21 January 2012

A Tuscan Dream in Mississippi

 

 

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In America, it isn’t too often that a house has a name, but then again, this isn’t just any house.  The estate, Lynnstone, located outside of Jackson, Mississippi near Flora, has an impressive 27,000 sq. ft main house.  Inspired by a Tuscan villa, Baton Rouge architect Kevin Harris worked on the project for over five years – and judging by the fine attention to detail – it shows.   Though majestic, the house is remarkably accessible.  Each space is filled with antique architectural elements which lends a sense of patina. 

I don’t often get to show these types of houses – so this was a real thrill for me when I was sent all these gorgeous photographs – extra large to see all the details.    The house was featured late last year in the Robb Report and once that article came out, I was free to show all the photos that the Robb Report hadn’t.  Ah, the beauty of blogging!   The photography by Chipper Hatter is wonderful and I spent hours studying each picture, trying to put it all together.   I only wished I had a floor plan to show – but I hope that you will come to understand how the house flows from the descriptions. 

This story is about a dream home – something to look at and learn from.   The interiors are surprisingly warm and inviting, not precious or dressy.   Some rooms are large and expansive, others are smaller and cozy.  There are hundreds of ideas to take from this.   Despite its large size, there are only 4 bedrooms, along with guest quarters over the barn.  I hope you enjoy studying Lynnstone as much I did – and I hope you find inspiration from it!

 

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Lynnstone is approached from a long, winding gravel driveway.  The house sits on 160 rolling acres with views of the treetops that surround the estate.  Kevin Harris, the architect, said the landscape reminds one of Tuscany with the hills and trees.  From this angle, the house looks like a small village – with all its different rooftop heights and bell tower.

 

 

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Lynnstone at dusk.   The entrance to the house is at the far left.  To enter, you first go through a front courtyard and a bell tower – seen here. 

 

 

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The view of the back side of the estate.  Notice on the far right the two Roman temple facades.  These house the two guest rooms.   Underneath, through large wood doors, is the basement garage (I think!)

 

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Again, the back side – showing the infinity pool.  The two story structure above the Roman temples is the guest suite. 

Lynnstone was competed in 2010, after a five year collaboration between the architect and the homeowner.  The interior designer on the project was Annelle Primos from Jackson, Mississippi.  Harris said the house was designed to match the slopes of the landscape.   The exterior is rustic – a combination of three layers of Arkansas fieldstones, some of which are covered in lichen to make the rock appear aged.  The roof is reclaimed 17th century clay tiles.  

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The stone steps lead up to wooden doors that open to the entrance. 

(Notice here – on the far left is one of the Roman temples that houses the guest room.  Under the temples is the garage.)

(ok, I’m dreaming here – but if I lived here – I would leave my car here, and have the butler go park it in the garage.  Then I would enter the house here EACH time!  I would walk up the stairs, walk through the entrance – walk down the colonnade by the courtyard and then into the house itself.  Such a beautiful front entrance – I would want to experience it every time.  ok, back to reality.)

 

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A closer view of the stone steps set within the terraced lawn that lead up to the courtyard entrance.

 

 

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A view of the side of the front entrance.  This room is open to the elements – there is no glass in the windows, only wood shutters to keep out the rain.   Notice the charming window near the roof.   Notice also how the foundation stone is darker and randomly placed compared stone on the walls.

 

 

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Two large wood doors open to the entrance courtyard building.  Dozens of gorgeous lanterns like this are found throughout the property. 

 

 

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The entrance to the courtyard.  Wood shutters take the place of glass panes. 

 

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The view once you enter the double wood doors – your eyes goes past the courtyard to the front foyer inside the house.   

 

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The ceiling of the front entrance, a double height room, with more lanterns hanging from the rafters.

 

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To enter the house, you walk through the entrance building, then walk under the bell tower and on down the colonnade with its arched columns.

 

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Looking back towards the entrance building – the courtyard is on the right.  This colonnade leads to the interior.  Notice the row of lanterns that light the way.

 

Estate located in Flora, Mississippi designed by Kevin Harris AIA Architect.

The view from the outside of the colonnade and the courtyard.

 

 

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Here, in a side view, you can see the entrance room at the left, the bell tower, then the colonnade that runs alongside the courtyard.  On the right, stone steps lead down from the house to the grounds.   The large arch in the wall is behind a fountain – see below:

 

 

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Here is the fountain, as seen by the front entrance.  Notice how large the property is from this view.

 

 

 

 

 

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The view from the lobby in the house, looking back at the front entrance building.  The bell tower is at the corner, the colonnade is at the left.   In the center of the front courtyard is a sun dial.   To the right – is the family room.  Above it, are the guest quarters.

 

 

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At the end of the courtyard and the colonnade is the entrance into the house.   Inside the lobby, the rooms surround a fountain in a atrium.   You can just see the atrium behind the windows.  

 

 

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The lobby with its gorgeous stone floors and vaulted ceiling.   The atrium is behind the window.   The dining room is to the right.  Such a beautiful space!

 

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The atrium with its elephant fountain.  Harris says the homeowner found the elephant in Santa Fe, but the architect was concerned that the “elephant would compromise the integrity of the home."  Both the interior designer and the architect had never heard of elephants in Italy.   It was researched and discovered that Hannibal had brought over 37 elephants to Italy during the Second Punic War.  So…the elephant was allowed to stay!!  

Several rooms surround this atrium including the living room and dining room.  You can see into the living room here where the piano is.

 

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The dining room is to the right of the main entrance.  The table is from Hendrix Allardyce and the chairs are Belgian, with the owner’s monograms on their seat back.  Through the door is the catering kitchen which serves for parties and as a butler’s pantry. 

 

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There is a beautiful antique stone mantel flanked by matching mirrors and consoles.  To the left, the dining room looks out to the fountain with the elephant.  Notice the ceiling treatment in this room – each room has a different treatment.

 

 

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A close up of the antique double doors that lead into the catering kitchen.

 

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The Catering Kitchen:  Quite a kitchen for a secondary one! 

 

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At the front entrance to the house – to the right is the dining room and to the left is the living room. 

 

 

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The living room is decorated in creams and off whites.  A wood Italian chandelier hangs over this space.  On the far right is a door that leads to the library, which leads to the master bedroom suite.   The architect designed the house so that you would need to walk through all the rooms to get around – he purposely left out hallways.   The living room over looks a portico which leads to an outdoor eating area terrace and the infinity pool.

 

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In the living room – another antique stone mantel.  The antique tapestry pillows in the living room are from BViz HERE.

 

 

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Here is the outside view of the living room – behind the arched colonnade.  The steps lead down to terrace and the infinity swimming pool. 

 

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The living room is up the steps on the left, the outdoor eating area and fireplace is straight ahead. 

 

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Off the living room terrace is the outdoor eating area and fireplace.  The main kitchen leads to this space.

 

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The view off the terrace shows just how expansive the estate is. 

 

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To understand the layout – the living room is behind the white columns in the middle of the house.  To the left of the living room is the library, then the master suite.  To the right of the living room is the kitchen and the guest rooms in the two Roman temples – above on the second floor is another guest suite.

The house was designed around the outdoor living areas, which follow the slope of the property.

 

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The family/TV room faces the front of the house.  It is located off the front courtyard – on its left side – shown here in a nighttime view. The kitchen is connected to the family room and above it is the guest apartment.

 

 

 

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The family room.  The door to this room lines up with the bell tower and the arched fountain on the side yard.   The flat screen hides behind the large painting on the left.  Through the door is the main kitchen and breakfast room. 

 

 

 

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Next to the family room is the main kitchen and breakfast room.   Along with the dining room, this area is another personal favorite.   The banquette is just gorgeous with its white slipcover and the scalloped back.  And I love how the cabinet was made to look like an armoire – notice its perfect proportion to the room and ceiling height.  Notice the chandelier and the wood beamed ceiling.  AND, the floors!  It’s all just so beautiful.

 

 

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On one side, the kitchen overlooks the outdoor eating area and the swimming pool.   On the breakfast room side, it overlooks the entrance courtyard.  I wish I had a floor plan for you!!!!   I’m trying to explain the layout so that you can understand how it all fits together. 

The kitchen  features Venetian plaster walls, reclaimed wood, and rustic stone countertops, backsplashes, and flooring. There is also La Cornue range.    No overhead cabinets give it a European feel.   Notice the old wood doors that open up the bar area.  They add so much texture and authenticity to the kitchen.   Now, a house this majestic would usually have a slick kitchen with granite countertops and tons of cabinetry.  I LOVE how the architect and designer nixed this for a true country kitchen that would be found in Italy.  

 

 

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Another view – notice the pantry doors that hang on barn door hardware.

 

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Above the family room are private guest quarters.   The Juliet balcony overlooks the entrance courtyard.   Notice again the gorgeous, rustic ceiling.  This really looks like a renovated Tuscany farmhouse.

 

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Close up view of the fireplace and seating area. 

 

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The bedroom in the guest suite.  Notice the wood floors – how gorgeous they are!  The casement windows are another wonderful choice.    Just beautiful.  I could live quite happily in the guest quarters and not ask for more.

 

 

 

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The library is the room the connects the living room to the master bedroom suite.   The wood cabinets were bleached and then chicken wire was added to give it an aged look.  The creams and ivories pick up the color scheme of the living room. 

