It is not often that a home for sale appears in the Firebrook subdivision. When Catherine Keogh and her husband, Pascal Boret, found the house at 2505 Mansion View Court two years ago, they didn’t hesitate to snap it up.
“We bought the house in two days,” Catherine said.
Catherine, a former executive at Alltech (she was the company’s first female vice president, handling all its global marketing), and Pascal, a photojournalist, had rented homes in Firebrook before so they were familiar with the neighborhood. They knew there was plenty of room for their three children – 14-year-old Saoirse, 12-year-old Saibh and 8-year-old Tom – to ride their bikes with their friends. They could go to the pool and participate on the Firebrook swim team.
“We knew we wanted to live here because of the neighborhood,” Catherine said. “There’s a really nice community here. It’s been perfect for the kids. We wouldn’t consider anywhere else.”
The house appealed to Catherine on many levels.
“It was exactly what we wanted – the light and the space,” she said. Having grown up in Ireland, she believed the house’s 3,850 square feet was a blessing.
“In Europe, 1,500 square feet is a decent house in Dublin or Paris,” Catherine said. “This is just so spacious and there’s so much room to move around. This is a mansion for us.”
It’s rather ironic, then, that the couple has decided to sell the house and move to Dublin. But it also makes sense. After more than 25 years of traveling around the world for Alltech, Catherine wants to get back home to be with her family and have easier access to Pascal’s family in Bordeaux, France. She said she has missed out on many family milestones, including the recent birth of her sister’s baby.
“It’s time,” Catherine said. “Our family is all over there and my mom’s getting older and we’re just missing out on all that sort of stuff.”
“I’m excited,” Saibh said. “I’m going to miss it here, though.”
Built by Crawford Builders in 1990, the house was featured on the Parade of Homes Tour. It is located on a quiet cul-de-sac just off Overlake Boulevard, the main entrance into Firebrook. It has four bedrooms, including a first-floor owner’s suite.
“I love the layout where we’ve got master bedroom on the ground floor,” Catherine said.
French doors lead from the bedroom to a private brick patio.
“We sit out here sometimes and have coffee,” Catherine said.
The children’s rooms are all upstairs. Saibh and Tom share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
“We never fight over it,” Saibh said. “All I need is my own sink.”
One favorite feature is the family room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a two-story fireplace.
“We moved in December, so Pascal put in a wood-burning stove,” Catherine said. “It totally heats this room, which makes it really, really cozy. I’m Irish, so there’s always a blazing fire in my mom’s house.”
Once winter is past, the room floods with light.
“It’s really, really light and bright,” Catherine said.
Guests at Catherine and Pascal’s first Christmas party were enthralled to discover a separate bar room off to the side of the family room, complete with a sink, mini fridge, marbled countertops, a mirrored backdrop and glass shelves.
“Some of our friends didn’t know we had that bar and when we opened it, everyone was surprised,” Catherine said.
On the other side of the family room, doors lead to the enclosed all-season room, where Catherine often does some of her work. There is also a two-level deck that Pascal, whose father is a carpenter, laid down. It is a favorite spot for the family when the weather is nice.
“Being Irish, as soon as there’s a bit of sun, we’re sitting outside, loving the outdoors,” Catherine said.
Other notable features are the formal multi-sided dining room and the eat-in kitchen with its granite countertops and large island. The house has a full unfinished walkout basement – a rare commodity in Firebrook, Catherine said. The basement has a fireplace and a roughed-in bath. The kids love to play down there with their friends.
“The basement is probably my favorite room,” Tom said. “Well, my bedroom is my first favorite room.”
“If we were staying longer we would probably do it up, but there’s so much space upstairs we didn’t feel the need,” Catherine said. “It would be easy to come in and finish it off.”
As the family prepares for the transatlantic move, the excitement is understandably tinged with some sadness. Everyone is leaving friends behind, but they will grow closer to their extended Irish and French families. Tom will miss watching University of Kentucky basketball, but blue-ribbon-winning equestrienne Saoirse and horse-crazy Saibh might realize their dream of having a horse of their own.
“We may be able to finally invest in a horse,” Catherine said. “We’re definitely going to settle down in Ireland until the kids go to secondary school. It all kind of balances out.”
This week’s featured home is listed with Realtor Melia Hord of Melia Realty at Keller Williams Bluegrass.