It’s a true trompe l’oeil. This French chateau gives every impression of being set in Provence, a region of southeastern France known for ancient hilltop villages, lavender fields and rolling vineyards.
And while the estate accurately reflects that heritage, it’s actually located across an ocean and some 5,800 miles away in the Arcadia neighborhood of Scottsdale, Arizona. The sheltered, older community — a former orange grove — is an irrigation-fed green oasis with an eclectic blend of architecture.
The unexpected home is a re-creation of a 14th-century olive mill that was turned into a chateau in the 16th century for use as a weekend retreat.
A gated, tree-lined driveway leads to the home, which is hidden from the street, and sits on more than an acre.
The romantic residence was the creation of builder Claude Olney, who was inspired by a picture of a French historic monument in a design book. He and artist/art restoration expert Ed Davieau collaborated on the Provencal-style residence, which features mottled tile roofs, quoin-stone fortified corners and ionic columns, giving an aged patina to the façade.
Inside, the period details are even more pronounced with Renaissance friezes and window embellishments that recall the type of work done in the mid-1500s. Hand-adzed mining timber beams and wattle-and-daub plasterwork add to the frozen-in-time appearance.
The two-story vaulted-ceiling living room has French doors opening to the outdoors. Upper-level walkways look down on a two-story family room/den, which is anchored by stone fireplace and topped by a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling. The formal dining room has a coved ceiling, a period chandelier and an elaborate wood and stone floor. The French country kitchen exudes character with heavy beams, wide plank floors and an adjoining eating area with a fireplace.
Yet modern amenities were incorporated throughout the 8,030 square feet of living space.
In addition to the main living areas there’s a music room with a groin-vaulted ceiling, two offices, five bedrooms and six bathrooms.
The lower level is designed for relaxation and recreation with a stone wine room, a media room and a game room.
A stone-surrounded free-form swimming pool with a diving board adjoins lawn at the back of the home.
The grounds include a millpond, lush gardens and a sports court. The garages can accommodate six cars.
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