A New Albany family adapts a countryside carriage house for weekend fun.
The tricked out garage space of this Pataskala area gateway includes a fleet of Harley-Davidson and vintage Triumph motorcycles. Beyond, a kitchen are provides easy-to-access refreshments.
Michael A. Foley/MAF Photography
At their country retreat on the outskirts of Pataskala, a New Albany couple created a carriage house to accommodate her passion for horses, as well as his for muscle cars and motorcycles.
“We wanted a home that suited the needs of all,” she explains.
Her two magnificent horses are trained for dressage and the fox hunt. The man of the house, on the other hand, craves the 0-to-60 variety of horsepower—and has a collection that includes Shelbys and Harleys.
Black horse fences separate a gravel driveway from surrounding pastures; two horse trailers sit unhitched and empty in the circular turnaround. The carriage house, a pale taupe with tan and brown trim and black strap hinges, is the focal point in this compound, nearly 12 acres in size. Inside the building, three big carriage bays are decidedly un-equine.
A lacquered floor reflects a select fleet of Harley-Davidsons and vintage Triumph motorcycles, spotless down to the tire treads, with ultra-shiny chrome and supple black leather. Dirt bikes, a jazzed up red golf cart, a red Honda mini motorcycle and a Harley-Davidson sidecar—in red, of course—round out the collection.
There’s even extra headroom in the two outer bays for fine-tuning his Shelby Mustangs on a hydraulic lift. This is more of a hang-out than a garage. The red of the Baldhead tool cabinet matches a massive red kitchen and bar area with black-and-chrome bar stools, a red leather sofa, red Hollywood-style Klieg light and vintage neon signs.
The couple, whose primary residence is in New Albany, 11 miles away, purchased the place in 2004, knowing that renovation was a must. An addition gave the home—which was built in 1998—an improved kitchen, upscale bathrooms, much more light and the custom-crafted space downstairs to house the vehicles.
Above all, the retired registered nurse and her entrepreneurial husband, who’s starting a new venture in the healthcare field, wanted it to be relaxing. They installed a hot tub on the screened porch downstairs, a steam shower in the large bathroom adjoining it and created a sumptuous outdoor experience on the second-floor deck by furnishing it with oversized lounging cubes. As for the children—a daughter, 27, and two sons, 24 and 18—it has been a fun spot. “They’ve hosted sleepovers, roasted marshmallows around the fire pit and had some pretty intense games of paintball in the ravine at the back of the property,” says the woman of the house.
Setting two different moods in the two-story home—a testosterone-fueled downstairs and a second-floor retreat in soothing tones of taupe, peach and gray—required professional help. Interior designer Leann Snyder, who has done three other homes for the couple, suggested not only color schemes, but the structural design as well.
Consider the commanding stone block fireplace in the great room. “My husband nearly had a heart attack when Leann wanted to put the fireplace in the middle of the room,” states the homeowner. “But you get a shared view of the gas logs from the dining area as well as the living room.”
“We used an antique beam—it’s at least 100 years old—from my barn in Millersport to create the two mantels,” Snyder says. To design a dining area with a relaxed country vibe, she combined an English antique dining table from South Carolina with an Oriental rug in muted tones of peach and tan. Baskets are displayed beneath the long antique sideboard, while above it hangs an eye-catching fox hunt print. “It’s a LeRoy Neiman,” says the homeowner, “a gift from my husband.”
The great room is all about light and view: An enormous floor-to-ceiling Palladian window delivers both. It’s surrounded by what appears, at first glance, to be barn board. “No, it’s faux painting,” says Snyder. “Kirsten Bowen did it for us.” Bowen, a local artist and Columbus College of Art & Design graduate, also is responsible for the massive canvas depicting the homeowner riding her horse that is propped against an adjacent wall.
The room’s Pearson sectional, offset by neutral carpet, is grouped with a coffee table that sports a bit of family history. “This was actually my mother-in-law’s dining table,” the homeowner notes. “The legs were cut down. The rounded edges of the table were perfect when the kids were little—no sharp corners to bang into.”
Five-inch hand-scraped hickory plank flooring, a special find from Lumber Liquidators, Snyder confides, was used in both the dining area and the kitchen. Taupe-and-cream granite countertops, custom-cabinetry done in Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb gray, a white GE Profile stove and dishwasher and a white Maytag fridge keep the kitchen light. “My husband and I both love to cook,” exclaims the homeowner. French doors open to the deck, where an enormous M Professional gas grill sits ready to produce a simple barbecue or an elaborate feast.
Also connecting to the deck is the master suite, a quiet, carpeted refuge in gray and peach, with a black iron post bed, a small sitting area and one mammoth dresser. “This bureau weighs so much it took four strong guys to get it in here,” says Snyder. “It goes with the house when they sell.”
Heavy chrome fixtures and white marble countertops add a luxurious touch to the master bath. Large white sinks, rectangular and modern with their shallow basins, are framed by oval mirrors. A checkerboard of Hamilton Parker’s small gray and white tiles, echoing the gray of the cabinets, forms an accent border in the large shower.
The second bedroom and the study, which has a fold-out couch, are frequently pressed into service when guests arrive. Recently, friends visited after attending a Dayton fox hunt. If there are horses in tow, no problem. With three fenced pastures, “We’ll just let them run,” she says.
Rhonda Koulermos is a freelance writer.