Home in downtown Paris designed for young family

When Laurie and Todd Hensley set out to build their house at 170 East Main Street in Paris, they knew just what they wanted to include in it.

With two growing boys, they wanted (and needed) lots of space and lots of storage possibilities. They chose to move to Paris, the charming town where they both had grown up, because they believed it was a good location to raise a family.

They had a great advantage with their building project because Todd’s father owned a construction company and Todd had worked with him for many years. So he did a major part of the work on the house and clearly enjoyed it.

“Architecture and engineering are my background and passion,” he said.

“Todd had a part in every single part of the house,” Laurie said. “He put the trim in and built some of the cabinets. He worked hard.” He also added much-appreciated touches such as lights that come on when any closet or cabinet door is opened.

The Hensleys moved into the house in 2001, and all of them were pleased with the way it turned out. It has everything they desired, from four bedrooms to a full basement to an oversize second garage with a workshop and space for a boat and lawn equipment. There is a covered rear patio with a fireplace, a TV and a pair of swings for relaxing and enjoying the scenery after a long day at work. And, oh, yes – there are lots and lots of storage possibilities.

A traditional look

While excavating the home site, they found numerous arrowheads and other stone relics that were obviously used by natives and other settlers as tools of some sort. They are still intrigued by the history of the area, formerly known as Cypress Hill. Although the 11-acre lot was not in a historic district of Paris, Todd said they nevertheless followed certain standards when building.

“We built the house to look as if it had been here forever – a traditional look,” he said.

“It was built to be a really awesome kid/teenager house,” Laurie added. “This house was customized for us by us, for what we needed. It is absolutely designed around a young family.”

The Hensley boys and their friends used the basement as their hangout. It had space enough for a pool table, a TV room and all their musical equipment – drums and guitars. A game room could become a fifth bedroom because it has its own full bathroom, and extra unfinished space could become a walk-in closet for such an addition.

A unique feature of the home is the bathroom in the owner’s-suite bedroom. Laurie and the cabinet builder carefully measured the drawers to ensure they would be deep enough for the tallest shampoo, conditioner or other cosmetic bottles. The bathroom has something that’s mainly found in kitchens – an appliance garage, convenient for keeping beauty-enhancing paraphernalia handy without cluttering up the natural stone countertops. In the glassed-in tiled shower are two showerheads, plus a handheld shower that makes it easy to rinse off quickly. The floor is faux marble because the Hensleys have two dogs, but it is pristine and impressive nonetheless.

“I really love our bathroom,” Laurie said.

Also on the first floor are a formal dining room with columns and a great room with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the back yard. The kitchen continues the theme of having “tons and tons” of storage and places to stow appliances, which Laurie appreciates because, as she says, she is not a fan of clutter. The family can eat at the kitchen counter or gather at the table in an alcove by the doors leading to the patio.

Upstairs are the boys’ bedrooms, which flank what Laurie calls a “jack-and-jack” bathroom. A second washer and dryer were installed up there so the boys could handle their own laundry. Also upstairs is a guest room with its own bathroom and the Hensleys’ office. From the office, you can walk down a short flight of stairs and up another to enter a cozy library with built-in bookshelves and skylights in the ceiling. On the other side of the library is an unfinished space on top of the three-car garage. This could easily become a mother-in-law suite or another guest room.

“It leads to a separate patio out back,” Laurie said. “It faces east so it would be awesome to go out on this deck and have your coffee and watch the sunrise.”

Time to move on

As much as Laurie and Todd love their home, they have discerned that it is now time to move on.

“Our needs have changed,” Laurie explained. “Now that we’re empty nesters, that’s kind of what prompted us to sell. We’re going to have fond memories, but it’s just the time to go.”

Todd agreed. “We gave it enough time to decide if this is what we really want to do,” he said. “There are two levels we don’t hardly use. They were great for the kids when they were growing up and they loved them, but now that the kids are gone, the only time they’ll get used is when they come home.”

Their mutual hope is that the next owners will take all the space and possibilities and use them to their fullest capacities.

“It’s a perfect house for a family,” Todd said. “We want it to be used appropriately and taken advantage of.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Melia Hord of Keller Williams Bluegras Realty.