Artistic angles, a circular doorway, a glass hallway, a solarium, a suspended loft and a hobbit door leading to a frog pond — these are all just a few features found in Greg and Sarah Begin’s unique Shadrick Ferry home where they live with their two sons. Nestled on a ridge above the Kentucky River, and only accessible by a ⅓ mile rough gravel driveway, is their peaceful, one-of-a-kind sanctuary where home meets art and nature.
Designed and built by local artisan Rick Hardy over the course of 10 years and completed in 1990, the home was first owned by John Antenucci, owner of Lazy Dog Honey. Mr. Antenucci lived in the home for 30 years and hired Rick Hardy Construction to construct an addition, which is modern in contrast to the main home, yet still aligned with the overall theme.
“Many of the items used to build the home were recycled from other places. We have upcycled walls, ceilings, double doors, and even a beautiful church window,” Sarah explained while describing the theme of the home which she refers to as “recycled and nature.”
It is clear the builder, original owner and now the Begins value and enjoy the environment and intend for the home to honor and celebrate the beauty that can be found right here in Frankfort.
Shadrick Ferry is known for its natural beauty and the home does a great job of highlighting it. Whether walking down the hallway, waking up in the primary bedroom or soaking in the bathtub, the beauty of nature is visible thanks to the design, which allows the indoors to be open to the surrounding world.
Glass is abundant in the home. There are double doors for letting in the breeze, a total of 10 skylights and a glass breezeway in the back of the house. These are all intentional design choices to let in light and meld the home with nature.
Amongst the 14 wooded acres are gardens, a creek, a waterfall and a natural spring.
Sarah studies herbalism and especially enjoys the plants and water features that were installed by the former homeowner whose role as beekeeper led to thoughtful plant selection and care.
“It was a perfect match to have an immediate garden to forage and harvest without worry of pesticides or neighboring sprays,” Sarah explained as she reflected upon their first viewing of the property. The home felt right, although they weren’t looking for themselves.
The Begins were perfectly content in their downtown house and were house-hunting for Sarah’s mother. When they stumbled upon the Shadrick Ferry property, they quickly realized it had the dream home her mother was looking for, which was a cabin in the woods, and the dream home Greg and Sarah didn’t know they were looking for all on the same property. Her mother now lives in the cabin, which Rick Hardy lived in while constructing the main house.
Sarah admits that living in the truly unique home demands adapting to a few challenging elements of the wild.
“The first year we bought it, we got snowed-in on the top for about a week and a half. Then the river flooded due to all the snow melting, followed by rain. It flooded so much on Shadrick Ferry that it covered the very bottom of our shared driveway, which trapped us for another week. Our neighbors said that hadn’t happened in years. Since we just moved in, we were getting the full baptism,” Sarah recalled.
And, the weather isn’t the only challenging element. Wildlife sightings are usually a perk, but Sarah explained they’ve had their share of snakes around the property as well.
“Being in the thick of the woods with the Kentucky River at the bottom of the ridge, that is to be expected though,” she commented casually. Her acceptance of the good and bad that comes with living in the woods is a sure sign that the Begins are in the right place.
Sarah has a hard time choosing a favorite part of her home.
“I absolutely love the solarium where I can make infusions and tend to plants and herbs. But, I also love the top loft that has glass overlooking the woods and trees.”
The unique home has a lot to love and the uniqueness means there are also projects and maintenance around the property, which keeps them busy. She dreams of repairing the driveway so that guests can access their home more easily.
“Once the driveway is more suitable for guests, I will start leading and hosting different types of small nature and wellness retreats out here. The space is so beautiful, we feel we need to share it, yet on a very small scale. That is a dream I’ve yet to manifest.”
The Begins have a lot to look forward to in the years to come in their eccentric and rustic home that fits their family so well. This property is a little slice of unexpected paradise and the current owners are honoring the vision builder Rick Hardy had when he poured so much energy into creating this peaceful and interesting retreat.