Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ben and Libby Page's Country Place

A Muskogee crape myrtle in the main garden.
Photo:  William Waldron for Elle Decor.
The Devoted Classicist's friends of over 25 years, Ben and Libby Page are one of Nashville's most charming couples.  Devoted Readers might remember them being mentioned here before;   Ben is the founding partner of Page / Duke Landscape Architects and Libby is a much sought-after events planner.  Their weekend place in the country is featured in the current issue of "Elle Decor" magazine.
The vernacular Greek Revival house dates from about 1845.
Photo:  William Waldron for Elle Decor.
The article is written by one of my favorite authors, Julia Reed, an acquaintance with many mutual friends, with photographs by William Waldron.  The story is told of how Libby's mother helped them find the Giles County, Tennessee, property in 2004.  Coincidently, it is less than a mile from where Libby's grandmother had grown up.
A contemporary sculpture by Carroll Todd
is surrounded by a clipped beech edge.
The 1945 barn had been built for polo ponys.
Photo:  William Waldron for Elle Decor.
Although only about an hour from their home in the Richland district of Nashville, the Pages enjoy the change of scenery and lifestyle of their weekend get-away.


  1. John,

    So charming and so peaceful! The topography in Nashville is so beautiful, all those green rolling hills! Thanks for the ED heads up.


    1. Dean, long ago I had an adaptive-use project in the Giles County seat, Pulaski. So I can confirm the beauty of the rolling hills of the area. And there are a number of similar handsome classical inspired farmhouses, too.

  2. What a beautiful setting! I have that same crape myrtle tree, also trained as a standard. I purchased it (quite mature) one winter because of its lovely bark.
    Cheers from DC,

    1. Loi, I agree with you on the bark! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi there!

    A brlliant post! You (and Elle Decor; I am so proud of You and them)!
    Showcasing old values......old and beautiful architecture....just the opposite of the enormous "McMansions" ! "littering the country" (don't I sound like a 'cranky granny'?)
    Well, yes, because I am!!

    What a lovely and beautifully written and photographed house! It has the classical proportions that live on. People come in the front door.....and they feel "good"; or they don't!
    Most often, they are not schooled in architecture or decoration.......they physically respond to classic proportions! Palladio started it! His rules still reign! After how many years?

    So the "tool tycoon" (or any "tycoon" ) wants all that list of rooms......and "high ceilings" and all of that!
    And they build this "monstrosity" and then ask a decorator....."Please make this cosy"!

    "Sorry! No can do!" Everything is "out of scale" and not fixable by decorating!

    It is such a tragic "waste of money" to me!

    In my opinion.; it has everything to do with "scale"!

    Everything is perfect here....there is so much to learn!

    Thank you so much for this post!!

    You explain beautifully these principles!


    1. Penelope, we can indeed learn from the past. And I agree that just a few well-proportioned rooms are better than a dozen awful spaces. Thanks for your comments.

  4. It is indeed enchanting, and the more so for being (apparently) quite simple, and excluded.

    1. Columnist, a variation on Less is More. Not Minimalist, but not over-indulged, either. Thank you for commenting.

  5. I am particularly taken with the second photo. The house is small, but it is so beautifully set in that large lawn and with those magnificent trees. The gardens also look inviting to stroll through.

  6. I ask you, whats not to like about that!

  7. Love Julia Reed's writing and this entire story was a Valentine to the love of the land and family. Agree with Penelope's comments about when the proportions are good, it just "feels" right. I think this house shows its heart. In my opinion, always a good thing.

  8. Lovely and charming, and yes we love Julia...


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