and another two and a half years building the house. It is almost 4,500 square feet with a story and a half, plus an unfinished basement. When the sun rises in the east over the backyard, Colin has a breathtaking view of the water from the large windows and French doors spanning the great room in his house. “It’s very bright in the morning,” he said. “The sun reflects off the water.” Running the same length of the east wall on the second floor is a landing. A large bay window right in the center makes a perfect spot for a Christmas tree. There are also two guest bedrooms upstairs with a Jack and Jill bathroom, an alcove for an office space, and an extra staircase leading down to the kitchen. Above the garage is a huge unfinished space, a total of 600 square feet, that the homeowner says could be turned into a rec room, a bowling alley or a mother-in-law suite.

The entryway on the main floor opens to a great room, with the formal dining area and kitchen to the left, a study and the master suite to the right. The open floor plan has a wonderful flow for entertaining. The homeowner has had as many as 75 people over for gatherings. In the kitchen (yes, the doctor admits to cooking a little), the center island has a Bosch stovetop. There are granite counter tops, a microwave underneath one counter top, and a wine cooler. Hardwood flooring throughout the main floor is Brazilian cherry. For the octagonal-shaped study off the foyer, a light maple makes for a beautiful contrast with the rich, dark cherry wood on the floor and walls. To play off the red and purplish highlights of the exterior Pennsylvania bluestone, the homeowner chose a color palette of red and blue for the landscaping. He enjoys taking care of the yard himself, from the planting to the mowing and weeding. There are plenty of blue spruce trees on the property, as well as red and purple double knockout roses. Colin moved into the house on April 1, 2007. A couple of weeks later, with precious little furniture to his name yet, his real estate agent called to say a “local sports celebrity” had driven by, really liked the house and was interested in buying it. Having spent two and a half years building the house, on top of a year to design it and a year before that to find the land, the homeowner politely declined. “I said it’s not for sale.” Billy Gillispie, the short-lived UK basketball coach, had to find another place. Dr. Colin has lived in the house for five years now. “I designed it from its inception. It’s the home love of my life,” he said. “But if someone came along with the right price now…I’d think about it.”





Jim Turpin

Bobby Cameron



Padgett Construction


Modern Systems


Moses Drilling Company

5 2. The imposing entry features an arched door with inset “speakeasy” door viewers. Instead of a truss, there is a series of three corbels, painted white. From the center corbel hangs a wrought-iron chandelier on wenches.

4. The white cabinetry in the kitchen is surrounded by soothing aqua paint on the walls, which is reminiscent of the water in the Boston Harbor the homeowner enjoyed so much when he lived in New England.

3. Off the entrance, the formal dining room sports a chandelier and Stickley furniture. Ornate handknotted area rugs throughout the house enhance the beauty of the Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring.

5. Crisp white floorboards and crown molding complement the Tuscany paint colors in this house. White trim frames this passthrough window from the great room to the kitchen. A granite

ledge and comfortable bar stools turn it into a cozy nook. 6. Comfortable leather furniture defines the living room area in the great room. To the left is a wall of windows and French doors offering a wonderful view of a reservoir. 7. In the master bath, the walkthrough shower behind the tub is almost invisible, yet it’s still a focal point. With the look of a wall, the dual-entrance

shower is the ultimate “no maintenance” experience, with no curtains or doors. 8. On the other side of the entryway, an octagonal-shaped room has a fireplace and several built-in bookshelves for showcasing family heirlooms and souvenirs from the homeowner’s travels.








1.Drawing inspiration from the many historic plantations that grace our southern states, this splendid home is nestled on a hilltop near Louisville’s Cherokee Park. The limestone steps curve gently down to the street and two hand-carved limestone lions, which came from an estate in New Orleans, stand as tireless sentries welcoming visitors to the parking terrace with a certain joie de vivre.

