When a couple sets out to create the home of their dreams, everything has to be perfect. So when a home situated on the banks of the Harpeth River south of Franklin grew from the ground up, its owners wanted it to fit the land on which it sits and be expressive of their love of the country setting.
Evocative of farmhouses that grew organically to hold generation after generation of a family, this home is less than a year old. But its flagstone porches, beamed living room, and spaciousness speak of generations at work.
The approximately 12,000 square foot home, reached along a winding drive beyond the horses that give the residence its flavor, is welcoming as a farm home should be, and grand enough for entertaining.
Surrounded by covered porches in the front and one side, it features a drive-through passage to the back, while the four-car garage’s second story offers passage back to the main house.
The foyer greets guests with a glimpse of the study to one side and the dining room to the other, while the living room opens expansively to a wall of windows along the rear of the home.
Gunter Woodworking, Inc. joined the design team for the home a couple of years before it was completed, and their custom woodworking and cabinets can be found throughout the house. A small, locally-owned and family operated business, GunterWoodworking’s founder is Lanny Gunter who began his career about 30 years ago.
Today his skills range from creating a mahogany bookshelf surround and mantle for this home’s study, as well as building the custom desk designed to showcase the wood’s values and reflect the room’s design.
The great room’s high ceilings are accented with beams taken from the home that was originally built on the property. Its stone fireplace is surrounded by custom cabinetry, shelves and storage for kindling in handsomely designed, pull-out drawers. The knotty alder is stained a rich honey color and the shelves are wired to accommodate an expansive collection of Department 56 villages and accessories during the Christmas season.
Twelve-foot ceilings create a spacious setting for the study which was designed to reflect the warmth and professionalism of the owner. Mahogany was utilized to create a custom floor-to-ceiling mantlepiece and custom bookshelf surround on two walls. Gunter also designed an executive desk the details of which compliment the room.
Off the great room lies the dining room and beyond it the spacious kitchen featuring custom-built cabinetry in rustic knotty alder, stained and glazed. Coordinating panels cover the built-in refrigerator and dishwashers and other hidden workhorse spaces such as a warming drawer and refrigerator drawers in the island.
The smooth finish of the granite countertops is countered by the textured appearance of the rough stone of the backsplash. A chandelier over the painted and glazed island adds sparkle to the room, while a white farmhouse sink and simple pendant lights over the bar keep the feeling comfortable and casual.
As one passes from the master bedroom along the hall to the master bath, the focal point is a dresser set against a wall of genuine onyx. This favorite piece of furniture was used as the inspiration for the custom storage incorporated along this hallway to the bath. Here are “his and hers” morning bars and armoires built into niche spaces opposite each other created just for this special cabinetry. In between the morning bar and armoire are doors opening to a very spacious closet for each spouse, complete with a custom island created and finished to compliment the cabinetry in the master bath suite. Within the bath itself each spouse also has a custom vanity with onyx countertop. All of the cabinetry in this area is finished with a rich cherry stain.
Other features on the main floor of the home include the custom-built butler’s pantry outfitted in rustic knotty alder cabinetry with a wine cooler and a china cupboard. Custom cabinetry also plays a major role in the laundry room that includes granite countertops. Gunter’s expertise was also called into play in the creation of a custom-built screen door for the screened porch furnished for casual living and a view of the expansive grounds and pool.
Upstairs, accessed by one of two staircases or elevator, there are distinct bedroom suites for the girls, as well as a theater room, a craft room, and a kitchen/sitting room.
The horse-loving personality of one of the girls is reflected in her bedroom which incorporates built-in armoires and bed. The painted cabinetry reflects a barn-like feeling and coordinates with the custom cabinets in the attached bath.
Highlighting a more cosmopolitan feeling is the second daughter’s bedroom and bath, featuring white-painted cabinetry, shelves, and window seat. The attached bath echoes the same modern-vintage tone and celebrates a simple elegance.
The youngest daughter’s suite features built-in painted cabinetry for storing dolls and games, and her bathroom is expressive of the French country atmosphere that wafts through her space.
Nearby, the family craft room offers open space for a variety of projects, as well as built in storage around its perimeter and a large island and wrapping station.
Space devoted to a kitchen/sitting room near the upstairs bedrooms features dark stained and glazed cabinetry, granite countertops, and a relaxed Old World look countered by modern stainless under-counter appliances.
From the smallest details on the study’s desk to the stained and painted kitchen cabinets that crown the home’s living space, the custom touch is everywhere. “When a homeowner wants cabinetry that fits their space and personality, that expresses their lifestyle and passions, then custom cabinetry and furniture are the answer,” says Gunter.