December 5, 2021

topicofthetown

Design your heritage

Lexington home design invites the outside in

When Mark King first stepped out back at 4921 Hidden River Drive, it was an indisputable “yes” to making the house his home.

Built down a private road on 10 acres — and with only seven neighbors — the house sprawls across its lot with an appealing symmetry, blending well into the countryside with its earth-toned details and stone exterior.

The 6,500-plus-square-foot home overlooks North Elkhorn Creek, which is home to copious wildlife and shaded by dozens of mature trees. The large back deck walks down to a hillside staircase, leading to a lower deck at the water’s edge.

“When I walked (out here), that’s what sold it,” King said. “It was the outside for me. That’s what I cared most about.”

Every season brings a different view, but King’s favorite is springtime. He said when the sun’s out, the banks of the creek are covered in softshell turtles, and he loves to watch otters and beavers play down in the water. Canadian geese gather in the winter and move out when the spring comes.

“It looks like you’re out west, almost,” King said of the views.

The back deck was empty, though, when he moved in, so he put in an outdoor kitchen with sitting areas and a pizza oven.

“We can open the doors to the great room. You make a drink in there and come outside. It’s a great entertaining space,” he said.

King loves taking on projects, and 2020 gifted him the time to put in new gardens as well as a greenhouse. Over his five years in the home, he’s established beautiful landscaping with lush ferns, oakleaf hydrangeas, and other shrubs and flowers. The lawn and most of the flower beds are irrigated, so keeping the yard pristine is virtually stress-free.

The home was built for bringing the outdoors in. The great room is fashioned with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, all trimmed in wood. King’s favorite space in the house is a circular sitting area surrounded by stone-framed windows with a wooden domed ceiling, just across from the kitchen.

“This is the perfect spot. It’s my favorite room to look out and have a cup of coffee,” he said. “There are 25 acres (across the creek), and a family of a deer live over there. We see them often, and we put salt blocks out for them. It’s so neat to be in Lexington and experience that wildlife.”

The home is located just 15 minutes from downtown Lexington and Hamburg as well as Georgetown. Although it’s very near interstate access, the neighborhood is bordered by the area’s iconic horse farms.

A passion since childhood, King has maintained two massive saltwater tanks — one that stretched from beam to beam in the entryway of the house (complete with a bar to sit and fish-gaze) and another in the living room that was built by the stars of the show “Tanked.” The tank is encased in custom-built, teal-hued cabinetry matching the blue-splashed floors of the adjacent bathroom.

The hardwood floors throughout the house were extracted from a barn in Hamburg Farms owned by the Maddens and repurposed by Longwood Antique Woods. One of the unique fireplaces, outlined with stone and built-in wood shelves, was created from the same barnwood.

Another notable design feature is the catwalk that overlooks the great room and connects an upstairs bedroom to the master suite, which has a spacious bedroom area and a lovely tub surrounded by large windows. The sun rises over the creek and sets over the nearby lake, which is accessible to the street’s residents for fishing and kayaking. The little neighborhood also has several established green spaces. They keep the serene setting intact by preventing the acreage around King’s house from being developed.

“The views are the main feature,” King said. “There is no one else around, but you’re still in Lexington. It’s quiet. I really love the house.”

This week’s feature home is listed with Kitty Lane of Bluegrass Sotheby’s International Realty. To see more images of the home, visit the Homeseller gallery at Kentucky.com.