Four Seasons French Country

The Bellusci Home

 

Nancy and Bruce Bellusci, who met through their shared careers in men’s fashion, have lived in large cities for most of their lives – from Cleveland, Ohio, to New York to Chicago. After 30 years living and working in Chicago, Bruce received a job offer down South, and the Belluscis soon found themselves searching for a home around Cleveland, Tennessee. “This house was really love at first sight,” Bruce says. Nancy affirms, “We had never lived anywhere like this before, and we weren’t planning to take on quite this much property, but we were just so impressed with this home when we saw it.”

The couple’s French country-style dwelling is perched at the high point of a nearly four-acre lot that surveys rolling green hills. For the past five years, Nancy and Bruce have thought of it more as a vacation home thanks to its luxurious setting and the home’s stunning indoor and outdoor spaces, perfect for every season.

 

By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Philip Slowiak

Nancy and Bruce Bellusci with their dog Greta

Nancy and Bruce Bellusci with Greta

Lending to the French country style of this lavish home, the stone façade and front porch are accompanied by an arched front door, lantern, corbels, and large planters.

Stepping into the foyer, one of Nancy and Bruce’s favorite rooms – the lounge – is to the left. “The lounge is so relaxed, it’s where we like to enjoy quality time and conversation. Several of our art pieces from local artists have ended up in here also,” the Belluscis explain. Swanky mid-century furnishings in gold tones and creams create an intimate seating area in the sun-soaked room. A chic focal point is the built-in bookcase with a center section lined in shimmering glass tile and backlit with a golden glow. And the crowning detail is a dazzling blown glass light fixture that hangs above the seating area. Bruce shares, “This is a great spot to read with natural light, and we also enjoy cocktails in the evenings in this room.”

Across the foyer from the lounge is the Belluscis’ formal dining room. In this elegantly dual-chromatic entertaining room, dark colors amplify a dramatic effect. A rounded dining table juxtaposes the straight-lined color blocking of the walls and drapes. Stunning crystal sconces sparkle against the rich wall color, with a gallery of gold-leafed art pieces lined in between. “This was one of the first rooms we re-did, and I just fell in love with the dark espresso brown color on the walls,” Nancy says. The pair makes an effort to use every space in their house, and they’ve hosted numerous cocktail parties and gatherings in this room.

From the front door, the path straight into the home leads to the great room. The ceiling opens up to a vault that showcases exposed beams and trusses, with a lofted second story walkway also on display. A tall stone fireplace and comfortable seating make this a very cozy room to spend time in. Meanwhile, a wall of windows – which expands all the way into the peak of the vaulted ceiling – lets in a flood of natural sunlight. French doors grant full access to the outdoor living spaces at the back of the home. “The great room has beautiful architecture, but it’s also simple. We love to sit in here and relax. It’s really where we spend the most time during the colder months,” Nancy says.

From the great room, the floor plan is open to the kitchen and breakfast nook. “We like to eat dinner here sometimes, though we often eat together on the back patio,” Nancy shares. The quaint seating area feels very welcoming and has easy access to the back porch.

The adjoining kitchen has an excellent workflow with ample counter space and cabinetry for storage. The spacious island houses a cooktop and prep sink, while built-in double ovens and a large refrigerator help elevate this kitchen to an efficient cook space with plenty of room for family and friends to gather.

The master suite is a tranquil retreat filled with light and airy colors and textures. Off whites and ecru paint the elegant platform bed in soothing shades. Behind the headboard, the focal wall features a wood grain patterned wallpaper that the Belluscis decided to run horizontally. A warm glow from brass swing-arm bedside lamps maintains the comforting ambiance.

From the bedroom, steps lead off into his and hers-style bathroom suites with separate custom closets. On Nancy’s side, there is an extended black granite bathroom vanity to sit down and get ready, as well as a large jetted bathtub. Bruce’s side features a glass-encased walk-in shower.

“That’s the great thing about this house; it has an amazing flow that is just seamless from inside to outside.” – Bruce Bellusci

 

Accessible from the master bedroom, great room, and kitchen, the outdoor living areas are what Nancy and Bruce use the most, besides the lounge. There are two distinct areas to the back of the house: a covered patio, which boasts a seating area, television, and dining table that easily seats eight, and the sun deck, complete with several lounge chairs. Their beautifully landscaped surrounding property is a perfect view for morning coffee, yoga on the sun deck, or dinner on the covered patio. “When it’s cold, we like to sit on the deck where the morning sun hits you and have our coffee. Or in the warmer months, we sit back on the patio in the evenings in the shade to have cocktails. That’s the great thing about this house; it has an amazing flow that is just seamless from inside to outside,” Bruce says.

Over the past five and half years, Bruce and Nancy have been amazed at how many activities they’ve been able to enjoy here. “Moving from the big city, we were afraid that a smaller town may be slower paced, but there is so much to do! We visit Chattanooga every week, and we love going into Cleveland. There are all kinds of organizations to participate in, and the town is so fun. We also try to take advantage of our location being only two hours from cities like Nashville and Atlanta,” Nancy says. They love to visit local art fairs and galleries and find hiking trails to explore. Their family, spread all over the country, always has a gorgeous place to stay when they come to visit! CS

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