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Kentucky Homes & Gardens Jan/Feb 2013 Volume 10 Issue 1
On the Cover:
Photograph By: Walt Roycraft
The great room and kitchen of a Louisville mansion is a dance of earthly elements and modern design. A wooden table is set for a dozen guests while an Aztec rug warms the tiles in colors of fallen leaves. The fireplace is peppered in textural stones with a mantel longer than a wing span. Turn to page 50 to see more.
Kentucky Revealed: Treasures of the Speed Art Museum
The Value of the Kitchen Gardens
Picture This: Wall Murals in the Home
18 Gardens Urban Oasis
22 Special Feature
Custom Creations: Kitchen Cabinet Designs
33 Townhome Dream Home 40 Legendary Grace 50 A Palatial Abode
60 Discovering Kentucky
A mansion stands in the East End of Louisville to quench the thirst for lovers of design, travel and sports.
Old Friends: Home for Retired Thoroughbreds
Published by RHP Publishing, LLC PO Box 22754 Lexington, KY 40522 859.268.0217 Publisher: Rick Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher: Carolyn Rasnick email@example.com
Associate Publisher: David Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation and Distribution: email@example.com Account Executives: Lexington/Central Kentucky Rick Phillips 859-268-0217 firstname.lastname@example.org Mimi Leet 859-273-7616 email@example.com Louisville Fred Miller 502-593-8670 firstname.lastname@example.org Editors: Rick Phillips, Carolyn Rasnick Senior Associate Editor: Kirsten E. Silven Photography: Walt Roycraft Contributing Writers: Emilee Coomes Jerry Shrout Bill Henkel Kirsten Silven Christina Noll Kathie Stamps Art Direction & Design: Meghann Holmes email@example.com Printing: Freeport Press 121 Main St. Freeport, Ohio 43973 Kentucky Homes andâ€ˆGardens is published six times a year by RHP Publishing, LLC. 859.268.0217 www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com 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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230 Hiawatha Avenue Louisville, KY 40209
12/29/10 1:46:48 PM
ANTIQUES An upcoming exhibit at the Blue Grass Trust (BGT) Antiques and Gardens Show, now in its 28th year, features the return of a popular exhibit which has come to be known as “Kentucky Treasures.” This year’s exhibit will highlight selected articles from The J.B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky’s largest art museum, which is currently closed for renovation. Titled “Kentucky Revealed: Treasures of the Speed Art Museum”, the exhibit provides a unique opportunity for attendees of the Show to view important pieces from the Museum’s collection, as well as an opportunity for The Speed to reach art lovers throughout the Commonwealth and beyond as we await its renovated return, currently scheduled for 2015.
1 Thomas Jefferson, 1816-25, by Matthew Harris Jouett, Kentucky's best-known portrait painter of the early nineteenth century. 2 Jar, 1837, by Isaac Thomas (American, born 1789), Maysville, Ky. 3 Portrait of Asa Blanchard, about 1817-20, by Matthew Harris Jouett.
4 Tall Case Clock, about 1808, made under direction of Asa Blanchard; works assembled by Thomas McMurray, Lexington.
Kentucky Revealed: Treasures of the Speed Art Museum by Jerry Shrout
Focused on works of Kentucky art from 1865 and earlier, the exhibit will contain examples from several categories of the museum’s collection, including, paintings, silver, furniture, textiles and pottery. A rarely exhibited pair of paintings by John James Audubon (American, 1785–1851) will be included, which depicts a husband and wife. According to Scott Irbes, Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Curator of Decorative Art and Design for The Speed, “Years before the publication of his famous four-volume The Birds of America, Audubon attempted to run general stores in rural Kentucky from 1808 to 1819, and spent hours sketching wildlife in the region. After an early business failure, he took refuge with the Berthoud family in Shippingport, Kentucky, near Louisville. Perhaps following the death of his friend in the summer of 1819, Audubon drew the portrait of James Berthoud, as well as a companion portrait of Mrs. Berthoud. According to family tradition, Berthoud was actually the Marquis de Saint-Pierre, an aristocrat who adopted the name of a servant when he fled France in 1794 to escape the revolution.” Another portrait to be exhibited depicts Lexington’s most sought after silversmith, Asa Blanchard. Commissioned by Blanchard, this work was executed by prominent Kentucky portrait artist Matthew Harris Jouett (American, 1788–1827) between 1817-1820. Since Blanchard’s name is synonymous with Kentucky silver, another Blanchard piece to be exhibited may come as a surprise to some; a long case clock which bears Blanchard’s signature. Constructed around 1808, “the clock case’s rectangular columns and extensive bands of inlay are unusual for a Kentucky-made case”, says Irbes.
From the Museum’s textile collection, a early Kentucky sampler will be on exhibit. This sampler was made around 1807 by Lexingtonian Elizabeth Huston and records her immediate family. Per Irbes, “It was made at Ann Walsh’s school in Lexington. Ann Walsh advertised her school for young ladies as early as 1793. According to her advertisements, she variously taught her students spelling, reading, arithmetic, drawing, and needlework.” A stoneware jar by Isaac Thomas (American, born 1789), of Maysville, from The Speed’s pottery collection, will also be exhibited. This jar dates to 1837. Because of Maysville’s proximity to the Ohio River, much of Thomas’ works “found their way down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Louisiana. As a result, several surviving Thomas pieces, this one included, have Louisiana histories”, per Irbes. The 2013 Blue Grass Trust Antiques and Garden Show will take place at Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena, March 7-10. More information on the Show can be accessed via their website, www. bgtantiquesandgardenshow.org. For more information on The Speed Art Museum, see www.speedartmuseum.org.
Jerry Shrout is the proprietor of Thoroughbred Antique Gallery in Lexington. He can be reached at 859-233-9375 or email@example.com.
5 Sampler, 1807. Made by Elizabeth Huston, Lexington (American, 1795-1828). 6 Sideboard, 1800-15, Lexington origin or surrounding area. 7 Portrait of Mrs James Berthoud, about 1819, by John James Audubon. 8 Portrait of James Berthoud, about 1819, by John James Audubon.
