Homeseller

Home in Mill Street Historic District offers comfortable contemporary living within walking distance of downtown Lexington

With antique cast iron fencing and ivy-covered brick walls, this three-story home at 366 South Mill Street is designed to look traditional from the outside, blending nicely with the surrounding centuries-old homes in the downtown historic district.

But stepping into the home reveals innovative design solutions, unique spaces, and wonderful uses of textures, colors and materials.

Among the surprises to be found: crystal stone walls, blue subway tile, euro-style tubs, delightfully quirky light fixtures, reclaimed barn wood accents, and a salt water pool out back.

“The beauty of the home for us is being able to walk right out the front door and be right downtown,” said Lori Douglass, a national sales manager for Farmpaint.com.

Husband Michael Douglass, co-owner of SGL Sales and Marketing, a national recreation business, is in agreement. “We love downtown living and walking to fine restaurants, so our initial goal when shopping for a home was to be close to downtown.”

“Lori and I are foodies,” said Michael, “We like to go out and eat, and try new things.” Favorite downtown eateries include Tony’s, Dudley’s, Corto Lima, and Distilled. They are still mourning the passage of Sabio, but are hopeful that something equally good will reoccupy the space.

FLEXIBLE SPACES

The four bedroom, four-and-half bath home was built in the 1980s and offers about 4,200 square feet of space, not including the one bedroom guest quarters above the detached two-car garage.

Every level of the home from the basement to the third floor has a full bath and is loaded with storage closets and options. On the main floor, there’s also a power room.

Michael likes to define the house as a series of bedroom suites with a lot of built-in flexibility. For example, the main floor bedroom could easily be used as the master or a second master. Or the same main floor bedroom would make a nice formal living room or den.

Similarly, the basement space that Michael currently uses as a work-from-home office could just as well be used as a bedroom suite.

A favorite spot for Lori is the sunroom that overlooks the pool. “This is like our family room,” Lori said. “It’s our hangout where we spend most of our time.” The sunroom floor features heated wood-look tile.

COURTING THE COURTYARD

“With the weather we’ve had this summer, the pool has been an absolute lifesaver,” Michael said about the saltwater pool which is enclosed in a brick courtyard. “When you’re in the back sitting down, you barely realize you’re downtown.”

“Yes it’s very private,” echoes Lori. “At night you can look up and see the Fifth Third building all lit up and so pretty.”

Beyond the pool at the back of the property, the guest quarters sits over the two car garage. The space includes a large living area, kitchen, bedroom and bath. “It could be used as a mother-in-law suite or even rented out,” Lori said.

Between the house and the Dudley Square parking lot, there’s an undeveloped strip of green space. The empty lot is not part of the sale, but Michael and Lori say that the owner of the property is showing no hints of developing the enchanting buffer in the future.

When Michael and Lori first moved in, both their daughters were still at home and they were fully utilizing the whole house. With the daughters grown and out of the house, the Douglass’s are finding they don’t need quite as much space.

“We’re maybe looking into a condo or smaller home,” Michael said. “But we’ll still be close to downtown. We love downtown.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Becky Reinhold of Bluegrass Sotheby’s International Realtors.

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