 


 

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Off the library is the master bedroom suite which overlooks the backyard infinity pool and the acreage beyond.  The ceiling is phenomenal – the beams, as in other parts of the house, are reclaimed.  The Rose Tarlow Melrose House bed creates a room within a room.  Upholstery pieces here and throughout are from the Cameron Collection.  The color scheme of creams, ivories and hints of gold repeats that found in the living room and library. 

 

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The fireplace features yet another antique stone mantel bought in France.  Notice how the window treatments were designed to bring the casements up to the ceiling line by utilizing shades placed under the rod instead of the window.

 

 

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The bathroom features a large his and hers marble tiled shower that opens off the bathtub.

 

 

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The MARBLE tub!  Amazing.   The bathroom has its own garden and fountain.

 

 

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There is also a wood sauna (natch!) 

 

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Her closet is filled with French antiques, including the mirrored doors. 

 

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His closet with wood floors and cabinets resembles a fine men’s shop. 

 

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Showing the back of the house again – on the far left, the master bath with its fountain, the master bedroom, the library – then the living room behind the white columns, the outside sitting area with swimming pool and fireplace, the kitchen, the private guest quarters above the family room – and the two guest suites in the Roman temple buildings at the very right.  Underneath, I think, is probably the garage and the basement area.

 

 

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The two guest rooms are housed in their own Roman temple styled buildings.

 

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Both guest rooms’ ceilings are raised to the roof line.  They both have stone floors and balconies that over look the countryside. 

 

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The second guest room is slightly more feminine in feel with its draped bed.  

 

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Of course there is a man cave with a bar!   I’ve studied the pictures for days now and can only conclude this must be in the basement area around where the garage is.  Not sure, but if you have a better idea – let me know.

 

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The sitting area in the man cave. 

 

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The leather chairs and wood paneling give the room its masculine feel.  I love the painting over the sofa!!

 

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Behind antique wood doors is an office/sitting room that for the life of me I can’t figure out where in the house this is!   I’m going to guess this is near the garage where you enter the house.

 

 

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The room has a definite masculine feel to it – with the deer heads and other hunting memorabilia.

 

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The stables with its metal roof is quite beautiful!

 

 

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A side view of the columns and roof line – along with its stone walls.  Even the barn has fabulous architectural features – nothing was left untouched, no detail was left out.

 

 

 

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Inside, charming lighting gives the stables a festive vibe.

 

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Upstairs – over the stables is a guest house (can I just live here?)  Yet, another beautiful space.  Notice the ceiling and the kitchen cabinetry. 

 

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And finally, the living area in the stables.  There is also a bedroom and bath.  I like the blue trim on the curtains that picks up the blue of the armoire. 

 

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I hope you have enjoyed this visit to Lynnstone!   Are you exhausted?  I am!  I worked on this for four days!!!

A huge thank you to the esteemed architect Mr. Kevin Harris.  For more information on Harris, go HERE.

Please visit interior designer Annelee Primos HERE.

All photographs by Chipper Hatter, used with permission. For more information on Chipper’s photography HERE.

 

203 comments:

  1. Simply breathtaking!

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  2. Absolutely divine and done in such good taste. Given the size of the house, it still has its cozy spaces which are so pleasing. My favorite is the upstairs over the stables.
    Thanks to all for sharing.

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  3. Another Joni tour-de-force post. {This is why I can't wait to visit here} okay, ummm....move over, Joni, I'm moving into the guest quarters with you. SIGH. Drop dead gorgeous.

    The whole house is a dream, and absolutely beautiful, but still "home".... love it. thank you for always taking me to dreamy places. Going to speak to Mr. FrenchGardenHouse about the need to move to a slightly bigger place, right now. xoxo Lidy

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  4. What a fabulous estate. And, this is exactly why I love your blog. While other blogs post beautiful pictures, they are often from magazines that I have already seen. You post so many homes from your area or the south that I would otherwise never see. Thank you so much.

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  5. Oh my, this home deserves a standing ovation and a bravo to you Joni. I gave me tingles down my spine :-).

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  6. Beyond spectacular! Thank you Joni for your expert commentary and dedication. What a dream.

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  7. Beautiful as always, Joni!
    And I know these posts take so much time.

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  8. A stunning home with unique and so many superb architectural details.

    The vistas and acreage plus the sky at dusk, mesmerizing!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  9. 4 days? Worth every single moment, Joni. What a magnificent post! Totally unbelievable & totally awesome. I wish I could see it for myself. I mean, everything is perfection, isn't it? xx's

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  10. What a dreamlike escape...reminds me of your house, Joni. No seriously...elegant slipcovers and light fixtures.

    Imagine that library next to a huge master suite!!! it's so extraordinary and yet I can imagine hanging out there in bare feet on those smooth stone floors.

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  11. Thank you for taking the time to share with us, it is utterly breathtaking.

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  12. I imagine that is a home guests will cry when they leave as if they are saying good by to a love.

    The atmosphere and quality are stunning.

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  14. Hello Joni,

    This hope is incredible... the attention to detail and the proportions are superb...
    Although t is not quite like any 'farmhouse' I have seen in Tuscany!
    Thank you for such a fabulous post... your research and way of putting things together is brilliant... xv

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  15. All I can say is when may I move in please? That home is amazing all the cut stone that went into the outside. I’ve cut smaller pieces of stone and know this was no easy feat so I’m guessing all the masons are crippled after that job. I love the interior and glad the architect and designer nixed a slick kitchen it wouldn’t have looked right, love that island in all its rough wood and stone slab. The interiors are fabulous and done to perfection. It truly is fabulous and reminds me of being in Italy I would never leave I’m swooning over this home!

    XX
    Debra~

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  16. too much...over the top... tacky.. .too much..in Mississippi really?

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    1. Yes, in Mississippi. I'm not interested in whether or not you thinks it's tacky... that's immaterial to me. As a native Mississippian, I'm insulted that you apparently think we're incapable of sophistication, intelligence and beauty. If you've not visited our fabulous state, you should; if you have an open mind, you will learn a lot. If you keep your already closed mind, you'll be wasting your time. If you have visited and didn't like it, perhaps you were with the wrong people and/or went to the wrong places. Mississippi, like every other state, has its benefits and its drawbacks. But don't YOU be tacky if you don't know of which you speak. Stereotyping is tacky!

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    2. Tacky what saddens me are the number of people that were wiped out financially by the owners ex husband. Would have been nice to try and right that wrong to some degree.

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  17. Where to begin? It felt more like visiting a swank resort than a home, but its a home I could surely get used to..haha. I love all the stone, the roof and that setting is out of a fairytale!
    Some of the rooms felt a little cold to me, but beautiful. I didn't care for the modern feeling bathroom and the kitchen was a little disappointing, though I see they were trying to replicate something from the past. All the bedrooms and the family room are incredible, as is the man cave, the library and the stables. I would even live in the stables if they look like THAT!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Joni,
    Thank you, this was so much fun to see and read!
    Andrea

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  19. This home and site are certainly a tour de force for the architect. Of course it is very well done, but I can imagine living in this home and never being in some of these rooms for months on end.

    It is sooo large that just walking from one end to the other would be all the exercise one could need. Just considering walking up the front steps through the entry and around the colonnade to the foyer has made me exhausted.

    The main kitchen was charming in its homage to a Tuscan farmhouse, but there is so little storage for a house this size, it is no wonder they need the catering kitchen to house all the items needed for entertaining.

    That said, the rooms are very well appointed and the views are wonderful. I like the two guest rooms the best because of the temple-style architecture and the human scale of the rooms.

    The stone floors and casements throughout are lovely as are all the stone garden finials, sun dials and fountains.

    Thank you, Joni, for the enormous effort it took to bring this estate to us. It was fun to see.

    All the best...Victoria

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  20. Wow! And that marble tub has to weigh a gazillion tons. Love it!

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  21. There are things obviously that are very beautiful, the materials used, the attention to detail and upholding the traditions of this particular style. I must concur with Victoria above about the kitchen, its shocking how little cabinetry there is! Of course I love the range and the fantastic floors but theres so little storage, it makes it totally impractical. I also am perplexed by that modern/zen feeling bathroom, doesn't seem in keeping with the rest of the house. The dining, living, family room,mans cave and library are all beautifully done. The land on which this house sits is a dream. Very very large, much bigger than I would ever want to live in even if I had the money to build such a home (which I don't), it could feel cold and museum like in many ways. But a total treat to see this level of work for sure. Thank you to everyone involved in allowing us a glimpse into such a treasure.

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  22. I dont need to go anywhere today after you gave me a tour of this simply gorgeous, not overdone exquisitely designed home. With hubby sipping coffee in a bergere chair next to me he, too enjoyed gazing over at your spectacular photos. I didn't care which room I was in or where it was in the house I enjoyed every subtle and expertly appointed detail.
    better than any magazine! Thanks Joni!

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  23. Absolutely breathtaking! Thank you so much for giving us this tour. My favorite was actually the kitchen. Gorgeous & not over-the-top. LOVE the attention to details. For such a large home, the designer made it seem comfortable & cozy!
    Leigh

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  24. Wow. This home is fantastic and this is a wonderful post! Thanks for all the work. I will look at this over and over again.