The Value of the Kitchen Gardens By Bill Henkel
Americans are of the soil and have been since the first settlers set foot in this verdant land. Clearing the land for the cabins and building the gardens were of parallel importance to early American survival and life. Seeds and bulbs from the home land were carefully carried hundreds of miles to the new frontier and the American spirit was cultivated right along with the corn, squash and potatoes. Two of our early presidents clearly understood the value of the garden. Washington and Jefferson both designed and cultivated gardens that continue to flourish today. Mastering the skills of the garden was as respected as any skill or profession of its day. The garden was central to the home. People grew what they could – this included beef and poultry. They hunted the woods for wild game. Food was canned, salted and stored in root cellars and what could not be grown was traded for. A sense of family and community grew from their sense of sharing. The advent of the industrial age brought a waning of the sense of community. Many farm jobs were abandoned for the factory – sunshine and soil was traded for the assembly line, a time clock and a weekly check. Working the soil was losing favor as a respectable profession or trade and our partnership with nature and home gardens declined. Then came two world wars and out of sheer necessity gardening and building kitchen gardens made a strong come. American spirit rallied, dusted off the old tools, took to the soil again and kitchen gardens reappeared and flourished. Soon tractors and cars were being mass produced. The East and West was linked by the steel rail, the North and South had the new interstate highway. The world of products and goods was opened up to us. Fruits, nuts and berries from the West began to line our grocery shelves – avocados, limes and oranges came up from the sub tropics of Florida. More than ever before we could purchase what we wanted and at anytime of the year. Eating local and in season was now rather blasé and again the kitchen gardens declined. Fast forward 50 years – somehow, someone with amazing timing, pushed the economic reset button and sent the world into a storm the likes of which rivaled the twister that carried Dorothy from Kansas to Oz. However this was no dream. The worst economic time in our history, short of the great depression, came to roost. So what do Americans do at times of hardship? We united, dusted off the tools and took to the soil to draw on our forefather’s skills of gardening. Take a look around – vacant lots are being cultivated into community gardens, composting is fashionable and cool, local neighborhood honey is available and folks are cultivating their own soil at home again. The kitchen garden has returned – that small plot of precious soil is once again where we cultivate our favorite herbs and those wonderful “Kentucky Tomatoes.” What we can’t grow is found at the community garden or local farmers market.
Cultivating the soil and creating a kitchen garden is rewarding in so many ways. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, it gives you that sense of working with your hands and making something come to life. Regardless if the garden is large or small, there is nothing to fear. Whether you have a patio garden in pots, a balcony garden, a roof garden or a garden in your front or back yards, the kitchen gardens have returned and are enhancing our lives. They can be made as beautiful as functional and they give a sense of inspiration to a family, the neighbors and the community.
The renewed sense of independence, self sufficiency and sustainable practices has been ushered in with a desire to eat locally, eat better and eat more sensibly!
Start your plan today. The information is out there – libraries, garden centers, online and at the extension service. Challenge yourself – see what you can do. You will be surprised. Bill Henkel- American Society of Landscape Architect’s, Healing Garden Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com
The rich colors and textures of a custom wall mural are the fine art of home decor.
By Christina Noll
The walls of your home
are blank slates, waiting to be filled.
The walls of your home are blank slates, waiting to be filled. You can paint, wallpaper or even fill the walls with art. A wall mural, however, offers a custom look that showcases your individual style. “It is so exciting and fun to actually work with a person, hands on, and get inside their head and figure out what they want,” says Vince Murray of Belle Arti. Together with his wife and business partner, Casey, who is also an artist, Murray has made a career out of crafting beautiful faux finishes and murals as unique as his clients. “A lot of people ask, ‘How would I have a mural in my house? How does that work?’ and it’s interesting because faux finishing and murals have really kind of undergone an evolution from the 1980s and the 1990s,” explains Murray. “Everything is more subtle and more subdued.” Deciding to commission a wall mural is only the first step. The process includes an initial consultation and subsequent renderings of a design, before settling on a final draft. “I try to kind of get a feel for who they are and what they like,” says Murray. “I can kind of read people when I meet them and know what they want.” With over 30 years of experience, he has honed his skill for finding just the right look for a client. Murray, who is based in Lawrenceburg, has traveled all over the United States to paint for clients. “We have done so many different things--kids rooms, nurseries, living room walls--just about everything,” he says. His projects range from the traditional to the very interesting, including fantastical children’s rooms that transform the space into a magical place. No matter what size or type of mural he paints, Murray leaves you with a work of completely original fine art all of your own. “The whole process is so much fun. It’s always different, that’s what I like about it,” he says. In the last few years, painting murals on canvas has become very popular, allowing him to work on a project in his studio and then bring the finished product to the customer. “It installs like wallpaper, so it’s not permanent,” he explains. “So if a customer moves, they can take it with them, which is nice.” Customers may also prefer this method because installation may take only half a day, rather than weeks to paint a mural on site.
A mural is an investment that makes a stunning impact in the home, but most people are surprised to learn this type of custom art is quite affordable. The price of a mural depends primarily on size and complexity. For example, portraiture in a mural is more difficult than landscape. “Each job is unique,” says Murray. “We can usually give a firm price right up front. It’s not as expensive as you might think.” Besides wall painting, the Murrays also paint furniture, cabinetry, canvas and other mediums. Is a wall mural right for your home? Visit the Belle Arti website to view examples of beautiful hand painted designs: www. belleartiky.com.
1 An awkward hallway where there was no room for art or furniture provided the perfect location for this mural of a covered bridge, a wonderful reminder of the client’s childhood home in Vermont. 2 One of Murray’s favorite completed projects, this dramatic 12 x 8 feet rendering of Lady Justice was painted on canvas and hangs near the main staircase in the Marion County Judicial Center.
3 An example of Murray’s whimsical creations for children, this Rainforest bedroom was completed for a boy in Springfield and includes thematic foliage and creatures that extend across the walls and doors to fill the room for a wonderful effect. 4 An example of trompe l’oeil (French for “to fool the eye”), this smaller scale mural shows that murals don’t have to be large to be effective. The garden scene looking through an arched window was painted on canvas to customer specifications. 5 Murray painted this picturesque motif on a sliding door which can be open to link the homeowner’s eating area and a media room, or closed to provide privacy between the two rooms.
