Tour of Homes: Livable Luxury

Donna Ison


As one of the only female builders in Central Kentucky, Victoria Rosok of Premier Home Builders, LLC, brings years of experience and a unique perspective to each construction project, and people have taken notice. Premier Home Builders has won “Best New Home Design of the Year” on two separate occasions and has been awarded “Best of Houzz” two years in a row for Customer Service. Last year, it was also awarded “Best of Lexington” in the Builder category.

Designed with an emphasis on ease and elegance, “The Bella,” which garnered the honor of “Best New Home Design of 2018” from the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky, is no exception.

“We wanted this space to be very versatile, so we went with an open floorplan, a big island in the kitchen for easy for entertaining and full first floor living, including storage,” Vickie states, “And when selecting the finishes, it was all about easy maintenance and using surfaces that are not going to stain and you can just wipe off.”

The Bella was purchased last fall by John and Cathy Lutzkanin, after relocating to Lexington from Denver, Colorado with their two golden retrievers. The home had everything the couple was searching for in a property. Cathy states, “We really wanted first floor living, an open concept, and as little carpet as possible because of our dogs. Also, we anticipated we would have, at least, one parent moving in with us at some point, so we needed a separate second floor.”

This home provides all of this and more, while exuding livable luxury throughout.

Upon entering through a set of handsome mahogany double doors topped with an arched transom, you step into a gracious great room with a formal dining and living area connected to a large kitchen. As in all Premier Home Builders homes, the space is teeming with sophisticated details such as crown molding, tall ceilings, eight-foot doors, custom columns and the subtle touch of rounded corners. An expanse of windows allows natural light to pour in from all sides.

A coffered ceiling with white beams and gas-log fireplace, from Fireplace Concepts, with a sleek mantle in the same crisp white give the living room a clean and classic feel. These deliberate touches led to the home receiving the award for Interior Features during the 2018 Grand Tour of Homes.

Of course, the couple has imbued the home with their own personality, as well.

For the first floor, Cathy chose a color palette of muted purples and rich brown. “I love color, but still wanted it to be calming. And, after being a nurse for thirty-two years, I wanted nothing to do with hospital colors. So, we went for soothing and tranquil, but still different.”

Their furnishings, most of which came from Signature Furniture, were purchased specifically for the house. Cathy explains, “We have moved a lot in our time together, so we very rarely bring furniture with us.” The style is relaxed yet refined with an overstuffed sofa, traditional wingback chairs, and contemporary tables. Though they loved the look of the the original dark hardwood flooring from ProSource, it was replaced with Rogers Floor Covering’s engineered plank in pine for a purely practical reason. Cathy explains, “It was absolutely gorgeous, but our older dogs just couldn’t walk on it.”

The kitchen is located just off the family room through a large cased opening and is a perfect representation of Vickie’s design philosophy. She says, “I always try to achieve a push and pull of masculine and feminine.” This involves creating a harmonious balance of heavy and airy, sharp and curved, dark and light elements. “With the cabinetry and countertops, it gives it a masculine feel. But, then you add the light fixtures and jewelry of home for a feminine feel,” states Vickie.

The central focal point of the room is a large island, with seating, topped by a stunning quartz countertop from Artistic Granite, chosen for its combination of durability and beauty. Substantial, white custom cabinetry with decorative trim, from Castle Cabinetry, anchors the room. The stove hood, with its contoured design and ornate corbeled shelf adds an artisan feel. And, black quartz countertops and a porcelain tile backsplash, also from Artistic Granite, compliment the white wood.

Above the island, a pair of brushed silver chandeliers with dangling crystals from Ferguson provides a feminine nuance. “If you’d ever told me I’d have chandeliers in my house, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, I love them. It just works.” Cathy says, with a laugh.

Form meets function in every room. “For the lay-out, everything is in relation to each other for everyday function, but also for when you’re entertaining,” says Vickie. For this reason, the bar with display shelving is located at the edge of the living room, so guests feel welcome to help themselves. Originally, a breakfast nook was incorporated into the design, but Cathy and John opted for a coffee conversation arrangement instead.

The owner’s suite won First Place in the Master Suite category in the 2018 Grand Tour of Homes. Through discreet pocket doors, the roomy owner’s bedroom connects to a lavish bath with a soaking tub, sinks with quartz countertops and a glass-walled, walk-in shower with a glass block window. Just beyond, through a cased opening, lies a stunning custom closet replete with ample shelving and hanging space, a graceful chandelier and a perfectly angled, three-way mirror, which is the only aspect of the closet visible from the bedroom. As Vickie points out, “It’s all about presentation.”

In all of her homes, Vickie strives to make day-to-day living easier and more enjoyable. One way is to ensure homeowner’s have more than enough storage on both levels, including a longer than average garage. Her homes have both an owner’s and guest’s coat closet, with the owner’s being near the garage where they most often enter and exit. Another small touch with a big impact is a hanging rod in the laundry room for air drying garments.

Premier Home Builders built their first spec home in Tuscany. Vickie states, “Our plan was that if it didn’t sell, we would move into the home. It sold in thirty minutes with three offers to back it up. And, from there, we were on our way.”

The first floor also boasts a full guest suite with a full bath. According to Vickie, “We are really trying to incorporate a full guest suite into every design. We find it really works if they have elderly parents who are visiting, or we have a younger couple that would like to initially have their toddler or baby on the first floor, and then later graduate them to the second floor.”

The second floor contains two spacious guest rooms with sizable windows, a full guest bath, large linen closet and ample attic storage. It also boasts a versatile bonus room, which is currently being used as a gym, but will soon to be transformed into a sitting room for Cathy’s mother who is relocating from New England to reside with the couple.

Though they thoroughly enjoy every room of the first floor, the couple’s favorite place to recoup and relate is the backyard. Each had a “must have” detail they demanded be incorporated into the space. For John, it was the organic fountain encircled by free-form flat pavers and featuring a trio of boulders configured to give a waterfall effect. Cathy added two large L-shaped brick planters to the design. The multi-colored stone patio contains a seating area, dining area and firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs all amidst pristine landscaping with pops of color.

Another bonus to the home is its location in the in the Tuscany development in Hamburg. “It is so convenient to everything. And, I lucked into the fact that it is also only three miles from my office,” says Cathy, “And, we love the neighborhood. We have a great group of neighbors. It is the nicest mix of people.”

Since moving to Lexington, the couple has found several businesses they love to frequent including Le Deauville, Carson’s Food and Drink, Coles 735, and Jean Farris Winery & Bistro.

And though, coming from Denver, the damp and humid Kentucky weather has been challenging, the warmth of our inhabitants has more than made up for it. John says, “Having lived all over the country, we have never been in a friendlier place.” Cathy adds, “This city has the nicest people, by far, hands down."