Family-friendly home in park-like setting doesn’t sacrifice style

John and Shelley Florence were seeking a great spot to build a family-friendly home when they found this 27 acre lot in Carlisle.

And now with kids grown and out of the house, they are ready to pass on their 5000 square foot, five bedroom, five bath treasure to a like-minded buyer.

The couple and their four children had previously been living in Northern, Kentucky in the town of California.

“It was a fast-paced life,” said Mrs. Florence, who was making a daily commute to a corporate job in downtown Cincinnati. “We were looking for a place where we could slow down and really enjoy the kids.”

They liked the gently rolling hills they found at 1833 Pleasant Spring Road in Carlisle, and purchased two lots totaling about 40 acres in 2002. (The house comes with an option to buy the adjacent 13 acre lot.)

The front portico greets you with a unique stone archway leading to the main entrance. Inside the front door, the foyer features an 11 foot ceiling which sets the tone for the home’s open floor plan.


Proceeding into the great room, a tray ceiling dramatically extends to a height of 12 feet. Elsewhere in the home ceilings are a generous nine feet including the ceilings in the lower level.

“It has a real open feeling, an airy feeling,” said Mr. Florence. “Yet you can go into the office and close the door and get some work done.”

The home’s style is a mix of traditional with contemporary flourishes. A good example is the solid oak fireplace mantel in the great room which was designed and built by Mr. Florence. The pilasters on each side have a slot that leans toward the contemporary, but the top has crown molding that speaks to the traditional.

A favorite spot for Mrs. Florence is the spacious kitchen and the adjoining sitting area. “The kids like to cook and their dad is a great cook too,” Mr. Florence said. “A lot of our time is spent between the kitchen and the sitting room.”

The kitchen is appointed with commercial grade appliances including a 6-burner Décor range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and Mouser cabinetry. A second kitchen is located in the walk-out lower level.


Mr. Florence, who has worked in the building trade, and Mrs. Florence, who has an eye for design, elected to be their own contractors on the build.

“The advantage of building your own home, is you know how it’s put together, and you pick out the materials that you want,” said Mr. Florence who noted their choices often went above and beyond industry standards, such as the solid oak trim and doors throughout.

They recruited their four children to put in some sweat equity during the build. “This gave them valuable lessons in seeing the value of work and using your hands and seeing the progress in the project,” Mrs. Florence said.

“We hired out the concrete work for the foundation, electric, plumbing, drywall, and the roof,” said Mr. Florence. “We framed the house and did all the finish work.”

The house takes advantage of the bucolic setting with lots of large windows. “We get beautiful sunsets with the southwest facing windows,” said Mr. Florence, who went on to explain the energy-saving advantages of the high end Pella windows.

“We were drawn to the property because our kids like the outdoors,” said Mrs. Florence. “It’s like living in a park here with the deer, wild turkey, hummingbirds, cranes and the change of the seasons. That’s what I will miss.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Donna Thwaites of Thwaites Realtors® LLC.