In a stunning stone home in Poplar Woods, interior designer Jan Davisson combines Tuscan charm with transitional sophistication and dazzling in-demand upgrades. Christine Fellingham takes a tour—from the wine-cellar to the walk-in closets.
When Jan Davisson, an interior designer at Cherry House Furniture Galleries, was given the coveted task of designing a stunning country home for last year’s Homearama in Poplar Woods, she easily found her inspiration. “The stone, the architectural style and the romantic setting reminded me of Tuscany,” says Davisson. “I knew I wanted to use the warmth and coziness of a Tuscan palette within transitional, timeless decor.”
In her color scheme, Davisson popped terra cotta and pottery blue with soft washes of grey-tinged neutrals. “I avoided using too much of the grey that’s so popular right now, but I introduced it in the undertones of the wood floors, the ceiling and as an accent color in fabrics and accessories.”
From the first step into the foyer, the home appears to be both grand and gracious.
“The focus is on livable luxury."
“The wide-plank wood floors are lightly distressed, so you can’t wreck them and they’ll last forever. People spend a fortune on flooring and they don’t want to have to replace it.”
The entrance opens into a fabulous great room/kitchen/dining space with a lofty vaulted ceiling. “The open concept has a contemporary informality, but the ceiling and the metallic accents dress it up,” she says. So does a transitional chandelier which combines delicate ironwork with crystal droplets. “Light fixtures are the jewelry of your home,” says Davisson. “I wanted the elegance of a chandelier without being too frou-frou. This one, from Brecher’s, is timeless but current.” The fixture, along with features like the custom backsplash and polished granite, add sparkle but not so much that this everyday living space becomes too dressed-up. “This is a space designed for both entertaining and spending time with the family. It has to be comfortable for both.”
ccording to builder Perry Lyons, the spectacular ceilings and beams help define different spaces without dictating their uses. “We’re spending a good piece of the budget on engineering homes to allow for open concept without walls or columns,” he says. “Often, we’re creating that definition with ceiling features. For instance, you can have a vaulted ceiling over a dining table, but they can still expand the table for company even if it won’t match up with the ceiling. Walls don’t let you do that.”
Definition is also created with furnishings. A massive contemporary watercolor rug anchors the living area while a farmhouse table distinguishes the dining area. “Each area has its function, but they can overlap,” says Davisson. “And the island is a gathering place where you can interact with any part of the room.”
The massive island is both a focal point and highly functional feature in the commercial-grade kitchen. “It’s large enough that you can have two dishwashers and a hidden storage space in front of the stools where the homeowner can store things they don’t use every day, like the Christmas plates or the crockpot,” says Lyons. “With open spaces, people like to hide clutter and the island is one way of doing that. The kitchen is designed so everything has its place and doesn’t have to sit out on the counters.”
rganization is built into the home on every level. “The closets in the master bedroom are bigger than most people’s bathrooms,” says Lyons. “People are spending money on features that make their lives easier.” That means the stone and marble bathrooms come with touchless fixtures and programmable faucets that remember favorite settings and can have water warmed up and running by the time the homeowner stumbles into the bathroom in the morning. “The master bathroom is truly a sanctuary,” she says. “Who wouldn’t want to wake up to that?”
The basement, meanwhile, is a masterpiece of functional design where wine bottles displayed and stored on floating shelves behind a wall of glass are like a walk-in wine museum that you never want to leave. “I decorated it so that it coordinated with the rest of the home, but it felt like a different environment… because it is,” says Davisson “I want people to walk down there, take a deep breath and relax.” If the wine cellar with its dazzling display walls and sparkling, sweeping bar don’t take your breath away, perhaps the media room will.
“Men love their media rooms and I wanted to make it magical,” she says. “Families spend time there. It should feel special. It should make you want to stay home.” The comfy leather chairs in pops of warm red add visual verve that signifies that this space isn’t humdrum. “People spend a lot of money on their basements not for show, but because it’s a place to enjoy with friends and family,” says Davisson. “We’re talking about double and triple dollar signs, but it’s a space that makes your home totally unique. When you step down into that space, something changes about you. It’s like a vacation in your own home. You say, ‘Okay, I’m at my destination now. I have arrived.’”
TOP DÉCOR SOURCES
Furniture: Cherry House Furniture Galleries
Builder: Perry Lyons, President, P.L. Lyons Architectural Builders
Architect: Ben Robbins, Robbins Architecture
Appliances: Century Entertainment
Kitchen Cabinetry: Century Entertainment
Theater System: Century Entertainment
Fireplaces: Fireplace Distributors
Masonry: Acuna Masonry
Painter: Progreso Painters Group
Windows: Pella Windows & Doors
Brick and stone: General Shale
Marble/Ceramic/Tile: Carpet Specialists, Emser Tile
Floor: Carpet Specialists
Lighting: Brecher’s Lighting
Interior Trim: Specialty Construction of Louisville