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We’ve been selected as an honoree for the 2018 Salonniere 100!

  • March 21, 2018

The Salonniere 100 recognizes America’s 100 best party hosts—those who entertain with unparalleled flair

Time to celebrate! (and you know we do it right…)

We consider being named to this list a great achievement. The nationwide selection process takes more than six months and involves querying social authorities and local in-the-know experts, including journalists, philanthropists, not-for-profit fundraisers, social luminaries, event planners, and cultural and business leaders.

As they put it…

“From the dawn of humankind to the days of the 17th- and 18th-century French salonnieres to today, social gatherings have always played a pivotal role in society. Those on the Salonniere 100 are our nation’s most vital connectors, and their contributions to our communities are invaluable. They are leading the way in furthering the tradition of hosting parties with a purpose, parties that connect people, advance ideas, and bring joy and inspiration to others.”

View the full list here:



5 Great Ways To Improve Your Outdoor Space | Chevy Chaser Magazine | March 2018

  • March 20, 2018

While lush with plantings during warm weather months, the garden at Botherum – the historic Lexington home of landscape designer Jon Carloftis, pictured here –illustrates lots of other ways to enhance an outdoor living space, from paths and walkways to sculptures, container gardens, seating areas and more.

March tends to be that month where we Kentuckians start to get the first real teasings of springtime: Green buds are popping up in the dirt, temperatures are slowly rising, garden centers are reopening. But still being a couple months away from the last danger of frost, it really is just that – a tease – for gardeners who are anxious to whip their yards into shape.

Rest assured, it’s a great time of year to get started on plenty of projects, large and small. We’ve tapped five local experts to help provide tips, guidance and inspiration for great ways to ready your outdoor living spaces – all of which don’t involve digging in the dirt.

Install a fountain or other water feature

Cast stone fountains, such as these from Campania International, can be a great option for those looking for more a significant visual and aural statement.

Incorporating the soothing sights and sounds of running water in your yard can be as simple as setting up a pot fountain. Kits are available to purchase at many garden centers.

Water features can be a great way to create movement, sound and structure into a space, especially when a focal point is needed.

“Not only do fountains provide great visual interest, they also provide that soothing sound to create a true garden experience,” said Wes King, owner of King’s Garden Center. “Fountains are often used to make a conversation piece on a table, draw people’s attention to a certain area, create movement in an otherwise dull area or dress up the ‘concrete jungle.’”

Options for bringing water to your backyard range from something simple like a tabletop water feature to a cast stone fountain or an in-ground pondless waterfall – and all have their pros and cons, King said.

Three things to consider when choosing a water feature are function, location and price point, said King.  Below, he has helped provide more detailed things to consider on each of these aspects.

Functionality. “What do you want your water feature to accomplish?” is one of the first questions to ask yourself when considering adding a water feature to your yard or garden. If you’re looking for something to just provide the soothing sound of water, a simple tabletop fountain might do the trick…

To read more, visit or click on the thumbnails to view full article.

Photo by Caroline Allison, for Garden & Gun

Story by Saraya Brewer, with expert advice provided from: Kyle Adamson (Red Oak Outdoor Lighting), Wes King (King’s Garden Center)Scott Pfeiffer (Scott Pfeiffer and Co.), Wendy McAlister (Nature’s Expressions)Jon Carloftis (Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens)

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Creative Lexington Snapshot Bio

  • October 17, 2017
Creative Lexington Snapshot Bio

Bryan Mullins over at Creative Lexington recently released one of his “Snapshot Bios” of yours truly, which you can view by clicking the image above.

Brian started Creative Lexington with an idea to make biographical or “Snapshot Bios” on local artists to be distributed and shared on multiple platforms as well as to share with the artists themselves. This is done entirely free of charge to the artist (and I’m truly grateful for that!).

His hope is this will help raise awareness of the artists themselves as well as the extremly vibrant art scene here in Lexington. So please check out his other “Snapshot Bios” on his website and share with all your friends.