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By Kirsten E. Silven Photography by Walt Roycraft Nestled into a corner lot in one of downtown Lexington’s hip urban neighborhoods, this charming garden has mastered the element of surprise and makes the most of a compact 30 x 30-foot space. Homeowner Scott Campbell created the garden as a way to enjoy this intimate area and has enjoyed making the most out of the home’s outdoor spaces. “We removed almost everything, but left the pond and the trees to serve as a backbone for the project, which is seen here in its second season,” Scott revealed. He wanted the finished design to provide an element of privacy, which is achieved in part by the various trees and shrubs, then further enhanced by the addition of a simple yet decorative privacy fence. Scott says he believes in looking at the big picture when creating any landscape design, and this project was no different. To do this, it is essential to consider how the plantings will look from inside the home, as well as from different places within the garden itself.
“I worked to make the open areas well defined so I could fill in with annuals and perennials as needed,” Scott shared. “I want the garden to have four-season appeal.” To accomplish this, first he incorporated a brick pathway that doubles as a border to separate the turf groundcover from the perimeter plantings. The path leads past the garden’s secluded bench seating area to the pond and prevents visitors from having to walk on the grass, which is especially helpful during wet weather and for anyone wearing heels. In addition, evergreens bring color to the garden even during the winter months, while the wide variety of other plantings are also carefully selected to ensure that something is almost always in bloom. The home also boasts a second and third level deck, which provides a nice view of the garden’s meandering curves from above.
1 & 2 The Koi pond serves as the garden’s main focal point and also provides a place for its owners to display some special pieces of art they have collected over the years. The heron statue actually serves a dual purpose by discouraging real birds of prey from landing here and feasting on the pond’s brightly colored inhabitants, while the dragonfly cattail bronze and cherub statue add a whimsical touch. Astilbe and hostas are visible in the background, while pink water lilies bring color and texture to the pond’s otherwise smooth surface. 3 In a spectacular moment immortalized, two dragonflies are drawn to the rendered stalk of this bronze sculpture, apparently convinced of its authenticity, while tropical white water lilies bathe in the sunlight upon the water’s surface beyond. 4 As one of the garden’s focal points, this bench is nestled among clusters of bright pink impatiens, Quickfire hydrangeas, a cherry laurel and two American boxwood shrubs, while the brick pathway doubles as a border for the plantings.
7 Conversely, the welcoming bench nestled among the perimeter along the garden’s backside provides an excellent perspective from which to contemplate both the house and the pond. Scott also put considerable effort into the outdoor lighting, which completely transforms the garden’s appearance after dark, creating the perfect place to entertain. “Designing a smaller outdoor space can actually be more difficult and thought-provoking than working with larger areas,” Scott stated. “In a compact garden every inch counts and continuity is very important because a smaller space naturally amplifies the look of everything in a big way.”
8 To get it right, Scott says the proper placement of trees is the most important part of the initial planning phase, followed by selecting the softscape. Much like the carpet inside a home, plantings in the garden such as the smaller shrubs, flowers and some groundcover are often much less permanent – and therefore more easily taken out and replaced – than trees and larger shrubs. This elegant urban garden proves once again that size is virtually irrelevant when it comes to designing an attractive outdoor space. By using creative lighting techniques and incorporating distinct focal points, there is definitely more to this garden’s plan than what initially meets the eye. Garden Credits: Scott Campbell Designs
5 This shot of the perimeter shows the gentle curve of the pathway and border, which ultimately leads to the garden’s water feature. A Paw Paw tree bearing visible fruit provides shade and is a beautiful addition to this outdoor space, which is also home to a Shade Master thornless honey locust, Quickfire hydrangeas, American boxwood shrubs, impatiens and Elephant Ear ferns. 6 This charming red brick walkway leads from the garage to the home’s entrance and is framed by bright pink impatiens, ivy and white caladium in the foreground. A miniature Vardar Valley boxwood hedgerow creates a natural border for the flowering crepe myrtle and leads to the entrance, where a planter with more impatiens and several Elephant Ear ferns crown the stairway. 7 This border planting of Japanese ferns and impatiens provides color and texture, while also serving as a structural element and border planting in the garden. 8 Up close and personal, this Quickfire hydrangea has an almost ethereal glow rising from its clusters of delicate bright green and pink-tinged blooms. www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com
Custom Creations: Kitchen Cabinet Designs By Kirsten E. Silven
1 Located in Lexingtonâ€™s Beaumont area, the fretwork and glass doors on these alder cabinets was designed to match the nearby dining room (not shown), bringing visual interest and continuity to the homeâ€™s interior, while the antique linen finish on the perimeter nicely complements the black weathered island. The custom design was created by Barber Cabinet Company and also includes a specially angled walk-in pantry to the right of the stove, with space for a T.V. above, which was built to suit the unique demands of the available workspace. Photo by Walt Roycraft.
2 Designing a beautiful and functional kitchen is about so much more than simply choosing colors and selecting pretty accessories to express personal style. As the heart of any home, the kitchen must first be a usable space that meets the homeowner’s specific needs. Today’s custom cabinets offer a staggering array of options and special touches that can take any kitchen from average to exceptional. Mike Barber, co-owner of Barber Cabinet Company, stresses the importance of maintaining an open mind throughout the design process and says homeowners are often amazed at what can be done. The design options truly are endless in the world of custom cabinetry, which can easily be designed and built to suit any individual’s lifestyle. “You will know when you see the right plan, shared Barber. Whether the kitchen is found in a newly built home or is part of a remodeling project, start by determining your needs and setting expectations. For example, do you want the space to be open and part of an adjacent family room? Do you entertain often, or have a large family? Perhaps you would like to include an eating area, or a small work desk with a computer? Regardless of the vision, taking the time to decide what you really want and need is essential. "Every project is a process," stated Brent Richards, owner of Architectural Kitchens & Bath. "The planning phase is very important to the success of any design." A design can be successful in several different ways. It is paramount that the initial goals are accomplished, but considerations such as budget, timeline and schedule matter as well.
