Builder David Slone’s spacious country home in southern Fayette County offers a combination of tempting features that would be hard to find even if you bought several properties.
The custom-built ranch home sports roughly 5,600 square feet of space spread over two levels. And with five bedrooms and four baths, there’s plenty of room for a big family and lots of entertaining.
The house also exudes peace, quiet and seclusion. It’s located at 3801 Saddlecreek Lane, a short cul-de-sac just off the old, two-lane section of Tates Creek Road. There are only two other homes on Saddlecreek.
Slone’s house sits on 10 rolling acres of former Bluegrass farmland, with stunning views of Central Kentucky hills and woods stretching to the horizon, including nearby thoroughbred horse farms.
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It’s why Slone decided back in 2000 to build a home for his own family on the former cattle farm that he and a partner were then developing into 10-acre lots between Tates Creek Road and nearby DeLong Road.
“I loved this particular spot, because it was so special,” he said. “We wanted to create an environment like a modern farmhouse, so it felt like you were living on a farm, but using modern materials and an open floor plan.
“Our goal was to leave everything on the land as natural as possible. We pretty much preserved all the tree lines as they were. We kind of followed the topography and really didn’t modify anything too much.”
The developers also decided not to touch environmentally sensitive East Hickman Creek, which runs through the area behind Slone’s home.
But now, after living in the house almost 20 years, Slone and his wife, Laura, are somewhat reluctantly offering it for sale.
“It’s reached the point where our kids have gone off to college or are doing their own thing,” Slone said, “We just don’t need a house this big anymore. We want to travel and see the world, and we’re trying to downsize.”
He admits that leaving won’t be easy because the home is a much-beloved gathering place for his entire extended family.
“We probably had 20 people here over Christmas,” he said. “It just ended up being the spot for entertaining because it could accommodate the kids and so many people from out of town. It’s still the house everybody wants to come to.”
The home’s arched main entrance leads visitors into to a large open central open with a kitchen, breakfast area, formal dining area, and a great room with a fireplace and 12-foot ceilings.
The 3,500-square foot main level also features an office with an exterior entrance, and a walk-out garage.
The home has virtually all the conveniences expected intoday.
The master suite includes a jacuzzi tub, and a walk-in shower. The other bedrooms have shower-tub combinations. The lower level includes a theater and wet bar, plus an exercise room.
In many places around the house you’ll find art works, including a sculpture by Kentucky artist Julie Warren Conn, and equine photographs by a friend of Slone’s who lives in New York. There is a table that Slone’s wife’s grandfather made more than a century ago.
In fact, you’ll find many touches that celebrate the state’s unique character, like floors made of Kentucky Ash. Handrails have decorative ironwork created by Kentucky craftsman Tracy Smitha. Kitchen cabinets are made with local cherry cabinetry.
The exterior of the house, including the entrance arch, has accents of Kentucky limestone.
“I wanted to design a house that was basically a ranch with a finished lower level, and I wanted to use Kentucky indigenous materials as much as possible,” Slone said. “We also tried to use work by as many local artisans as we could to make it more interesting.”
Huge windows bring in bright sunlight and offer expansive views of the countryside and nearby points of interest like Juddmonte Farm, an international thoroughbred breeding operation located east of the home.
Two other thoroughbred factories, Overbrook Farm and Taylor Made Farm, are just down Tates Creek Road, as is the Talon Winery.
Slone says his favorite part of the house is the big back porch where he likes to sit and read or just savor the view.
“It’s very peaceful and quiet,” he said. “Occasionally on Thursday evenings guys will ride their motorcycles down to the river and you might hear a faint sound. But that’s it.”
Slone notes, however, that despite the home’s quiet rural character, it still offers easy access to the urban attractions of Lexington.
It’s an eight-minute drive to Tates Creek Center on the city’s south side. Or you can drive from the house four miles south, past the winery, to the Kentucky River. There’s no bridge, but you can cross the river via the historic Valley View Ferry, which began operating before Kentucky became a state.
Slone was born in Kentucky, but grew up in Southern California. He returned here when his parents moved back.
He studied architecture and design at the University of Kentucky, but loved building so much that he started his own development company more than 30 years go.
He was looking for development property when he came across the land on Tates Creek Road where he ultimately decided to build his own home.
“After living in it 18 years, there are very few things that I wish I had done differently,” he said “Mostly, I’ve loved every aspect of living here. I still think it’s one of the best spots in Lexington in terms of beauty, location and access.”
This week’s feature home is listed with Kassie Bennett and Dawn Severt of Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty.