By Donna Ison


Many people use the phrase “dream house,” but when it comes to Tonya and Jason Widmer’s home in Serenity Equine Estates, the term can be used literally. “I went to sleep and had a vision of exactly the house I wanted. When I woke up, I knew the challenge would be to bring the vision to life,” says Tonya. But with the help of architect John Dehart of Dehart Architecture; builder, the late Marion Jones of Bluegrass Fine Homes; and interior designer Jessica Cull of Design Link, they were able to do just that—and in the span of one year. 

Three themes dominated this vision: clean lines, symmetry, and allure. Tonya states, “I wanted every room to be airy and symmetrical with a pop of glam.” Though Tonya had a definite ideal of what she wanted, she found it very helpful to have input from an interior designer. Of Jessica, she says, “She helped me stay focused, especially when I found so many things that I loved.” Jessica elaborates, “We just kept coming back to Tonya’s original vision; keeping it simple and modern with a touch of glitz.”

To achieve this, the pair chose a pure palette of white and warm grays, blended with bits of polished nickel and satin brass. Contemporary custom artwork by Meghan Temple of Atelier Temple graces the walls throughout. In addition, all upholstered furnishings are covered in sumptuous fabrics with a sheen, while a modern-rustic wood flooring from Howard-Carpenter Floor Covering give the rooms an extra ‘elan. Even the smallest spaces, like a half bath that boasts a dazzling mother of pearl mosaic tile wall, showcase the sophisticated style. However, they wanted to make sure the space retained a sense of warmth. “There are rustic infusions,” Jessica explains. These include sliding barn doors on several rooms, shiplap, and realistic faux wooden beams painted by Tony K Designs in Painting.

Throughout the home, spectacular lighting fixtures, provided by Design Link and Brecher’s Lighting, bring drama. From the trio of starburst chandeliers in the great room to dripping glass wall sconces in the hallway to a row of caged pendants with a satin brass finish over the dining table, each fixture is illuminated art. 

Tonya’s aesthetic was greatly influenced by her parents, Linda and Ron Turner who founded the engineering and electrical contracting company Amteck. When asked who her design icons were, Tonya says, “My mom and dad. I really wanted to reflect the style of their house in ours.” 

Family also played a huge role in the lay-out of the home. Tonya and Jason wanted a space that offered ample room for family gatherings, while also remaining intimate. “I wanted a space where people could flow from one room to the other and never feel isolated,” Tonya states.

“I wanted a space where people could flow from one room to the other and never feel isolated.”

Along with Jessica and John, they agreed that a house with an open floor plan with varying levels would best serve their needs. To maintain the openness, grand windows pour light into the spacious great room, which contains living, kitchen, and dining areas to provide ample space for entertaining extended family. An elegant electric fireplace surrounded by classic yet comfortable furniture provides a perfect place for conversation. The overall effect is cozy, yet posh.

The kitchen is functional with flair, featuring custom white cabinetry and modern hardware from Kitchen Concepts accented with silver strapping and a sleek custom-designed, metal hood from Kentucky Metal Craft. The countertops, provided by Artistic Granite & Marble, are a new product known as Neolith, which resembles the beauty of marble but offers remarkable durability. To keep the area clutter-free, all appliances are hidden behind matching cabinet panels.

The view, in every direction, is gorgeous, and includes pastures, a four-acre lake, and copses of mature trees. “You would not the believe the sunset,” Tonya says. The family enjoys spending time outdoors and looks forward to evenings on the patio in front of their large, stone outdoor fireplace from Housewarmings.

Just a few steps away from the great room are the music room and formal dining room. The music room, where their daughter practices on a white baby grand piano, is adorned with a polished Zebrano Marble floor and satin brass accents. These finishes extend into the dining room and set the perfect backdrop to the custom walnut, live edge table designed by the homeowners. 

The first floor houses a master suite. The master bedroom was inspired by and designed around an extraordinary pair of bedside pendant lamps. The master bath captures the luxurious feeling of a spa with a freestanding tub situated in front of a large window that beckons for a bubble bath with a glass of champagne. There is also an oversized shower tiled in an intricate Moroccan pattern provided by Louisville Tile.

Up one landing is what Tonya refers to as “the quiet room,” where the family nestles in for together time. This room gives a nod to the Bluegrass with paintings of white thoroughbreds, equestrian touches like a snaffle-bit hurricane lamp, and a pop of Kentucky blue. Down a landing, you’ll find the home theatre outfitted by Barney Miller, a favorite spot for the kids and their friends. Bonus rooms include a mudroom, laundry, and exercise room.

Tonya is thrilled with the resulting arrangement.

When it came to the exterior of the home, the primary goal was to fit seamlessly into the graceful landscape of Serenity Equine Estates. Custom stonework from Clay Ingels along with lush landscaping by Greg Spivey of Landscaper’s Paradise compliment the surrounding countryside. Only minutes away from shopping and restaurants, Serenity Equine Estates combines the best of both town and farm living by providing a backdrop of rolling hills and beautiful fence lines, as well as convenience. With the completion of Brannon Road Extension Project, the convenience factor will be even greater. In addition, Five Arrows Farm, with its state-of-the-art stable and outdoor riding arena, are located next door. The estates were developed by Tonya’s brothers, Troy and Daren Turner of Turner Developments, to provide homeowners a “high-end and personally nourishing community.”

Again, keeping kith and kin close is always a priority. This year, for the first time, the Widmer’s will be hosting Thanksgiving at their new home. Then, all will head to the Chinoe Road house, owned by Linda and Ron, for the long-standing tradition of turning on the elaborate Christmas display that has become a highlight of Lexington’s holiday season.

With loved ones always being at the forfront, it is no wonder Tonya’s biggest compliment on the new property came from her oldest son who said, “Mom, you did such a great job on this house. I love to come home here. You should really be proud.”