A HEARTFELT HOMECOMING Situated just steps from Louisville’s stunning Olmstead-designed Cherokee Park, this home provided a peaceful place for homeowner Janice Carter Levitch to raise her two teenage daughters and inspired her to new creative heights. By: Kirsten E. Silven Photography: Walt Roycraft



2 When Janice Carter Levitch first stepped into the sundappled foyer in the midst of Derby week seven years ago, she immediately sensed that this would be the place where she would raise her two daughters, Alana and Sarah Carter. The girls were just six and seven years of age at the time, and as an active family Janice knew she wanted to be close to the park, but it was more than just the location and the home’s beauty that attracted her. “I sensed that the home had a life of its own and I intuitively followed that feeling,” she shared. From the bucolic appearance of this home’s façade, one would never guess that it is actually situated just a few minutes from 2. Spacious and welcoming, the foyer opens to both the salon and the office. The buffet was shipped in from its previous home in the French countryside and boasts stunning hand-carved pewter hardware and the original floralpatterned drawer liners. The terra cotta urn perched at the top of the staircase came from North Africa and was originally used as an olive oil container.


3. A pop art-inspired image of homeowner Janice Carter Levitch acts as a focal point above the fireplace in the salon and was a gift from renowned photographer Ed Brown, marking a new chapter in her life. Lanterns from an estate in New Orleans flank the mantle, while rusticated urns planted with live topiary bring added symmetry and pops of bright green color to the space. The French doors open to the wine terrace, which boasts a stunning antique garden centerpiece and provides an excellent place for entertaining.

downtown Louisville, but the setting is just one of the many lovely characteristics of this neighborhood, which was designed to wrap around and complement Cherokee Park. Built in 1922, the home also has a certain international feel, as though you have suddenly been transported to some other place and time immediately upon crossing the threshold. Janice was initially driven by the desire to provide a stable, loving home for her two daughters and she also foresaw that here, in this home, she would finally be able to simply sit and write. Since then, Janice has spent countless hours in her office, documenting a lifetime of feelings and emotions, channeling her many experiences into the forthcoming Graceful Energy series. 4. Steeped in casual elegance, the dining room incorporates a long window seat along one side of the table. The pillows are covered in a tapestry from the 1920s that depicts a classic Parisian scene, while the table serves as an anchor for the space and was hand carved in Paris. One of the frames to the right of the doorway holds a beloved painting of a horse by one of the homeowner’s daughters and is virtually indistinguishable from the other works, which are by a variety of noteworthy artists.

5. As the home’s creative space, where homeowner and writer Janice Carter Levitch works on her Graceful Energy series, the office is a study in elegance and serves as the true heart of the home. The antique desk is a cherished gift from a dear friend in Cuba, while the paintings of palm trees flanking the couch are commissioned works by a Peruvian artist and the wall is adorned with a variety of pictures taken by the homeowner.


“I sensed that the home had a life of its own and I intuitively followed that feeling,” The first book, Quiet Power, has already been published and there are seven others that are still in the works. “The inspiration I’ve found in this home is overwhelming,” she shared. “It has been a true gift to our family. Growing up, my mother always centered our home around love of family and I have followed in her footsteps.” Before the family moved in, the home underwent a major renovation, creating a finished space that is steeped in casual elegance and provides plenty of room for the many precious items Janice has collected throughout her life and travels. The floors were refinished in a rich chocolate brown that is actually a mesmerizing blend of black, brown and gold. “Achieving just the right shade was a challenge, but it was worth the extra effort and I am absolutely thrilled with the result,” she said. Throughout the redesign, it was also very important to Janice that they retain the original charm of the home despite its numerous updates. This was accomplished in part by adding very little recessed lighting and by copying the existing woodworking and shelving wherever new designs were incorporated. Perched on less than two acres, the property boasts a large, expansive lawn that cascades down to the street from a new

parking terrace that was also an integral part of the renovation. For Derby week, this outdoor space is transformed into a gorgeous al fresco dining terrace that is enjoyed by guests from Blue Devil Racing Stable in New York, who return year after year. “If I could sum up what this home means to me, I would say that it has been a tremendous blessing,” shared Janice. “Our home is full of love and surrounded by beauty.” 6. This lively, inviting kitchen was completely renovated but maintained the original footprint. It boasts a cook top with four burners, a griddle and a heat lamp, as well as the homeowner’s coveted commercial-grade Traulsen refrigerator, which is a rare find among residential homes. The plates above the cabinets on both sides of the sink were found in Tunisia, while the antique French clock light over the table adds visual interest and the butcher-block countertops create a functional and beautiful workspace.

