Jan and Al Roehl knew exactly what they were looking for 10 years ago when they decided to trade their city life in Manhattan for more space in the heart of horse country.
“I owned racehorses and had come to Lexington for years to work the sales at Keeneland,” Jan said. “So I wanted something near Keeneland, and we fell in love with the Westmorland neighborhood.”
The Roehls purchased a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 3748 Salisbury Drive. The house has almost 3,000 square feet and sits on more than an acre of land.
The couple liked Westmorland’s location for multiple reasons. It is close to Keeneland for Jan and the Blue Grass Airport for Al, who travels frequently for his work as a brand marketing and advertising consultant.
The couple also saw possibilities in the home’s spacious yard.
“We were both attracted to the home because of the potential of its outdoor space,” Jan said. “It has a private back yard.”
The Roehls have spent the last decade transforming the yard, adding landscaping, a pergola with outdoor dining area, a fire pit, hot tub, and outdoor speakers and sound system.
They have extensively updated the interior of the home, as well.
After a decade of renovations, the Roehls have decided to sell the house in order to downsize to a smaller home. They plan to build a contemporary green home less than half the size of their current home.
The Westmorland home taught the Roehls that they enjoy—and are successful—planning home renovations together. They even found creative ways to blend their different decorating tastes, Jan said.
“My husband is very contemporary, and I’m very traditional; I like country, antique,” Jan said. “Our house is a blend.”
For example, the couple completely redid the owner’s suite bathroom to include features they both wanted.
Al likes the square, modern bathtub and the sleek tiled shower with a rainfall showerhead. However, the room also has traditional touches for Jan, such as the wainscoting and the mural she painted around the bathtub, giving the room an antique feel.
The couple also remodeled the kitchen to reflect both of their styles.
“Like many homes in Westmorland, the kitchen area was already large with a fireplace,” Jan said. “We put in a nice island, couch, and created a very comfortable eating area.”
Jan wanted a traditional farm sink and wainscoting, which they added — along with contemporary fixtures and a soapstone countertop that suited Al’s style.
In addition to remodeling existing spaces, the Roehls also have added living spaces.
“This house does not have a basement, and there wasn’t really a great space for watching TV, so we created a family room by gutting and raising the ceiling in the attic,” Jan said.
By adding skylights and a wooden ceiling to the former attic space, the Roehls created a welcoming, livable space. One of the most striking features of the family room is the exposed brick chimney from the kitchen fireplace. Al and Jan told the builder not to cover it with drywall.
“When we lived in Manhattan, we craved the exposed brick,” Jan said. “We really wanted to leave the brick.”
Another distinctive characteristic of the room are the built-in shelves that the Roehls created from recycled cabinets left over from their kitchen renovation.
Not only is their new family room the space that Jan and Al envisioned for watching television and relaxing, it is also a convenient area for guests because it is close to the upstairs guest bedrooms.
“We are a blended family with six kids between 25 and 35, so when they come to stay with us, they have their own space to spread out,” Jan said.
In addition to the family room, two years ago the Roehls added a sunroom to expand the owner’s suite. This is the room Jan will miss the most when they sell their home.
“At first, we were thinking of putting [the sunroom] at the front of the house as a conservatory,” Jan said. “But we went with the sunroom, and it doubled the size of the master bedroom.”
The sunroom provides more living space and a three-direction view of their backyard. Four skylights allow additional natural light into the adjacent bedroom.
The Roehls love the open feel and views from their sunroom, but privacy or shade from the sun is just a remote-control click away. Inspired by the electric curtains she saw in Las Vegas, Jan searched online and found inexpensive electric curtains that would work in their sunroom.
“They were so easy; I put them up in 20 minutes,” Jan said.
The Roehls also installed a ventless gas fireplace, which not only keeps the sunroom toasty in the wintertime, it also generates enough warmth to heat other areas of the home.
No matter what season, Jan enjoys the view from the sunroom and the outdoor space surrounding the Westmorland home.
“It is a comfortable room and a comfortable house,” Jan said. “We will miss it.”
This week’s featured home is listed with Realtor Kate Imhoff of Rector Hayden Realtors.