The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


June 23, 2012

What they wanted

Lambs enjoy country living with convenient access to interstate

PENDLETON, Ind. — After collecting pictures from magazines and saving them in a binder for almost 10 years, Fran Lamb knew exactly what she wanted when she and her husband, Dr. Chad Lamb, began building.

“Fran looked at lots for years,” said Chad, a physician with Anderson Family Practice Associates. “We wanted to stay in Madison County because I work in Anderson and our kids went to Liberty Christian School. She designed the house herself, but I had veto rights,” he added with a laugh.

Working with a software program that allowed her to manipulate typical floor plans, she came up with the perfect arrangement to suit their lives. Riffey Builders of Pendleton turned her plans into reality. The biggest change: moving the study adjacent to the kitchen.

“Pre-made plans have the study in the quiet part of the house,” said Fran. “But usually he is in the study and I am in the kitchen. We wanted to be right next to each other.”

Both rooms are simply gorgeous. Rich wood tones not only cover the study walls, but also appear on the coffered ceilings. Flair is added to the elegant room via swords hanging on the wall, a suit of armor and a mannequin decked out in the full garb of a Roman soldier.

Nearby, the dream kitchen is open to the living room and eating area. With a number of windows and French doors, the back yard is fully visible — as are Chad’s recent improvements to the vista. By adding a sitting area, pergola and pond, he created an oasis just on the other side of their back door.

“It almost seems like another room with the wall of windows along this side of the house,” said Fran, standing in the kitchen as she looked at his handiwork. “He designed it so that it would be framed inside these windows.”

Pergola with waterfall

Chad’s workshop in the basement has led to a good amount of well-crafted furniture. Deciding to tackle the construction of a pergola from nothing more than a magazine picture, Chad officially began the most challenging (woodworking) project of his life.

“Chad also built a waterfall that adds to the pergola’s serene feel,” said Fran, clearly impressed with her husband’s talents. “Water cascades down rocks nestled between evergreen trees and spills into a small natural-looking pool. He also laid the brick pavers underneath the pergola and in the sidewalk emerging off from it.”

“The hardest part of building the waterfall was keeping it from leaking,” admitted Chad. “But I like the sound of moving water. It’s just soothing, quiet and relaxing.”

Once the structure was in place, Fran stepped in to add natural style. Expertly planting five climbing rose bushes and a lavender wisteria vine (an offshoot of her parents’ vine in Owensboro, Ky.), she now has beautiful flowers that reach all the way to the top of the pergola.

Intentionally creating a nature-filled view, Chad and Fran bordered threes sides of their 1.5-acre property with 36 evergreen trees. Even though they enjoy all the benefits of living in a friendly neighborhood, they relish the feeling of being surrounded by the growing greenery.

Last year the couple determined to add more visual layers by cutting in a new 150-foot shrub border in front of an evergreen berm. New this spring is a raised vegetable garden. After constructing a screen from a wooden trellis and three raised-panel columns (to match the existing pergola), Chad hid this garden from indoor view.

Finding their location a delightful place to raise their children, Ellen, 20, and Isaac, 17, the Lambs are pleased with their choices.

“We love the rare combination of a secluded location that yet immediate access to I-69,” said Fran. “This location is only 25 to 30 minutes from a major city and yet we enjoy the nature and privacy of country living. And we enjoy our neighborhood very much.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to

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