With its Victorian-inspired wraparound porch adorned with red, white and blue bunting for the July 4 holiday, Jayme Jackson’s new Patchen Wilkes home looked magazine-ready, literally.
“My neighbor drove by and said it looked like something out of Southern Living,” said Jayme, who moved into her home on Goodpaster Way just over sixth months ago. “And I said, ‘Oh, thank you. You could not give me a higher compliment. I love sweet tea and monograms and everything Southern. I think life should be pretty.”
Before she purchased it, Jayme’s house – dubbed “The Elizabeth” and built by Jimmy Nash Homes – was the overall winner for its price point in the 2016 Grand Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Lexington.
Jayme, an Ashland native, and her husband, Fred, a retired hospital administrator, had been living in Dallas but were eager to move back to Kentucky to be closer to family here. When she saw the model home, Jayme knew immediately that it was the place for her, and she was able to negotiate moving in just before the Thanksgiving holidays.
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“The people at Jimmy Nash have been wonderful. We saw the home in September and originally hadn’t planned to move in until March, but then we went back to Dallas and thought, why are we going to spend the holidays flying back and forth to Kentucky? So, I called and asked if there was any way we could get in before the holidays, and they said, ‘Absolutely.’ They were using the basement as their office and they had to relocate quickly, but they made it work,” Jayme said. “And the service does not stop after you move in. If I even have a little crack in the paint, they are so responsive about fixing it right away.”
Victorian charm with modern amenities
Several years ago, while driving around Lexington, Jayme and Fred had discovered Patchen Wilkes Neighborhood and loved the charm and unique architectural style of its homes. But after Fred’s retirement, they ultimately decided to move to warmer weather, first in Florida and then Dallas, where one of their adult children lives. But when the pull of family drew them back to Kentucky – the couple have two adult children and two young grandchildren in the Lexington area – Jayme knew immediately that Patchen Wilkes would be her new address.
“I specifically wanted Patchen Wilkes because I knew the lots were a little bit smaller, and neighbors are close. The closeness builds a good sense of community. Everybody knows everyone, and it’s very friendly. We were missing that in Dallas,” Jayme said. “A year after living there, we hadn’t met anyone. Day one here, and we had three neighbors inside.”
In the evenings, Jayme and Fred sit outside on their wraparound porch and visit with neighbors walking their dogs. “We joke that it’s like the 1950s here, and we’re living a Norman Rockwell kind of life,” she said.
The style of the home itself also appealed to Jayme, who loved the elegance of its Victorian-inspired turrets, decorative gables and overall charm. “I loved the old feel of this home, but the fact that it was a new build,” she said.
Inside, the five-bedroom home features reclaimed hardwood floors, roughly 5,000 square feet of living space and a fully finished basement. The large master suite on the main floor – one of Jayme’s “must haves” – is highlighted by a soaring, vaulted ceiling covered in shiplap. “To look at the house from the street, you’d never expect that the room would have this much height,” she said.
While the home was move-in ready, Jayme did a little tweaking to give it her own style. “I used to have two interior design stores, so I love having something design-wise to do all the time,” she said. “The biggest changes I made were to the front den, which originally had a white marble fireplace surround and white shiplap on the walls. I wanted more of a Ralph Lauren den-ish vibe, so we changed the surround to a natural stone, and we painted the shiplap green.”
Jayme repurposed several of the furnishings in the home from her former residences, including the den’s unique, large-scale wooden entertainment center, which she had custom-built in Texas using intricately inlaid wooden doors originally made for a Mexican church.
Off the den is a small office, complete with pocket doors and a separate side entrance, where her husband displays his collection of military band miniatures. “When Jimmy builds a model, he sticks with the character and charm of that era. So this office harkens back to a time when people – perhaps a physician or an accountant – would have seen clients in their own home,” Jayme said.
The kitchen, which includes stainless appliances, a farmhouse sink, white shiplap walls and black soapstone countertops, sits at the center of the main floor and offers ample room for cooking and entertaining – a plus, since Jayme often hosts family meals.
Upstairs, a large sitting room off the landing offers overnight guests a perfect place to unwind, while a “hidden room” behind a folding bookcase allows Jayme an ideal space to sew. “I normally do draperies,” said Jayme. “I didn’t do all the draperies in this house, but I recently made all the curtains and pillows for my daughter’s new house in Nicholasville.”
Throughout the home, Jayme has incorporated art that speaks to her family’s travels and their shared experiences. One upstairs bedrooms features a collection of prints from the various European towns she and Fred have visited, while the first floor dining room – painted in a shade of rhubarb – sports prints from the cities they’ve called home.
Having been a professional designer herself, Jayme has set a high bar for the décor of each room. “I still feel it’s a work in progress, to some degree. I want every room to be different and perfect. I’m working my way through,” she said.
There’s one space that Jayme feels is perfect as is: her front porch. “This is my favorite view right here,” she said. “This is where I spend every evening. I know all of our neighbors – and all their kids and dogs. I just love it here.”