GEORGETOWN — Kelly and Ronnie Fulton have what might be called a remodel relationship.
When the two started dating 15 years ago, Friday nights were happily spent sanding floors or installing crown molding instead of going to a bar or a movie.
They spent hours sprucing up a project house that Ronnie, who is originally from Lexington and grew up in Versailles, had bought at age 21. Kelly, who is from Mount Sterling, said that when she met him, she didn't know just how handy her carpenter/ mason/designer husband was. It just made her love him all the more.
The couple married, sold that house in Lexington's Lansdowne neighborhood and moved into their first home together.
Their five-bedroom ranch-style house in Georgetown, which has an office loft, a finished basement and a double-deck out back, is not your typical family starter home.
But it was just what they had been looking for.
When the Fultons moved to Scott County eight years ago, it was so both could be closer to where they worked at the time. Their house is just minutes from the sprawling Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky plant, where Ronnie worked, but it feels as if it's on the edge of the country. The traffic on their street is light. People are friendly. In fact, when they were looking at the house, Ronnie said, he noticed that "people kept waving at me like they knew me." Kids were playing in the yards.
They — and the house — were sold.
Kelly, 37, a real estate agent, said they love the small-town feel, including that the school their children Madison, 7, and Cameron, 5, attend sits across from a cow pasture. Plus, she said, "in Georgetown, they throw a parade for everything, and we love a good parade." (The one thing that would make the town better? A Target, she said.)
They did have a few stipulations for the house. It had to be situated on the lot so as to minimize the late-afternoon sun. The basement had to be unfinished. It had to have a deck.
This remodel couple had plans.
Ronnie, 38, put in crown molding throughout the house. He built a mammoth, dark-wood entertainment unit that fills one living room wall. He mounted the stones over the fireplace and refinished the basement into a (literally) cool, inviting space, perfect for family time.
It was several years before they added the space that makes their house special: the two-story deck behind the house.
The first thing they had to do was reconfigure the original deck, which had been designed so the stairs "cut the yard in half," Ronnie said.
In place of the typical suburban deck, the Fultons' upper deck is covered with a dark, super-hard Brazilian wood called ipê (pronounced "E-pay").
Down below is what sets the outdoor space apart. A design by Undercover Systems makes the lower-level deck feel like an indoor space. The design system allows for water to drain from the upper deck but not through to the lower deck. A ceiling fan and lights are installed in the outdoor space for just a touch of the indoors.
The result is a shaded, comfortable bonus room that allows Kelly and Ronnie to watch the kids in the back yard or visit with friends. Ronnie liked the concept so much, he bought the local Undercover Systems franchise, and the former computer engineer for Toyota now installs them across the state.
Plus, the welcoming space, accented with lime-green and teal pillows, can be appointed with regular indoor furniture or with couches and chairs made for outdoor use.
Their friends and neighbors love it.
"We come out here and the neighbors will see us," Kelly said, "and they'll just come right over."
Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.