Skip to content

Best in Show: A SPEC-tacular Home

Main Image
Item 1 of 16

Story by Emily Robertson | Photography by Kristen Mayfield Photography

When Doug Martens decided to collaborate with several investors to build a 5,400 square foot spec home in the Olde Stone community, he knew he wanted to get Tara Coomer of Coomer & Co. in on the project from the very beginning so that they could collaborate and make a truly unique home.

“We allowed the designer to pick out the plans for the home and then we gave her free rein to run with the design of the home,” Martens says. “We knew that we wanted to try and put this house in the Builders Association of South Central Kentucky Parade of Homes, so we wanted it to be a show piece. We let her run with it and do her thing.”

For Coomer, her passion is working with clients from the very beginning and seeing the work all the way through to the end, so this was the perfect project for her and her team.

“We called this house a modern tudor,” Coomer says. “We have elements that are traditional, but done in a modern way. We used a lot of specialty trim features, as well as some warm
and darker woods that I think a lot of people aren’t used to seeing right now.”

The unique features can be seen throughout the home, starting with the exterior.

“I really like how we did the brick treatment,” Martens says. “We got away from more mainstream styles that you see right now and did something different and a bit edgy and transitional.”

That sentiment can be seen on the inside of the home in the five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and common spaces. Coomer worked to make the interior of the home feel cozy by
mixing in some pieces that added a little funkiness to spaces.

“I love that this home felt original,” Coomer says. “I love that it felt custom, but it was a spec home. So many people at the time of us conceptualizing were creating all of these white on white spaces and we wanted to bring in some color, warmth and rich tones and texture. We felt like this spec home was an opportunity to show people some other looks and implement dark woods and richer tones and showing them that paired with the right things doesn’t feel heavy or dark overall.”

Martens knew that building a large spec home on one of the only remaining golf course lots in Olde Stone would make it a unique project and a prime candidate for the Parade of Homes, but it also meant that the home had to be finished in time. Construction of the home took 14 months and was completed by the first week of September 2022.

In order to get the house staged and ready for the Parade of Homes, Coomer handpicked pieces from Bowling Green Home Furnishings to style the interior.

“Bowling Green Home Furnishings furniture really made the home come to life with the pieces we selected,” Coomer says. “We also used custom, original artwork from local artist Heather Morrison as a special touch.

For both Martens and Coomer, this home was a labor of love and something where they are incredibly proud of the finished product, which was awarded “Best in Show” in the Parade of Homes. Coomer loves that she gets to help create homes for families in this community and hopes someday that her children can drive around town and see all the different houses that she had a hand in creating. And for Martens, he knows he is helping to literally build his neighborhood, and that is a responsibility that he doesn’t take lightly.

“I live out here and have been building here since it opened in 2005,” Martens says. “I’ve built a large percentage of the homes in Olde Stone. This is where I build and where I spend the majority of my time. Some people think I’m crazy because my clients are my neighbors, but that drives home that I have to build to a higher standard to maintain business and friendships in this community.

This spectacular spec home would not have been possible without the help of these wonderful businesses:

Builder: Doug Martens 
Designer: Tara Coomer, Coomer & Co. 
Tile and Hardwood: Just Tile It 
Tile Installation: Dave Hulleman, Ceramic Surroundings 
Hardwood Installation: Sullivans Custom 
Trim Work: Terry Hancock/WHI & Derrick Ellis 
Countertops: Sugar Grove Marble 
Cabinetry: Creative Wood Designs 
Furniture: BG Home Furnishings 
Custom Art: Heather Morrison 
Interior Plants: Ivy & Sage 
Brick and Stone: Lee Brick and Block 
Plumbing: Ferguson 
Lighting: Winlectric

More Stories

  • Editor's Letter

    April has arrived and that means it is officially Derby Season in the Bluegrass! We kicked off Derby-themed parties this month and have more leading up to the big day on May 4th, and our local boutiques have everything to get you ready for all of the upcoming events. Check out our Derby Fashion section to see all of the perfectly curated outfits that our local shops have put together. Read More
  • Southern Living Once Again Lists BG As One of the "South's Best Cities On The Rise"

    Southern Living announced the results of their annual, reader-selected listicle for the “South’s Best Cities on the Rise 2024” where Bowling Green placed seventh out of 25 cities. This is the second time Bowling Green has made headlines as a “South’s Best Cities on the Rise” with Southern Living, a leading regional media outlet specializing in southern culture, traditions and stories. Read More
  • Rev Up for the 150th Derby with a Different Kind of Horsepower

    The National Corvette Museum and NCM Motorsports Park located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will serve as the pace car for Derby fun starting on April 22nd with the introduction of their “Horsepower Experience.” On select dates in April and May, the derby-themed experience will provide Derbygoers a type of racing with more of a throaty growl, and can be enjoyed before or after the Derby’s Sesquicentennial. Read More
  • New Charity Aims to Help Families Keep Pets Amid Financial Woes

    High inflation has brought about staggering increases in the general cost of living – rent, utilities, food, clothing – all going up, up, up. And along with that, the costs associated with owning a pet.

    A recent survey conducted by found that 24% of respondents have considered rehoming or surrendering their pet to a shelter or rescue in the last 12 months due to increased costs caused by inflation.

    Read More