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Luxury

Knoxville's Craiglen: A Charles Barber-Designed Home for a Marble Maven

  • craiglen-dining-e1459359681218-1024-fdbe8314d78c3510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    A very serious dining room.

  • craiglen-ext-e1459359650185-fdbe8314d78c3510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    A mansion fit for an Italian principessa.

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    Inside the downstairs loggia.

  • craiglen-bath-e1459359821524-fdbe8314d78c3510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____

    Marble on marble.

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    Glam stairs.

Marble may be the trend du jour, but we'll bet you haven't seen this much marble before.

Knoxville's Craiglen, an "elaborate and beautifully detailed" home designed by Tennessee's hometown architect, Charles I. Barber, is a testament to the regal rock. Commissioned by the owner of Candoro Marble Co. in 1926 as a showstopper display for his finest wares, this $2.1 million, five-bedroom mansion is filled with rare stone and intricate designs.

Barber's known for combining traditional architectural styles (think Victorian, Colonial, or -- in Craiglen's case -- Tuscan villa) with beaux-arts accents, creating a larger-than-life, uniquely Southern interpretation of architectural glamour.

Surprises are tucked in every corner, from intricately carved columns (of marble, of course) to statuettes and doors seemingly taken straight from European castles.

Another set piece stolen straight from abroad: the glamorous dining room, where a dark marble fireplace meets richly colored wood paneling to create an austere style.

While the true star is the home -- and considering the mansion's pedigree, it would be almost offensive to say otherwise -- the 2 acres of manicured grounds have an appeal of their own.

Travel through wooded paths to secret gardens and ponds. While there's no pool here (buyers can install one if desired), you might not miss the splashing when you can enjoy a verdant green lawn, towering trees, and an enormous courtyard.

You can view your visitors from the second-story loggia, with six sets of Palladian doors stretching its length. Inside, revel in glamorous bathrooms with marble walls and floors, or travel up the foyer's winding staircase -- just don't miss the ceiling, painted dark, covered in stars, and lined with greenery.

The kitchen, while old school (no oversize island here), offers all the functionality budding chefs dream of in a streamlined setting. White cabinets and gray marble countertops bring a touch of modernity to the dcor, and endless storage and contemporary appliances mean even your sous vide won't be stymied.