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  25. This such a gorgeous post! A perfect way to start my Sunday morning!

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  26. Yes, I am exhausted. Don't know how you find the time to do it but your analysis of a house is always interior-design-course worthy and much appreciated!! I know to settle in when I open your blog. I savor every one.
    Thank you so much!!

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  27. yes please....I'll take one of these. Awesome~!

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  28. Incredibly beautiful, of course, and I agree that for a house so huge, it manages to have a human-sized feel in the individual rooms. The attention to detail is impressive. I adore the bathroom, both kitchens are incredible. And I think the well-hidden cabinet/armoire in the kitchen probably has a ton of storage, for those lamenting the lack of storage. Everything about the house is perfect, a work of art. Thanks for showing it to us. You always do such a nice job. But . . . I know the house is staged for photos, but it is so impersonal, no souvenirs of trips, no books that look like someone actually read them, no photos, nothing to give any sense of who the people who live there are. Maybe that will come. Also, I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to have a house so large and costly. When I was younger, I might have imagined that if I were very very rich some day I would build a house just like this, but now I don't think I would no matter how much money I would ever have (not that I will ever have the kind of money necessary to build a house like this.) I would be embarrassed to build a house that looks like a village from far away. But to each his own, it certainly is lovely.

    Jean

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  29. Beautiful home, but it would be much to large for me. There are alot of beautiful items and rooms. I love the banquette in the kitchen and all the different ceiling treatments. Also the floors are wonderful and the antique doors. The countryside is also very beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing

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  30. You know, I like the kitchen the best! Why would one want a kitchen that looks like a "Cracker Jack" kitchen?? PLEASE be creative! I wonder if that home (and it IS a home) is made of stacked stone?? What an accomplishment...for EVERYONE involved! franki

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  31. Thanks for yet another BREATHTAKING post! I bet BROOKE at VELVET & LINEN will be in love with this one - I certainly am xx

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  32. Wow what a treat. This was a lot of fun, so much to see though the entire time of scrolling through I kept thinking there is no way I could see living there with my family, its so big! How could anyone enjoy all those rooms? I love the floors, doors, stone and roof. Some of the furnishings are amazing, Adore the banquette/breakfast room seating but don't love the kitchen, it was a letdown somehow.

    The bedrooms are all very lovely with all those rich soft neutrals and I love the "man cave" and library the most, what beautiful warm feeling rooms. And of course all the outdoor spaces are out of this world.

    Thank you for this great post, this was one worth getting a second cup of coffee over.

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  33. Thank you, Joni, for sharing this beautiful house and your wonderful comments.

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  34. So very beautiful. The world certainly IS full of beautiful things! Thanks for all your work to present this post.

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  35. Joni, it's fun to see other people's dream homes even when it doesn't coincide with my own dreams. I cannot imagine how much work the architect and designer did on every inch of that place to achieve this work of art. Just gorgeous to look at. Let me know when you move into it, cause then I'll be happy moving into your pretty home! Thanks for a great post.

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  36. Yes, like getgrounded says - it's totally fun to get a glimpse into yet another way of life....even when it's not your dream. Thank-you - I always learn from you ! I too love the exquisite details, the floors, doors, stone and the colors - the rich soft neutrals.

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  37. Well, I wondered where you'd been for four days and now I know. OMG, I can't wait to spend an entire afternoon looking at this post (I'll sneak out of the football party early). So many beautiful details mere mortals might apply to their designs. We stay at a restored castle in Italy names Il Montalto http://www.montalto.it/index.shtml and the architect really captured the feel you get when you approach a Tuscan property. Thank you so much for the time and effort this blog took. It will definitely be bookmarked for now, and in the future.

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  38. Joni, a wonderful post as always! For anyone interested in taking a journey through the vision and construction of a project such as this, I would highly recommend the book (avail on Amazon) "The Classic House; Windy Hill - Ken Tate Architect" Gorgeous book. I have been to Windy Hill, set on 2000 acres (not a typo)outside Columbus, MS (yes, another MS estate!), and can say it is one of the most gorgeous homes I have seen anywhere in the world. It was designed and constructed as a French Manor house; Ken Tate Architect, Charme Tate did the interiors (along with the very talented home owner, Nancy Imes, who is mentioned by name in the book) and the genius Rene Franson of New Orleans designed the grounds. It is a project worthy of an entire book. And Joni, it has blueprints! To read about the vision that went into this project, and to see 100+ pages of glorious photographs simply leaves a person speechless. It is nothing short of magnificent. Again, many, many thanks for your incredible posts. Always such a treat

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  39. Really amazing! Awesome post. You did it again. Loved it.
    Goldie

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  40. What a delight...Thank you for the amazing tour that I would otherwise never have the chance to see such a magnificent home ! Enjoyed every single photo....

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  41. The main kitchen is one of the most beautiful kitchens that I have ever seen. I can't see where the refrigerator is, but who cares, it's gorgeous!! ;) One big wow from me!

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  42. Thank you! Absolutely gorgeous. You were spot on to point out that there are many ideas to be drawn from this house, even though most of us would never even of having a house of this size.

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  43. The house is exquisite, but I'd LOVE to live in that barn. Do you have anymore barn pictures? I'm trying to wrap my head around how they fit that floor plan into that roof elevation. My dream is to one day build and live in a barn apartment. Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

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  44. Why did the owner pick Mississippi?

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    1. Because that's where they live!

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    2. or because one appreciates the grace of the lovely people, the art inspired by passion and pain of both a beautiful and dark history, the diverse landscape ranging from charming coastal Ocean Springs to Northern Oxford, fresh seafood, fried chicken and greens, The Blues, Eudora, Faulkner............

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  45. Amazing post Joni.

    I mean there is really nothing but amazing architectural detals and materials used in this home but I think it seems a bit spooky. I'm not quite sure why, but the house feels like its needs some love or something. Maybe a few dogs and some dirty kids running around.

    May favorite spot has got to be the stables!

    OK, that's where I will stay when I visit!

    best, Kelley

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  46. You did an excellent job explaining the layout. I wasn't lost or confused once. Thanks for sharing this fabulous place.

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  47. A beautiful AMERICAN house. But no Italian farmhouse. And not only Hanibal brought some elephants. Go to Piazza Minerva in Rome and admire one of the most gorgious obelisks. This one made by Bernini - with an elephant... From Rome con amore !

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  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  49. Anonymous said...
    Hi Joni, I have so much respect for you and for the knowledge and the sheer amount of hard work (even if you love every minute of it) that you put into your posts. Please don't stop, I look forward to all you do.

    Architecturally, this house is outstanding; significant in its attention to detail and execution (although I find the colour palette monotonous when it's used on such an extensive basis...like walking through a desert landscape without relief).

    On a personal basis, it saddens me that this house was built for only one family. And I can only assume that having such vast resources available to them, that they also donate to various worthy causes. However, this same family could have easily and "graciously" (lived according to their standards) in half that space. It's just that at the end of the day, I'm wondering if such personal excesses (white couches and lavish decor in stable quarters, etc., really?) aren't just stage sets that pay homage to their own importance. Half the money spent on this house would have been better spent on building or renovating a school, public medical clinic or community centre of their choice. No one family needs to live this grandly: it's disrespectful to the many who struggle with so little. Instead, let them display their love of beauty, architectural excellence and generosity in a building where many can enjoy and learn from.

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  50. What fun! I wish it were a resort so I could go stay there, I would take any of the guest rooms or even the stables! I cannot believe how some here are putting a negative spin on this, hey if these people earned their money in an honest way, they can spend their money however they wish. Who is anyone to judge that? That really gets me fired up. Then to start picking apart the various spaces and which work and which don't. Even if this isn't my favorite style I really appreciate the immense amount of time, love, planning and patience that went into the making of this home. I think its really well done and the details are just off the charts. No need to say anything if you don't have something nice to say. That's my two cents! Great post Jonie.

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  51. I love the library and the guest quarters over the stables and would happily live in either one.

    The architect, designer and craftsmen have done an incredible job! The owners, on the other hand, appear to be the "I'm-rich-and-need-everyone-to-know-it" type.

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    Replies
    1. You can find issues clearly which can be extremely gorgeous, materials employed, the eye to be able to depth and also protecting the particular practices with this certain type. I need to agree together with Victoria previously mentioned in regards to the cooking area, the alarming just how tiny cabinets there is certainly! Needless to say I enjoy the product range as well as the great surfaces yet there's safe-keeping, that can make it entirely improper. Furthermore , i feel puzzled simply by in which modern day experience rest room, will not seem to be commensurate with other residence. The particular dinner, dwelling, family area, give and also catalogue are typical magnificently completed. The particular terrain where this kind of residence is located can be a fantasy. Very huge, significantly I might at any time desire to are now living in even though I needed the amount of money to create this kind of residence (that i will not), it may sense cool and also memorial similar to a number of ways. Yet a complete handle to find out this kind of amount of benefit positive. Many thanks to be able to inside enabling us all any glance directly into this kind of prize.


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  52. Hate to be a naysayer, but this house looks like a Disney movie set that has been outfitted by Restoration Hardware. The individual sections are often very handsome, but it does not work as a whole. It is the wrong architectural style for such a large home, a real rustic Tuscan home would never have been this large; it is as bad as building a "saltbox" mansion... I also think the images of the stone arches betray the lack of attention to detail. With all the money lavished on this structure, they should have made the stone arches of solid fitted stones, and not merely have buttered on stone facings. Tuscan architecture is, at its best, evocative of the eternal, to do it as a pastiche cheapens the effect.