The Salonnière interviews Jon about soirée style & tips for creating a garden that’s ripe for entertaining

  • August 3, 2017

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Brie Dyas of  The Salonnière who asked me about all the things I love most… the history of our home, Botherum, my preferred way to entertain at home, tips for creating a great outdoor entertaining space, and about some of my favorites (like florists, caterers, dinnerware, shops) in and around my home city, Lexington… She’s put together a wonderful article that I hope you enjoy!

Read the full article at The Salonnière


The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation first annual summer fundraiser

  • July 1, 2017

Everyone asks what the next great party we’re doing in Lexington… well here it is!

We are thrilled to be sponsoring Bourbon & Brews on Broadway along with Maker’s Mark Bourbon…
it’s going to be a party of historic proportions that you won’t want to miss!

This is very special fundraiser for The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, which is responsible for why Lexington is so beautiful… because they protect, revitalize and promote the special historic places all over the Bluegrass region of our beautiful state. Dale is on the board and it means so much to us that we are able to give back to this wonderful organization.

Here’s what you get…

  • Your choice from 5 different Maker’s Mark specialty cocktails that are created by Lexington’s finest bartenders and named after famous historic houses
  • Sway to the sweet soulful sounds of live music by Joslyn & the Sweet Compression!
  • A wide variety of incredible locally brewed beers, hand crafted by the stellar breweries in the area (think West Sixth Brewing and Mirror Twin, among others!)
  • Deliciously amazing food from Catering by Donna, with menu items inspired from the new restaurant at Star Hill Provisions at Maker’s Mark Distillery
  • A silent auction & live auction which include
    • Unique hand crafted salvaged wood creations taken from historic barns, warehouses, and cabins from Longwood Antique Woods
    • A Private Dinner at Botherum, hosted by Dale and yours truly, Jon Carloftis.
    • A set of stirrup cups and a tray from Fran Taylor at Lexington Silver
    • Various baskets with assorted glassware and bottles of booze/wine etc.
    • Glasses, hats, shirts and a $20 gift card from West Sixth Brewing
    • And more!

Plus there will be a raffle giving you a chance to win a Wheel barrel of Booze!

Meander and gaze upon the beautiful historic gardens of the Hunt-Morgan House and get a first glimpse of the brand new courtyard space next door that BGT acquired from the historic Woman’s Club of Central Kentucky next door too!

And finally, meet some of the most influential designers and professionals who are doing amazing historic preservation all over Kentucky, including Bill Samuels, Jr., son of the Founders of Maker’s Mark and George Gatewood of Longwood Antique Woods, to name just a couple…

Well, how can you resist?

We hope you’re as excited about this event as we are.
See you on Broadway at the BGT’s campus, 210 North Broadway and 201 North Mill Street!

Event will be held rain or shine. Must be 21+ to attend.
Reserved tickets sold online will be $50 for BGT members and $60 for the public.
$65 at gate.

Click Here to Get Tickets Now

Located at the historic Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House
210 North Broadway
Lexington, Kentucky 40507
Phone: 859.253.0362



Botherum featured in One Kings Lane: A Designer’s Historic Southern Escape

  • June 28, 2017

We’re beyond thrilled to be featured in this week’s DECORATING & ENTERTAINING IDEAS for One Kings Lane! If you aren’t familiar with One Kings Lane, what we find so impressive is how they love to celebrate the individual style of each designer they feature, letting their own unique perspective shine through. Each is different and each is all so beautiful…

The following is the full article, but please check out for links to some really great decorating ideas, all based on the styles found in Botherum.

A Designer’s Historic Southern Escape

Beneath a magnificent ginkgo stands a Greek Revival home surrounded by mowed grass, hedged boxwoods, and a limestone wall separating it from a neighborhood of Victorians just beyond. Fast asleep on its gated drive are Gertrude and Lily, two yellow Labradors who, if prompted, rush to greet all who enter the compound known as Historic Botherum. A Lincoln-era property situated in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky, it belongs to landscape designer Jon Carloftis and his partner, Dale Fisher. During the past five years, they’ve worked as a team to restore the home and its surrounding grounds to a contemporary version of its former glory.

