Friday, January 05, 2007

Dream Home: Villa Serena, Lake Butler, Florida

Nestled behind pines and oak trees on a secluded road and sited on a gradually sloped crest with a spectacular view to pristine Lake Butler, lies a magnificent estate designed along Renaissance sensibilities but containing all of the latest contemporary amenities.Villa Serena was designed to offer privacy, security, and a sublime spirit. A decorative gate yields to a winding road that passes a tennis court with viewing gazebo and small playhouse.
The magnificent classical elevation of the main house is hidden from view until you break from the trees. There you are greeted by a turnabout drive and double elliptical stone stairways ascending to the main entrance door under a Baroque covered porch. You can feel the warmth of the cream colored hand-wrought natural stone columns and stone window and door surrounds. The house is sited on the cardinal compass points. The long axis faces east-west. Pella windows and doors can be opened during the cooler months to allow free-flowing breezes to waft through the house from the lake. The sun permeates the elevated entry on the south year round. One arrives on the mid-level, which is most apparent when walking through the highly decorative double height sky-lit Foyer with twin curving stairways, through the formal Ball Room and onto the breathtaking 29 foot high north porch overlooking the green lawn, which drops gracefully towards the blue waters of Pocket Lake.

Formal Living and Dining Rooms through framed doorways from the Foyer face the South. The cool north side has rooms on three levels. Master Suite and Children’s Bedrooms; Family Room (at Pool level), Guest Suites; Library, BallRoom, Kitchen and Breakfast with Verandah and Balconies face the lake view.

Villa Serena is one of acclaimed Architect John C. Henry’s treasures imaginatively conceived after Italianate precedent and Old World charm. Greco-Roman detail abounds and Renaissance proportion is evident. Originally inspired by Palm Beach mansions, this jewel of stucco and stone detail and ceramic tile roof (not concrete) satisfied the many activities and interests of the Owner and became an investment prized for its beauty and grandeur. Source:

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