Use magazines, design books and the Internet for inspiration. Pay attention to what catches your eye and use it as a foundation to build upon. Cabinets can be glazed, painted or stained in a wide variety of colors, with many designs incorporating a different hue on the island than what is used on the perimeter, which creates contrast and adds visual interest. For kitchens that service large families or are used frequently for entertaining, it can also be helpful to look for a finish that is durable and will stand up to heavier use. “We always consider traffic flow in the kitchen and dining areas and how they want to use the space, then we work to add custom features to finish the design,” shared Jack Logsdon of Whitis Custom Cabinets in Somerset. After the larger questions have been answered, meaning the style, colors, materials and layout of the cabinets have been selected, it’s time to add the finishing touches. There are many different accessories that can be incorporated to increase the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the kitchen. Organizers are available to simplify the task of storing spices, baking sheets, pots and pans, cutlery and other items. Larger pieces such as refrigerators, dishwashers, recycling bins, trashcans and microwaves can all be hidden in drawers or behind paneling that perfectly matches the cabinetry, lending the space a more refined appearance. “A well-designed kitchen can help to simplify life, shared Laura Dalzell, president of Cabinets & Designs. “It should be beautiful, but more importantly it has to be great to work in.” Today’s custom kitchen cabinets offer greater versatility than ever before. Whatever finishes, accessories or style you choose, with careful planning and attention to detail the finished design will be a space that is multifunctional and stunning to behold.
3 2 With ornate trim and an heirloom glaze, these cabinets work well with the grand style of the home. Cabinets & Designs worked to make the homeowner’s dream a reality, crafting custom design elements such as the cabinet holding tiers of crystal glasses adorning the entryway to the dining room. Also of note, the refrigerator is neatly concealed behind the double doors that are located just beyond the impressive, Tigerwood-topped island and a small workspace with a computer has been added, lending the space a multifunctional appeal. Photo by Walt Roycraft.
3 This cheerful, modern kitchen was crafted by Cabinets & Designs in a space that was originally much smaller, with the area pictured here the result of opening up two separate rooms. The cherry cabinets are done in a clean, contemporary design with very few upper cabinets, which means much of the dish storage is not found in the traditional places. Also, the ovens are situated facing the painting in the cabinet that anchors the floating glass bar, just to the right of the chimney range hood. Photo by Walt Roycraft. 4 This kitchen is found in a 1930’s-era farmhouse and its design remains true to the home’s roots. The cleverly camouflaged Subzero™ refrigerator is conveniently located just to the right of the range top, with two freezer drawers below. Shiloh Custom Cabinetry in Missouri crafted the flush inset cabinets, which feature special drawers that are fitted with pegs designed to hold and organize pans. Architectural Kitchens and Bath designed the space.
5 The clean, classic lines of this kitchen complement the vintage glaze finish of the cabinets, which are done in a traditional, inset door style. Cabinets & Designs brought this vision to life, with custom features such as a perfectly disguised dishwasher along the kitchenâ€™s cleanup wall, just to the left of the farmhouse sink, which also provides easy access to a trash compartment that is cleverly hidden behind the cabinets to its right. 6 The result of a remodeling project that involved a total kitchen renovation, this highly functional space includes a cabinet display case in the doorway to the dining room which was inspired by a similar design in Henry Francis Dupontâ€™s famed Winterhur estate. Created by Cabinets & Designs, there is a special food prep area to the right of the commercial cook top that includes a refrigerator hidden in the base cabinets, while another full size refrigerator is located in the breakfast bar (not pictured). In addition, the dishwasher is cleverly housed behind the cabinets to the left of the sink and a spice rack is positioned in the tall, vertical cabinet directly to the left of the stove. Photo by Walt Roycraft. 7 Taking a cue from mission style, these cabinets were crafted for this Chevy Chase home by Crystal Custom Cabinets in Minneapolis. Architectural Kitchens and Bath designed the space, incorporating premium alder cabinets with Birdseye maple inserts and a custom radius edge to soften up the feel of the room.
8 Located in Louisvilleâ€™s Norton Commons community, the cabinets were crafted by Barber Cabinet Company and boast a grey-glazed hickory island surrounded by an ivory painted perimeter. The effect is light and airy, and the design features plenty of storage, including a walk-in pantry through the double doors located to the right in this view. 9 This fresh take on a galley-style kitchen is part of a newly renovated condo and opens to the great room. The cabinetry is designed to complement the homeâ€™s existing interior architecture, while the combination of off-white and painted green inset beaded custom cabinets lends a clean, traditional feeling to the space. Designed by Tres McKinney Design. Photo by Andrew McKinney.
By Kathie Stamps
1 Born and raised in Christian County, artist Willie Rascoe creates stunning pieces of art out of Kentucky driftwood. He had the chance to work with wood at a young age and instantly bonded with one of Mother Nature’s finest creations. One afternoon at his family’s shop, young Rascoe picked up a small piece of wood and started carving on it. “It was like magic,” he said. “I felt for sure that this would be what God wanted me to do for the rest of my life, as long as I had the physical ability.” Rascoe worked with his dad and five brothers building houses at their family company, Rascoe and Sons. Willie Rascoe learned his “hand skills” from the carpentry business. “The art itself was a gift from God,” he said. Working with driftwood he finds around rivers and lakes, particularly Lake Barkley, the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, Rascoe always keeps a pile of wood on hand for current and future projects. “If I’m traveling and I see a river and I see driftwood, I say, ‘Congratulations’
and I’m headed that way,” he said. Water chemically changes the grain of the wood, making driftwood the material of choice for Rascoe. He likes to add stones, copper and other elements from nature in his pieces, often challenging himself to reduce a large piece of driftwood down to something as small as a toothpick holder or necklace. Varnish is the only manmade product he uses with his artwork, because he wants to stay as close to nature as possible. “I use whatever I can find that nature and God has provided for us to re-handle,” he said. To complete his driftwood pieces, he uses a varnish-like hand rub finish in different color stains to bring out certain effects in the wood. “If I have a dark piece of wood then I’ll go with a lighter stain to bring out the contrast and vice versa,” he said. “It seems simple but I never had a teacher on earth who could teach me any of the fundamentals of working with driftwood,” he said. He credits “God and trial and error” as his best teachers.
