Down a quiet country road lined with beautiful rock fences and shady trees in Bourbon County is where old farmhouse meets historic meets rustic modern.
Steve and Teresa Belford built the 3,600-square-foot home last year with the help of Chip Crawford of Lexington-based Crawford Builders. The Belfords were looking to buy a home on a different property, but after that auction fell through, they ended up on their dream land, in their dream home.
And there isn’t a more perfect spot for horse breeders: a farm in the heart of the bluegrass that was once stomping grounds for some famed horses.
“One of them Sunday Silence. As a yearling he was raised (here). Arthur Hancock, when he had the property, he raised that horse (here). That’s kind of what brought us to that piece of land,” he said.
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Sitting on 324 acres is the Belford’s quaint home, subtle and stately all the same. Steve said they wanted a house that didn’t look like a brand new, super modern home slapped in the middle of a big field. After working with Crawford Builders and Lexington design company Hubbuch & Co., the Belfords built a home Teresa said mixes farmhouse style with the early 1900s.
“We wanted really wide porches, so we build them extra wide,” Steve said of the porches that extend from end to end on the front and back of the home. “We really enjoy sitting out on the porch and looking out over the pastures.”
Farmhouse inspiration led to floating shelves in Amish-made kitchen cabinets, bubbled glass, a farmhouse table and bench and some unique light fixtures made of satin nickel and pewter.
“The color scheme that I used was a light cream, soft grays, slate gray and black. The draperies and area rugs are what we used to introduce color,” Teresa said.
The garage, surprisingly so, is also Kentucky farmhouse inspired—designed to resemble a tobacco barn.
Teresa delved into antique books, studying the early 1900s style homes and architecture, which inspired certain details, like the subway tiling in her bathrooms.
“At the beginning, what we really found charming about the property was the history,” she said.
“There’s an old house next door to us on the farm, one of the oldest houses in Bourbon County. What was told to us by the ladies at Loch Lea Antiques (Paris, Kentucky) is that Jefferson Davis had stayed at that home. They gave us literature that showed us that,” Steve said.
Steve, an Ohio native, and Teresa, from Arizona, both longed for a Kentucky farm to raise their horses.
“We’re really fortunate to have the place. We love Kentucky. It’s our new My Old Kentucky Home,” Steve said. “It’s new, but we wanted it to look older.”
Outside, a line of trees, boxwoods, rosebushes and careful landscaping frame a swimming pool, a hot tub and a poolhouse with a galvanized metal roof.
“We specifically wanted that because Kentucky is known for roses,” Teresa said.
The house also has rounded, galvanized gutters, blue slate stone on the walkways and robin’s egg blue beadboard on the porches. The fireplace in the living room was even designed with stone to match the outdoor walkways – another touch of Kentucky farmhouse.
“Everything just kind of flows,” Steve said.
“It looks like a family how it’s all related,” Teresa added. “(In the living room is) a huge chandelier made out of wrought iron. It’s monumental. It dresses up the place a lot. You can see how mixing that wrought iron with soft satin metals adds to the rustic feel. It carries on into the master (bedroom) where we have old timber beams. They’re tobacco barn beams. It just kind of, to the point with the decorating, it’s not just a repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s all kind of blended.”
The soil is what brought the Belfords to Paris. Steve attended the Millersburg Military Institute, which is when he said he became fond of the area.
“We found that it is the very best soil of anywhere. The quality of the soil in (this) area is second to none,” Steve said. “Some of the best horses — countless derby horses and Breeders’ Cup horses came from this area. It’s the finest breeding soil anywhere. There’s a type of soil runs that right through (here) and we just fell in love with it.”
The five bedroom, three and a half bath house took about a year to build, which was timely for her, Teresa said.
“It was a fairly easy project to execute with Crawford Builders. They were very helpful,” she said.
“We’re so proud to have this place. It’s both a dream of Teresa and I,” Steve said.