Growing up in a Western Kentucky dotted with Amish communities, Lori Angel developed an appreciation for the Amish work ethic and their woodworking skills.
She had seen firsthand a kind of barter system. “I knew doctors in Crittenden who would trade business with low income Amish patients,” Lori said. “Fencing a farm or putting up a barn to pay down medical bills.”
So when it was time to renovate her kitchen at 1117 Sheffield Place in Lexington’s Andover Forest, she sought out an Amish craftsman.
“Part of what I do in my job is go to remote medical clinics,” said Lori, a longtime employee of Central Baptist Hospital. While traveling to a clinic in Maysville she spotted buggies on the road. “I knew there had to be an Amish community around there.”
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Lori and husband Albert soon returned to the area on a reconnaissance mission. They found a small Amish community near Mays Lick, about an hour outside of Lexington.
“Do you all have a cabinet maker around here?” Lori said to a group of men gathered outside a furniture/variety store, hopeful that she was on the right track. “They told me where to find Kevin Deitwaler, and we went and found him.”
Amish faith restrictions on modern technology, such as driving automobiles and using telephones and electricity, meant there were some logistics to be worked out with the cabinet making.
“He had a surprisingly high tech shop,” said Albert, who is also a longtime Central Baptist employee. “Yet still within the Amish guidelines.”
“We totally gutted the kitchen,” Lori said. “It was an old style galley kitchen that had never been updated from the time the home was built (1993).” Lexington remodeler Chris Ott had a hand in the renovation and Cherie Interiors helped with the design.
In addition to crafting and installing the custom solid cherry cabinets, the Amish craftsman “did a lot of really cool things,” Lori said. The cabinets are loaded with pull-outs, built-ins and designer touches.
“We love the kitchen,” Lori said. “This is now where we spend most of our time.”
The renovation opens up and joins the dining room to the kitchen and breakfast area, which has been great for entertaining.
“Everybody comes here for the holidays,” Lori said. “I have three brothers and I cook a holiday diner for 25 to 30 people.”
WARM AND WELCOMING
Beyond the kitchen, the five bedroom, three and a half bath home, boasts 4,652 square feet spread over three levels. Lori and Albert have enthusiastically and carefully been updating the house since they bought it in 2009.
Early projects included ripping up carpet and extending the hardwood that was originally only in the entry foyer, throughout the main floor. With the help of a structural engineer beams were relocated in the living room to open up a sitting area and improve the flow.
The expansive second floor master suite features a separate sitting room, balcony, gas fireplace, balcony and a jetted tub.
The walkout basement includes lots of functional space, a bedroom, full bath, a work room and lots of closets. “One of my favorite things about this house is the storage,” Lori said. “I am a type A, who loves to be organized.”
With their three girls grown up – Jessica and Megan are out of the house, and Lindsey is a junior at the Henry Clay Academy – Lori and Albert are looking ahead to the next chapter of their lives.
“We were both raised on farms,” Lori said. “Now we kind of just want to go back to our farm roots. A place where we’ll have some acreage where the grandbabies can play with cows and chickens.”
This week’s feature home is listed with Paul Chartier of Keller Williams Bluegrass.