1 One of Rascoe’s in-depth spiritual pieces, this piece of walnut driftwood is untitled. Standing 18 inches tall, the figure’s eyes are carved from antler. 2 Titled “Two Birds,” this piece of carved driftwood stands on a painted mosaic base. The artist found a stone that had a hole through it. He put a piece of leather through the hole and hung it around the neck. With its two beaks, this piece of art is two birds with one stone. 3 “I try to stay as close to nature as I possibly can,” Rascoe said of the materials he uses. Carving the bird’s eyes from antler, this driftwood piece is titled “Beak.” 4 Artist Willie Rascoe at work. See more of his 37 years’ worth of driftwood art at www.faithart.yolasite.com.
“Me and wood communicate really well together,” Rascoe said. “I know that if my first idea doesn't work, I have a lot of alternatives.” Many of his finished pieces turn out better because of mistakes in the beginning of the process. For years he worked with driftwood every day, but he has discovered that taking a break yields success. “Every now and then you have to take a sabbatical,” he said. “Then when you go back to it, your mind is that much stronger. You observe more.”
Rascoe is very close to his artwork and considers it like family. “Every now and then a piece will leave, to go to someone else's home,” he said. He hopes his driftwood art will be treated with respect and handed down for generations to come.
5 With “Mr. B.” the artist pays homage to Samson and the Biblical character’s strength from hair, particularly the beard. 6 “Tusk Master” is a wall hanging with an epoxy inlay in the wood structure. The elephant’s tusks are carved from antler. Most of Rascoe’s driftwood art pieces are fairly light, weighing two or three pounds. 7 This life-sized piece is the tallest Rascoe has made. Carved out of a single log, “Ostracized” is five and a half feet tall. 8 Rascoe has received recognition for his art from Boston to Nashville and all over the country. For this driftwood wall hanger, “Shell I,” the artist used shells from Lake Barkley on the top.
9 At 18 inches tall, “Bare Necessities” is a whimsical piece and a big hit with schoolchildren. Rascoe visits schools to talk with students of all ages. It’s important for him to help educate children in the discipline of art.
Townhome Dream Home By Kathie Stamps
Photography by Walt Roycraft
2 2 After raising their family in a larger house for 26 years, a Lexington couple downsized to the perfect sized townhouse. In the fall of 2011, Becky and Walter Byrne looked at some townhouses on the east end of Lexington. Built in 1984 in a Georgian architectural style, the structures were beautiful on the outside and the particular townhome that caught their eye had recently been renovated. “We saw this townhouse and knew that's what we wanted,” Becky Byrne said. In April of 2012 they moved into their new 3,000-square-foot townhouse. “We always admired them,” Becky said. “They are really attractive.” One of the things she and her husband like are the proportions of the rooms. With ceilings that are 10 feet high, there’s a spacious feel to each room. Moving into a smaller space meant downsizing some of their possessions. “I really did declutter,” Becky Byrne said. “It is heavenly.” She used to have an antique store, Lexington Antique Exchange, and had acquired furniture and accessories over the years from the shop and through the couple’s travels. Another change for their new lifestyle involved the décor. The Byrnes decided to go with a neutral color scheme. “I wanted clean lines, with grays and greens, less clutter and solid fabrics,” Becky explained. She found an interior designer in a rather unusual way, by hiring the person who had renovated the townhouse. As it turned out, the previous owner and the interior designer were the same person: Lannie Cornett. “He was wonderful to work with,” the homeowner said. She and her husband repainted the interior and put in some new sisal rugs and window treatments, but no structural remodeling was needed. “That’s what we liked,” Becky said. “We wouldn't have to gut and start over.” 1 A traditional brick exterior with limestone trim, this townhome on the east side of Lexington is well-constructed and well-appointed. It was built in 1984 with classical architecture and “good bones.” 2 The living room is spacious enough to entertain and cozy enough to curl up with a good book. With its neutral color palette, raised panels
give interest to the walls. Two sofas were reupholstered in a Gretchen Bellinger fabric.
3 Cornett had already gutted the kitchen and bath, performing a total renovation. He had also changed the hardware to Waterworks fixtures, updated the chrome and marble in the kitchen, replaced the lighting, added woodwork and paneling, and stained the oak hardwood flooring a warm golden brown. For a fresh look for the Byrnes, Cornett took away all of the wall coverings and painted the walls with Farrow & Ball paint in soothing colors like French gray, which sometimes looks green or blue or taupe, depending on the light throughout the day. To lighten up the entryway, the Byrnes had glass screen doors built so they can keep the front door open and let billowing light in. As the cook in the family, Becky Byrne loves the kitchen. It’s fairly small, but there’s plenty of display space for her collection of Quimper pottery from France.
Convenience is the name of the game for townhouse living. There’s an elevator from the garage at the basement level that goes to the first and second floors. It is convenient for transporting loads of groceries from the car to the kitchen, but the homeowners don’t need to use it for anymore than that, because their West Highland Terrier keeps them both running up and down the stairs quite often. The townhouse association maintains all the green space. Becky has a little planting bed out back but is “over the yard work” she used to do when she had an elaborate garden. “My husband, too, would rather spend his Sunday mornings doing something besides trimming the ivy,” she said. With no plans for future renovations, the Byrnes are happily enjoying every square foot of their townhome and the ease of a low-maintenance lifestyle. “We should have done it years ago,” Becky said. “We love it.”
“Small and functional is more efficient than these big monster kitchens,” Cornett said. Two entrances into the kitchen make entertaining easy, and the Byrnes do enjoy hosting cocktail parties and dinners at their home. 3 Just the right size for cooking and displaying the homeowner’s Quimper pottery, the kitchen has a television above the double oven. Behind the refrigerator is a built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinet from an old pharmacy. The previous owner, interior designer Lannie Cornett, put in a coiffured ceiling and bead board paneling.
4 The homeowners replaced a chandelier in the front hall with a wrought-iron lantern they purchased in Naples, Fla. A member of Becky Byrnes’ family owns Cox Interiors in Campbellsville, who made mahogany storm doors for the entry. With an extra pair of front doors, the main set can stay open while the glass-paneled doors let in natural light.
5 For the dining room, the homeowners wanted textural fabric but no floral designs, so the chairs were recovered in a celery green linen damask. The draperies are a Colfax and Fowler silk, and the rug was purchased from a dealer in New Orleans. The framed artwork above the sideboard are two www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com 37 antique Besler botanicals.
