Having a penchant for constantly redecorating and not being afraid to let color make a strong statement, Sandy Collins has infused her home with distinct character.
The Hurstbourne Estates home she shares with her husband Kevin, is steeped in rich family history. It was built in 1981 by her father-in-law Bill Collins, who was a builder as well as owner of the car dealership that still bears his name.
Over the years, the 5 bedroom/6 bath, 9,000-square foot home has been updated and refreshed through a few iterations which included building a larger patio with an outdoor bar and kitchen. The home’s outdoor area also features a pool and clay tennis court.
“As our kids got older, we changed our style a little bit. We added a pool table and pin ball machines as something teenagers would enjoy,” says Sandy, referring to the basement where there is an exercise room, Jacuzzi and steam room. “And I have changed colors several times and removed or added furniture for a bit more modernization to our home.”
She feels fortunate that when her father-in-law built the home, separate living and dining rooms were preferred, unlike the often popular design today that combines the two areas. “My mom has passed away. I love that I have two big cabinets with crystal and things from her in my dining room. What would I do with them if I didn’t have a dining room? And that’s true for the living room where we have a baby grand piano that belonged to my in-laws and another cabinet that has precious pieces from my mother and mother-in-law,” she says.
One of her favorite spaces in the home is the long hall that is mostly windows on one side and photographs of her children, grandchildren and the families they have created. Other areas of which she is particularly fond are a vaulted ceiling great room with a palladium window, and a Florida room, located off the kitchen, that leads outside.
Interior designer Connie Pohlman of Anatole Interiors and Sandy make a dynamic design duo. “She has been working with me so long that she can pick out things I will like. I’m really quick about choosing pieces. Connie knows that when I say this is the one, I mean it. I don’t have to look at ten more,” says Sandy.
Owners of Bill Collins Ford and Collins Nissan, she and Kevin frequently entertain, mostly casual get-togethers. With twelve grandchildren (and one on the way), there’s usually family at their house. “We like to have parties by the pool or play games. I’m really big into having things for the grandkids to do with crafts,” she says. The whole family is looking forward to soon welcoming a furry new member, a giant schnauzer.
As it is in many homes with large families, the Collins’ kitchen can be a beehive of activity. While Sandy enjoys cooking for the holidays, she isn’t shy about ordering in for other meals. “My husband is such a picky eater that day in and day out, my cooking is rare, especially when it’s just the two of us. I eat salmon and steamed broccoli four nights a week at the Hurstbourne Country Club,” she laughs.
A kitchen makeover is on the calendar for spring. Honey-color cabinets will be replaced with dark cabinets. The granite countertop that has a light and dark pattern will remain as will the island, as it is a central focus of the room.
The living room’s color palette of dark tan with a hint of gold is grounded by white wall-to-wall carpeting and accented with raspberry colored fabric on cushions and pillows. A black chair and small touches of black add another dash of design savvy, and a portrait of the Collins children when they were young holds great sentimental meaning.
“I like splashes of color. My daughter, Kendahl, who moved into a new house is into grays and whites, but I tell her she needs to add some color! I think I have a good eye for putting things together but I don’t know if I have any design secrets other than making sure that there’s a flow of colors from room to room. In the breakfast room, Florida room and kitchen I carried out a medium green that added some spice and flow. And that raspberry in the living room is repeated in fabric on end chairs and in a centerpiece in the dining room,” she says.
An upstairs room was converted into a bunk bedroom. Indiana artist Byron Roberts painted an underwater mural scene in Kendahl’s room when she was a child. Last year he returned to touch it up, much to the grandchildren’s delight.
The master bath off the generously sized bedroom was renovated about five years ago, involving removing walls and adding dark cabinetry, a light tile floor with black accents, a huge shower, Jacuzzi and two walk-in closets.
“There are always things in new homes that you look at and think, gosh I wish I had that. But I truly love my house. It’s awesome,” says Sandy.
Interior designer: Connie Pohlman, Anatole Interiors
Florida room furniture; breakfast room table and chairs: Summer Classics
Kitchen cabinets: Classic Kitchen
Lighting: Brecher’s Lighting
Mural: Byron Roberts
Bathroom tile: Louisville Tile