Tony and Andrea McGaha left nothing to chance when they chose the Isabella floor plan in Summerfield subdivision on Winchester Road near Hamburg and Interstates 75/64.
“After we got married, we decided we were going to start a family, so we started looking,” said Tony, a manager for the state highway department. “We liked this area a lot, and we stalked the neighborhood for probably two years. We’d drive through and say, ‘Ooh, I like that house.’”
The location suited them because it is a “five- to 10-minute drive to Tony’s office and a straight shot to the hospital for me,” said Andrea, a nurse at University of Kentucky Hospital.
An open concept floor plan was at the top of the McGahas’ “must-have” list, and the couple toured almost every model in Summerfield before settling on a contractor, Byer Builders, and the Isabella floor plan.
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A few weeks later, they found out they were going to become parents.
Thirteen months after moving to 1847 Battery Street, Tony and Andrea agree that the two-story, 2,527-square-foot home with four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths delivered everything they wanted.
“We love it here,” Andrea said. “In our old neighborhood, we barely saw our neighbors. Here, everyone on this whole street will gather around a fire pit in the cul-de-sac. It’s nice to get to know other families with little ones. Everyone’s really friendly.”
Summerfield and Tuscany are two of several “villages” planned for a 565-acre development adjacent to the booming Hamburg residential, retail and commercial center.
A new high school is under construction nearby. Lexington’s newest YMCA also is being built on 10 acres within walking distance that developer Tim Haymaker donated in 2003.
“We knew this area was going to grow,” Andrea said. “Once we made the decision to build, we knew we had to act fast. Homes sell quickly here.”
Since building their home, they have watched more new construction go up around them.
“Six months ago, it was just a field over there,” said Tony, pointing toward streets and houses so new that the addresses don’t yet register on GPS.
Andrea and Tony agreed on most decisions that go with building, beginning with the lot.
“It was a big draw for this house,” Tony said. “We got a nice, prime lot with a big back yard and nobody directly behind us.”
There also was enough slope for the 1,151-square-foot walkout basement, which remains unfinished.
“I’ll decide later what to do down there,” Tony said.
Above the basement-level patio is a covered deck, an upgrade that Andrea described as one of their favorite spots.
“We enjoy sitting out here,” Andrea said.
To contain children and pets without impeding conversation with each other, the McGahas and neighbors on both sides enclosed their back yards with matching 4-foot picket fences.
The light, airy feel continues inside, where the eat-in kitchen, living room and entry hall flow together to create one large, comfortable space that is the hub of the home.
“This is where we hang out,” Andrea said. “One of our favorite cities is Charleston, South Carolina, so we decided to incorporate the Charleston look by carrying the brick from the fireplace through to the kitchen and butler’s pantry.”
Although a brick mason installed the fireplace, Tony tackled the backsplash in the kitchen and the facing wall in the butler’s pantry himself.
“His brick skills saved us a lot of money,” she said.
Not only does the brick visually tie the spaces together, but its texture and color also complement the ivory cabinetry, granite countertops and hardwood floors.
Instead of a staircase, a flex room just inside the front door will eventually become a playroom for Declan.
“One of the things we liked about this plan was the steps weren’t the first thing you see when you open the front door,” Andrea said.
Instead, the staircase is located off the living room.
The McGahas also insisted on hardwood and tile floor coverings only.
“We didn’t want any carpet,” Andrea said. “It just isn’t practical with a dog.”
All bedrooms are upstairs and have custom features the McGahas came up with themselves.
In the nursery, for example, Tony applied varnished barn wood to one wall to create the rustic look he and Andrea favor.
At Andrea’s request, he used gas pipes to build open shelving in Declan’s room. “I watch a lot of HGTV. I like the look of open shelving,” Andrea said. “We go for that vintage, rustic look.”
In the owners’ suite, the McGahas opted for a double tray ceiling and a sliding barn door that opens to the bathroom. Mason jar-style lighting throughout contributes to the relaxing ambience.
Andrea chose paint that is the exact shade of a Tiffany box for one of the guest bedrooms she now calls her “Tiffany room.”
“We picked everything out ourselves,” Andrea said. “It was very stressful at times, because I have expensive taste. Jon (Byer) and Rebecca (Griggs-Kundinger), his Realtor, were good at working with us and keeping us on budget. They made the process so easy.”
To see more images of this featured home, visit Kentucky.com and search “Homeseller.”