    Finally, if you have to go this route, some of the structures should have been done in a different stone and slightly different style, to seem as if the whole grew over time as an accretion of parts built by various generations. This home, sad to say, has no soul and will probably end in being bulldozed as was the fate of similar Gilded era and Gatsby-era mansions that did not measure up as fortunes, styles and economies changed.

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  53. WOW! Beauty abounds here, but my favorite spaces are the cozy guest spaces. I'm with you...I could live in the barn! LOVE IT.

    I also love that we can count on you to see fresh inspiration. I'm weary of blogs that are just posting all of the things they find on Pinterest (which have usually already been posted on other blogs). To post something unique is becoming more challenging perhaps, but you've still got it!

    Thanks, Joni. And thank you Lynnstone owners.

    Happy Sunday!
    Linsey

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  54. Divine divine divine!!!!!!!
    Kevin Harris is one of my favorite architects!! Love the library and the kitchen!
    Have a wonderful Sunday evening Joni!
    xx
    Greet

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  55. Oh, btw, one poster felt that some posts had a negative spin and could not believe that people would do that, or even the right to do so. Well, my two cents worth is that this is a design blog and one of the ways to learn in life is to hear all viewpoints.

    I personally refrained from making comments of how I felt these people should have spent their money in more charitable endeavors, not because I disagree, but again, because the point for me was about the design. In point of fact however, the comments about excess are well written and well thought out, in my humble opinion.

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  56. Wow it really looks like the house and the setting are in Italy. Absolutely blew my mind. What a treat to see! Thanks Joni

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  57. Wow! The kitchen is my fav. I will say that the elephant it really over the top. Just curious: Who owns this house? Is it a primary residence or second home??

    Great post as always.

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  58. Only rooms I really don't "get", are the kitchen (not practical at all) but do like the cozy breakfast part of that room room, the living room drapes, looks like a hotel lobby (really bad chioce) and the master bath though the view is lovely, it feels very modern and not really in sync wtih the rest of the Tuscan vibe they went for. That said, the details and incredible quality are bar none. Thanks for such an entertaining post and I can tell it took a lot of time to put this together, its a treat regardless of it being our personal taste or not as 99% of us would never see a home like this in every nook and cranny in our day to day lives!

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  59. All it needs is about 30 monks walking the grounds and tending the fields.

    Of course it's beautiful. At this stage of my life I'm just thankful I never needed a house on this scale to feel happy or I'd be one unhappy camper! That and my Catholic up bringing I would walk around feeling such guilt that others have so little. Believe me I'm not saying its wrong for them it would just feel wrong for me.

    And YES I can see you did a lot of work on this post!

    Kathy

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  60. Holy cannolis...this is truly beautiful!! "Tuscan" almost made me not open the post (sacrilege! I said almost.) because that makes me think of yucky dark orange kitchens. :-) The guest spaces are my favorite parts and the kitchen is exquisite.

    No judgement on the excesses of the family, HOWEVER. I'm from Arkansas and went to school in Mississippi and married a MS boy...and every other small town in both states has some doctor-come-lately who moves in and builds some wildly inappropriate for the town, kind of home. They eventually move away and the property sits empty for 20 years until its torn down. It's very sad.

    Thank you so much Joni for sharing! A feast.

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  61. I really love the barn! My horses would be so happy! The house is beautiful but it kind of makes me feel tired. Lots of exercise as someone said.

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  62. I do appreciate it and think many of the colors, design details and other things are wonderful. One would need a staff of workers to maintain this vast estate. If you like having lots of "workers" underfoot all the time then maybe this is your "dream".

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  63. Marvellous post! I very much enjoyed reading this and perusing the gorgeous photos. However, I am a long way away in Melbourne Australia, so I would love to know a bit more about the area in which this house is built. Is it an area where this house fits in beautifully, or would it stand out as a bit of an architectural folly? It is clearly a lavish and extravagant house - is this house "Las Vegas" to your eyes? I like to imagine that this house is the much loved home of a huge extended family - that they are swimming in the pool and kicking a ball around on the grass and riding the horses, and that it is not just sitting empty for a huge chunk of the year.

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  64. Oh. The elephant fountain with the coloured lights in the water? To my eyes, this is pure Disney, but if the owners love it and it was part of their vision for this house - well, it's their house and they should have it! I wonder what nationality the owners are?

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    1. Small town, nouveau riche Mississippians

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    2. You don't know the half of it!

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  65. Love some of this home, not so much other parts of this home + what a lot of work went into this post. Thank you for the marvelous peek. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  66. Thank you Joni that was my day of beauty I want to thank you for your time and writing Your blog is an important read to me thanks again Barb

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  67. read all the comments ...surprised that most love this monument to excess..yes parts of it are beautiful and Joni did a lot of work on the post..she does do a great job.. some realize or point out this house is no home not warm or human ...and all is forgiven in the name of design for one commentor.. makes me ask the question just because you can should you?

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  68. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  69. Joni, I've been out of touch lately and would have been so upset if I had missed this post. I've seen pictures of the kitchen before and fell in love. I would have never dreamed that they were a part of something as magnificent as this. I know that you are both exhausted and giddy with excitement. I've got to roll through again even slower this time. Mona

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  70. In a word, WOW. Looking at the exterior, I, too, wondered where the monks were. Not inside, for sure! Wouldn't it be a different world if more men wanted a man cave like that? For me, the rooms over the stables are my favorites. (We can share.) I wonder what the owners will occupy themselves with now that the estate is complete - it must have been a consuming project for years. Still, it looks like only the top 1% of the 1% could do something like this, even if it is in Mississippi. Great job, Joni, appreciate all your hard work/play.

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  71. RE; Lynnstone

    Well, I loved all the pictures of this house, but I felt very troubled by the mix. This house certainly has an identity crisis going! The only Tuscan influences are on the outside, the columnades, and in the elevations. I loved these as you presented them looking through and around from the different elevations. I particularly liked the way the architect made the home look as if it was built on older foundations and even the entry stairs were well done with the grass platforms as one would see in ruins in Italy. Looking out and down into a deep court also gives the feeling of excavation as seen in the Amalfi in some of the cities that have explored their underlayments of previous centuries. Very well done.

    But then came the confusing part. I came to the interiors and truly thought I was in a different country. The interiors are purely Belgian/French with their soft colours, limestone floors, rustic woods, open kitchen shelving and the overall lack of strong color. Certainly not the stuff of the rich stone colors and reds and golds of Tuscany. A little of the French influence shows through in the delicacy of some of the chair legs and tables, but even though I love the pictures of the house, it really bothers me that there is such a diversion in style from outside to in. I know that the delicacy of color makes one look to the outside and the beautiful vistas, but the rich stone outside just doesn't go with the pale Belgian/French interiors. I love the interiors, but would really prefer them in a French or Belgian coat, not Tuscan. I love the exteriors that try to take me to Italy. I just do not love them together! It is a classic case of an architect's vision and an interior designer's vision not coming together.

    So I will continue to look at the pictures and just pretend they are two houses, which is what they should have been!

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  72. Wow. Being a native Mississippian......I love it and can't wait to find out who the owners are. Thanks for the post!

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    Replies
    1. Bernie Ebbers ex wife and her husband. Ashame that they did not choose to give back to their state community when enjoyed so much at a lot of innocent peoples expense.

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  73. Thanks for that post:) unbelievable!

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  74. The elephant is, well to be polite, over the top (and I don't mean that in a good way).

    The exterior looks like...I am gonna say it because I couldn't stop thinking it with every picture..an Olive Garden.

    Your take on it was as always a delight.

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  75. Simply spectacular!
    It would be difficult to narrow down the list of all that I love here.

    Thanks for the tour, Joni!

    P.S. I predict that this will be one of the most pinned posts of all time...

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  76. After reading so many comments and revisiting this exhaustive post, I have to say there is nothing like new money to screw up a design project. As I meandered through the pictures and narrative, I kept looking for Caesar and Cleo to suddenly appear in chariots at the front gate. Much to my disappointment they did not appear because even Caesar and Cleo know it's really all a phony attempt at attaining pedigree. I kept looking for the room that housed the ego of the owner and architect of this construction. The stone work is probably one of the ugliest I have yet to see on a design blog, the interior design falls short of the architecture which is not good as the designer had little to live up to. While many have said it is too large to be a cohesive rendering (and I agree), one has to wonder why such starkness and lack of subtlety is the over riding theme here. One also must ponder why so many found the stable one of the most attractive elements of the house. For some reason, I kept looking for a gladiator around every corner and for the one element missing from this preponderance of Italian architecture - a coliseum befitting the Roman army. It is a study in ugly stone, gaudy architecture, and an abysmal interpretation of Tuscan design, both internally and externally.

    Before anyone plays the class envy card, please be aware that I believe when one earns their wealth they should be able to spend it as they choose without apology. With that said, however, this house shows wealth, but is sorely lacking in taste. Can't think of a better location for it to exist than Mississippi.

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  77. No need to leave a ridiculus long comment..it's beautiful
    .period. thanks for sharing ..

