A custom-built colonial in Norton Commons is filled with thoughtful details designed to accommodate Brian and Nancy Underwood’s busy family of five. Here, the fun and functional details you’ll find beyond the front door.
Designing and building a home from the ground up is quite an undertaking. For Brian and Nancy Underwood, their goal in custom building was to create a home that would accommodate every need of their active household. Together with their three children— Lorelai,12; Brixton,6; and Brylan,4— the family brainstormed ideas on how to create spaces that were both functional, fun, and part of their ideal home. Jason Black of Artisan Signature Homes was up to the challenge and formulated the plans that turned their vision into a reality.
While the building process is complex and can present its own obstacles, Nancy shares that any “problems” they encountered were more of a positive nature. “Our biggest challenge was having to choose between all of the beautiful options for individual décor aspects,” she says. “My favorite part was thinking about the logistics of where to put each room and how we could really capitalize on the function and fun.” Not surprisingly, their Norton Commons home doesn’t cease to deliver delightful surprises.
The kitchen and butler’s pantry is a perfect example of aesthetics meeting pragmatics. The unique design of the pantry provides a place for everything. In the kitchen, a built-in booth surrounds the table and, with two accent chairs, makes a cozy spot for family meals. Open shelves display family collectibles, while the stark contrast of black soapstone counters with timeless white cabinetry adds visual drama. Modern pendant lanterns over the island are another striking statement. “During the school year, we spend most of our time at the kitchen table,” says Nancy. “This is where we eat together, play board games, do homework, and work on school projects.”
The kitchen spills into the living room where a high ceiling adds impact. Ombre walls that melt from a dark navy to deep teal create a relaxing visual image reminiscent of the ocean. Built-in firewood holders flank the fireplace while large geometrical mirrors above allow a view of the iron slide that runs from the third to second floor adding a truly unexpected element to the home.
"Our biggest challenge was having to choose between all of the beautiful optionsfor individual décor aspects."
"My favorite part was thinking about the logistics of where to put each room and how we could really capitalize on the function and fun."
The home not only encourages play but almost requires it. A hidden door in the shiplap on the third floor accesses the secret “Star Room” where black chalk-painted walls feature constellations complete with illuminated twinkling stars. This spot features reading pods and a built-in trundle bed. Beyond the “Star Room,” there is a whimsical woodland playroom. This room features everything from built-in desks and bookshelves to a hammock, bourbon barrel swings and a treehouse. In the lower level, a mini basketball court complete with lockers designed for toy storage and a state-of-the-art theatre system make an ideal setting for a fun family night.
“We truly believe in working hard and playing hard,” says Nancy. “This home allows us to do both while tackling life’s everyday tasks with ease and speed.”
Builder/Contractor: Jason Black of Artisan Signature Homes
Plumbing: Maeser Master Services
HVAC: Prudential Heating and Air
Copper roof: New Level Construction
Interior Design: Marsha Riggle of Tassels (including lighting, art, window treatments, accessories)
Appliances and Cabinets: Century Entertainment and Furnishing
Windows: Metro Window
Floors/Carpet: Premier Flooring
Tile: Robin Straub of Louisville Tile
Quartz Stone: Byron Roberts of Faux Finishers