By Anna Patterson

Building homes is more than a job for Penny Love — it has become her passion. Penny ‘s skill as a builder can be seen in this home owned by Sol and George Clahane. Photos by Melissa Donald

My tires crunch through the ice as I pull into the Harrods Glen neighborhood. I wind carefully through the subdivision, squinting to glimpse the house numbers on the passing mailboxes. When I finally reach my destination, my rusty Ford feels very out of place. But then, so does the house.

Before me stands a…

…beautiful Tuscan-style home dusted with snow from the previous day. It seems as if this home was meant for a warmer climate, perhaps somewhere in southern Italy. But nonetheless, the exterior glows with its surrounding white blanket like something from a fairytale.

The design of  the Clahane’s home is beautiful yet practical with plenty of open space. 

Penny Love, owner of Penny Love — Design, Build, Renovate, has made a career of bringing homes to life. This home is just one of many projects she has helped create over the years.

Penny’s career began with interior design and staging, working with both private clients as well as Homearama. Eventually she decided to give the building business a go. Penny fully expected this to last no more than five years. Now, 21 years later, she is still building homes. “It’s because I never lost my passion,” she says. “[Building] is an exciting process for me. I wake up excited to go to my job.”

Working with others who can help execute her vision is an important aspect of Penny’s job. 

This home, owned by Sol and George Clahane, is a particular favorite of Penny’s. “This house is the way of the world,” she says. “They’ve gotten rid of living rooms and the formality of it all and gone to something more livable.”

The kitchen in particular stands out for Penny. She says it is both beautiful and efficient. The granite island combined with leather seats is functional — especially with kids running around — yet stylish. The kitchen opens up into a sitting area with couches and a study off to the side. The space is inviting without a cramped corner to be found.

The Clahane’s wanted the structure of their home to tie in with their furnishings — many which were custom-made. 

To help make her clients’ vision a reality, Penny works with other contractors and designers in the area. “I have wonderful people I work with,” she says. “They do good work and are reliable, but I also genuinely like them.” Many of the furniture pieces in the Clahane’s home are based on items from catalogs and show homes but have been hand-built by local craftsmen to accommodate a particular space.

Understanding her clients’ vision for their home comes naturally for Penny. 

Penny has helped build four houses in Harrods Glen, and she has homes in Indiana and in Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, and Nelson Counties. Clients come to her with ideas, and she makes them happen. She takes pride in her ability to mentally walk through a two-dimensional plan and see it complete and furnished.

When it comes to your home, Peggy says choosing a good designer makes the process less stressful. 

For those considering building or renovating, Penny highly recommends investing in a good designer. If the cost seems too much, ask your builder for suggestions. “Every time you paint a room a bad color, you have to paint it again,” she says. “You want to have someone with vision to help you along the way to save you money and make good choices. If you have help at the beginning, you can avoid mistakes later.”