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  78. Anon. 9:09, just because you are too inept to put your thoughts to writing should not negate someone else's opportunity to do so. You think it's beautiful, fine. You are one of 81 opinions here. What would you have preferred the comment to be two words "It Stinks". I suppose so. Some thoughts need mitigating, including those you don't agree with. Now, check your local community college for some writing courses. Sooner or later you too will be able to string two thoughts together.

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  79. What an amazing place. I recognize all the great materials (flooring , mantels, fountains, and doors) from Chateau Domingue in Houston. I wrote a blog several months ago on the owner, Ruth Gay. Ruth is one of a kind and has amazing taste. www.southernhousemouth.com

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  80. To anon 10:03..your hilarious! Now go get life, you obviously have none. Your the stalker who leaves negative comments on every blog. What a miserable person you are.

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  81. Ps. Your long winded comments bore me to tears...yawn!!!!

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  82. Joni, I so appreciate all of your work to bring us something so out of the ordinary.

    PLEASE take down the horrible post that an anonymous poster wrote about American Women. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this house or topic. Some sick mind is using this site to spew its wrath.

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  83. To Anonymous 10:03. Please direct yourself to a writing course before you deem yourself able to criticize another's writing.
    Among the errors on your short, snarky response are the following;
    1. Should read: You think it's beautiful? Fine.
    2. One should be 1 and 81 should be spelled out.
    3. Should write the following. . to be: two words, "It stinks"
    4. With is a preposition. Your statement should read . . .including those with whom you don't agree.
    5. At the start of the next sentence, there is no need
    for the comma after now.
    Now lay off the criticism of others' writing until you can be a worthy critic of the written word! Just saying. . .

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  84. I am surprised that no one has revealed who are the owners of Lynnstone. It was pretty easy to find. David and Kristie Nutt are the owners. He is a trial attorney and real estate investor. It was very interesting to find out who was Mrs. Nutt's former husband.
    It is certainly a beautiful estate. A bit too large perhaps. Still don't understand the elephant though.

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  85. No doubt an attorney part of the tobacco settlement.
    Joni your post is as breathtaking as the estate. Simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing and for all the free entertainment you provide.

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  86. Anon 1:16, thank you for the critique, but bear in mind that my reference to "stringing two sentences together" and "writing skills" was a about your comment that the post was long.

    1. I was not asking if you think it's beautiful. I was making a statement that you did think it was
    beautiful so it should have appeared: "You think it's beautiful". "Fine."

    2. Single numbers are written out, after the number 10, they are written as numerals.

    3. The comma that appears after the word "now" was put there as a pause.

    4. With respect to ending a sentence with a preposition, you are correct.

    Now go have a nice day at your day job.

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  87. Trial lawyer with a name McNutt - you can't make this stuff up.

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  88. Is kristie Nutt Bernie ebbers ex wife?

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  89. I love the stables!! Wish I had em!!

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  90. To anon 7:09. You clearly are an English major..boring..yawn, yawnnnnnnnnnn! Btw, I'm Beautiful young, fit, educated and wealthy. I don't have to work. I have all day to play & shop. So enjoy your miserable life. Mine is grand! hahahhahahahhahaahha

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  91. It looks like Kristie Webb Ebbers Nutt found the baby in the king cake after dropping off Bernie at the other "big house".

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  92. The great grandmother of my children lives in an Umbrian villa which dates from the 1400s and has Roman foundations. It is absolutely stunning but the feeling of the place is nothing like this. While it's full of some beautiful antiques, it's also full of signs of LIFE. It is very old and it looks very old and so "lived in" by generations on end.
    This house is very "well done" but it leaves me cold. It could have been so much better if the scale wasn't so off (really, is this an oligarch's Tuscan villa? It's silly). And while it's "correct" in it's use of materials and details, it's just off. A better reproduction than a standard McMansion but still a soulless reproduction.

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  93. Anon. 9:13, comic relief is also your forte. hahahahahaha! How long have your been drawing that state teacher's pension? Are you still saving for that big trip across the pond?

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  94. Anon. 9:36, your description of the Umbrian villa sounds lovely and most likely the reason you are put off by this rendering is that it is out of context with its geographical setting. I don't see many antiques here once you discount the various doors which can be made to look old quite easily if one selects the right wood. For some reason I feel like the family room sets the closest tone of a Tuscan home than almost any other room in the house. Other rooms are done well, some not so much, but the family room has a warmth which some of the others lack. From an architectural point of view, the Roman Temple made the house look silly. Despite its Tuscan style, this is a McMansion in the worst sense of the word.

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  95. New word in the lexicon of home construction: McNuttsion

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  96. Mississippi....who knew? The details, from the chair and sofa backs shapes that echo the arches to the wonderful ceilings are amazing. I would have a party every day (for charity) just to let others come and enjoy the place.
    BTW you seem to attract the worst Anonymous comments. They need to go write their own blogs if they have such strong opinions.

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  97. that picture of the house at sunset is sublime.

    i LOVE the painting in the photo of the front entrance. off all things? not that there aren't so many other things to love. very beautiful.

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  98. Absolutely stunning! Really, with the exception of the kitchens, I loved every picture that you posted of this gorgeous home. I am sure that building a house of this size required a lot of workers and provided jobs to many people over the course of the five years that it was built - and those families are grateful to have had the opportunity to work on such a beautiful home. Joni, I really appreciate the time you took to write this post and share these photos with the rest of us in cyberspace. Mille Grazie from an Italophile that enjoys your Francophile blog!

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  99. This is crazy amazing! It is amazing how they have made a house of this size feel so cozy. Can you imagine how fabulous a party would be there with all the outside space, courtyards, terrace. Amazing!

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  100. A little cold and unappealing as a private home, but it would make a fantastic boutique hotel/spa that I would stay in in a heartbeat! Do they never get cold weather in Mississippi?? Those stone floors make me cold just looking at them! XXOO with love from snowy New England ;-)

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  101. One of the best blogs so far. What a dream design job and budget!

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  102. anon 9:39, wow, it is so easy to rattle your cage or should I say jerk your chain. I volunteer for charities and chair fundraisers for a living. The perfect description of you would be the following: older, overweight, unattractive, divorced and bitter. I know your kind. You have nothing better to do than sit around surfing blogs just waiting for the oppotunity to lash out and insult because you are so damn unhappy. Go back to Europe, you are un-American and un-Godly. No one cares to listen to your BS! You need serious psychological help, please get it.

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  103. Linda - some of the rooms have radiant heating under them.

    It's SOOO funny how some hate the kitchen and others love it. I love it myself. Love it. Here are the rooms I loved - the dining room is my favorite, I really liked the interiors. The guest suite was to die for! crazy for it. The library is a dream come true for me.

    The living room is not a favorite room - just personal. Not crazy about the family room either. But those are the rooms without slipcovers, so of course they wouldn't be favorites.

    To the English mavens - I need you so badly to beta my stories!! I am so lacking that department I'm surprised no one mentions it. I slept through grammar classes and now I wished I hadn't.

    Welcome back anon. Why did I know you would be here spewing again?

    As for the owners, I'd guess that they have so much money, that this house really didn't make a dent in their wealth - so why not? I can't imagine it, but to each their own. I'm sure they are quite charitable and use the house for those events. I just kept thinking how beautiful it would be to have a party - have drinks served in the courtyard first, then go inside for a buffet set up on the terrace off the living room. A band could be playing outside and a piano inside. Imagine a wedding!!

    The bride walkingn down the colonnade to the courtyard for an outdoor ceremony? The the reception would be on the terrace. The honeymoon could be spent in the stables!!!

    to dream.

    thanks for all the comments - and yes, it did remind me of Windy Hill. Someone could write a book about this house too.

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  104. I love the ceilings and most of the architecture inside. I don't really care for the decor so much, it doesn't feel lived in at all and it simply looks like a palace that someone would visit, but not a home. I agree that the stables are the best decorated and most beautiful out of the whole place.

    The exterior doesn't give the feel that one would expect for the location. It doesn't match the interiors AT ALL. I agree that the decor inside has a french feel as others posted and Joni even pointed out pieces that were bought in France. I think either the decor needed to be changed to have more color in it to match the exterior some what or the exterior should have a more French vibe to match the interior.

    I also think the only room in the main house that feels like I would want to be in it for any length of time would be the family room. It's not as stark and cold feeling as the rest of the house. One would think they built this to rent it out for vacations or to rent for events, doesn't look like something that anyone would really want to live in. I wouldn't want to live in it. Monks working around there does come to mind.

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  105. Stunning. Joni, I wish we could all pile on a bus and you could take us on a guided tour in person. That would be so much fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this. The house is truly amazing.
    Jan

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  106. Anon. 4:12, your description could not be further from the truth. I am not old, divorced, over weight nor bitter. I am also not un-American - quite the contrary in fact. You, however, are a control freak who believes that yours, and yours alone, is the prevailing opinion of every post on this blog site. Nothing is further from the truth. One other poster went to the trouble of identifying the owners, including one poster who indicated that the wife was formerly married to Bernie Ebbers. You can look that up. It's pretty good reading if you are interested in putting securities fraud criminals behind bars. I bet you do make a living volunteering and raising charitable funds. Why that sanguine personality of yours would make anyone empty their pockets and their stomachs at the same time. I can see you now standing tall at the fried chicken dinner accepting your award for reaching this year's quota. Oh what a visual. Poedunk County thanks you and so do I.