8 6 Another purchase from Naples is the black bed for the master bedroom. A grass cloth wallcovering from Stark Carpet lines the walls and the hardwood floor is covered with a sisal rug. The couple replaced a heavy drape and dark wallpaper with a linen drapery on bamboo rods. 7 The four-poster bed in the guest bedroom was the homeowners’ previous master bedroom furniture. Taking pieces from different rooms in their old house, like the chairs and chest, the homeowners outfitted the guest room and added a sisal rug and new window treatments. 8 Off the living room is an enclosed porch. “We live out on that little porch,” said Becky Byrne. The wrought-iron furniture was in Walter Byrne’s family. A porch off the master bedroom mirrors the same structure on the second floor.
HOUSE CREDITS Interior Designer Lannie Cornett
Woodwork Willie Brown, Morningside Woodcrafters
Entryway storm doors Cox Interiors
Legendary Grace By Kirsten E. Silven Photography by Walt Roycraft
1 The Olmsted Brothers originally handled the landscape architecture for this Bavarian and English Tudor-inspired estate, which overlooks Louisvilleâ€™s Cherokee Park. The terrace that is visible to the right, opens from the formal living room and wraps around the back of the home, catching a nice breeze during the warmer summer months.
2 Leading to the mezzanine level and beyond to the homeâ€™s second floor, this majestic staircase is positioned at the opposite end of the foyer from the formal living room and is hand carved from quarter sawn white oak that has been stained a rich mahogany color. The spindles and the banister are designed to match a living room table that is original to the home. 3 The estateâ€™s formal living room still holds the original built-in bookcases, torchĂ¨re floor lamps and wall sconces. Happily, the original plans also contained detailed blue prints for furniture placement and were used by the current homeowner to determine how the rug, seating, piano and other items would be arranged.
3 Grand vistas of Louisville’s Cherokee Park are just the beginning of the long list of treasures offered by this historic estate home, which was built by German brewmaster Frank Fehr between 1910 and 1911. Its current owners purchased the estate in 2001 and immediately began a complete renovation of the structure and its grounds, which had remained largely untouched over the course of several previous decades. In addition to its fine craftsmanship and outward beauty, perhaps the home’s best feature is its location, which finds it perched upon a gradual slope overlooking the park. Originally claiming an impressive ten acres of prime Louisville real estate, today the estate sits amid three acres, which provide a nice level of privacy. The interior renovation was extensive and required the help of a small army of skilled artisans, many of whom the homeowner had worked with on previous projects. Today, the home’s public areas, such as the dining room, living room and foyer, have all been restored to their original design as much as possible – even down to the furniture placement, which was meticulously recorded on the original blueprints. In fact, much of the estate’s original furniture has either remained with the residence since it was built, or has been recovered over the years.
The public areas also provide an excellent place for entertaining and the formal living room opens to a partially covered terrace that wraps around the entire back of the home. Great care was taken throughout the renovation to remain true to the estate’s original design, particularly in the formal public areas, while the private areas have been given a slightly more modern appearance that blends seamlessly with its overall look and feel. In addition to incorporating plenty of new woodworking and tile, the home also received entirely new bathrooms and a completely renovated kitchen, as well as all new mechanicals, such as intercom and stereo systems. “The most distinctive features of this home are found in its elaborate, hand carved woodworking and the placement of the billiard room at the mezzanine level,” shared Winfrey P. Blackburn who, with Scott Gill, co-authored the book Country Houses of Louisville, 1899-1939, which includes additional photos of this home and a more in-depth discussion of its storied past. As we march onward into the second decade of the new millennium, the historical and architectural significance of an estate home such as this will become increasingly difficult to measure, making restoration and preservation projects such as this ever more vital to our nation’s architectural heritage. www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com
4 4 & 5 Luxury, fine craftsmanship and exquisite attention to detail define this home’s formal dining area, which holds a variety of original pieces, including the 14-foot table and chairs, which have been recovered. The Portoro marble façade on the fireplace matches the room’s side tables and buffet (not pictured), while the deep mahogany wainscoting and elaborate woodworking speaks of immense talent among the German artisans who helped to build this estate. Finally, the cast-plaster ceiling design matches the carved wood surrounding the mantle, lending continuity to the room’s interior, while the decorative mural gracing the upper portion of the walls is oil on canvas and is also original to the home. 6 Originally intended for use only by the servants, the kitchen has received a total facelift, including the addition of three-piece crown molding and new cabinets, as well as granite countertops, a copper range hood, and tile inlays.
9 7 Located above the home’s main entrance in what can only be described as the mezzanine level, the billiard room features richly paneled walls that open to reveal custom-built places to hold balls, cues and more. The light fixtures, chairs and 9 by 4.5-foot slate topped Colander Brunswick table are all original to the home, as is the cast plaster ceiling, which took more than six weeks to repair. The quarter sawn white oak floor boasts a rosewood and walnut inlay that complements a diamond pattern on the table, which is positioned to easily allow plenty of space to play from any angle. 8 Previously a sleeping porch that opened to the master bedroom, this bright, cheerful space has been converted into a spacious master bath, with plenty of natural light and a large walk-in closet positioned directly behind the sizable his and hers vanity. 9 The master bedroom overlooks Louisville’s Cherokee Park and has a relaxed, formal quality to its design, which includes a remarkable fireplace that is crafted from marble, tile and brightly painted wood. 10 This bedroom belongs to the homeowners’ teenaged daughter and features a mural of clouds in relief on the ceiling. A sleeping porch lies beyond the French doors, adding another dimension to this already sizable space.
10 HOUSE CREDITS Architect John Bacon Hutchings
Original Landscape Design Olmstead Brothers
Original Interior Design William F. Behrens, Co.
11 An impressive entryway greets visitors to the estateâ€™s public areas, which include the formal living room visible beyond. A stunning oil on canvas mural wraps around this space, which also boasts an intricately carved table that is original to the home. Plenty of glass allows natural sunlight to spill in during the daytime hours, while carefully placed overhead lighting illuminates the paintingâ€™s details as twilight advances.