7. The pool terrace was designed expressly for the enjoyment of the homeowner’s two teenage daughters. The limestone base under the pergola and caps on the wall are in keeping with elements of the home’s façade, while the stucco was fashioned using an old-world method and provides heightened privacy. The Belle Epoque antique decorative wrought iron railing was imported from Paris, France.








9. The master bath retained the charm and integrity of the original space, but is wrapped in mirrors with beveled edges and framed by stunning wainscoting to create a light, airy oasis. The marble sink top is from Architectural Salvage, while American Bath Factory provided the exposed plumbing and hardware. The space also boasts a Herbeau L’Art du Sanitaire depuis 1857 French commode.

9 HOUSE CREDITS Jeff Skelton, Landscape Designer: Otte Landscape & Design Group

Bittners: David Schneider, Renovation Amy Cimba, Interior Design Consultant Architectural Salvage: Provence cote d’Azur Garden Gates Clearwater Pools & Spas, Inc.


Accutemp Heating & Cooling Systems: Doug Dorsey

Tom Lutz, AKBD Designer: Just 4 You, LLC Willis Klein Showrooms: Leigh Brown, Consultant

Millers Fancy Bath & Kitchen: Brenda Scott, Designer

The Trend Appliances Fetzer for the Home

Whitehouse Residential Painting Bella Stone Designs

Iron Touch, LLC: Sherman Blankenship

10. This charming vignette is located in the home’s light-filled entry hall and provides a glimpse into the office beyond. The antique chest was a gift from a close friend in Cuba. The Italian pencil sketch above was drawn in the 1700s and is partially concealed by a decorative boxwood wreath, meant to welcome good energy into the home.



1. Located in suburban Lexington, the outside of this traditional twostory home on a basement does not belie the treasure that waits inside. Despite being part of a neighborhood, the home offers nice views and a feeling of seclusion.





2 To say you are blown away when you enter Jamie Montgomery’s home is an understatement. Both the host and his home are charming beyond belief. Montgomery, along with his partner Steve, have been crafting their masterpiece for the last 14 years, adding favorite pieces and finishing touches. “It didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a slow process,” says Montgomery.

“Our favorite travel destination is Newport, Rhode Island, home to the Newport Mansions.”

The result is a breathtakingly beautiful step back in time. And it’s no surprise--Montgomery, owner of Olde World Interiors in Lexington, has become an established interior decorator. “Decorating is my passion,” he says. “I can talk about it all day long.” He has infused this passion, along with his love of everything old world, into the over 5,000 square foot home. The home is heavily influenced by the Gilded Age, as well as the Victorian and Gothic eras. “Our favorite travel destination is Newport, Rhode Island, home to the Newport Mansions,” says Montgomery. “Some of the things we did in this house are inspired by our frequent visits there.”


Montgomery is big on themes. Each of his five bedrooms is extensively themed to match the descriptive nameplates on the doors marking the Neoclassic, Gothic, Parisian, European and Louis XV suites. Other themes include the letter “M,” found throughout the house, as well as crests, and his signature lion, also symbolic for his store. “I started Olde World Interiors as a creative outlet. Our inspiration was to bring old world style to Lexington,” he says. “We actually went to England and researched lines at Harrods, some of which we carry now in our shop.” The influence of Montgomery’s extensive European travel is also evident everywhere you turn. From the stone statues in every room, to the Sistine Chapel wallpaper on the ceiling of the first floor bathroom, there is truly a feel of stepping into centuries old grandeur. “I always try to view everything as timeless when I’m decorating,” he says. “Anything in our house, or any old world inspired home, would have looked good 100 years ago and still will a 100 years from now. There’s a genuine elegance when you go with a timeless look.” Montgomery doesn’t limit himself to large-scale furnishings or expensive accessories to achieve the effect. “When it comes to decorating, regardless of price, if it’s pretty, I can talk about it for hours,” he says. He especially likes to use unusual, three dimensional art in addition to traditional wall art. “Anytime I find an architectural element I love, especially if it’s gilded with gold or bronze, I usually just buy it and find a place for it,” he says. These architectural elements and one of a kind, limited edition pieces give the home it’s unique flavor, as does a careful blend

