Imagine my surprise when Debbie of Debbiedoo’s asked if I wanted to be on her Home Tour! Let me think…..YES, YES, YES! I have such respect for this amazing lady!
Hi y’all, I’m Kim and I live in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Actually, I live ON a mountain.
So here goes…my home story…
We named our house La Belle Époque (“eh-pock”). Yes, we named our house. Maybe a little cheesy, but there’s a good reason behind it AND it’s a romantic one.
Hubby and I were married in a charming Bed & Breakfast Inn in Napa Valley, CA, and, you guessed it, it was named La Belle Époque which is French for “The Beautiful Era”. It’s a fascinating time in social history. You can read about it in my post here. So it was an obvious choice when we built our dream house to give it a name it so aptly deserved. I lovingly refer to it as LBE.
And, here’s the stone plaque on the back balcony to prove it!
For those of you who have built houses, you know how daunting a task it can be and I was going through chemotherapy and radiation at the time.
We built LBE in 2004-2005 in a gated community and it has about 6,500 sq. ft. and 4 floors. That’s a lot of housecleaning! We had an architect draw the plans to our specs and although the architecture style of the house is more traditional the inside reflects my Country French sensibilities. The house has been on two Christmas Home Tours and a Garden Tour.
We chose this particular property because of the magnificent views of the mountains. It also overlooks the city of Pikeville below (yes, the same Pikeville in the recent Hatfields & McCoys movie with Kevin Costner). Even though we are in the city limits, we see abundant deer, turkey, rabbits, and fox. This is a view of Pikeville below from our backyard.
Here is a view of the back and you can read about LBE gardens and backyard here and all about the loggia here. (because this is a home tour not a garden tour, LOL).
I’ll try to keep this post down to a home tour and not a novel!!!
I’ll show you lots of photos, but I’d really like to highlight a unique trademark to this house: architectural antiques. I guess it’s kind of my signature in this home. It’s something I was really into at the time. I actually found and gathered antique pieces before the house was built to use in the construction.
Welcome to the foyer! Come on in!
Limestone and marble floors and cherry treads on the staircase. Antique French marble top table from around 1850.
French beveled mirror from Paris with nice carved detail.
Looking into the dining room.
More French antiques here. I’ve collected French pieces for a while now. The trumeau mirror was a gift from my husband. Our friend brought it back from France. We purchased the Louis Philippe console and marble top plant stand (it has the original paint) from Belle Maison Antiques.
I’m the pianist in the family. I’m classically trained but I’m a church pianist and play lots of Southern Gospel.
This is the famous mantle that we purchased before the house plans were drawn. It’s a 9 ft. cherry and walnut beauty that came from a Victorian home near Cincinnati. I always say the architect had to draw the house plans around this mantle!!! It has a great recessed niche. Notice the French fireback, footstool, pair of bouillotte tables, and the alabaster urns. Most all of my engravings are either French or English. The doors lead to the balcony.
The pair of chairs are already gone. I just sold them. I’m replacing them with linen covered pluffy slipper chairs. I think it will be more relaxed and inviting.
Custom maple & cherry cabinetry made right here in Kentucky with crystal knobs and oil rubbed bronze finishes. My favorite features are 2 sinks (one farmhouse), a pot filler and a warming drawer! Spice racks slide out on either side of the stovetop.
Notice the leaded glass transoms leading through the butlers pantry to the dining room. I had a pair of these made after antique ones I found in Louisville.
You can see some of my French Quimper in the hutch.
I used Wall Words for the phrase on the range mantle. It says “Eat well, laugh often, love much.”
This room exudes French Country with its Pierre Deux (boo hoo since they went out of business last year) provincial rush seat chairs and toile cushions. I lucked into the pear oil painting at a local antique store. Read about my awesome Italian table find here. The fireplace surround on this side of the see-thru fireplace has hand-made tiles from Sonoma County in CA.
This is the view from the family room looking to the gallery. I’m saving photos of the family room for later as it’s going through some transformations right now. lol
The tile floors are travertine. The large jar is an authentic French biot (olive jar) and I added a piece of beveled glass to the top.
I love the antique French trestle table and mutton bone chairs. I had them re-covered in a cotton/linen blend. The mirror is a silver-leaf Louis Philippe.
Do ya like my modern pear painting?
A French bombé
The perimeter of the dining room has inlaid floors.
MASTER BEDROOM AND BATH
This room is getting ready to undergo a major transformation. It has taken longer than anticipated, but keep watching for the reveal….eventually! lol
All the furniture and rug is getting replaced and I just removed the heavy window treatments.
Here is a view looking into the sunroom.
The bookshelf is actually a secret door that takes you down a hidden set of spiral stairs that leads to my husband’s office. Lots of neat storage behind there, too.
Below is the master bath. My dressing room is on the other side of the faux window.
Another architectural antique detail. This etched glass actually came from a door and dates to around 1910. We used it over the tub to separate the dressing area.
Below is the master closet
(you can read some more about the details of the master closet HERE)
We spend a lot of time in this room because it’s off the master bedroom and we can see the city below from the windows.
I used to collect romantic engravings of ladies and children.
And here is a two piece leaded stained glass window that came from a Victorian mansion in New England. It looks beautiful at night from the foyer when the lamp is on.
And, finally, here are a couple architectural features that I incorporated outside. My favorite is this late 1800s poly-chromed terra cotta frieze that we had tiled into a garden wall. It came from a historic building in Chicago that was being razed. I love to rescue treasures like this.
Last, but not least, I found lots of these “OLD KENTUCKY” bricks at Architectural Salvage in Louisville (luckily before the house was bricked) and had a couple of them put on one of the balcony walls. They came from a historic building in Louisville and it reminds me of my love for My Old Kentucky Home.
Whew! Have you gone through your 3-4 cups of coffee or tea yet? I’ll spare you the rest for another time. There’s 3 bedrooms and 3 baths on the second floor and a den. My daughter even has a claw foot tub in her bath!!! My studio is on the 3rd floor. The basement houses the game room, a bistro room, a tanning bed room, and my husband’s office.
Keep watching as I am currently getting ready to overhaul the whole house starting with the paint. I’m saying good-bye to all the yellow tones (SW Blonde and Mannered Gold) and saying hello to a clean palette of creamy white or gray. After 7 years, it all needs to be updated and re-freshed!
You’ll still see my Southern Bluegrass interpretation of French Country, but with a much more edited edgy modern twist. WOW! Let’s see if I can accomplish that!
I really hope you enjoyed the tour and many thanks to Debbiedoo’s; for inviting me to participate in her Home Tour Series. And, a very special thank-you to Debbie for helping so many Newbies. I hope I can pay it forward.
Whew..what a gorgeous home Kim…thank you for having us.
If you do not know Kim..hop on over and say hello.
She is a real sweet, and very kind lady!
Visit: La Belle Époque Home