By Kristen Koch
The stories of country-music stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw read like Cinderella twice over. He dropped out of college, she took shifts at McDonald’s, they both moved to Nashville to follow their dreams, and — cut to 15 years later — together, they took the highest-grossing country tour of all time. Maybe you can’t have their showbiz success (or their we-don’t-spend-more-than-three-days-apart marriage) but now, you can have one of their houses. Let’s take a look at their Franklin, Tennessee, spread, now on the market for $20 million.
The property’s main attraction is the nearly 7,000-square-foot Beechwood Hall, which dates from 1856. Though the home’s size is sprawling, its Italianate revival style is relatively restrained. I’m sure the winding drive is lovely — in the listing photos, the driveway approaches from the rear and dramatically curves to the front at the last moment — but one of my first orders of business would be to remove what looks like a parking lot in front.
The interior of Beechwood Hall doesn’t seem to have been touched since at least the turn of the 20th century. (Even the listing outright admits that it needs restoration.) But that’s not entirely a bad thing; with some TLC, this panelling could be absolutely stunning, and if you can handle the listing price, another few million for a restoration probably doesn’t sound too bad.
What’s a historic mansion without a sweeping staircase and gleaming crystal chandelier? At first I hoped the landscapes on the walls were hand-painted, but a glance at the wall above the staircase shows that they’re actually wallpaper (and peeling off in sheets). The teal paint looks a bit institutional here, but in other shots it has a little more of a grey tone, so perhaps it just needs a fresh coat.
Though a log home doesn’t look quite as grand from the outside — save that front portico — the inside has been beautifully modernized. If you don’t want to live here while restoring the main house, there are four (yes, four!) other houses to choose from, plus a nearly 1,200-square-foot caretaker’s apartment in the barn.
In the kitchen of the barn, the logs have been covered with drywall and a very modern marble backsplash. (In a few of the living rooms, they’re left exposed for some rustic charm.) I’m not sure two farmhouse sinks are needed in what’s otherwise a normal-sized kitchen, but I do love that the shelf between has been left open to the window.
Sure, the $20 million price tag buys six homes and a 12-stall barn, but what it also gets you is over 750 acres of land. This corner of the Tennessee countryside, about an hour south of Nashville, is criss-crossed by streams and speckled with little ponds like this, for all your swimming, fishing, riding and even four-wheeling needs.
What do you think? Does this Nashville farm look like a dream come true?