Farmhouse Glam


They named their home “fenix,” an old French term for:

  1. Risen from the ashes
  2. A thing regarded as uniquely remarkable.

Homeowners Kristie and AJ Smith found this to be the perfect name for their brand new Zionsville home after they suffered a house fire at their previous residence. “Risen from the ashes” is exactly what happened, and it truly is unique and remarkable in every definition of both terms. After photographing and touring the home, it was clear that Kristie’s deep knowledge in the real estate industry (starting her real estate career in 2003) came into play when making the immense number of choices that come with the process of building a custom home.


Their first major choices included recruiting an all-star team of professionals to build their dream home, consisting of Christopher Scott Homes as their builder, architect Goldberg Design Group, interior designer Jennifer O’Connor and Franklin Window and Door as their window supplier. Fenix is a grand total of 12,326 square feet that took 17 months to build. Some fun facts about the home include:

-34,400 gallons of water in the pool and hot tub combined

-4.7 miles of linear feet of trim

-250 tons of stone was used on the exterior of the home

-Their heating source is Geothermal

-There are 28,000 feet of electrical wiring throughout the house

-13,000 square feet of exterior concrete was used


At the onset of the build project, the first hurdle for this couple to overcome was their style preferences; Kristie liked contemporary and all things sparkly, and AJ preferred a more traditional style. Thus, the term “Farmhouse Glam” became the central theme. Some commonalities that the two did agree upon were creating a welcoming haven to host and entertain with their friends and family, and an outdoor living space with a large pool to enjoy.


We, along with Goldberg Design Group, worked with Kristie and AJ to design a house that fit their lifestyle,” said Chris Carnell of Christopher Scott Homes. “They desired a home that had an open concept that gave them the ability to entertain in many different areas of the home including a resort style outdoor living environment. While achieving this desire, we were also able to create spaces that felt very inviting while connected to other areas of the home. This allowed us to achieve a home that in addition to the ability to entertain, one that encompassed a comfortable and cozy feel for everyday use.”


The interiors are not only fun to look at, but almost everything has a story behind it. Perhaps it’s the gorgeous photo of a whale tail that tops their 72” linear gas fireplace purchased from their favorite vacation spot, Martha’s Vineyard and The Cape, or the fact that 17 floor registers were custom painted by a local artist to match the grain of each wood floor board to help completely disguise them into the one-of-a-kind french oak flooring that Kristie custom specified. Even further, Kristie has always been a fan of a double island in the kitchen, but considering their kitchen is rather large and AJ does most of the cooking, their interior designer, Jennifer O’Connor, designed a special seat niche in the island closest to the appliances so Kristie would have a front row seat to talk with AJ while he was cooking. Each second story bedroom suite has a theme; The Audrey (Hepburn) Room, the Captain’s Quarters, and The Loft. In addition, during the construction process the couple decided to finish the 1400 square foot area over their garage to an apartment that they dubbed The Vineyard, after their favorite vacation spot. Their downstairs master suite is incredible, featuring a large bathroom with all marble heated floors. Kristie’s one big lighting splurge is actually their bathroom chandelier made entirely of Swarovski crystals.


Amongst the myriad of interior details, one thing your eye is drawn to immediately are the windows that completely frame the back expanse of the home. In the great room that sits opposite the front door, Marvin Windows, sourced from local Carmel distributor, Franklin Window and Door, provided 17 vertical feet of glass from floor to ceiling—an absolutely stunning view the second you walk through the main entrance. The windows continue along the backside of the house, giving an uninterrupted view of the outdoors from the dining room, and then the living room, which all look out to a beautiful outdoor oasis featuring multiple outdoor living spaces, a large “sports pool” measuring 45 feet x 25 feet and a sunroom that can be temperature controlled with in-concrete radiant heat. This is all enclosed by a mature tree line, offering all of the privacy this couple needs. “We love a bright and sunny house. It’s wonderful that our lot is able to provide a backyard filled with trees and privacy, and it also allows full-sun all day in the rooms & locations we most desire.”


Fenix is definitely one of a kind. It is sure to provide this couple with many years of memories as it is built impeccably to host many friends and family. The level of craftsmanship and design detail can only be accredited to the team of professionals that made it all possible. “We loved working with Steve Goldberg,” said AJ and Kristie. He gives-it-to-you-straight and designs each home uniquely with the end in mind. For us, he was able to blend my desire for modern with AJ’s desire for a traditional farmhouse. Christopher Scott Homes brought a depth of experience to the project along with a myriad of master craftsmen who truly do great work. We designed our home with Marvin windows spec’d from the start. Working with Franklin was easy and fun as we chose the perfect finishes for our home. Jennifer O’Connor added valuable insight from the design phase through ultimate finishes. The final result that we now call home is as much hers as ours!”


(Click to the right below to scroll through more images of the home tour!)