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  107. Some of these comments directed at the owner(s) sound like nothing more than a scorned ex-wife to me.

    The home is beautiful. End of story.

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  108. oh brother here we go again.....snarking..jabbing..nasty-making-ugly
    comments by various anonymous posters.

    I think the anonymous at 1:26 is the same one who was so nasty on a prior comments section.
    she gives herself away by her m.o. --remarking something negative, pronouncing, being critical and telling people what to do.
    then she says " Just saying...."....[ hey get a new line that's a old one toots ]

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  109. shell, poor Anon 1:26 had no idea you would come aboard. Just love those sentences of yours: "remarking something negative, pronouncing, being critical and telling people what to do".... then she says 'just saying. . ."...[hey get a new line that's a old one toots]."

    Woe mama! Go have a drink girl. You actually may become more coherent.

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  110. Stunning! I picked up a very useful tip! In the guest sitting room the stone mantle is too small for the fireplace wall - the proportion is off had you centered it. The designer off set it and VOILA! It works - it's stunning - I love it! And will use it! Made my day!

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  111. Unbelievable. Stunning. Beyond words...the stable - I'm "coming back" as one of their horses!

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  112. Joni, thanks for all of your hard work. It was very interesting to look at. I can't say I love it. Parts of it, yes, but I can't quite get over the fact that it encompasses 27,000 SF. And seems really pretty bland for something that was supposed to evoke Tuscany. As others have pointed out, this will surely be bulldozed or abandoned in the years ahead unless someone can make it into a corporate retreat/conference center. But its location makes that unlikely.

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  113. anonymous at 6:04--that's YOU isn't it Just saying? That's what Ill call you from now on - "Just Saying" ha ahha! you're so unoriginal and so busted toots. So Glad I have got a doll like you to tell me what to do.

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  114. The dining room chandelier is FABULOUS! Do you know who makes it. Also, love the breakfast room chandelier. Thanks for sharing.

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  115. I'm sure there are things to like here, but I am so overwhelmed by the excess of the McMansion that it's hard to see. Joni, you wrote about these oversized amalgamations that people built and I thought you deplored them.
    I grew up in Arkansas (and we still have a home there) not far from this location, and to have this home where there is so much poverty and want seems so excessive, so pretentious that it doesn't matter how much the owners give to charity. While beauty is never inappropriate, this is not really beautiful.
    By the way, do you know about the mosquitos in MS; for an outdoor affair, they'd better find a lot of DDT!

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  116. Hi Joni,

    You may have spent 4 days on this amazing post but I just spent 4 hours going through it...and I am sure I am not the only one!

    I am not sure where to start, and I am sure the 118 people before me have said it all, so I may just stick to "wow". It is the most gorgeous house I have ever seen!

    A wonderful post, you should be very proud.

    Until next time, Tammy

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  117. Very nice and fantastic pictures keep it up i love this post this is awesome.......!!!!!!!

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  118. To Anon. 4:12, please be careful who you malign with your words, if I may quote, "The perfect description of you would be the following: older, overweight, unattractive, divorced and bitter." I happen to be one of many, I suspect, who is older and divorced. There will be others who will fall into the other categories of adjectives you swing like bludgeons. This forum is to post and share our comments on design, it's worthiness, it's appeal, etc., and not to personally attack other followers of this blog.

    Besides, when did any of these descriptives became so ugly that they could be used as weapons?

    B

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    1. Thank you. This forum is to share comments on design and not make snarky comments.

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  119. Nice post love your blog.This blog is awesome full of use full information that i was in dire need of. Thanks for this post. Keep it up.

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  120. Shell, you've got the wrong anon. I don't use the phrase "just saying". I never have and I never would. It's far too glib and plebeian.

    Anon 6:04

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  121. Absolute perfection dahhling! thank you for sharing.

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  122. anony 7:28 - what are you saying anything to me then? you took the bait so I know you are same anony that was so nasty the other day on another comments section. why would you bother addressing me unless it was YOU i was referring to? [ "Just saying" ] don't ever change honey - you are wonderful and adorable... !!

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  123. Ah, The Cote I know and love!...BEAUTIFUL post. Very inspiring!

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  124. By the way, does anyone know who the grey fabric with ivory design in the guest room is by?

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  125. shell, I only addressed the fact that your original diatribe was directed at an anon posting at 1:26 who used the phrase "just saying".

    You (try to follow along if you can, I know it's difficult), responded to an anon who posted at 6:04 who did not use "just saying". Keep your anons straight - just saying

    hahahah

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  126. Simply beautiful, Joni. What a gorgeous house and well-researched post!

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  127. @ 10:31- thanks loads honey you are tops in my book. so many of the anonymous comments on here are rancorous and one anonymous in particular used the phrase " just saying" a while back and again on this section. and that particular anonymous has an m.o. of being caustic and then she tells people what to do. I really can't be bothered to try and keep all the NASTY anonymous comments straight. YOU can do that if you want. I have better uses for my time. as far as i am concerned if you can't call yourself something [ sally, mary, suzie-q ] then you are going to be considered the same person if you post nasty stuff.

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  128. As George S. Kaufman said, "What God would have done if he'd had money"!
    Marion

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  129. Joni,
    Thank you for all your work and patience collecting the photos of a very interesting house. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
    I'm missing the soul of a home in the public rooms. Lots of well thought out design and pretty things. Know it's styled and miss the human aspect.
    Do appreciate the stables and guest rooms. And love the elephant even if she does seem a bit cooped up in the little court. Well, not really a little court, just little for an elephant. Above comment from a collector of elephants. ~No accounting for some folk's taste, is there?~
    Ta ta
    Oh, and Joni, please don't be concerned about the English. Your love of what you do and what you share is very evident. We get it. That's what is most important.
    ~Pat

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  130. It was fun and entertaining to read over some of these comments, almost lost my own train of thought! There are definitely things about it that are just beautiful and yet other parts that I do not feel are all in keeping with true Tuscan architecture (assuming that was the goal) and if it wasn't then its irrelevant. As an example the catering kitchen with its pure white cabinetry doesn't feel right in this house, the elephant, the living room drapes, but who am I to pick it apart? I don't want to be those that spoke with such fighting words.
    The many many things that overshadow a few of the shortcomings are tremendous. I think people need to play nice and realize that even if something is not their taste, they should try to point out the good or redeeming qualities and if they cant find a single one than they need to not say anything but some of these comments were so mean spirited and so hurtful to the eyes of those involved in this very labor intensive project. Everyone has a dream and a right to realize their dream, however big or small…..and I am happy for these people that they got to realize theirs, may it always be filled with much happiness, family and friends and love. Thank you Joni for putting together this post I can only imagine how incredibly hard you worked on it!

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  131. LOL! A Tuscan villa or a Tuscan village. Have these people actually been to Tuscany. Even the larger villas are quite humble in their size and decor. Even the most expensive antiques are brought down with country pottery, rustic fabric, wood, stone and cloth worn with age. It's the country after all. It's anti-flash, though often in great taste and surrounded by lovely things. I don't know what this monster is supposed to be, but clearly it's missed the mark.

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  132. I am astonished at what some people post, the sour grapes attitude is dissapointing. We live in a wonderful country that allows us to spend our money how we choose. There will always be someone who has more than you so why not just look at the pictures, enjoy the parts you like and do not worry about the parts you do not? We do not (yet) live in a communist country where everyone's money is taken to be distributed for the common good. This family earned their money, they can spend it however it pleases them. We have no idea about their charitable contributions nor is it any of our business. I enjoy looking at this blog for the design aspects not the political. Lets enjoy the beautiful pictures for what they are and skip the jealous nastiness please.

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  133. I agree with the anonymous person who said "people need to play nice and realize that even if something is not their taste, they should try to point out the good or redeeming qualities and if they cant find a single one than they need to not say anything but some of these comments were so mean spirited and so hurtful ..."

    there are way too many splenetic anonymous comments on here --ALL THE TIME - from obviously embittered people with too much leisure on their hands. If they hate something completely and can not find one single nice or positive thing to say, then fine, criticize - but realize you can be critical without being NASTY, condescending and arrogant. And if you are going to be nasty then make up a name for yourself so we can at least tell one nasty anonymous poster from another!
    christ!
    hahahah

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  134. Suzi Q, we do indeed live in a great country in the process of being dismantled, however. People should be able to buy what they earned legally whether it's in good taste or not. I don't think that is the issue really being discussed here. I think it's about the lack of tasteful restraint shown here which is the mark and pedigree of money hard earned and wisely spent. As pointed out above, the house looks like it was under the influence of a number of points of view not all of which culminated in a pure design. The catering kitchen, the dressing room, bath, etc., all look like they may have been designed by someone who didn't get the memo from Tuscany. Let's don't make the mistake by assuming that all people who build and occupy trophy homes also are charitable donors. All we have to do is look at some of our most lauded politicians to see that despite handsome incomes, their fist were often tightly closed to charity. Hopefully, the owners here are not one of those.

