It started small.
Lowery Anderson of Danville was playing golf in Bowling Green when daughter Chloe brought up the idea of a fire pit for the family’s flat, nondescript back yard.
“I thought, ‘Sure. Why not?’ and sent Lowery to Sam’s to get one,” Kay Anderson recalls. “Sam’s didn’t have fire pits, so I called the gardener and asked him if he could put one in. He said he could, and he also said we ought to put in a pool, so we did. Lowery jokes that it’s one expensive fire pit.”
As often happens, one thing led to another and then another. “The landscape guy took Lowery to see a big fountain in Somerset that he thought would be a great addition to the back yard.
Lowery’s response? “If I’d seen the fountain first, we would never have put in a pool,” he said jokingly.
The massive fountain towers above the 18-foot by 40-foot heated pool in a park-like space that takes outdoor living to a new level. Strategically located trees, plantings and a large berm transformed the previously flat, wooded, nondescript back yard that once lost 50 trees in an ice storm. It’s a thoughtful design that invites exploration of the garden by incorporating separate “rooms,” such as the fire pit area and the putting green. As a result, it and other spaces tucked into the multi-dimensional garden can’t be seen all at once, even from the veranda off the owners’ suite on the second level.
With wireless speakers and water spilling from the top of the fountain, the backyard oasis quickly became a favorite landing spot for then-high schoolers Chloe and younger sister Abigail. “We always had the kids here because of the pool and the basement, and it was centrally located,” Kay explains. “ The girls went to the city schools and their friends lived close by.”
Among other attractions, the kids could play music on their smartphones while lying on a float in the pool. To their parents’ delight, the back yard was the hub of social activity during summer months. When cold weather forced them inside, the walk-out basement became the hangout.
LESS THAN A MILE FROM CENTRE COLLEGE
Sitting at the end of a cul-de-sac and adjoining Jackson Park, the Anderson home is a 15-minute walk to downtown Danville and Centre College. Lowery and Kay work out at the gym and walk the dog on campus.
A Centre alum with a law degree, Lowery owns Roy Anderson Lumber In Tompkinsville, where he grew up. He had long wanted to get back to Danville when the opportunity to buy a second mill came along. The couple made the move in 2002 when they purchased what is now East Anderson Hardwoods in Eubank.
For Bill, it was a long-awaited homecoming. He and Kay, also an attorney, settled on a house plan by the renowned Stephen Fuller of Stephen Fuller Design of Atlanta. Found ed in 1984, the firm gained early recognition and acclaim for its creation of distinctive, trend-setting house plans regularly featured in Southern Living.
Seventeen years later, the classic design of the five-bedroom house with four full and two half-baths at 71 Mapletree Place remains popular. However, the 5,637-square-foot house looks and feels much younger, partly because the Andersons have been diligent about maintaining it and because of well-executed updates in several rooms.
For example, they installed a soaking tub and tiled the shower as part of the renovation of the owners’ suite bathroom. Finding themselves a little short on storage space, they added cabinets in the kitchen.
They also replaced formica countertops with granite and lightened up the previously red walls by painting them “relaxed khaki.”
All of the wood in the house and even a few pieces of furniture came from mills the couple own. Lowery supplied white oak hardwood for the floors and stairway, maple for the cabinetry, walnut for the handsome bar in the basement, and poplar for abundant crown moulding.
As empty-nesters, Lowery and Kay want to downsize. “We want a smaller place with less maintenance,” Lowery explained. “It takes a lot of time to get the house ready so we can leave it.”
The home is listed with Amanda Kirkland England of Coldwell Banker VIP Realty, 317 W. Main St. in Danville.