A Palatial Abode A mansion stands in the East End of Louisville to quench the thirst for lovers of design, travel and sports. By Emilee Coomes Photography by Walt Roycraft
1 Nestled within a wooden area, this 24,500 square foot house has a commanding presence. A manicured landscape hugs the faรงade and patina roof turret shades a balcony. Maple-colored brick compliments the hunter green trim and chimneys peak in multitude. Designed to face numerous angles, sunlight permeates through the myriad amount of windows throughout every hour of daylight.
A driveway buried in trees makes for a grand entrance; winding around on smooth stones and silencing the city road I’m leaving behind. Amidst a wooden area, flanked with fall colors, stands a house swathed in elegance. My eyes indulge. Engulfed in 10 acres of property, the home’s angular roof penetrates the blue sky. Weathered Cedar Shake shingles resemble a British cottage. There are countless windows, a sunbeam’s playground. Leaf-filtered light sets the scene as my boots crunch their way down the continuous driveway. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. To my surprise, I’m upon a courtyard. Four-mini peaks arrow towards the clouds wearing double windows and flower boxes. Eight garage doors hug the brick courtyard and their tops are lined with patina sloped roofs, jolting toward the center. Sun is sparkling off the copper downspouts and gutters when my eye catches a twinkle from the center of the courtyard. Even though it is just a drain, from a distance it looks like mysterious medallion; I already know this house has me enchanted. Swept up in an imaginative moment, bells chime on the hour. My tour has begun.
Ground broke in 1996 for what seems to have been an architect’s dream project. Sammy Whittle, a talented local architect, is accredited for engraving details across the home’s 24,500 square feet. Whittle designed all the accents in the home including the stairways, trim, balconies and ceilings. “He was a genius and worked countless hours inventing, drawing, and carving. He was hands-on for the two years it took to build,” Marla Brown of RE/MAX Real Estate explains. Within one step of entering the home, I’m greeted by a 25-foot ceiling in the great room and kitchen. Greenery is abundant. Shades of vanilla cream blend while exotic décor pops off the floors and walls. Flames crackle in the Goliath of a fireplace. Nutmeg leather mixes with patterned upholstery in deep navy blue and burnt orange while ivy slinks over the iron banister from the second level. I point to everything with childlike curiosity, “What’s that?” The answers that follow allude to trips from a third of the countries around the world. My stamped passport is no match for this house. The open space merges into the kitchen adorning a double-level island, two sinks, granite countertops and white washed cabinets. Some appliances discreetly intermingle with the overall coloring, while others twinkle in sterling. A butler’s pantry triples in size of the norm, and lighting fixtures send beams across every surface. Fans silently rotate from the double-tray ceiling rustling the copious amount of family photos on the refrigerator. Passing by a display of authentic tribal masks, I step out back. An elegant veranda overlooks the expansive property, pool and cabana. A screened-in porch welcomes wood-burning fires in the fall and cool breezes in the summer. Wide-stoned steps blaze paths in different directions. A crystal stream trickles down the rock waterfall landing in the pool and hanging ferns swing in the breeze. With the design of several levels on the home’s backside, it gives the illusion you are standing atop a small hill. Green and white striped wicker furniture invites lounging for all seasons plentifully scattered in multiple areas. Nature applauds the landscape.
4 2 A deer antler chandelier is rustic yet elegant and illuminates the staircase landing of the great room. Three 10-foot windows arch towards the ceiling and iron banisters are tangled in ivy. Above a hand-crafted entertainment center stands an enormous wooden giraffe from Tanzania. The expansive kitchen is beatified with white-washed cabinets, blended appliances and granite countertops. 3 The great room and kitchen is a dance of earthly elements and modern design. A wooden table is set for a dozen guests while an Aztec rug warms the tiles in colors of fallen leaves. The fireplace is peppered in textural stones with a mantel longer than a wing span. Fraught with artifacts, this room is an international threshold.
4 A watery glow illuminates off the Mediterranean colored tile and wooden ceiling of this aquatic oasis. Swim laps in the 56- foot long pool or lounge by the fireplace. Windows are on every wall opening views to the property, tennis court and exercise room.
Back inside the home, I feel the need to open a Charles Dickens novel and wear a monocle and smoking jacket. Adorned with two offices, circular reading room and library, this house is determined to arouse the intellect from within. After four chapters of Oliver Twist, in my mind, I trade the monocle for a jersey and sweatband. Connected to the home is an indoor tennis/ basketball/volleyball court with three viewing areas from within the home. Not in the mood for a competitive sport? Volley on over to the gym for a workout or to the indoor lap pool for a swim. “I’ve lost count of the fireplaces by this point,” I say aloud, dunking my hand into the tropical warmth of the indoor pool. “There are 10, two less than the amount of bathrooms!” Brown, says with laughter in her breath. We transition from a sport’s haven to a relaxed living room and bar where I encounter my favorite foreign artifact: the bar top. It is slate and I study the pattern with steady intrigue. I know this is not my enchantment overtaking me; this bar top has a story. The homeowners ordered this custom piece from Mayan Indians while on vacation in Central Belize. With the barrier of the Mayan language the homeowners could not help to think their purchase was lost in translation. Then, after six months-without a word- the bar top arrived weighing more than 400 pounds. Enchantment, solidified.
5 An astute dog and pompous cat hang above the fireplace and stare into the face of a Cambodian artifact in the circular reading room. Windows welcome plenty of natural light and expansive views of the wooden property. Shades of greens and reds create a warm ambiance enshrining silence for reading and reflecting. 6 Get your tennis racket, basketball sneakers and volleyball ready to compete on the regulation size court. The newly laid floors yearn for action and three viewing areas from within the home invites spectators. After playing, a sophisticated locker room welcomes one to unwind. 7 Explore the contents of the deep built-in book shelves of this charming living room. Grab a comfortable seat anywhere and open the French doors letting the wind flow in from the back porch. Then, let one of the 19 Mayan characters and folklores carved into the slate bar top pour you a drink at the full bar. 8 Positioned at the front of the house is a grand dining room ready to host. The wallpaper and matching curtains are a harvest of pumpkins in cream and blue complimenting the Brazilian cherry wood floors. The trim is an intricate seven piece layer adding to the graceful woody aesthetic. www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com
9 Melodious tunes play on wireless home sound system from hidden speakers in the master bedroom. The ceiling has an abundance of depth and its levels are highlighted with contrasting colors. Worldly artifacts tell stories of the homeownerâ€™s travels including an original Russian Icon hanging above the fireplace.