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  135. I rarely leave a second comment on a post, but I found this house to be so "intriguing" for lack of a better word that I actually drug my husband to the computer for his take on the house.
    He is actively involved in the construction of many "trophy" houses in Southern California as well as the landscaping. Many of which are amazingly forgettable.

    His thoughts: "Really lost me...."

    Huh? Really? Come on honey....anything?....anything...?

    He then said..."I love the setting, just don't get the house, way too much stone"

    OK...there you have it! No love for the man cave either...go figure?!

    But I loved this post Joni and I loved the comments related to the design.

    Everyone is truly entitled to their opinion and I hope we can keep it to just that and quit this silly dialog of nasty comments and back and forth finger pointing.

    As always, a treat to explore Cote de Texas!


    k

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  136. Let me just say this, every time i post a large house, half hate it. I get that. I'm personally not a fan of huge houses, but then I do love chats worth, high grove, etc.

    I must say, that I find it hard to see where all the sq footage is. There aren't that many rooms and they don't seem that big either. Maybe the barn and garage are included?

    I think it's a testament to the architect that the house doesn't look that big inside. You do realize in many parts, it's just one room deep?

    And anon, can u please tell me your favorite house or designer? I am curious to see what u like,

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  137. "shel" has been here SEVEN times to comment on this posting

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  138. Very nice post. I like your blogging techniques and have bookmarked this blog as found it very informative. Keep it up.

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  139. The elephant!
    And you're so right about the beautiful kitchen. Granite would have been dreadful.

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  140. Very nice post. I like your blogging techniques and have bookmarked this blog as found it very informative. Keep it up.
    Thanks for post.

    Inground Swimming Pool

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  141. This is sublime, exquisite, fabulous, perfect yet restrained and tasteful. Wow!!!!! Haven't read a word yet; I was just so floored by the pictures I had to comment. Pefection!

    Except for that awful elephant fountain. It's like a nightmare. The only other thing I didn't like (or understand) were the two porthole windows in the bath??? going back to read now....

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  142. 11:01 you must be "Just Saying" . . . .we don't know how many times YOU have been posting do we? No because you won't identify yourself. But I know it's you! You post anonymously because you don't want people to know how many times YOU are posting! ha ahah you are so busted "Just Saying". Get a life. Counting my posts. Please. Don't you have something better to do?

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  143. I just took a look at the Piazza della Minerva elephant obelisk referenced in a comment above and have to say that it is gorgeous. Something like that would have looked so much more appropriate than the Children's Hospital elephant fountain chosen by the homeowners.

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  144. shell, once again you shot your wad at the wrong anon. I suggest you either get a life or a better bow and arrow.

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  145. 9:41 - I suggest you GROW up and identify yourself. Quit hiding your identity. All nasty anonymous posts are the same person as far as I am concerned. Anyone anal enough to count posts on a comment section of a blog is in need of mental help. Why don't you get some mental help for yourself? Go to the free clinic nearest you!!! Get some fresh air and sunshine and get away from your computer!

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  146. Where did the elephant come from? It could have been a give away from a Mississippi design blog or a stand by your man token of appreciation from Bernie. Seriously, it's beyond silly unless one of the owners has an elephant fetish or a collection we have not otherwise seen.

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  147. Joni, in the January, 2012 special issue of AD, there was a feature entitled "Sense & Sensibility". The featured home is owned by a couple in Richmond, Va., and the interiors were designed by Bunny Williams. There is not one room that isn't breathtaking. Although I have not seen her published recently, Gerri Bremmerman is a designer whose work I have admired as well. There are others, some of which you have featured here such as David Easton.

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  148. Estou em êxtase! Fenomenal. Nunca tinha visto nada semelhante. Você definiu perfeitamente, "a Casa dos Sonhos" de qualquer mortal. Obrigada por ter feito uma postagem tão linda! Foi um prazer navegar em seu blog. Abraços.

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  149. This is fantastic.... just finishing an extensive build myself I have a tremendous appreciation for the painstaking labor of love this obviously was by not only the owners but the architect, designer and all trades involved. I know full well that expert woodworkers, masons and the like are a rarified group and having been doing this for four years, I have such a new found appreciation for this level of detail and expertise.

    I couldn't help but read over some of the comments, and was floored by how blantantly rude some were in speaking out (in rather harsh terms) against what they see as the lack of integrity and authenticity of the house. What I don't understand is why bother saying anything if you don't have anything nice to say. I say it with all due respect.....whats the point in lashing out and in turn no doubt hurting someones feelings? I fail to understand the motive other than tearing someone down.

    There are many beautiful elements to this house, I love the "man cave", library, family room, all the bedrooms and the setting is other worldly. What a gorgeous setting!

    May the new owners enjoy this home with their loved ones for many many years to come! And congrats to "the team" (and it does take a substantial team to get a house like this done) for a successful undertaking!

    Joni....great job here, I can see you put a lot into creating this wonderful post and it shows. It was really a feast for every sense:)

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  150. Not sure which is worse, the barbed backbiting between posters, having nothing to do with the original post, or the saccharin preciousness of those who feel an honest critique is akin to someone purposely setting out to hurt another person's feelings. It's a DESIGN blog, not a forum for a cat fight nor a blind cheering section. There is such a thing as constructive criticism and honest difference of opinion. Maybe that's what is wrong with this country as a whole these days, no sense of moderation and respect for other viewpoints. I suspect that if we were all in the same room, facing one another, few would dare to be so vitriolic.

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  151. I love the kitchen. A Tuscan villa would have this sort of higgledy-piggledy mismatched kitchen. As Joni pointed out, a perfect, streamlined modern kitchen of the kind you find in the US just wouldn't be seen in a real Italian villa.

    Parts of this house I absolutely love, sometimes it feels like an old church, other times a monastery and I also love the stone floors.

    I love these big posts Joni!

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  152. Just a note for all the house is not 27,000 sf. Not sure where that number originated, but it is incorrect. Great article.

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  153. There are parts of the house I adore, parts of it I don't, but overall I think it's pretty dang amazing. The closets and the man cave are oh so cool and there are lots of pretty living spaces I would love to spend time in.

    What's with all the Mississippi bashing? Apparently, some of you have a skewed vision of what the state is really like...there are some truly beautiful homes there.

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  154. I have some family friends who live in Mississippi in an exquisite French home. Mississippi has some of the most beautiful antebellum homes that are fabulous tourist destinations. Were this home built in a traditional style with elements of the colonial style, it would have seemed more fitting for the geographical area. I think the reference to this home being built in Mississippi is due in part to what it's future marketability might be and what happens when the owners no longer live there. How many people in this state with its per capita income can afford this home? This isn't New York or Connecticut. This is not a put down. It simply is an economic fact.

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    1. Those were my thoughts exactly when I heard about it. MS doesn't have many wealthy people who would spend this much on a house.

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  155. Anon 9:41 - pick up your dictionary/thesaurua and look up sesquipedalian, that would be you. Your verbose comments are ridiculus and unnecessary. The point of communication is for others to understand what you are saying..just saying..lol

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  156. Anon. 9:03, your reference to one being verbose certainly does not apply to the comment posted at 9:41. It's good to see that in addition to design, you have been inspired to pick up your dictionary post 50 years from high school. I am a big believer in continuing education, and you have indicated more than you know that "shovel ready jobs" really do exist. Yes, the point of communication is for others to understand, and it is disturbing to think that anyone posting here is so intellectually limited that they don't understand the comments which have been posted. I really thought that illiteracy was no longer an issue in this great country, but alas it isn't so. Perhaps we will take your cue and write in single syllables from now on and use the old Dick and Jane reading books from the 1940s as our authoritative reference. After all, we are into antiques, right? See Dick's beautiful house. Jane loves the color blue.Dick and Jane's friend, Anon. 9:03, can't write in multi-syllabic words. Oops! Just Sayin!!!

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  157. I am feeling very fresh and comfortable after reading your article. Nice work and keep doing well.

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  158. Nice pics! Your pictures are very valuable to me and just make it as my reference. Keep blogging with new post! Unique and useful to follower.

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  159. Hi,

    Very nice and useful information shared, this blog is very good to acknowledge yourself and to remain updated, especially your writing style is very attractive, keep it up.

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  160. What a beautiful, interesting and entertaining post Joni. You put some major time into it, for sure. I am blown away by this house! My favorites are the kitchens (did I see my dream glass door refrigerator? Yes!) The library, oh my! And the stables and guest house. It was a feast for the eyes. Pure fantasy! Thanks for such a lovely post. I'm coming back tonight to savor it again! ~Delores
    PS: Those anonymous commenters are a buzz kill!
    Go the ---- away! Right?

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  161. anon 9:55 I;m not sure why I am even wasting my time on someone like you, however, do you realize how many posters you have offended with your snarky comments and tirade? and what have you accomplished by doing so? we come to blogland to escape, to see beauty and dream. Your comments are always negative. You may think you are humorous but you are just pathetic, condesending and rude. You are a textbook definition of a narcissist. YOU have to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and my what an ugly sight that must be. I'm sure we will unfortunately encounter your self-indulgently verbose comments elsewhere, until then..tootles.