2. An annual pool party is a must for this couple who loves entertaining. The main part of the house opens right out to the pool, which includes columns and large urns reflective of the European flair throughout the house. 3. Hand painted by Vince and Casey Murray, a husband and wife team, to look like stone castle walls, the foyer welcomes guests and establishes the theme of the home. A shield, giant lion statues over the front door, and a tapestry all add to the effect. Murray also freehand painted a false “window,� on the left hand wall, complete with roman statues, which appear to be sitting in the windowsill, which gives the room a spacious feel. At the top of the stairs, floors transition to Hamburg Oak, from a barn torn down in Hamburg.



4 of colors that add warmth to the elegance. Rich browns in every hue are balanced with vibrant jewel tones for a punch of boldness. But the real beauty lies in the exquisite detail found in every corner. Velvets, silks, fur, feathers and even Swarovski crystals adorn pillows and window treatments with subtle touches. When paired with the heavy furniture, these whimsical flourishes keep the rooms from becoming too masculine. He also uses a lot of scale to make an impression. “I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes people make when decorating their home; they know what they like, but they’re afraid to go large.” The house is filled with large custom floral arrangements created by close friend and floral manager at Olde World Interiors, Sharon Mitchell. Montgomery gives her well-deserved praise for the works of art. “It’s like watching an artist paint a picture. She’s so meticulous about it,” he says. As a visitor, it is sometimes hard to decide where to look, as so much beauty vies for your attention. But that is exactly the way Montgomery intended it. “My key objective when I decorate is that I like the eye to travel. I like to find something to surprise you in every corner, if I can,” he says. A surprise, and a pleasure to behold. The home itself is a true work of art.


4. “One of the things that sold us on this house was the big dining room,” says Montgomery. Perfect for large gatherings, the room features stenciled walls that give the appearance of granite or marble and showcases several unique pieces including a replica of a royal throne. The highlight is the angelic mural above the table, trimmed in gold and surrounding a leaded crystal chandelier by Arte de Mexico. 5. Italian plaster walls with hand painted raised Italian stencil in a cheerful gold mimics the old frescos of Italy and set the tone for the room. Filled with unusual, eye-catching pieces, including a limited edition Maitland-Smith penshell carousel lamp, this cozy room embodies warmth and welcoming. Austrian sheers, along with antique candelabras from Decoratifs, a birthday gift

from Steve to Jamie, frame the large window that overlooks the pool outside. 6. The master suite, named after Louis XV, is host to a multitude of crowns, scrolls and lattice design, all on theme. A heavily carved Louis XV bed, gold painted brown velvet curtains and sculpted carpet complete the look. The domed ceiling features a hand painted mural depicting famous statues from Italy that indicate day, night, dawn and dusk, as well as the roman numerals for 1998, the year the home was completed. The inspiration for the overall color theme of the mural was drawn from the Newport Mansions Marble House drawing room and dining room.” It spoke to me. and I thought, It has to be somewhere in my house,” says Montgomery. “This to me was our crowning achievement”




7 7. High polished bronze sinks, and matching toilet, adorned with fleur de leis, are both bold and subtle in this luxurious master bath. The floor, a high polished yellow travertine is a nice contrast to the black galaxy tile featuring flecks of gold. A dome over the Jacuzzi tub allowed room for a chandelier and another spot to add some metallic gold. The lion head above the tub is a working fountain and a gift from one of Montgomery’s clients. A stained glass piece that shows through to the walk in shower depicts fighting lions and a crest that again, references 1998, the year the house was completed.

