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Equestrian Estate

Exclusively Yours Magazine

Nov. 2007

Spread across the 300 acres of Saddlebrook Farms are rolling hills dotted with lovely homes and long expanses of black, four-board Kentucky fencing. Driving past the green pastures with grazing horses, you begin to feel transported to the beautiful Kentucky countryside. A turn onto one of the private driveways brings you to your destination—a beautiful Country French Manor home.

The owners of this unique home spent years planning customizing and creating every detail of this magnificent estate. “We really enjoyed creating this home,” said the homeowner, whose husband spent three years overseeing all the intricate details of the construction of the main home. “Everything is custom made by some of the finest craftsman,” he added.

The property’s 12 acres include a 7,000 plus sq. ft. main home, a horse stable with pasture areas, a large carriage house, manicured lawns and landscaping and three separate outside patio areas for entertaining. Backdrop to the home are the 200 feet of sandy frontage on Ashippun Lake in the town of Oconomowoc. This quite, spring-fed lake offers a sandy bottom, crystal clear water and room for boating and water-skiing, which the family enjoys all summer long.

Ashippun Lake has been described as a hidden jewel, a pleasant lake without the big lake hassles. “It’s like living at your own resort,” he said. “With the land, the lake, the horses and the indoor pool, I don’t know of another property in the lake country that has all this plus privacy.”

A stately horse stable and carriage house, both constructed with reclaimed Chicago pink brink and cedar shake roof, match the main residence. The stable is heated and fully equipped for horses with four box stalls, embellished in wrought iron and brass trim and lined with quaint coach lamps. A generous size office welcomes you with knotty pine fireplace and paneling, striking brick floor and a half bath.

Next to the office, the extra large tack room can hold all the necessary horse equipment and is presently home to a stately 1890’s Victoria carriage, which stands ready for a trip around town. Also included are feed room and a large hay storage area on the second floor.

The guest or carriage house next to the stable provides a wonderful place for in-laws or visitors. Through the elegant beveled glass doors a large living area with a cathedral ceiling and cast stone fireplace boasts a wonderful view of the main house. And beyond, the dining room displays an elegant antique French chandelier, one of the many throughout the guest and main house. The kitchen, with knotty pine cabinets and terra cotta floor, offers a comfortable window seat overlooking the back of the property. Two master bedroom suites on the main floor and upper level feature luxurious marble baths and walk-in closets that provide ample room for guests to make themselves at home.

Part of the stunning grandeur of the main house is its architectural beauty. Colors from the reclaimed Chicago pink brick complement the cast stone fashioned around the entrance and ornamental balustrade, and the many different roof lines offer intrigue. Inside, ornate French antiques line the foyer with its cream colored French limestone floor. The walls and ceilings throughout the home are embellished with hand plastered decorative molding giving this a true Country French Manor look.

A magnificent three-story winding staircase was “one of the most difficult things to accomplish,” said the homeowner. The structure was first made with steel, and then capped with French limestone, which was carefully cut to size in France. A delicate scroll pattern done in wrought iron with brass embellishments repeats throughout.
The library is lined with rich walnut paneling and antique equestrian paintings. A hand painted leather screen and beautiful antique marble fireplace stand at opposite sides of the room, which is furnished with two antique desks and a leather sofa and upholstered footrest.

Next to the library is the main floor master suite, decorated in creamy white from the walls to the floor to the furniture and includes beautifully applied French moldings. Through its double doors is a spacious balcony to enjoy the views of the lake and surroundings. The master bath is a work of art beginning with the seven-foot tall stained glass peacock window over the whirlpool. Its hand-cut marble floor has accents of sienna marble and beautiful blue lapis. Custom designed faucets are decorated with gold and lapis accents and custom mirrors line the walls above the sinks and the large dressing table.

Centrally located is the great room adorned with wood paneling and an intricately carved fireplace, which were purchased at an auction from an old French chateau. From the 26 foot, vaulted barrel ceiling hangs an enormous antique French chandelier, which can be lowered with the touch of a button.

“It’s a formal room that we’ve furnished comfortably,” the homeowner said. A large couch and two sets of upholstered chairs all in muted jewel tones, provide a favorite place for the family to watch television. (The TV is hidden behind the paneling.) The floor is hand-scraped Versailles parquet, blending well with the paneling.
In one corner of the room is a 1922 Steinway grand player piano, with a striking art deco painting reminiscent of the 1920’s hanging above it. A beautiful French armoire that conceals a bar, stands next to the piano. The room’s most amazing features are the 18 ft. floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire west side of the room, creating a very large viewing area to watch the seasons go by. The windows have automatic blinds, which can soften the light coming through with the flip of a switch.

The extra large kitchen area includes a breakfast table with chairs and a seating area in front of a cast stone fireplace. And, as in the great room, the kitchen enjoys a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. “This is my favorite room,” the homeowner said. “The view from these windows really makes me feel like I’m outside. I’ve never been a fan of winter,” she continued, “but when I can watch winter through these windows while I’m working in the kitchen and nice and warm inside—it’s really beautiful.”

Amenities such as a generous=size center island with two sinks, built-in double ovens, a six-burner gas cook top, a warming drawer and a Sub-Zero full-sized refrigerator and full-sized freezer make cooking a pleasure. Soft shades of brown blanket the room with its glazed maple cabinets, speckled granite topped counters and tumbled marble accents set against the Italian limestone floor.

Off the kitchen is a three-season screened porch with a limestone and brick floor, lots of room for seating and a cast stone fireplace that matches the one in the kitchen area. The main floor has two powder rooms, a utility room filled with cabinets and countertops and the family “locker room.” This storage place is perfect for an active family and includes three locker spaces with a hanging area for coats, a drawer below and cabinets above.

The upper level offers three bedroom suites with full marble baths and walk-in closets. Two of the bedrooms offer a parapet allowing double doors to be opened to let in wonderful summer breezes. Also on the second floor is an amazing adaptable 1,000-sq.-ft. bonus room. Currently, a special place for the couple’s two children to relax, it offers a large billiard area, theater room with a full projection system which discretely hides the controls behind a poster and an extra large gaming area.

But the home’s most captivating space is the Greco-Roman pool area in the lower level. Surrounded by 22 white columns and 20 pairs of French doors, many with leaded glass and mirrors, you’re given the illusion that you’ve been jettisoned to Rome. With the touch of a button in the master suite, the eight-person hot tub’s heater can be switched on allowing the tub to warm while you make your way downstairs. An electric pool cover which fully extends offers safety when the pool is not in use.

Heated, honed marble floors with green Malachite insets and a fabulous 10 ft. cast stone fireplace are impressive amenities. Off the poolroom is a handy exercise room ready for all your workout equipment and a window that allows plenty of light to filter through.

Whether you need to change after a swim in the pool or want a shower after a dip in the lake, a large steam shower, dressing area and a full kitchen, located next to the pool room, are a wonderful convenience.
“We’ve incorporated the elegance and craftsmanship of a historic home with the amenities that you gain from a new house,” said the homeowner. “Plus, we wanted to build a house with a timeless look,” This home adapts easily to any situation—from a small, casual family gathering—to a large formal affair—it’s truly a home make for all occasions.


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