Mallard Cove luxury brings heaven down to earth

The first thing that might endear you to Willoughby Farm is the name itself. It’s lifted from a favorite Twilight Zone episode of homeowners Ron and Carolyn Ferreira.

Willoughby is a “peaceful, restful place, where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure” according to the Twilight Zone Wikipedia page.

“Throughout the many years of our careers when life and work were too demanding and stressful,” Carolyn said. “We would tell each other that the next stop was Willoughby, which might mean a vacation in Hawaii or someplace similar.”

With Carolyn hailing from the south central hill country of Texas and Ron a native of the California coast, central Kentucky was initially not high on their list of retirement choices.

But research into “best retirement spots” led them to Danville and ultimately to 649 Mallard Cove where they began construction on their very own Willoughby in 2005.

“Most everybody who lives here works in Lexington or Frankfort,” Ron said of the gated community which wraps around Herrington Lake. “We’re close to shopping in Harrodsburg and Danville, and Lexington is only about 30 minutes away.

The 5,724 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 bath home is loaded with custom features. Carolyn loves the natural light that pours in from the home’s many windows and is delighted with the abundant storage opportunities.

“When you have a lot of storage space,” Carolyn said. “It’s very easy to keep a house this size clean.”

The spacious first floor master suite comes with fireplace, decorative ceiling and his and hers walk-in closets.

In the kitchen, amenities abound. Ron insisted on gas for cooking and likes the pot filler above the cook top. There is also a prep sink, warming oven, double ovens and a beverage fridge. Just off the kitchen is the butler’s pantry as well as a walk in pantry.

Other home features include a workout room, formal dining room, office with custom cabinetry, craft/hobby room and theater room with art deco styling.

Outside on the park-like 4.91 acres of land there’s a large barn. “We’re out here in the peaceful countryside with access to everything,” Ron said. “We’ve never been sorry we picked this place, it’s our heaven on earth.”


Carolyn describes herself as a detail person which probably came in handy during her 42 year career working for Rockwell and Boeing on high level security NASA contracts.

In the ten years leading up to retirement, Carolyn began assembling a wish book for the construction of her future dream home – a thick binder organized with clippings and photos from architectural and design magazines with ideas for window treatments, moldings, textures, fabrics and the like.

An excerpt from page one foreshadows the current structure, ‘…a traditional southern farmhouse with white siding, black shutters and a red front door.’

“This is what I gave to a contractor to say ‘Can you do this?’” Carolyn said.

Faced with the somewhat intimidating binder, building contractors hemmed, hawed and feigned excuses – others scattered for the hills. In the end, it was Charlie Ayres of Charlie Ayres Custom Homes, who rose to the occasion.

“I’d much rather deal with someone who knows what they want,” Ayres said. “For example the custom built-in bookcases in the living room came directly from her album. We worked with my trim guy to make her pages come to life.”

“I’m grateful that the Ferreira’s still let me walk potential customers through here to showcase my work,” said Ayres, who has since built several other houses in the neighborhood.

“We thought this was our forever home,” Carolyn said. “But as we got older I found out I’m not able to do favorite things like working in the garden. We’re starting a new adventure in Texas living in a upscale 55-and-older Del Webb community.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Beth Bell Brown of Rector Hayden Realtors.