10 With a bountiful amount of vanity space, Jacuzzi and steam room, this master bathroom is a sanctuary for beauty. Custom-made dogs were carved out of marble to complete the mantel for the fireplace. The theme of colors, family photos and foreign artifacts continues here. Nature and artificial lighting tango. 11 At the front foyer a dome shoots two stories high to a painted heaven. Mirrored after the children of the homeowners, five angels dance in cotton ball clouds. Painted from a kneeling stance, the artist worked at lighting speed and completed this piece in only three weeks.
With just a quick glance at the theater, the Scottish patterned carpet makes me yearn for bagpipes and I’m tempted to escape reality for cinematic enjoyment. Yet, we press on. Making our way up one of the five staircases leading to the second floor, the tallying of bedrooms begins. Family pictures line the labyrinth of hallways creating a locus of warmth. I instinctually gravitate towards snapshots of African safaris and the Taj Mahal. Every bedroom lingers with children’s past; trophies, algebra notebooks, posters. All of the seven bedrooms are distinct in design and decorum, each with private bathroom, elaborate closet and balcony. The master bedroom is an entity of its own with stained glass French doors, a walk out deck and sitting area. Attached is a lavish His-and-Hers bathroom. Stained glass doors of colorful scenes of a Costa Rican rain forest enclose the shower/steam room. Ten cartwheels down and two to the side is how I measure the girth of the master bedroom closet. Glassed shelves, elaborate mirrors and Hollywood lighting—this seems to be a runway at Fashion Week and a Rodeo Drive dressing room, in one. Numerous bathrooms, bedrooms and a private apartment later, I’m climbing a steep Dutch-style stairway made for one. A wooden hobbit door is opened and I’m standing on a peak of the palatial abode. I’m perched three stories high, with a 360 view of the property. The courtyard bells ring again in dulcet tones. My sojourn was a brief moment in time in which I crossed over to international astonishment leaving American normalcy in the dust. I left the home with my mind running, “My tennis racket needs new strings.”
Old Friends: Home for Retired Thoroughbreds
Meet some of horse racing’s legends as they enjoy the dignified retirement they deserve. By Christina Noll We all look forward to retirement and the days when we can put aside our daily work and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Not so for many of the hardest working athletes in the horse racing industry. Horse lover Michael Blowen knew he wanted to spend his own retirement doing something to help these forgotten Thoroughbreds. Conventional race horse retirement usually involves sending a horse who has come off the track to someone who needs that horse for some other use, such as show horse, pleasure horse or even a pet. Others are not so lucky. Stallions, especially, have special requirements and once they stop producing are generally forgotten. Blowen saw a need to help and he decided to fill it. Old Friends, a home for retired Thoroughbreds is the result. With 3 properties and over 140 Thoroughbreds cared for by Old Friends, Blowen’s dream of making a difference is a reality. “Our goal is to provide dignified post-racing and post-breeding lives for these great athletes,” he explains. Blowen fell in love with horse racing and horses while working as a writer for the Boston Globe. During that time he wanted to learn more about handicapping, so he apprenticed himself to a trainer at Suffolk Downs in East Boston. Getting up at 5:30 every morning, he’d work with the horses before taking the train into the city for work. “As time went on, I realized that when these horses weren’t profitable anymore they were dispensable and disposable,” he says. “Some people really went out of their way to find homes for them, but others would just sell them to the slaughterhouse.” Blowen made it his goal to use his own retirement to help the retired Thoroughbreds. He and his wife, also a writer with the Boston Globe, moved to Midway, Kentucky where they founded Old Friends in 2003. “We started on a leased property and then later we purchased this farm in Georgetown,” he says. In addition to the Georgetown property, Old Friends now has horses on 120 acres in Midway, and at Cabin Creek Farm in Greenfield Center, New York, near Saratoga. At Old Friends on Dream Chase Farm in Georgetown, you can visit horse racing legends any day of the week.
Here you’ll meet Patton, a grade 3 winning horse, and Sarava, the biggest long shot to ever win the Belmont. You can feed carrots to famous faces such as Mixed Pleasure, Commentator and Dan the Bluegrass Man. You’ll even find Silver Charm on the property, although not exactly the Derby winner, but a miniature adult horse who is a star in his own right. Not all of these beautiful animals are old, but for whatever reason all are horses who no longer have the capability of earning. Some of the horses were found in need, and others were given to Old Friends by owners who want them to have a good home. A few come with endowments, and are given to Old Friends in order to boost their power to care for other horses. A famous horse, like Gulch or Sarava, attracts visitors and helps to pay for the care of several horses. “People are spending millions of dollars trying to get a horse that can win the Belmont and I’ve already got one,” jokes Blowen.
Verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Old Friends is not just a pleasant place to spend an afternoon enjoying Kentucky farmland and some famous Thoroughbreds. It’s providing a safe haven and much needed compassionate care to beloved athletes who can no longer earn a living. In a piece written for a special issue of the Daily Racing Form, Blowen sums it perfectly, writing, “I wish everyone could experience the pure joy that these retired Thoroughbreds provide every day.” Experience Old Friends for yourself: Tours are offered at Dream Chase Farm in Georgetown, daily at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm with a reservation. Call the office at 502-863-1775 to make your reservation or visit Old Friends online at www.oldfriendsequine.org/.
The expense of caring for so many retired Thoroughbreds can not be overlooked. Old Friends is thankful to have much of their veterinary costs donated in kind. The support team includes a multitude of volunteers who help by giving tours, working in the office and organizing fundraising events. “This is a magnet for really nice people,” says Blowen. “Look at our volunteers. We couldn’t do anything without them.” Several fundraising events each year help offset the cost of caring for over 140 Thoroughbreds, including an annual party held the Sunday after the Kentucky Derby. Just as generous as the volunteers and donors is the love poured out by over 20 thousand visitors each year who come from all over the world. www.kentuckyhomesandgardens.com
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Published on Dec 31, 2012