There’s nothing “cookie-cutter” about Susan Goldstein’s Lakes Edge Drive home, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. From the soaring, accordion-style windows in its expansive great room, to its natural, cypress wood façade and the hand-hewn poplar wood detailing throughout the interior, the home feels almost like a work of art, itself.
Susan, a prolific and award-winning ceramics artist, designed the home with her husband, Steven, a retired member of UK’s radiology faculty, in 1987. When they purchased their lakeside lot in Lexington’s Lakewood neighborhood, they had just tackled renovating an older home on Mentelle Park, and they were ready for something more modern.
“There’s so much that’s handmade here, versus coming from a factory,” said Susan, a longtime, active supporter of Central Kentucky’s arts community, through volunteer roles with the Lexington Art League, the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council and other agencies. “We wanted something contemporary, with a very open floor plan. The openness just comes naturally to me.”
Working with an area builder known for his design sensibility, Susan and Steven created a home highlighted by a bold, modern mix of natural building materials – from glass to natural stone and an array of varieties of wood, all of it selected with craftsmanship and artistry in mind.
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In the first-floor guest bathroom for example, alternating dark and light poplar boards form a hand-crafted sink stand, which supports a unique, artisan ceramic sink that Susan made herself.
At the heart of the first floor, the expansive great room offers stunning views of the nearby lake and surrounding trees, thanks to its unique, accordion windows and an interior glass wall that separates the room from – but allows sightlines into – an adjoining porch. “I just said to myself, why can’t you have glass on the interior wall?” Susan said, recalling her decision to make glass a key element in the room’s design.
The glass allows so much natural light into the space that lamps are never needed. “The light comes in from different angles, depending on the time of day, but you never need electric light in this room,” Susan said.
The large scale and non-traditional, open shape of the great room allow for easy entertaining – a feature that Susan and Steven have put to good use while hosting many charitable events on behalf of local art agencies and community nonprofits over the years.
Recently, the couple decided to put their 6,600-square-foot home on the market in order to downsize. While ready for something smaller, Susan knows she’ll miss the networking opportunities that having such a unique home offered: “I’ll often be out and someone will say, ‘Hello. We met in your kitchen,’” Susan said.
Art plays a key role in the home’s décor, and nearly every room is filled with works by local artists in a variety of genres – from quilts and paintings to sculpture, woodwork, metalwork and glass. Additionally, Susan’s own, colorful ceramics pieces are displayed in multiple spaces throughout the house.
“The art in the home is nearly all done by Kentucky artists, most of us now in our 60s, who kind of came of age together doing the Kentucky Guild Fair, and Woodland Park and the Art League,” Susan said.
The great room’s clean, modern lines, built-in glass shelves, tall stone fireplace and hardwood floors offer a gallery-like backdrop for displaying her art collection, yet Susan’s favorite space to relax is the adjoining covered porch overlooking the lake. “You hear the croaking frogs and nonstop birds,” Susan said. “It’s so peaceful.”
The first floor also includes a cozy family room with another stone fireplace and a sizeable kitchen with a dine-in peninsula that overlooks the backyard.
A hand-crafted, open wood staircase leads to the home’s second floor and fully finished basement, which features a workshop where Susan creates her ceramics pieces, as well as a large den and access to a ground-floor patio.
On the second floor, the home has four bedrooms, including the couple’s sizeable master suite, which is separated from the other three rooms for privacy. The master suite includes a spacious, adjoining bathroom that boasts a sunken tub with views of the lake, a standalone shower and dual sinks with new, artisan granite basins and fixtures.
The top floor also features a laundry room, cedar-lined storage room and additional storage via an attic access that runs the length of the house.
In addition to her own artistic creations and the modern artworks of friends and colleagues, Susan has incorporated several antique pieces into the décor of many of her rooms – including, for example, the Empire card table that serves as a bedside table in her master bedroom. It’s an intentional juxtaposition that lends an added, unexpected dimension to the home.
“I do like the idea of bringing antiques into a contemporary home,” she said. “It gives it a very warm feeling.”
This week’s featured home is listed with Suzanne H. Elliott of Berkshire Hathaway de Movellan.