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Rural Comfort and Style
Custom-built Anderson County home has West Coast touches
by Melissa Nappier, Contributing Writer
Published in the Lexington Herald Leader on October 16, 2011


Lou and Maxye Henry’s custom-built house is a comfortable Kentucky home with a contemporary California twist. “We lived in California for 30 years, and when we retired, I always wanted to come back to Kentucky,” said Lou, who was raised in Ashland, Ky. “I couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else. But we wanted to duplicate our house in California in many ways when we built our home here.”

The Henrys have created their Kentucky-Cali dream home in Anderson County. With a pizza oven, lime trees and contemporary flair, it’s not a traditional Bluegrass home.


Lou, a retired attorney, attended the University of Kentucky for a year in the mid-1960s and worked as a disc jockey at WVLK-AM 590. Since then, he has always appreciated the Lexington area and wanted to return.

Maxye retired after an 18-year career as a magazine editor, and has worked as a free-lance writer for the last nine years.

When the Henrys were ready to make the move east, they targeted their search in Central Kentucky and found a   5.5-acre lot they liked in northwestern Anderson County. The lot’s large trees and proximity to Lexington made it the perfect choice for their home, which was designed by architect Gary Scott. They moved into the 3,710-square-foot house in 2008.


The Henrys describe their style as rustic contemporary, and there is evidence of that look in almost every design element of their home.
Light is a theme throughout the house, from the sunlight pouring through the large windows and dormers to the Henrys’ unique light fixtures. The light fixture in the kitchen resembles a French metro subway fixture, while the Henrys chose a functional chandelier made of wine goblets to hang over a table in the great room.
“We wanted as much natural light as we could bring into the house,” Maxye said.

Sunlight is also a year-round staple in the Henrys’ greenhouse, which is attached to their home. The greenhouse allows them to start seeds and store their citrus, hibiscus and other tropical plants during the wintertime.


The Henrys have been married nearly 34 years, and one of their favorite things to do together is cook. So it’s not surprising that some of their home’s most important design elements are spaces to pursue their shared pastime.


“We used to have chefs come in our home and do cooking classes,” Maxye said. “It’s always been something we’ve enjoyed.”       

The Henrys’ new kitchen provides plenty of space for them to cook together. It also has alder cabinetry with glass doors along the top row of cabinets. This allows Maxye to display her collection of mid-century Blenko hand-blown glass.

However, one of the most interesting elements of the house is the Henrys’ outdoor cooking space.

“My favorite part of the house is the side yard,” Lou said. “When the house was completed in 2008, the side yard was nothing but mud, so we knew we had to do something.”

They built a retaining wall and considered putting in an outdoor fire replace. But then Lou started reading about pizza ovens. After extensive online research, he found a company that imports the ovens from Italy.
The couple ordered a kit and had a pizza oven installed in their new outdoor   space. Counting the base and footer, the Henrys’ pizza oven weighs 12 tons.

But Lou and Maxye say it’s worth every pound.

The Henrys have baked about 50 to 60 variations of pizzas on their new oven, as well as kettles of baked beans — and even roasts.
“We love to entertain people, and our patio is just the perfect place to do that,” Maxye said.



Inside, the couple chose fl ooring made of bamboo, a fast-growing renewable timber. The house also has a geothermal heating and cooling system, which pumps heat to or from the ground, depending on the season.

While they did have to cut down some trees to build their house, one of their neighbors used their oak wood to craft two new coffee tables for the Henrys’ great room. The rest of the wood is stockpiled for their pizza oven.

The couple have also taken measures   to make sure they can stay in their home as they age. Their doorways are wider than standard size and there are grab bars in the bathrooms. The owner’s suite shower is also barrier-free and sleekly designed with no shower door, just like the shower in their former California home.
Although the Henrys are well settled in their Kentucky home, they don’t stay put for long. They keep very busy, even in retirement.

Before his career as an attorney, Lou was an on-air radio talent for 25 years. He has returned to that passion as a freelance voice-over artist with Heyman Talent Agency in Louisville.

In addition, Lou and Maxye travel together and write and photograph free-lance articles. Their destinations usually have a nice golf course, another pastime they enjoy. This year they’ve visited Alabama, South Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Their travels make home even sweeter.
“It’s always nice to come home to our Kentucky home,” Lou said. //

June 12, 2011

First Floor Plan

Basement Plan