Tour of Homes: Rustic Redefined

Donna Ison


Not so long ago, modern farmhouse was considered an oxymoron, but now it describes a style in which country comfort, class, and contemporary elements all coexist in perfect harmony is home completely captures that style and is the epitome of refined rustic.

Upon deciding to build a new house, Suzanne Lusby perused blueprints online for over a year before settling on a floorplan that met her needs—almost So, she modified the original design to perfectly fit her needs, which meant also accommodating her three daughters.

This resulted in a two-story brick farmhouse with vaulted ceilings, expanses of large windows, an open floor plan, and over 3,600 square feet of living area.

When choosing a location, Suzanne narrowed it to three lots in the new Winding Oaks subdivision But, after realizing that one lot was not only located on a cul-de-sac, but it also looked out on the fields of Old Friends farm, a retirement facility for  Thoroughbreds past their racing days, she knew it was where she wanted to build.

She turned to custom home builder and business associate Matt Welch of Matt Welch Homes to bring her blueprint to life. The construction was completed in 2018, and Suzanne moved in shortly thereafter.

Next, she employed Nancy Elam to help ful ll her vision for the interior Nancy is a founding partner and residential designer with Design Link, a full service commercial and residential interior design firm.

Of this project, Nancy says, “We have a friendship  at makes it very comfortable Suzanne knows exactly what she wants, but is still willing to ‘let go of the reigns’ Her trust in us allowed my team and I the creative freedom needed to help produce a space that truly reflects her vision."

On the front porch, solid timber columns flank a brick archway with towering 10-feet arched mahogany doors just beyond.

Through the impressive entrance, you’ll find a spacious great room, which accommodates formal dining, living, and a large kitchen with a breakfast area. Gorgeous “Kentucky Racehorse Oak” floors from Old World Timber, run throughout. The wood is milled from reclaimed horse farm fencing. According to their website, “The character of these timbers are extremely unique as they are exposed not only to the elements but also to the rubbing and chewing of the horses who live within them.”

The floors exude a warmth that is echoed in the home’s color palette of a variety of grays, warm neutrals, and crisp white. Nancy states, “I love the relaxed feeling this color palette creates. Knowing that Suzanne wanted a beautiful but comfortable home, selecting varying shades of neutrals seemed to be the right choice.”

The living room is truly extraordinary. Soaring vaulted ceiling with ornate trusses in a rich wood and a spherical wood and metal chandelier set the tone. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace from Lee Brick and Block Company with an oak mantle from Old World Timber adds to the sense of grandeur.

Traditional furnishings with a farmhouse feel balance out the loftiness and make the room feel comfortable and cozy. Accessories and artwork from House, Pottery Barn, Market on National and Paxton Home reflect the owner’s personality throughout. Nancy, who is a proponent of integrating fresh flower and plants wherever appropriate, brought a touch of the outdoors in with live pants from Pemberton’s Greenhouses and floral arrangements from Stems.

When it came to furnishing this home, which they did nearly from scratch, Suzanne had no trouble picking out pieces she knew would work. She says, “I don’t adhere to any certain style. I buy what I like.” As the former owner Suzanne’s Gift on Main in Georgetown, Suzanne had attended multiple trade market and was experienced with curating items for her shop. This translated to choosing decor for her home, which came from a variety of resources including our local Arhaus and Design Link.

Tucked under the staircase, the powder room makes the most out of a small space with shiplap walls, exaggerated sconces, and a reclaimed wood vanity with a vessel sink and vintage-look, wall mount faucets.

Off the living room, sliding glass doors lead to a well-appointed back porch with a second gas log fireplace, ample rattan seating, and a flat screened television. A large ceiling fan in sleek metal and pale wood lends a cool, industrial vibe.

On the opposite end of the porch is an oversized daybed swing with assorted throw pillows that overlooks the fields beyond. This is Suzanne’s favorite spot during warm weather. She says, “In the spring, you can find me in the swing.”

In the summer, you can find the family at their pool, which was built by 4 Seasons All Outdoors, and includes a terracotta rock waterfall feature and decorative iron fencing.

Stepping back inside, the cultured country kitchen, designed by Kitchen Concepts, is both sleek and inviting. The look is achieved with white custom cabinetry, Danby honed marble countertops from Artistic Granite & Marble and stainless steel Thermador appliances from Pieratt’s. Lanternstyle pendant lights with a vintage vibe, from Fergusons, and a brick backsplash complete the affect.

The space boasts two generous islands providing a wonderful serving space when entertaining family and friends, which Suzanne does often.

For this reason, Suzanne’s favorite part of the kitchen is the second island, which is not only functional but beautiful, with a reclaimed wood top fabricated by Lakeside Woodworks. She says, “There is always something spread across it. We use it everyday.”

The kitchen also contains a farmhouse sink, coffee station and custom wood breakfast table, which seats six, from The Wood Cutters.

In this home, even rooms that are often an afterthought, are laden with architectural interest. The capacious pantry is set off by a barn door and offers plenty of shelving and storage.

The exaggeratedly high, mudroom ceiling, by Old World Timber, is constructed of reclaimed wood in a multitude of different grains, hues, and sizes.

The luxurious laundry room serves as home to the family’s pet turtle, Duke, who they’ve had since he was the size of a silver dollar. Special elements include a farmhouse sink, brick floor, and a sliding barn door.

Up a stunning staircase, fabricated by Crown Stair, each of Suzanne’s three daughters has their own bedroom with walk-in closet and spa bath. Each of the bedrooms has its own personalized aesthetic and unique architectural elements, while maintaining the farmhouse feel. The first has an artistic reclaimed wood ceiling, beaded chandelier and a breathtaking view of the horse farm out back.

The second has a vaulted shiplap ceiling, 3-tiered chandelier in a unique oil-rubbed bronze, and exaggerated height upholstered bed.

A hanging bed with thick ropes in the place of a bed frame, made by Joe Jefferies of Healthy Structures Co., is the centerpiece of the third bedroom. A Moroccan-type metal light fixture adds whimsy to this room.

The first floor also houses the light-filled master bedroom, which embodies simplicity and serenity. Massive windows let in the morning light and offer a view of the horses grazing. The furnishings, which include the few pieces Suzanne brought from her previous home, have an eclectic yet elegant feel. Through a hall, you’ll find a custom walk-in closet from Closets by Design and the capacious master bath where distressed gray cabinetry and a leathered granite vanity top from Artistic Granite and Marble, stand in perfect contrast to a dramatic black and white, iron soaking tub and glass walk-in shower with glossy gray subway tile from Louisville Tile.

The finished home has everything needed for the four women to happily dwell. Out of the entire building and design experience, Suzanne’s favorite part was collaborating with Nancy.

On her role as a designer, Nancy says, “Suzanne has excellent taste...she made our job easy. Through space planning, meetings with many of the amazing resources in Lexington, and time spent understanding her likes and dislikes, we were able to help create a home that is a reflection of the things she loves.”

Suzanne, who is currently the director of operations at Legacy Wealth Management, adds with a laugh, “I’ve enjoyed the decorating process so much, that I’ve said I would like to go to work with Nancy for free, so the fun doesn’t have to end. I truly enjoyed the process and seeing everything come together. And, my daughters and I are delighted to be living in this beautiful home.”