8. With a whimsical and almost childlike appeal, the European suite transports guests to another place. Central to the theme is a hand painted Italian fresco reminiscent of a fairy tale, which anchors the large wall and brings color to the room. “I love when you look at a piece of art and it transports you to a peaceful place,” says Montgomery. Cherub lithographs framed in gold, along with cherub-covered coverlets complete the elegant but fun room.

HOUSE CREDITS Hand painted murals and wall art: Vince and Casey Murray Other hand painted wall finishes: Linda Boyles Furniture, Florals, Accessories & Artwork from Olde World Interiors, Lexington


9. Designed around the custom stencil used on the walls, this room is an exact replica of a room Montgomery, and his staff, created for a decorator showcase home in 2005. “I loved it so much I didn’t want to part with it, so we duplicated it in our home,” he explains. A four-poster bed, silk drapes with sheers that pull from the wall stencil and a painting of a Parisian street scene all round out this fabulous look.






“Decor that Fairy Tales are made of”


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   


By: Christina Noll

Fabulous Fabric Art

A National Art Museum in a Quaint Kentucky Town


Frank Bennett has a trick he does when he gives presentations. “I put up a PowerPoint presentation with a few slides and I ask the audience what they see,” he explains. “Sometimes they say, ‘Oh, it’s a painting, or a stained glass window.’ but actually every single one of them are quilts.” As the Chief Executive Officer of the National Quilt Museum, Frank knows that many people do not consider quilt and fiber art as “true art.” “What’s interesting about this place, and what really makes it unique, is that it opens people’s eyes when they come here,” he says. “The comment we hear more than any other is that this is really art. And you can tell people are surprised by that.” With over 40 thousand visitors arriving from all 50 states of the United States and over 40 countries each year, The National Quilt Museum is the largest quilt and fiber art museum in the world and a true destination.  Indeed, it lives up to its reputation as the “Mecca of quilting.” 


“The quilt museum’s primary goal is advancing the art of quilting by exhibiting the finest fiber art on display anywhere,” says Bennett. The 27 thousand square foot facility, located in downtown Paducah, houses the museum’s own collection, numbering over 320 quilts, as well as traveling exhibits of quilts from all over the world, which change multiple times throughout the year. “The most exciting thing is when people who aren’t that familiar with quilting come to the museum and are blown away by what can be done in fabric art,” says Bennett. “Even better is that they go on to tell other people about it. That’s very important to us.” The museum is most often compared to the Chicago Institute of Art. “People who enjoy art museums love our museum,” he says. The National Quilt Museum is the premier organization in a large and vibrant quilting community. There are currently over 21 million people actively quilting in the US alone. At the helm of the museum, Bennett has become an advocate for the quilting community. In addition to running the museum, Bennett frequently writes and lectures about quilting as art. “The work they do is in every way as much art as sculpture is art, or painting is art. The only difference is that quilts are made out of fabric.” In addition to providing world-class fiber art exhibits, the museum offers extensive education programs, offering workshops, quilt camps and resources to over 6 thousand people every year. Programs are offered for all skill levels, and quilters come from all over the world to attend workshops taught by master quilters. Bennett states, “Unfortunately, quilting is sometimes considered less than art largely because most quilts are created by women. It’s not even a statement on the art itself, but a statement on the artist.” That’s why his test, of showing the art on a slide, is always so effective. “We don’t realize how much of a double standard that is,” he says. “The artists that do this work are absolutely phenomenal.”  He’s optimistic, though, not only because other forms of art have overcome the same type of stigma--take Van Gogh and the Impressionists, for example--but also because of the reaction visitors to the museum have after seeing the quilts. “They’ll say, ‘I didn’t think this was for me,’ but they get taken in and they see the art for what it really is,” says Bennett. “In this museum, you find work from the best quilters in the world. Like professional athletes, these are the top in their field.” If you go: The National Quilt Museum is open to the public year-round, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (central time). Between March 1 - November 30, the museum is also open Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m. It is closed on most major holidays. The National Quilt Museum is a non-profit institution established to educate, promote, and honor today’s quilt maker.

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8/13/12 10:26 AM

Kentucky Homes & Gardens Magazine  

September-October 2012 Louisville Edition

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