by Elizabeth Troutman Adams
Photography by Shaun Ring
A combination of classic design and architectural brilliance stretching from floor to rooftop characterizes the warm Nicholasville ranch of Jeffrey Gale, a custom homebuilder, and wife Dede. With standout features including extravagant coffered ceilings and elegant arched entryways, the homeowners built the house with the goal of maintaining old-world refinement without a hint of stodginess. Dede took charge of tasteful decorating, with antiques, soothing earth tones, and ageless floral and plaid patterns. The house communicates a subtle sense of family togetherness and livable ease.
Approaching the home, the rustic stone exterior and the home’s dramatic curved rafters are the first of many architectural novelties incorporated by the homeowners. Guests are welcomed in a traditional foyer, where a sophisticated navy blue Persian rug lies over the sleek hickory hardwood that spans throughout the main living rooms. A six-candle iron old-world chandelier hangs from another remarkable eye-lifting detail —a ceiling rotunda polished in a faux bronze finish. Chair railing begins in the foyer and continues along the walls of the fluid living spaces in view.
To the left of the foyer, the office’s ceiling is one of the homeowner’s favorite features. A twist on a traditional coffered ceiling, Gale employs a series of maple beams to form a diamond over his desk.
The formal dining room features an expandable Ethan Allen table topped with a wiry arrangement of twigs, greenery and red bursts of pomegranate. Windows looking out to the front lawn are dressed with golden floral-printed balloon drapes that extend to the floor. Two striped upholstered chairs are tucked in the corners of the room on either side of a buffet, over which a rectangular bronze-framed mirror hangs. Like many features in the Gales’ home, the most fascinating detail of the dining room is located overhead. Where the muted beige toned wall ends, a breathtaking three-tiered ceiling builds upon layers of artistically curved crown molding at each corner.
A transitional butler’s pantry suited with swirled granite countertops connects the dining room to a long, bended hallway containing earth-toned pieces of artwork.
A gently sloping archway entrance from the main hallway opens the view to an elegant family. The room is furnished with a rustic c-shaped couch adorned with plaid and floral printed throw pillows, and a comfortingly lived-in leather lounge chair. Built-in distressed cherry cabinets fill the far wall around a real-stone fireplace and custom chiseled stone hearth, which adds a rustic, creek-side feeling to the room. Small personal touches, like a turquoise vase and an heirloom keepsake box in the corner, give tasteful elements of personality to the rustic living room. Twin tufted plaid ottomans are stowed under a pine sideboard behind the couch. On the adjacent walls looking to the back of the property, 16-foot glass sliding doors open to an outdoor entertaining area facing a built-in stone fireplace.
To the right of the living room, the kitchen embraces a deliberate mixing of textures, neutral tones and sizes. The homeowners used two types of granite in the kitchen, one in swirling caramel for the island with a trio of coral-print wrought iron chairs and another in black for the far wall countertops. The homeowners staggered distressed cream cabinets with the flush stainless steel appliances. A textured, cream-toned travertine backsplash provides an intricate neutral backdrop to the far wall. A clandestine perk to the kitchen, two tall cabinet doors open to a hidden walk-in pantry. Gale includes a “secret room” like this one in every house he builds.
Embracing casual country charm, the homeowners added a friendly breakfast nook past the kitchen that backs up an exit from the kitchen to the patio area. The bench portion of the table’s seating curves under four linear paned windows that are adorned with thin burlap valances. Two black chairs are pushed against the opposite end of the distressed gray oval table, which is topped with a pair of cream candlesticks. All seating areas are covered with pads and cushions in burnt red gingham.
Again, the ceiling takes center stage in the master suite, with its dynamic double-barrel architectural style that reiterates the home’s dedication to old-world sophistication. This room offers a straight view of the outdoor fireplace through a glass paned doorway—the third entryway to the patio entertainment area.
The homeowners used three styles of tile, including a basket-weave floor tile, a subway tile and a linear tile for the exterior of the shower tower, to create layers of depth and versatility in a roomy walk-in shower. In the left corner, a spacious Jacuzzi is nestled under a pair of windows with a perimeter of softened beige subway tile.
Just past the double cherry vanity, the bathroom transitions into a laundry/mud room and returns to the main hallway where a half bath is situated, allowing for fluid access from room-to-room throughout the home.
A stairway from the main foyer trails down to the lower level of the home to a finished basement foyer dressed in striped gold, navy and maroon wallpaper. Dede’s office is painted in a pink-mauve with a classic toile-print lounge chair to the side of her desk.
The basement opens to a great room with a pool table and an old-fashioned overhead pool table light. This laid back section of the home features refurbished pieces, including red and blue welded flamingo chairs, and homemade pieces, including a unique side table constructed with sections of several types of wood, including ebony and rosewood.