Leslie Foster’s main goal for her home on Chelmsbury Lane, in the gated section of Hartland Estates, was to make it comfortable and livable.
“I’m not a formal-type of girl,” says Leslie, executive director of Summit Salon Academy in Lexington. “When I got married, I didn’t ask for china and all that. We didn’t even have a formal dining room table until four months ago, when I inherited a set from my father and step-mother. We’re very informal people, and when I saw this home, it was the comfort level that drew me in.”
Leslie and her husband of 23 years, James – an emergency room physician and co-founder of Marshall Lifestyle Medicine – bought the home in 2000, when their youngest son, Jack, was just a baby. Their three children – McKenna, 20, a junior at UK; Evan, 18, a senior at Sayre, and Jack, 15, a Sayre freshman – have grown up in the home.
“We sit on a corner lot that’s nearly one acre, and when my daughter was in high school, our home was the hangout spot for all of her friends. That was very important to me. I wanted to have people here and have space to entertain here as my kids got older,” says Leslie.
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Built in 2000, the two-story brick home features a stunning ground floor great room with sprawling, 35-foot ceilings. “I love how inviting the spaciousness and height of this room feels,” says Leslie.
The Fosters are the second owners of the home; the first homeowners sold the property after just nine months. Because of the quick turnaround, the home was virtually move-in ready – another bonus for Leslie, who was facing moving away from the support system of her family in Cincinnati for the first time, while caring for three young children. “In most of the rooms, we didn’t have to do a thing. The core of this house is great,” she says.
Leslie did work with Lexington interior designer Gail Moses to do some light decorating when the family first moved in. At Leslie’s request, Moses’ team installed custom wall finishes using stained plaster and granite dust on the first floor walls so they would repel tiny handprints and dirt. “I wanted everything kid-friendly,” says Leslie.
With more than 8,600-square feet and seven bedrooms, the home has provided ample space for the Fosters – plus their three rescue dogs, Samson, Si Robertson and Wilson – to each have their own space to pursue their interests. Both James and Leslie sometimes work from home, and they each have their own home office on the home’s first floor. On the second floor, the kids’ rooms all boast their own, full bathrooms. McKenna’s room also has a small outdoor balcony, while Evan and Jack share a bonus theater room.
The home’s main floor includes hardwood floors throughout. The sweeping, curved staircase makes for a dramatic entryway in the main foyer, which flows into the central great room. In addition to its unique, vaulted ceiling, the great room is accented by a built-in entertainment center, wet bar, a bank of oversized windows overlooking the backyard and a working fireplace.
At the center of the main floor is a bright and airy, open-flow kitchen, which includes a sizeable, center island with granite countertops, white custom cabinets and a six-burner stainless steel gas stove. The kitchen also boasts a spacious breakfast nook area, flanked by a cozy, stone fireplace. Off the kitchen is access to the covered, wraparound back porch, which includes a gas fire-pit and several outdoor seating areas.
The first-floor master suite includes a sunny sitting area – ample enough for a full-sized couch and two chairs – and an adjoining bathroom with marble floors, granite countertops, a Jacuzzi tub and a separate, standalone steam shower.
“My goal with the bedroom was the same as for the whole house,” says Leslie. “I just wanted it to be comfortable.”
When the family purchased the home, the downstairs was not yet finished. Leslie served as her own general contractor, working to design the space into an inviting and relaxing retreat-like getaway. In addition to a large, professional-quality gym space, the basement also includes a full, working kitchen; a large cinema room with reverse projection theater screen; two full bedrooms; and a climate-controlled wine cellar and tasting room area. There’s also a cozy seating area with a double-sided fireplace plus a large storage room, including a cedar closet for out-of-season clothing.
Leslie put the extra downstairs kitchen and entertaining space to good use recently, hosting not just one but three separate family Thanksgiving parties. “I love cooking, and I love to entertain,” she says.
The home is wired with a smart home system, including security cameras and a whole-house music system, as well as programmable lighting throughout every room. The home also includes a four-car garage.
With their children growing, the family has decided to put their house on the market in order to downsize and relocate closer to downtown. “My goal with the house was not to make it look perfect,” Leslie says. “For me, it’s all about the livability.”
This week’s feature home is listed with Tina Marie Ball of RE/MAX Creative Realty. To see more images of this week’s featured home, visit the Homeseller gallery at Kentucky.com.