Some of the details that imbue the home with an authentic feel include historically correct (and energy efficient) Marvin simulated divided-lite windows; eight-inch baseboards with decorative caps and rounded shoe molding at the bottom; flat ceilings accented with deep but simple crown mold; eight-foot-tall solid interior doors with pediments above; five-inch oak plank flooring; porch floors made with brick salvaged from the old paddock at Churchill Downs; and decorative balustrades on the second-floor porch and breezeway to the garage. Mike Blacketer of the Blacketer Co., which built the home, notes that the balustrade was fabricated to resemble wood by a company based in Campbellsville, Ky.“It has the rich, beautiful look of wood, but will never rot and never needs painting,” he says.
In keeping with the couple’s Louisville roots and country-estate theme, the decor is heavy on horse racing and hunting. Black cast-iron hitching posts flank the brick steps leading up to the porch, while a colorfully painted jockey umbrella stand is positioned just inside the front door.
In the walnut-paneled library, an original hunting-dog painting by Tim Hutt hangs over the fireplace. The couple purchased the painting because the subject bears a striking resemblance to Whiskey, one of two dogs the couple currently owns and namesake of their farm, Davissays. “Whiskey climbs fences and has the run of the place, so that’s how we came up with the name Whiskey Run.”
Sitting astride a hand-carved hunt table in the library is a cast-iron flying horse a flea market find from Atlanta. Above an Italian hand-rubbed sideboard are a pair of Fore’s National Sports racing lithographs. Antique books, including a vintage 1930 Louisvilletelephone directory, are held in place by horse-head bookends. Accent pillows on both couches feature hand-screened jockey prints sewn over leather. Pheasant feathers surround the hurricane candles on either end of the hunt table and a hammered tin lamp between two barrel-backed leather gentleman’s chairs was hand-painted with a fox’s face by an Atlantaartist.
Horse racing is also the theme in one of the two upstairs guestrooms. Davisused an American Silk horse print on both the pillow shams and wicker bench cushion at the end of the leather bed. A monogrammed accent pillow bears the farm’s name. Horse oil paintings and lithographs decorate the walls in the bedroom and hall leading to the room’s private bath. But the pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the large cupboard featuring hand-painted jockeys on the doors, bridal hardware on the bottom and Churchill Downs’ twin spires on top, crafted by Brown County, Indiana, artisan Sarah Sandburg.
In the rest of the home, Davis, one of three co-owners of Tassels and Tassels Too, describes the decor as “vintage casual with a formal touch” a look she feels is epitomized by the dining room chandelier, which combines weathered brown iron and elegant crystal teardrops. Other good examples of this casual/formal juxtaposition: the rubbed-through finish on the carved dining room mantel and the linen panel drapes trimmed with Egyptian tassels and hung from wooden rings on the dining room window.
Lending country warmth to the dining room are upholstered chairs in a bold red-and-white gingham print by Kravet, a round walnut table and a nine-foot-tall 18th-century British reproduction serving cupboard, which provides storage for linens, serving pieces and china, as well as a spot for displaying a whimsical pig.