Take a brisk drive out to Prospect and to the neighborhood of Hunting Creek and youâ€™ll come across the home of Sabine and Jeffrey Stovall. Right at the back of the subdivision with a creek at the bottom of the steep drop serving as a picturesque backyard, the home serves the ultimate purpose â€“ a perfect home for the married couple that combines their love of nature and the countryside with their need to be close to their busy corporate jobs in downtown Louisville.
â€œWeâ€™re animal-lovers and nature-lovers, and we were really drawn to the idea of having our own land,â€ explains Sabine Stovall, a wealth planner through KFG Enterprises. â€œBut what makes that difficult is that we both work downtown, so we wanted to find something that was a mixture of the two. We donâ€™t really love neighborhoods at all, but the fact that we could come here and not really see our neighbors makes it pretty wonderful.â€
The fact that the area offered the Stovalls miles and miles of trails and the chance to kayak to the Ohio River is something that made the location of the French cottage-style, four-bedroom home all the better. Even if there was one drawback.
â€œWeâ€™re on a deer path, and they love it back here,â€ recalls Stovall. â€œWhen we first came to see the house, there were three deer just staring at us. We knew we belonged right there and then â€“ it was super awesome. Well, super awesome until I started planting flowers and I realized that they eat everything!â€
Inside, the coupleâ€™s home is an elegant mix of old and new. The old coming in the shape of tasteful antique furniture and the new coming from new paint and new selections with the help of an expert eye. Stovallâ€™s choice was Velma Watkins, executive vice president of Burdorf Interiors
â€œShe helped with the initial pieces of furniture, and then, to help put it all together, I blew up Barry Wooley and destroyed his store and got all the stuff he had that were antiques.â€
For Stovall, the kitchen is an important area. She cooks daily, so the addition of brand new wooden floors was a must, as was the installation of granite counter tops. But while cooking is a passion, the food is often brought down into the basement, or what Stovall likes to describe as her husbandâ€™s â€œMan Cave.â€
Inside the man cave is what youâ€™d expect, comfy couches, stone fireplace and a big television set where the couple enjoy watching movies and relaxing with their two pet bulldogs. On the wall is a framed picture of her husbandâ€™s national statistics from his baseball days at Furman University â€“ on this ranking, he placed higher than Detroit Tigersâ€™ starting all-star pitcher Justin Verlander. Today, her husband is an attorney with Fore, Miller and Schwartz and also acts as a city councilman for Prospect.
In fact, Jefferyâ€™s family, which stems from North Carolina, has left its mark on several other pieces throughout the home. An antique walnut cabinet sits majestically upstairs in the living room, while on the other side is another handmade piece courtesy of the Stovalls.
â€œJeffâ€™s family make things from wood,â€ explains Stovall. â€œFor example, we got this as a wedding gift,â€ pointing to an ornamental chess board.
But personal history is not limited to furniture in the house. The paintings on the walls also tell a story, especially the prints depicting Greek life. Stovall is fond of them because they come from a vacation in Greece â€“ with a funny story attached. According to Stovall, the print vendor in the small town of Delphi was drunk and spilled coffee all over the prints. â€œI had to have them!â€ she recalls with a laugh.
Elsewhere, the homeâ€™s walls are peppered with images of trees and Paris, not a deliberate decision on Stovallâ€™s part but rather a subconscious reflection of two more loves. But there is one painting that stands out. In the master bathroom, tucked away to the side of the his-and-her sinks, is a painting of the beach in North Carolina where they got married â€“ sand dunes and horses roaming freely.
â€œThis painting was done by a friend of ours who attended our wedding. We rented a place on the beach, and there is this wild horse estate and a federal reserve for these horses and they came over every day while we were there.â€
Below the painting is a small champagne flute filled fresh flowers â€“ another reminder of their marriage that has many more happy years ahead. A marriage that will be lived out inside a home that the Stovalls look forward to sharing with friends, family and guests for years to come VT
Photos by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune