CHARLOTTE, NC – 24 May, 2016 – Located within a 40 minute drive of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a magnificent Tuscan inspired estate. The masterpiece contains a total of 7,890 SF with 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths, stunning pool with a custom cabana, an additional guest house and horse barn. The home is sited on 16.39 acres with an additional 27 acres available with a site for a lighted helicopter pad. Current offering price $2,200,000.
Photo tour of the home: Click Here.
A Tuscan Villa Under the Catawba Sun
Rounding the bend on a quiet road outside Charlotte, a driveway unfurls like a pebbled carpet. At the end, nestled among old oaks, an Italian villa shimmers under a crystal blue sky.
From the stucco walls to the ivy-encrusted courtyards, the property drips with the richness of classic Renaissance architecture. This is not by accident.
After spending years traveling throughout Italy on business, the owner fell in love with Tuscany and sought to bring its essence home to North Carolina. Using photographs, sketches, and a creative approach that often defied conventional methods, he directed the building of the structure and its interior in 2003.
Custom work and imported material abound inside and out of the stunning villa and its accompanying three-car carport and guesthouse. To start, the exterior is authentic stucco over a base of 30-inch square slabs of concrete one-inch thick, instead of the wood base typical of American stucco.
The front courtyard
A one hundred-year-old gate guards the way into the front courtyard. The relic was a discovery on a journey through an Italian mountain town. Rather than refinish it, in order to nurture the antique feel of the estate, the owner left the turquoise paint curling in waves off the rusted iron bars.
A sea of pebbles swirls into the courtyard. The owner was told he could have black pebbles or gray pebbles, but not both. So, he hired a cement mixer and created his own black and gray mixture. Statues and stone planters ring the courtyard, and at the center resides a 200-year-old fountain, purchased from an Italian stonemason outside of Verona. The stonemason was also selling several statues of women draped in robes. However, in the Renaissance style, the robe fell away from one shoulder.
“That’s just not going to go in Newton,” the owner thought.
So, he commissioned two fully clothed statues in keeping with Southern American sensibilities and brought the stone maidens home to watch over the fountain. Behind these, raised garden beds filled with flowers and ornamental shrubbery line the brick wall surrounding the courtyard.
Entering the villa
The villa’s main entrance is through richly stained double doors. These were replicated from a photograph the owner snapped in Bologna and were the last work of art completed by a 78-year-old master cabinet builder with the historic M.G. Crouch Lumber Company.
Imported Italian tile covers the entry floor and the potting room, with a herringbone-style wood flooring in the piano and dining rooms. In the dining room, intricately embroidered French silk drapes made in England hang in graceful folds the entire length of the wall.
The walls in the entry and piano room are finished with a rough plaster and painted in a rustic style with warm, earthy red tones by an artist flown in from Boise, Idaho for his unique methods. In the kitchen, timbered ceilings tower over cabinets of cypress from the North Carolina coast.
“I wanted a massive fireplace,” the owner says of the kitchen’s wood-burning fireplace, whose heat permeates the ground floor in the winter. He imported an 8,000-lb block of soapstone for the entry tile and used the broken pieces to frame the stone fireplace.
French doors in the study and two more in the kitchen open out onto the patio and courtyard to allow for comfortably hosting large cocktail parties, rain or shine. Upstairs, three more sets of French doors open onto a more intimate awning-covered stone terrace.
The walls were built on 2×12 studs to create an inset look for the windows, similar to what the owner encountered in Tuscan homes. Also in keeping with the European style are 15-inch baseboards throughout.
A cherry stairway leads up to a second floor hallway covered in diagonally laid reddish-gold heart pine. To add centuries onto a new floor, the owner had the boards painted over in brown, then sanded, leaving behind only what paint had filtered into cracks and nail holes. The result was the look of an historic beauty.
The attic enhancements include awning windows inspired from farmhouse visits and five-foot walls providing for ample storage. A back stairway, calling to mind servants’ quarters, winds down to a finished basement, which has a full bath and a changing room for guests entering from the pool.
The rear courtyard
On the patio is another fireplace inlaid with 200-year-old decorative tiles depicting a boy and his horse in bright reds and blues. The owner discovered these tiles at an antique market on the backside of town on a trip to Valencia, Spain.
“They were handmade in that area,” he says. “There’s no more of these in the world.”
The patio steps down into a courtyard laid in stone. Embedded in a sidewall are a cluster candle niches from a 400-year-old monastery in Armenia. Boston ivy winds up stone pillars and laces across the courtyard walls, lending a magical air to the courtyard. In the fall, its leaves turn a vibrant red for three weeks, before the dropping off and leaving behind a beautiful network of veins.
“To me, it’s like nature’s artwork,” the owner muses.
The lavish gardens
The lavishly landscaped grounds flow out from the villa with an ivy-covered arch and pergola between patches of flowers set to bloom throughout the season. In front of the guest cottage, three types of apple trees form a romantic arbor in two rows leading to Georgia Belle peach trees.
“The best tasting peach you’ll ever eat,” the owner says.
Chickens wander past knockout roses, oak leaf hydrangeas, elephant ear hostas, peonies, oriental lilies, fig trees, and cherry trees while discreet lights at the bases of trees illuminate the grounds at night.
Beauty sat bathing
Surrounding the pool is a stone patio painted and pressure washed to an antique finish. The bottom of the pool is painted black, an idea taken from a friend’s house in the Hamptons, which makes the water look clearer. An underground heating unit warms the waters, making even a January swim enticing.
Brick steps lead up to a custom-built cabana, whose peaked roof and pillars give the entire area the feel of a Roman bathhouse. A local artist painted the mural covering the inside walls of the cabana, based on a photograph of the owner’s last trip to Italy.
“That’s the house I stayed in.” He points to a farmhouse on a hill rising above olive trees and vineyards. “I could see the ocean from there.”
The guest cottage
On one stay in Italian farm country, the owner encountered a three-car carport with living quarters for the caretaker. The photo he snapped and the sketch on his legal pad became the basis for his own carport and guesthouse.
A slate roof covers the structure, and the exterior walls are fitted with cedar shingles reminiscent of Swiss chalets. While wired for doors, the carport has open archways with beautiful dark custom-cut boards lining the back wall. This is the same wood that was used to construct the door on the attached one-car garage, the style of which leads one to wonder whether an 18th century king’s carriage or a 21st century businessman’s automobile is parked inside.
The guest cottage takes on dreamy, fairytale feel, with reddish-gold Mexican tile and countertops of galvanized tin. Heart pine covers the floors upstairs. French doors open out to a patio on the lower level and a terrace on the second level.
The helicopter pad
The property encompasses about sixteen acres, but horse trails lead past a slate-roofed horse barn through an additional 27 available acres of hundred-year-old pin oak, white oak, chestnut oak, red oak, and hickory trees.
“This is like your own little hunting paradise,” the owner says, mentioning the wild turkey and deer that regularly travel through the property.
A meadow opens up by the creek, intended for the installation of a helicopter pad. This would allow a convenient arrival from the airport to this unique treasure, hidden in the heart of Catawba County.
(Full article credit: kellyzientek.com)
The Zientek Group is affiliated with Ivester Jackson Distinctive Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate. The Zientek Group provides high-end customer service & marketing options for clientele with real estate needs in Charlotte, NC. Clientele includes C level executives, members of the NASCAR community, relocations and International investors.
An exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate (www.christiesrealestate.com), Ivester Jackson brokers manage over 250 million dollars in luxury and investment property annually, and have successfully closed over a billion dollars in real estate transactions. The company is trusted by the area’s most discriminating clientele, and features one of the most aggressive and knowledgeable teams of brokers in the region. Look for Ivester Jackson Properties in issues of The Robb Report, at DupontRegistry.com, and other fine providers of luxury real estate content. The company serves CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies, NASCAR racing professionals, professional athletes, and many of the area’s leading financial industry executives.
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Company Name: The Zientek Group | Ivester Jackson Distinctive Properties
Contact Person: Eric A. Zientek
Country: United States