“We wanted to preserve as much of it as we could,” says Jon. “We didn’t want to ruin what was already in play with a full-on renovation.” And so floors were buffed and topped with five coats of tung oil, fixtures were taken out, polished, and reinstalled, and the existing layout was maintained. Of course, there were a few exceptions—enhancements, rather, made in the interest of Southern comfort. A saltwater pool wasn’t included in the original plans, but one was added, albeit carefully screened by a period-appropriate plantscape. Claw-foot tubs? None here. Jon prefers showers to soaks and felt no need to indulge in antiquated frivolities. “It’s not like we’re living in a museum,” he laughs.

And therein lies the true story of Botherum as it exists today. Preserved but not dead, it is a portrait of the couple who live there, reflecting their infectious personalities as much as it does a glorified past. Order and chaos can be found throughout the home’s interior, highlighting Jon and Dale’s shared sense of humor but different ways of being. “When I was a kid,” Jon says, “I was outside romping around and chasing butterflies. Dale, on the other hand, was most likely very much inside, ironing his socks.” Laughter ensues, reverberating off a marble bust strung with colorful beads, a taxidermy bison affectionately called Otis, and an antique sideboard covered in birds’ nests saved from transplanted trees. Rarely does a home possess so much character. See their inspiring mix below:

One Kings Lane-Botherum foyer

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Ionic columns

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Ionic columns

One Kings Lane-Botherum-bar

One Kings Lane-Botherum One Kings Lane-Botherum-Dining Room

One Kings Lane-Botherum-cabinet showcase

One Kings Lane-Botherum-master bedroom

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Japanese paintings

One Kings Lane-Botherum-guest room

One Kings Lane-Botherum-butler’s chest

One Kings Lane-Botherum-bathroom

One Kings Lane-Botherum-kitchen

One Kings Lane-Botherum-window nook

One Kings Lane-Botherum-pool and entry

[ Shop the Look of Botherum at One Kings Lane ]


Kentucky Life comes to Lexington Kentucky to learn about historic Botherum

  • November 22, 2016
Historic Botherum On KET

KET’s Kentucky Life visited a little while back in which we share some of the history of historic Botherum as well give a little insight on how we brought this beautiful Greek Revival home back to life… Also in this episode are Baker-Bird Winery in Augusta and famed folk artist Minnie Adkins.

Garden designer Jon Carloftis and Dale Fisher share the history and beauty of their restored 19th century home in downtown Lexington.


Won’t you be my neighbor?

  • July 28, 2016

625 W. Short Street, Lexington

One of the most rewarding things we’ve done is the restoration of our beautiful historic home, Botherum, downtown Lexington. Being able to explore the house (and figuring out the story) through digging in the attic, the basement, the yard… has been like living a TV show… so much hard work but also lots of fun.  Plus, we are so close to the airport, Dudley’s, Blue Heron, Thursday Night Live, and the interstate that we save so much time driving.

Saying all that, I wanted to share with you this AMAZING house down the street that is for sale by a friend, David, who has bought another historic home a few houses away. As you can see from these photos, this isn’t “lite” restoration, but it’s down to the nitty gritty. The result is more than these photos show. Truly, I could move in with a toothbrush and Lily and Gertrude and be perfectly satisfied. Even the back yard has been professionally redone the right way, with retaining walls, proper drainage… And did I say it was a double lot so there is a HUGE space to build a garage?

So I will ask someone who has visited us here from Charleston, SC, Richmond, VA, Orlando and Jacksonville, FL and many other places, PLEASE buy this house and be our neighbor!  You already know how much fun Lexington is and it gets better everyday.  This one is too good to let go and I promise to be the first person to bring over the bottle of Maker’s Mark to welcome you!

See more photos over at Zillow >

Here’s a look at the before and after…
What an amazing restoration that makes me proud to live in Lexington!


Before Collage




After Collage

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