European Elegance

Publication: European Elegance

Date: 4/1/2006

Innovative builder Phil Mastrosimone stares at the 10,000 square-foot, European-style home that he designed and built in a rural section of Lady Lake. His eyes glow with pride as he proudly proclaims it as his masterpiece.

One thing is certain: tour this beautiful estate and you feel as if you've been transported to the European countryside. Phil masterfully interpreted the character of an Old World home while blending in modern functionality.

Patterned after magnificent estates found throughout Europe, each amenity is crafted to reflect European ambiance. Those who see the $5 million home for the first time are often rendered breathless. "Everyone who walks through the home says they've never seen anything quite like it," said Phil, a native of Jamestown, N.Y. who left a career in the music industry to become a builder. "A Lake County building inspector told me that he has been inspecting homes for 25 years and never has seen a home with so much detail. I refer to this as a castle-like estate."

The home will serve as the model for Windsor Green, an upscale development that will feature 30 homes costing $1 million and higher. The homes will be nestled among oak and pine trees while offering residents a true European lifestyle. Lot sizes range from one acre to three-and-a-half acres. "This basically started as my dream home," he said. "I built it to market my company and have my family live in it. But it snowballed into a development."

Phil, who started his company Mastrosimone Construction in 1996, has anxiously awaited the opportunity to construct his dream home. He was in the planning stages for 10 years before construction began two years ago. Now, his wait is nearly over as he and his crew of subcontractors put the finishing touches on this splendid house. "Building a home of this caliber requires much thought and is very labor intensive," he said. "But it's all the compliments I've received that has kept me going. I definitely tried to think outside the box."

And think outside the box he did. The outside of the home is beautifully landscaped to keep in line with the home's classical look. The bright red roses, colorful yellow hollies, Italian cypresses and evergreens add a touch of majesty to the property. A beautiful front porch heralds your arrival at this exquisite master estate. It is surrounded by small ponds on each side, which makes way for a cascading waterfall that flows smoothly down the steps.

"I describe this as French eclectic-it's a mixture of French and Mediterranean design," he said. "My goal was to create an old castle and include things that you typically do not see in a home."

It's the inside of this six bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home that mesmerizes you. You'll find everything imaginable: a gymnasium with state-of-the-art equipment, a two-story library, a tropical pool area featuring a 4 1/2 -ton stone waterfall, a two car garage with handicap ramp, a game room with a pool table, video games and home-movie theatre and a two-story master closet with wrought-iron railing and a birdcage lift.

There are many unique features found throughout the home. The doors are made from various types of wood, mostly pine and mahogany. Many of the doors are round while fitting in square openings. The upstairs features Austrian cypress flooring, which gives the look of antique pine with the hardness of a hardwood. It's easy to marvel at the metal medallion wood from South Africa that is found in the two-story library. Two staircases-one spiral and one octagon-lead to the second floor. A beautiful arched molding can be found over the childrens' bathtub.

"Everything found inside this home was custom made specifically for this home," Phil said. "Believe me, though, this was not a one man show. It took a talented team of sub-contractors and designers to make this come true. I certainly cannot take all of the credit."

While the house features 7,000 square feet of living area, it retains a homey feel. None of the rooms are overly large and overwhelming. And he plans to keep this homey feel intact when he constructs other homes inside the Windsor Green development.

"I was just scratching the surface with this one," he said. "But it shows the quality of lifestyle that I plan to provide in this development. I want to set the standard for homes of the future.

This is going to be a high-end development, and I'll only use the best materials without compromise. I firmly believe that you get what you pay for. There will be no golf courses or club houses. Residents can enjoy secluded privacy. They won't have to worry about anyone coming here to use a guest house or swim."

Phil said that 26 of 30 lots remain available for purchase. On April 22, the public can preview this magnificent home and beautiful 71-acre property at the Grand Gala Open House and Development Tour. The VIP opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the public can visit from 1-4 p.m. Those who purchase lots on this day will receive a 10 percent discount. Rob and Theresa Morris of ERA Neil Fischer Realty are the development's exclusive real estate agents.

Windsor Green is a development of PhilKim Properties, Inc., a company formed by Phil and Dr. Kim Etheredge, a chiropractor in Fruitland Park.