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  162. Hi, Joni,
    Thanks for the painstaking work of making the photos make sense to your readers. It helps so much to have you explain how the house unfolds as it is entered. And, as always, I love to hear your take on the design of both the house and its interiors. Another wonderful, intriguing and thoughtful blog post at Cote de Texas.
    Just two quick requests-- First, would you please reconsider, as many blogs do, requiring that posters register with a name rather than comment anonymously? I am a lawyer so I am all for a lively debate but anonymity makes it harder for the discussion to take place between those leaving comments. And, I believe that this policy might raise the level of the debate which we should all favor.
    Second, would you please do a post sharing your current favorite blogs and/or blog posts? You used to do this at year end and those posts introduced me to some wonderful blogs that I might never have heard of before.
    Thanks--YOU are the best!
    AnneHH

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  163. Yes-yes Joni please do as AnneHH suggests and require posters to at least pick a name for themselves. I am pretty sure most of the nasty remarks are from "Just Sayin'" but if she would call herself "Justine" or "Always a pain in the Ass" then we could at least refer to her remarks. And as someone else said if we were all the same room I doubt anyone would be so vitriloic as Just Sayin' mostly is.

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  164. Who is buried there? It looks like a mausoleum.

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  165. It's Annelle----and she does ooooooh such beautiful things. Her store in Jackson Mississippi is amazing. Wish I lived closer so I could frequent more.

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  166. Anon. 1:04, you seemed to have found a solution to its long term use. Some have suggested it might be bulldozed or turned into a country club. As to who are what might be buried there. I suspect some deep, dark secrets going back a few years.

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  167. more info about the stables, please! my husband and i are moving to aiken, sc in june 2012 and we would like to build a barn with an apartment up. this is the most balanced, exquisitely proportioned one i've ever seen. the massing is perfect, the simplicity so that the materials could shine,is very hard to find. we have looked at many barn/apartment kits, plans, builders. etc. i already wrote to the architect asking if they sold the barn plans (seems slim since this is a custom job but i have noticed many southern architects later sell custom plans as pre-designed stock plans in their portfolio if you don't build too close to the original). do you have any pull with the architect? please please?

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  168. Why is everyone so stunned this is in Mississippi? We have always had beautiful and expansive antebellum mansions and continue to have many residents with money. Well-travelled wealthy people don't just live in Texas, California, Aspen,CO etc. And to call this home "tacky" is just absurd. This home is amazing, whether or not you like it or approve of it. And the kitchen probably holds more storage than meets the eye--I've spent time in French and Italian Kitchens, and they do not use overhead cabinetry. Plus this house has a catering kitchen. All in all, I found this to be fascinating and worth the trip via Cote de Texas; thank you!

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  169. there are certainly some beautiful pieces in the home, unfortunately fine art was not among them. the stark white was a strange color choice for a MacTuscan pile. the architecture was absolutely was beyond bad. the only thing worse was the stone work where no attempt to camoulflage that it was all facing slates instead of attempting to maintain the look of actual stone blocks. the modern windows were atrocious. one can't take a vernacular style that is normally modest, plain, and rural then expand it to some primitive mcmansion size. ms primos design work is usually of a much richer variety. this looks like she was stopped at the half way point. this place is like a multi-million dollar builder showhouse in the atlanta suburbs. i cannot believe more people didn't pick up on the hideous stone fabrication particularly in the arches and in the lack of architraves for the columns. a shame to spend that kind of money and have 27,000 ft of mediocrity.

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  170. "there are certainly some beautiful pieces in the home, unfortunately fine art was not among them. the stark white was a strange color choice for a MacTuscan pile. the architecture was absolutely was beyond bad. the only thing worse was the stone work where no attempt to camoulflage that it was all facing slates instead of attempting to maintain the look of actual stone blocks. the modern windows were atrocious. one can't take a vernacular style that is normally modest, plain, and rural then expand it to some primitive mcmansion size. ms primos design work is usually of a much richer variety. this looks like she was stopped at the half way point. this place is like a multi-million dollar builder showhouse in the atlanta suburbs. i cannot believe more people didn't pick up on the hideous stone fabrication particularly in the arches and in the lack of architraves for the columns. a shame to spend that kind of money and have 27,000 ft of mediocrity."

    I couldn't have said this any better - you're dead on.

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  171. Wowzer...that is done to perfection, like your posts as usual fantastic job Joni

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  172. Great post Joni! I worked with the designer, Annelle Primos and she is amazing. She was juggling lots of different factors and truly did a great job of making all involved with the project happy. It was so much fun to bring pillows to the house because (as you can imagine) there was always another gorgeous spot where one more pillow looked fabulous. I was thrilled to have my pillows included in this incredible project!

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  173. Impressive but with all his money I would have hired Ken Tate instead. He would have made it architecturally perfect in every way.
    The “temples” on the front are non-existent in any Tuscan villa I've ever seen, the stilts on the colonnade too high and the pitch of the roof too high.

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    1. I am in the process of finishing a home that has taken four years. I used Lewis Graeber out of Jackson who is an AMAZING artist! In my opinion, you could not give me this house!!! It is very cold. To each his own!!! However, the land is unreal! Pretty Mississippi property!

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  174. To: "Anonymous, Nov. 21, 2012 10:02 AM" - I could not agree more!!! Ken Tate is a far better architect, and a much more pleasant person! Ken is a dream! Based on what I have seen of Kevin Harris' work, I honestly can't say one good thing about his talent or ability. Working with him had to have been pure misery! What he says took 5 years, had to have felt like 25 to the owner's, who were anxiously awaiting for their home!

    What makes this house so beautiful is the CRAFTSMANSHIP and the attention to every detail the Builder took along with the ever so seamless flow of Design, which is absolutely breathtaking! It is obvious the Builder and Designer were in sync. It is magical how the workmanship compliments and enhances the interior! Comfortable, yet elegant and inviting. Not at all overpowering. It's not easy to make rooms of that size feel so warm and proportionate.

    The photographer did a really great job of showing off the highlights. However, you really can't get a true scope of the scale of the home unless you are standing on the property, or actually inside the home. I am in awe of the attention to detail, as there is so much more than what is in these photographs, if you can believe that! The Builder and Interior Designer had to have worked very hard to recreate some of things they did in order to make them look just as authentic and match the antique finishing materials used, such as the doors, tiles, hardware, etc. I could go on and on about their abilities and talents. However, the owners did know exactly what they wanted and how they wanted the house to feel. They did work closely, very hands-on, with the Builder and the Interior Designer. So, a lot of credit for the overall outcome of the finished product does go to the owners! They are people who obviously have great taste and can afford to have what they want, exactly like they want. They were very patient, as it was a long a weary project. The outcome has got to be worth the wait. After all, the best things are worth waiting for!

    Oh, and as for another comment made earlier concerning the "stone work." This is more than stone facing slates, as you put it. Those are actually stone blocks! So large and heavy, in fact, that one man can't lay a single piece by himself. This is a true case of "Looks are Deceiving!" Had to have taken a great stone mason to pull off making them so aligned and perfect that he made it look as simple as laying "facing stone." Yet another example of the quality of this home...proportion, proportion, proportion!

    But, back to you, "Anonymous, Nov. 21"... It's a down right shame Ken wasn't given the chance to design this home. Given the owner's taste, budget and knowledge, along with the expert craftsmanship and interior design, no doubt, would have been a true piece of very fine and REAL ARCHITECTURE!!

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  175. It is amazing to me how many people waste their energy on commenting negative opinions about this gorgeous home. I personally believe this estate is absolutely amazing! It is simply beautiful inside and out. For those who want to post unnecessary-negative comments, my suggestion to you is to build your own mansion and hire who you want! The owners of this fabulous home had the right to hire whomever they wished to create this one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Just saying

    James
    Madison County, MS

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  176. You seem to miss the point of the exercise. Most of the "negative" comments were critical observations based on sound design principles, not an exercise in negativity for it's own sake. Without the expression of different points of view, encouraged by the blogger in allowing readers the ability to comment, it would merely be a case of force-feeding of propaganda. You are entitled to your opinion about this residence; at least acknowledge that others are equally so entitled to their point of view. The airing and sharing of differences of opinion, hopefully without rancor, is what builds greater understanding and knowledge.

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  177. Sure don't look like the type of place you can walk around in your underwear or sit on the couch and fart all day. no thanks.

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  178. I love the way American hearts break in front of such great fakes!
    Come to Tuscany to breath the real Tuscany!
    ...and next time take an italian designer...

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  179. This house is absolutely breath taking. Kudos to the architect and designer.

    I sure hope they chose a comfortable bedroom suit for the master bedroom since Mrs. Cooper-Webb-Ebbers-Nutt has to sleep in the bed she made.

    It is truly a shame to know this beauty and talent is wasted on someone so undeserving.

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  180. What an exquisite, incredible, stunning house! And that setting with the landscaping and the views - sublime!
    How I wish this was an incredibly high-end small luxury boutique hotel - I would visit immediately and stay for a week!

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  181. Granite is second in hardness only to diamond. Granite is the best available solid kitchen countertop. Unlike marble, engineered and laminated countertops, granite countertops are made from natural stone using modern equipment and highly skilled craftsmanship

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  182. Wow it really looks like the house and the setting are in Italy. Absolutely blew my mind. What a treat to see.online bed sale UK

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  183. I have been to a party at this house. These pics do no justice for this mansion. I was so depressed when I had to go back to my house lol

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  184. Faux France x Roman Villa x USA excess! Nouveau riche!

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