The first level’s open floor plan offers great flexibility in terms of room design. Off the entryway is a charming sitting room containing a bold accent wall made from decorative white and gray slatwork installed in a grid pattern. “I do a lot of traveling to research home design, and that’s something you see a lot in Florida,” Jon explained. Framed, gallery-style black and white photography adorns each space in the grid for a symmetrical, eye-pleasing design.
The sitting room gives way to a cleverly designed space containing a computer nook and walk-in pantry. Jon commented, “In some homes, this space can be used as a butler’s pantry or wine storage, and the sitting room can be used as a dining room. But our kids are 8 and 12, so for our lifestyle, it makes more sense to have somewhere they can do homework and we can be together as a family.”
Michele came up with the concept for the pantry door, which is truly a work of art. She wanted a distressed, antique appearance, so she created a custom finish using Annie Sloan chalk paint, mineral spirits and dark colored wax to replicate the look of an timeworn door. She learned the technique from local designer Liz Douglas, who teachers paint workshops at her facility on Liberty Road.
*Pick up a copy of the magazine to see how to make your own chalk door!
The kitchen by SL Designs includes a gourmet hood, island, and maple cabinets all finished with an attractive chocolate glaze. The countertops are exotic granite by Quality Stone and Granite in Nicholasville. The stainless steel Frigidaire appliances are from Pieratt’s.
The open kitchen and living room area is bright, inviting, and clearly a place where the family loves to congregate. Jon and Michele chose farmhouse windows (sometimes referred to as cottage windows) to line the far wall.
The larger bottom sash creates an open, airy feeling. The living room area is flanked with half columns for a slight separation and architectural detail.
The rear foyer is a gorgeous yet highly practical space where the family can drop their belongings before entering the house. The custom slatwork appears again, this time accented with black and white portraits of the family, and dotted with a neat row of kid-level hooks for backpacks, dog leashes and coats. “Again, you can see how we customized this space to fit our needs,” Jon said. He’s built the floor plan in other homes, and the rear entry wall was often left unadorned. But recently Jon has begun working with clients to create similar areas with mud benches, chalkboards, and other organizational elements. Michele appreciates that it keeps clutter to a minimum and away from the main living area
The second level contains a sizeable laundry room, complete with clothing racks and plenty of storage.
After touring the Byer’s home, it’s clear that one of the most important influences to their design is functionality. When asked about her favorite features, Michele said, “I love the open floor plan, and I love having the laundry room upstairs. Plus, there is no wasted space in this house. We make use of everything we have.” The Byer home contains plenty of insightful details and unique touches, and yet, it’s still the kind of place where the family can come home, throw down their coats and enjoy spending time together.
Upstairs, Jon and Michele have fashioned a sophisticated, rustic master bedroom, decorated in tranquil hues of white, light gray and straw. The outstanding accent wall was also created with Annie Sloan chalk paint; flawlessly complimenting the Joss & Main distressed lime wash teak bed and matching end tables. Michele acknowledges that using the technique on an entire wall was more challenging than on the pantry door. “We used reclaimed exterior wood for a distressed boat dock look. It took a lot longer than expected, and it was more difficult to get the color right.” Jon added, “But once we moved in the furniture, it exceeded our expectations.”
A reclaimed barn door completes the look and serves as a transition to the master bath, which opens into “his and hers” adjoining closets. The bathroom floor appears to be dark, distressed wood, but is actually tile from Rodger’s Decor and More in Versailles. All of the bathroom fixtures are from Ferguson Plumbing Supply. •