How the 4,200 Square Foot Kentucky Home Is a Modern Design Oasis


Rob Marcum’s newly built home features all the hallmarks of modern design: clean lines, large windows, innovative building materials, and an expansive interior with an open floor plan. The house, however, is far from ordinary.

“Everything here is so unique and so unusual compared to…what we usually do for Louisville, Kentucky,” said Michael Blacketer, the project’s consulting builder. “There’s a lot of that western (influence).”

Built to last

The construction of the house took approximately 2 and a half years, with almost eight months spent on the masonry, including the extensive use of Neolith on the kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls and bathroom cabinets. bath.

Rob Marcum's Louisville home.  March 15, 2022

“There’s no one here in Louisville who’s even seen Neolith before,” Marcum said of the sintered surface material. Made entirely from natural and recyclable products such as crushed stone, Neolith is created through a process involving intense heat and pressure. The result is a lightweight, versatile and UV resistant product.

Blacketer says there is now a local company that offers Neolith but only in smaller formats. Marcum’s house required much larger pieces, which had to be shipped to Kentucky.

“The advantage of Neolith,” Marcum added, “is that it’s available in large formats and different thicknesses, and it doesn’t mind the heat.”

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A view of the kitchen in Rob Marcum's Louisville home.  March 15, 2022

Another interesting element of the house not commonly seen in Derby City is its roof structure – or lack thereof. “This is only the second house I’ve built in 43 years that doesn’t have a roof structure,” Blacketer said. “Everything is rubberized membrane. There is no slope on the roof.

The house’s multiple decks are made from ipe, also known as Brazilian walnut. Exotic South American hardwood is almost twice as dense as most other hardwoods and up to five times harder. It is also naturally resistant to weather, insects, rot and abrasion.

“It’s hard as a rock,” Blacketer said, adding that screws had to be used to build the decks because the nails don’t penetrate ipe.

Outstanding work of art

A large crucifix is ​​the centerpiece of the great room in Rob Marcum's house.  March 15, 2022

The art that adorns the interior of the house is just as unique as the building materials used to build it. In the family room, a life-size metal sculpture of Jesus on the cross hangs on a wall above the television. One of only two of its kind, the other is owned by Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza.

“(Monaghan) is building churches,” Marcum told the Courier Journal. “He put this in front of one of his churches, and I commissioned (artist Bill Secunda) to do it for me.”

Marcum also has many Native American carvings throughout the house. To one side of the dining room table, built-in shelves have been built specifically to hold and display approximately a dozen bronze pieces. Several others on similar shelves are in the gallery near the garage.

“(Artist John Coleman) does 20 editions of it, and he leaves me two (every year),” Marcum said. “I bought every edition.”

A guest bedroom in Rob Marcum's Louisville home.  March 15, 2022

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Other rooms in the house are decorated with prints by Jean-Michel Basquiat and various pieces that Marcum picked up at the St. James Court Art Show.

For the love of nature

As extraordinary as the house is, what is perhaps even more remarkable is the 478 acres of wooded land it sits on. “It’s a good place to take walks, I’ll tell you,” Marcum said. “And we have all kinds of animals (here).”

Blacketer explains that when building the house, they had to use cranes and an 80-foot boom lift to get everything up and over the trees. Because the house is in such a secluded area, it also has its own private sewage system.

Sunlight streams in through the many windows of Rob Marcum's Louisville home.  March 15, 2022

“It (has) its own treatment plant, so when the water comes out and pours into the creek, you can drink it if you want,” he said. “He (does) not dump (any) chemicals into the water.”

Marcum says his goal is to keep the property as natural as possible. He does not even cut the dead trees; instead, he drops them organically.

“We barely cut down a tree other than what we (absolutely) had to (because) it (was) right against the house,” Blacketer said. “Even the fat ones right in the middle of the aisle – which scared me to death – (but) we kept them all in there.”

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Marcum added: “(People) tried to talk me out of saving the trees, but I say no – we don’t cut them down. “I’m putting (the land in) a conservation easement so it can never be developed.”

Do you know a house that would make a great house of the week? Email Editor Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected]

nuts and bolts

Owner: Rob Marcum, who works in land investments at MANNOX LLC

Residence: This is a 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 4,200 square foot modern home in Jefferson County that was built in 2022.

Distinctive elements: Extensive use of the new coating, Neolith, on kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls and bathroom cabinets; various sculptures by John Coleman; custom designed mirrors and works of art; Holly Hunt and Roche Bobois furniture throughout; custom doors; custom-designed 11-foot linear fireplace.

Applause! Applause! Michael Blacketer, consulting builder; Finish Design and the Harold Snook family; Century Entertainment’s Tim, Mark, and Zach for sound rigs and equipment; Chris Dixon of Dixon Plumbing; Lance Petty of Thompson & Petty Electric; Accucraft for the custom-designed 11-foot linear fireplace; Christian Condit and Karina Moffett of Global Granite and Marble in the Bluegrass Industrial Park for supplying the Neolith; Adam Pardieck for the Neolith application; artist/sculptor Bill Secunda; flooring and rug specialists Greg and David Turner; Jim Hayes of A&G Glass for the mirrors; Donna Allen of Ferguson.


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