Landscape designer breathes new life into 60s-era ranch and farm

There’s little that’s conventional about Troy Lyons or his home at 3415 Huntertown Road in Versailles.

“I did the outside first,” the owner of Landmark Landscaping reports. ”Being a landscape designer, I always view the house from the outside-in—‘ass-backwards’ as we say in Eastern Kentucky.” To add privacy, Troy put in dozens of densely planted arborvitae that form a long, soft wall of green along the property line. They’ve grown to about 20 feet in height. Because they’re so densely planted, they have survived and thrived, in spite of snowy, icy weather that often result in splitting.

A curvilinear French rock garden with a freestanding fire place anchors the lush green back yard. What the space really needs is a swimming pool, Troy quips, but that’s for the next owner to do.

In addition to a drive-under garage in the walkout basement that Troy has converted to a gym, there’s a separate four-car garage with glass doors at the rear of the house. A three-stall barn and two paddocks complete the picture.

Inside, the floor plan and fixtures were typical of those found in a 60s-era home when Troy bought it in 2006. Walls were plaster—still are—and the ceiling had a swirl design (gone). Arched doorways meant that Troy, who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall, had to duck repeatedly to tour the house.

“It was a little ‘memmaw-ish,” the Ashland native recalls. “The arches didn’t fit with a mid-century house, so I said we’d just need to “Brady Bunch” the doorways.”

“I lovingly and painstakingly and expensively gave it my vision,” Troy says of the renovation process. He reconfigured rooms and moved doors to make better use of space. In the kitchen, he did the unthinkable: he made it smaller.

“I cut 12 feet off one end to make a pantry wall and to enlarge the master closet on the other side. There’s still plenty of room here,” Troy added.

A cooktop with retractable exhaust fan tops the 4-foot-by-6-foot custom-made walnut island. The dark wood contrasts with high-gloss cabinetry and highlights the orange tile backsplash and travertine marble floors. “Everyone made fun of my orange tile, but now they love it,” Troy said. “The floors remind me of a dreamsicle, so now I call it my ‘ice cream kitchen.”

When the weather’s good, Troy likes to have his morning coffee on the front patio. It’s a few steps from the kitchen and almost completely screened from view, in spite of being in the front of the house.

Troy also managed to carve two full bathrooms out of wasted or unneeded space without enlarging the home’s footprint. “I went from a one-and one-half bathroom house to a three-and-a-half bathroom house by moving things around a little.”

Art is everywhere at Troy’s place—even on the barn, where a friend painted a mural. He favors Kentucky artists as a result of his exposure to art and artists as a student at Berea College and his study-abroad experience in Europe in the mid-80s.

Some of the art will go with him to his new home in downtown Lexington, and some he will sell through his business Broadway Art and Antiques. “I want less space than I have here,” Troy explains. I’m selling the farm and downsizing some to a house with a postage-stamp-size yard. I will miss all of this, but at this stage in my life, I want to be able to walk down the sidewalk and get a cup of coffee.

This week’s feature home is listed with Brandon Hedinger of Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty.