After Abby Jones restores a home, she tends to move on to the next one. But the house at 2475 Paris Pike, the quintessential depiction of an old Kentucky farmhouse, spoke to her love of horses.
Jones, a Tennessee native, said it was horses that brought her to the Bluegrass State. With a career in politics and working for the President of the United States in Washington, D.C. for the last two years, she also partners with Anderson & Rodgers Construction in commercial renovation in Lexington. She has breathed new life into many houses, but this one was special to her.
“I wasn’t planning on living here,” she said. “But I kept it because I loved it so much.”
Situated on five partially-wooded acres, the 100-year-old house features a wide front porch where visitors are greeted by a stately front door with a personalized stirrup leather and iron doorknocker.
She said the house was in a state of abandonment when she found it. The porch was falling in and, maybe the most curious, there were no doors throughout the house. She stripped it down to reveal some lovely original features and re-built around them.
“You never know what you’re going to get when pulling up linoleum,” she said. “You hope for hardwood floors.”
And hardwood floors she did find.
“I just wanted to keep it true to the original bones,” she said. “I always say I’m not going to do old houses (again), but it’s my style. You don’t get that character in newer houses.”
She restored pocket doors, replicated the living room fireplace in the dining room, stripped layers of paint from the front door and reconstructed the kitchen and bathrooms with lots of clean, light granite countertops, tile and cabinets. She took wood from an old chicken coop out back to create barn doors and trim in her mudroom and ceiling beams in her kitchen. Brick pavers, an old church pew and a big, sweet dog lying by the back door in the mudroom evoke a rustic farmhouse feel.
“I think the mudroom is quite neat. There are a lot of neat places in this house,” she said.
Jones spent time visiting antique stores, digging through things until she found new-to-her treasures to fill the home, like light fixtures, furniture and doorknobs.
“Sometimes it takes a while, but it’s worth it to find unique pieces that match the house but update it a little,” she said.
Besides the original windows and floors, Jones managed to keep with the house’s old feel while mixing in fresh style with bright rugs, light curtains with gold accents, animal print rugs and pillows and colorful artwork. A large sepia-toned portrait of a horse race over the fireplace in the living room immediately sets off the home’s equestrian theme. Jones said she likes to stay true to what a house calls for when she renovates and decorates, and as an avid polo-player and Saddlebred horse-breeder, setting the tone for the décor was easy for her.
“I have eclectic tastes. (The décor here) is very traditional and classic, but with the equestrian motif. I like it very timeless,” she said.
As for the location, Jones said Paris Pike is one of the most beautiful roads in Lexington.
“It’s close to everything I love. It’s close to town, it’s close to the polo fields, and close to the Horse Park. There are many famous farms on Paris Pike, and the amount of famous horses born on this road is unbelievable. Seabiscuit was filmed up the road,” she said. “It’s very picturesque.”
The house has been a countryside haven for her in escaping the city life of Washington, D.C., where she lives for half the year.
“It’s the total opposite of being in the city. When I get a break, I just come back to it,” she said.
This week’s feature home is listed with Nick Ratliff of Better Homes & Gardens, Cypres.