By Donna Ison


For Tony and Debbie Collier, when it comes to personal properties, three times has proven a charm . This is the third residence that Tony, who has been in the construction industry for 27 years and owns Collier Custom Homes, Inc, has built for he and his family. Debbie says, “There is always something that you would do different on the next house, but with this one I can’t think of anything that I would change. It truly is our dream home”

First, the couple agreed on the perfect site for the home in the Keene Manor subdivision, overlooking the golf course. Next, to ensure the floor plan was completely conducive to their lifestyle, they enlisted the help of local architect firm MBM Design. And then, they called on Nancy Elam of Design Link, who they have depended on for the last 15 years to meet their interior design needs. Together they carefully selected the interior and exterior  finishes to create a seamless flow from the inside out. “On this house, Nancy helped us pick out everything, from the brick right down to the accessories. Her results are always amazing,” says Debbie. 

Nancy is a founding partner and residential designer with Design Link, a full service commercial and residential interior design firm dedicated to “providing each client access to the very best that the design world has to offer; regardless of project scope or complexity.”

The goal on this project was simple—to create a space that was equally sophisticated, stylish and serene. Nancy states, “My goal is always to achieve the look that looks like my client. I don’t ever want the house to be a reflection of who I am I want it to be a reflection of who they are, and because I’ve worked with them for many years, that part was easy. I knew that they wanted it to look beautiful, but to also be inviting, comfortable, and relaxed.” The result is a residence that strikes the ideal balance between luxury and livability. 

Perfecting the open floor plan was a primary objective. According to Nancy, “The floorplan is unique in that it all just makes sense. The space is very well planned, and although it’s a very open plan, there is still a sense of intimacy.” Debbie adds, “We love the open floor plan. We enjoy having family and friends over, and it is a great space for entertaining a lot of people.”  To enhance the flow, white oak rift-and-quartered flooring, from Hardwood Specialties and installed by Evans Hardwood Floors, is utilized in nearly every room.

Natural light from the expansive windows adds to the openness, while the color choices also play an integral large role in accomplishing a clean and calming atmosphere. To counterbalance Tony’s fast-paced professional life, Nancy chose a peaceful palette. “The overall color scheme is soft, light neutrals. The wall color used throughout most of the house is a Sherwin Williams color called ‘Worldly Gray,’ which is my ‘go to’ color when wanting to use a warm gray,” she explains. Debbie adds, “The question we were asked most often during the tour was ‘What is the paint color you used on the walls?’”

Of course, she is referring to the 2019 Grand Tour of Homes hosted by The Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky. In its price point, “The Carter,” named for the couple’s grandson, garnered first place honors in Curb Appeal, Landscaping, Kitchen, Master Suite, Floor Plan, Interior Features, Interior Lighting, and Overall.

Knowing that “it’s really the furnishings and accessories that make a house warm and cozy,” Nancy chose draperies, area rugs and upholstery in easy and elegant colors and fabrics, as well as classic and commodious furniture, all procured direct from venders through Design Link. Accent accessories were purchased from favorite retailers from around town, including House, My Favorite Things, Market on National, Lexington Furniture, ArHaus and Pottery Barn. The classic transitional décor is rounded out with a mix of lighting by Brecher’s Lighting with the dominant finish being polished nickel.

As for the layout, the great room opens into a living room and kitchen with a breakfast bar, and continues on into a large dining area and hearth room. A coffered ceiling, marble fireplace, handsome built-ins, and a hand-knotted wool rug make the ample area both timeless and tranquil.

The kitchen is anchored by white floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry from Kitchen Concepts and a pair of islands topped with “Ice Brown” granite from Artistic Marble and Granite providing double the space for food preparation and presentation. The range wall is a focal point, featuring a distinct 3-dimensional ceramic tile backsplash and custom stainless steel and chrome hood. The appliances, which include a 48” gas range, a refrigerator cleverly masked as cabinetry, a microwave drawer and more were purchased from Pieratt’s. A pantry, mudroom and coat closet with built-in cubbies for Tony’s extensive cap collection adjoin.

Off the kitchen is Debbie’s preferred place. “The hearth room is where we land most often. Its close proximity to the kitchen is nice, and it’s a cozy comfortable space. We enjoy the beautiful view of the golf course as well,” she says, “I love this view. I love all the open windows.”

The spacious home office is the hub of the Collier’s company. With masculine mahogany walls and ceiling, built-in bookshelves, and wooden shades from Design Link, it provides an ideal work atmosphere.