When the Snavely family (Charles, Shari and daughter Kathryn) began house hunting in Lexington they had no plans to create a custom-built home in Ashford Oaks. They all agree that working with Jason Justice of Justice Builders was a wonderful experience. “He was amazing, and by the end of the project, he felt like family,” said Kathryn.
Originally from Eastern Kentucky, the family lived in Tennessee and West Virginia for the majority of Kathryn’s childhood and adolescence. Kathryn attended college in Boston and lived there for several years afterward. Charles, an engineer retired from the coal business, is currently working toward his Executive MBA. Shari is a homemaker (“the best in the biz” according to Kathryn), and has always had a passion and talent for interior design. In fact, she and Kathryn designed the entire home together – from the color palette to light fixtures, and everything in between.
The Snavelys chose to move to Lexington primarily because of its central location. Kathryn explained, “It’s close to everywhere we’ve lived in the past. We have relatives in Cincinnati and Nicholasville, so Lexington has always been a home base for us. Plus, mom is a UK graduate and a huge Wildcats fan, so it just made sense to settle here.”
Initially, they wanted a home they could occupy right away. Building a home wasn’t on their radar because they’d never done it before and it seemed like a daunting task. But after extensive house hunting, they discovered the work of Jason and his team in Ashford Oaks. They fell in love with the concept and decided to custom build their home.
As Kathryn put it, “After several trips to Lexington, each of which included days of seemingly endless house viewing, we all agreed building with Jason was the only option. We saw some great houses, but none of them offered what Jason offered: a custom home to fit our particular wants and needs, in a beautiful new gated community, in a perfect location. His homes stood out to us. I can’t really explain it, but they are special.”
The great room is truly a showstopper in stunning white and neutral tones. It has the look of a French villa, with the addition of soaring ceilings, oversized windows and plenty of natural materials. According to Jason, the great room’s stone archway is made from a combination of stone known as the Berkshire Blend, supplied by Clay Ingles. It was chosen because of its unique look and color palette. The far wall is accented in whitewashed beadboard and tall windows flood the room with natural light. “We wanted every window to be as large as possible,” said Kathryn.
Kim Justice (Jason’s wife) designed the barn doors over the fireplace mantle, which slide open to reveal a mounted television. Most of the furniture on the main floor was purchased from Arhaus, including the distressed wood and wrought iron wheeled coffee table. Some of the accent and decorative pieces are from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware; the wrought iron chandelier is from Ferguson Lighting.
The floor plan of the first level is completely open, allowing for effortless dining, cooking and conversation. The Restoration Hardware dining table is finished in a dark, glazed wood with coordinating cane back chairs. Ferguson Lighting supplied the pair of modern, sculptural light fixtures.
A screened-in porch is located just off the great room and offers plenty of square footage for outdoor entertainment. Kathryn and her family love the natural wood beam ceiling, a detail that is repeated in the design of the front entryway as well. The patio furniture was purchased from Housewarmings.
The kitchen is a bright, airy space where the family loves to gather and spend most of their time. Terry Burns of Burns Custom Cabinetry, who, according to Kathryn, was a pleasure to work with, crafted all of the kitchen cabinetry. During most of the build, she and her mother were present at the property alongside the contractors, and developed strong relationships with many of them. The kitchen appliances are from Pieratt’s, and the Kohler water faucet and additional plumbing fixtures were supplied from Willis Klein and Brock McVey. The granite countertops and tile backsplashes were done by Louisville Tile. The cane topped bar stools echo the design of the dining chairs for a cohesive look.
Upstairs contains two master suites. The highlight of Shari and Charles’ suite is the Restoration Hardware bed with a headboard featuring handsomely carved wood and molding. Matching vintage-inspired wood and leather luggage racks adorn the foot of the bed, while coordinated nightstands and transparent glass lamps offer a satisfying symmetry.
Their spacious master bath is finished in complementary dark painted wood with crystal knobs and fresh white granite countertops from Kentucky Stone & Granite. The shower tile was supplied by Louisville Tile. As in the rest of the home, Jason used Kohler plumbing fixtures. The spherical glass and brass chandelier was provided by Ferguson lighting. The unique wood vanity and abstract diamond shaped mirror in the powder room contribute to the home’s contemporary rustic aesthetic.
Kathryn’s master suite is all about feminine details paired with strong lines and décor that evokes the natural world. Her color scheme is a relaxing blend of muted whites, soft violet grays, and metallic accents. The distinctive carved wood console is the very first piece she chose. “It sets the tone for all other elements of the design, she said. “I saw it and fell in love. If another piece didn’t complement it, it had to go.” The piece, which resembles a fireplace mantle but contains storage shelving, was purchased at Arhaus and treated with a natural patina so it will continue to age naturally over time.
When asked about her takeaways after completing the design process, Kathryn replied, “Designing my bedroom, bathroom, and dressing room was an amazing form of creative expression for me – so much so that I am considering doing freelance interior decorating. Clearly this is a genetic trait seeing that my mother and I did the decor together and have a very similar aesthetic.”
Kathryn converted an adjoining bedroom into a walk-in closet, and the result is a girl’s dream come true. The space is gorgeous and well organized, with clothing, shoes and accessories elegantly displayed and ready to wear. She designed every aspect of the space herself with furniture from Ballard Designs and a few pieces from Pottery Barn and Frontgate. The ottoman in the center of the room opens up to reveal additional shoe storage. “I got really into the idea of boutique closets and dressing rooms while designing my own. I love using furniture pieces that are both beautiful and functional, and that turn wardrobe storage into a type of art.”
The basement is surprisingly bright, due to a sunken outdoor porch with floor-to-ceiling windows. The floor is covered by Archaeology Tile. Kathryn said, “It’s our favorite tile. It’s made to look like Travertine but does not have to be sealed each year.” The basement contains Charles’ office and another bedroom for out of town guests, as well as a bar and kitchenette area. The home theater room was designed by Bluegrass Home Entertainment. “They were great to work with as well,” said Kathryn. The walls are painted with Sherwin Williams paint in Black Bean to impart that authentic theater look. Tailored Living featuring Premier Garage completed the home’s closets, laundry rooms, and garage floor. Jason uses Anderson Windows and Doors exclusively in all of his properties.
Jason agreed the Snavely family was a pleasure to work with, as he described the process of creating a home that perfectly suited their needs. In addition to the other custom design elements, the home contains a 13x9 climate controlled safe room under the porch, and additional soundproofing insulation for added privacy. He purchased the land that Ashford Oaks sits on 20 years ago, and in 2008 he launched Justice Builders. “Ashford Oaks is a great location because it’s adjacent to Greenbrier Golf and Country Club and within one mile of Hamburg Pavilion and I-75,” he said. “You won’t find many neighborhood developments in Fayette County that can offer what we do.”
Her adjoining bath is designed in a similar style to the other master bath, including the crystal drawer pulls and granite countertops, but the custom cabinetry is painted a lighter taupe shade (they used Sherwin Williams paint throughout the entire home), and a larger vanity space has been added next to the sink area. The laundry room is conveniently located just off the bath.