When Susannah and Brian Lane learned they were expecting their third child in 2007, it soon became clear they would be leaving Annapolis, Md.
The couple had outgrown their 1,600-square-foot Cape Cod house in the state capital city on Chesapeake Bay, and they dreamed of owning a big family house with a large yard.
“Everything was on a postage-stamp (lot) in Maryland,” Susannah said.
Although they also considered moving to Colorado, the Lanes were sold on Lexington when they found their dream home in The Woods neighborhood off Alumni Drive. The University of Kentucky graduates were happy to live closer to their families — Brian’s in Mount Sterling and Susannah’s in Cincinnati.
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“We found this house during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend,” Susannah said. “It was meant to be. We have loved this house and this neighborhood. It’s very private.”
In addition to being close to everything, the house at 2105 Woodmont Drive had a 0.58-acre lot.
“When we first moved in, a lot of the original owners still lived in the neighborhood and had become empty nesters,” Brian said. “But now, there are a lot of young families.”
The couple gradually updated and renovated the two-story house to fit their style and their needs.
The 33-year-old house has 4,572 square feet with five bedrooms and 3½ baths. The walkout basement has 1,146 square feet of finished space and 717 square feet of unfinished storage space.
The main floor includes a spacious entryway. To the right is the living room, which includes Susannah’s desk and a fireplace.
Tucked off the back of the living room, behind a set of French doors, is Brian’s home office with built-in cabinetry and shelves. He is an executive for an IT company and travels often.
The Lanes’ dining room, which features chair rail, is left of the foyer. It connects to both the family room and the kitchen. The family room has wainscoting, a fireplace with a brick hearth and a wet bar.
Upstairs, there’s a large owners’ suite and three additional bedrooms. The couple’s children, Evelyn, 12, Owen, 10, and Griffin, 8, share a large hallway bath with a double-sink vanity.
The basement includes a guest bedroom with a full bath, a TV area and a recreational space.
The family began making the house their own by painting everything. All the main floor walls are either white or soft neutrals. Upstairs, the children’s bedrooms are more colorful.
The Lanes changed all the light fixtures in the house and most of the doorknobs. In the basement, they added recessed lighting and kid-friendly tile flooring.
The biggest transformation came when they hired contractor Scott Dreyer of Studio 89 (formerly Annis & Dreyer Construction) to convert the screened porch off the kitchen into a sunroom that includes a breakfast area and a sitting area.
The remodel gave the family an additional 350 square feet of living space, which is open to their kitchen.
With a vaulted ceiling, large windows wrapping the three walls and double glass doors leading to the patio, the addition brought much more natural light into the house and provides panoramic views of the back yard.
The Lanes also renovated their kitchen, using the design services of Creative Kitchen & Bath.
The spacious kitchen features new hardwood flooring, Imperial Danby marble countertops, an island with a farm sink, and Thermador appliances including a warming drawer and a six-burner gas cooktop.
In addition, the couple renovated their laundry room, located off the sunroom sitting area. The washer and dryer are tucked behind cabinetry for a neat appearance. The wide hallway in the laundry room leads to their new powder room.
Reclaimed wood from Longwood Antique Woods became a buffet countertop in the kitchen. It also was used in the laundry room to create a bench seat and a countertop above the washer and dryer.
Upstairs, the Lanes renovated their owners’ bath. It features marble flooring, tile on three walls, a soaking tub, a glass walk-in shower and Carrara marble countertops on the double-sink vanity.
Outside, the family fenced the back yard as well as the upper part of their driveway, which leads to the rear-entry garage. That gave their children a large paved area for playing and kept soccer balls from rolling down the driveway to the street.
On the right side of their house, they tore out a brick wall and installed natural stones and a French drainage system. That gave them a side yard as another play area for the children.
The Lanes also enlarged their brick patio 250 percent, giving them plenty of room for entertaining and enjoying their fire pit.
“Kids come over and ask to roast marshmallows,” Brian said.
As much as they love their light-filled house decorated with Susannah’s black and white photos of the family, the Lanes are selling their home and buying a mini farm on Old Richmond Road.
With three children, three dogs and two cats, they want more land. Their new neighbors have horses on their property.
“We will miss being in this neighborhood with all the kids,” Susannah said.
“We’ll miss the proximity,” Brian added. “We’re rarely in the car for more than a few minutes.”
As they prepare to move, they’re already making plans to update and renovate their new house, where they will live for the second half of their daughter’s and sons’ childhoods.
“We’re very involved in the renovations,” Brian said. “We recommend talking to a lot of people and finding somebody (contractor) who gets your vision.”
“You want someone who can see your vision and go with it,” she said. “When you’re creating a home, you want it to be a reflection of your personality and what a young family enjoys. That’s what it’s all about. It’s a lot of work, but it makes your family stronger.”