There’s a universal appeal to the Beaumont Reserve neighborhood that marks it as one of Lexington’s favorites.
“People just love that section of Beaumont,” says local realtor Lynne Sneed. “Coming through the entrance and driving down Roswell with the tree-lined streets, it’s so beautiful. I’ve got pictures from the fall when the colors are changing. It’s stunning. And then in the spring when the trees have those white buds on them. It’s stunning in all seasons.”
You’ll find a palpable pride in ownership running through Beaumont Reserve along with some other key elements — a family-friendly atmosphere, great schools, outdoor recreation opportunities, and nearby shopping and restaurants.
So when Debbie and Ralph Wimsatt found an available lot on a quiet cul-de-sac in Beaumont Reserve in 2007, the wheels were quickly in motion for the couple and their two young girls.
“I knew the kind of house I wanted to build,” says Ms. Wimsatt. “I knew the entryway would be a focal point of the home.”
For inspiration, Ms. Wimsatt delved into architectural and home digests, with many fruitful hours perusing the Joseph-Beth Bookstore periodical racks.
The arched solid wood and wrought-iron front door was an early design choice. “I had to have a beautiful massive front door, something grand with old style hardware,” said Ms. Wimsatt.
FUNCTIONAL AND COMFORTABLE
The generous foyer is a dramatic convergence of archways – left into the living area, right into the dining room and above to a second floor overlook. The view from the front door takes you across five inch white oak floors, past a sweeping staircase and on through the home to the green of the back yard.
In a break from the typical, Ms. Wimsatt had a vision for a staircase set back from the front of the house, rather than crowded to the front. The result is a staircase reminiscent of a home from the late 1800s. The only thing missing is a Southern belle descending in a big ball gown, Ms. Wimsatt muses.
Ms. Wimsatt is partial to the living area off the foyer. The neo-traditional palette with the wood-carved hearth is based on a layout found in an Oprah magazine. The fireplace is one of two actual wood-burners in the home.
“We wanted real wood-burning fireplaces,” Ms. Wimsatt said. “Like when I grew up you could throw your wrapping paper in the fire at Christmas and watch it burn. Who didn’t love that?”
Above all, Ms. Wimsatt strove to create a functional, inviting and comfortable home with an open floor plan, and it’s a tribute to her talents that it so nimbly filled the bill.
The Wimsatts give a lot of credit to their homebuilder, Nick Phillips. “He has such an eye for detail,” said Mr. Wimsatt, a financial advisor. “He is a craftsman builder, as good of a design builder as we’ve ever seen.”
Throughout the nearly 7,000 square feet of finished living space on three levels at 2285 Guilford Lane, the abundance of custom details lend an unexpected vibrancy.
From the gently winding front walkway to the free standing soaker tub in the master suite to the chicken wire motif on the kitchen cabinets, Ms. Wimsatt acknowledges that there was nary an upgrade that wasn’t considered and thoroughly researched during the build.
“Everything in the house is an upgrade,” said Ms. Wimsatt. “You can buy a Cadillac that’s entry level or you can buy one fully loaded.”
DESIGN IN THE DETAILS
The 10 foot ceilings on the main and second floors add to the light and open feel of the home. In the kitchen you’ll find all high end appliances, two islands, a large walk-through food pantry as well as a butler’s pantry. A second kitchen is found under the nine foot ceilings of the basement level along with walkout access to the saltwater pool through an indoor cabana area with non-slip floors, full bath and a second laundry room.
Many of the home’s amenities and details are less obvious, such as the rounded sheetrock corners, the soft close drawer slides in the kitchen, or the way the corbels on the range hood mirror the style of the supports under the island seating area. Barney Miller wired the house for surround sound inside and out, and outfitted the downstairs home theatre.
The home is situated on one of the most desirable lots in Beaumont says Ms. Sneed, the realtor. The lot is adjacent to the neighborhood walking trails and features landscaping by Nature’s Expressions. Next door neighbors are Mark and Chantel Stoops. “They are the greatest,” says Ms. Wimsatt.
With daughter Alexandra ready to graduate from college and younger daughter Emma Grace on her way to college in the fall, change is in the air for the Wimsatts.
“We’re ready to downsize,” Ms. Wimsatt said. “We just want to have more free time to travel and do things. It’s going to be hard to leave, I won’t lie. I custom designed this home, and it’s very personal to me.”
As the ten year old home transitions to a new owner, Ms. Wimsatt is proud and confident about the way it still shines with a new home gleam. “I’ve found that the better care you take of things – your car, your home, your family – the longer they last.”
This week’s feature home is listed with Lynne Sneed of Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty.