A Home for Everyone


Mississippi Magazine
Homes and Gardens Edition
May/June 2011

The tree-lined path of Lake Castle Road in Madison offers the perfect backdrop for a relaxing Sunday afternoon drive. The meandering tree line suddenly breaks away to reveal a French antique entry gate and beyond it, the curving driveway and sprawling estate of David and Tracy Ford. Situated on ten acres, the 11,000 square foot home is reminiscent of a French countryside manor.

When the Ford’s first approached husband and wife team Jodie and De’Dee Morgan of Jodie Morgan Construction, Inc., they were looking for something that would fit the active lifestyle of the couple and their two sons – fifteen-year-old David, Jr., and thirteen-year-old Will. “We really wanted something that we could all enjoy as a family, but allow everyone to have their own space,” Tracy says. “Every single room was a specific request.”

One of Tracy’s first requests was a large kitchen and keeping area where guests could make themselves at home when the couple entertains. Cream custom wood cabinetry, copper backsplash, and heart of pine floors complement the granite countertops and stainless Viking appliances. A large central island with a high bar provides the perfect spot for a family meal or for doing homework. Custom built-in shelving crafted from refurbished wood provides storage as well as a place to display family photos and mementos. In the keeping area, the family can watch television or sit by a warm, roaring fire and enjoy their views of the property through large expansive windows. The spacious pantry also doubles as a shelter during inclement weather.

Just off the keeping area lies the piano room. Designed with crisp clean lines, the room provides sweeping views of the rear loggia, landscaped pool area, and fishing pond. After a quick dip in the pool, guests can shower off in the 900 square-foot cabana. The outdoor kitchen and stone fireplace with seating area allows the family to enjoy the outdoors no matter the season. In the distance, the custom designed horse barn with fenced corral can also accommodate extra guests in the building’s furnished loft apartment.

One of the main house’s most unique features is the barrel ceiling of the cross hall, designed specifically as a gallery for displaying the Ford’s art collection. The hallway opens to reveal David’s study and trophy room as well as the Master suite. An avid hunter, the trophy room provides the perfect place for David to showcase some of the prized bounty from his hunting trips. Vaulted ceilings, custom cabinets, and refurbished wood walls round out this sophisticated spin on a modern day “man cave.”

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the Master bedroom let in light as well as scenic views. The his-and-her master bath features a large soaking tub, steam shower with dual shower heads, separate vanities, and mirrored dressing area. Both closets have custom-made adjustable shelving to accommodate the couple’s different needs.

On the opposite end of the house lies the hunting room. A sportsman’s dream, the room provides storage for the family’s hunting equipment, including built-in lockers for apparel. A hollowed out cedar stump serves as the base for a rustic table where the hunters can clean their weapons before storing them in the lighted glass gun case. Next door, the wine room brings new life to old materials. Refurbished brick walls and refurbished wood ceilings give the room a metropolitan look. Climate controls ensure the Ford’s impressive wine collection will stay at the optimum temperature during storage.

Upstairs, the game and media rooms are a prime place for two teenage boys to entertain school friends. Comfortable leather sofas and a ping pong table provide the ultimate space for relaxation. A backlit, custom designed outdoor scene crafted from refurbished wood decorates the bar area. Just off the game room lies the media room. As movie goers relax in the plush leather seats, the lights dim and a curtain opens to reveal a large movie screen perfect for family movie night or cheering on a favorite sports team.

The three upstairs bedrooms were built to suit the needs of the Ford boys as well as overnight guests. Window seats provide a quiet place for listening to music or reading a magazine. The shower walls of the ensuite bathrooms have a touch of flair with inlaid stone. Down the hall is the sleeping nook, where three built-in bunk beds provide overflow sleeping space for the boys’ school friends.

“We don’t just build homes, we build dreams,” says De’Dee. “We thought about the plans for this home for a long time and considered everything the family wanted. We built a specific place for everything from the peg boards in the barn for David’s tools to the lockers in the mudroom for the boys’ sports equipment.”

The entire property is outfitted with the latest in smart home technology. Kiosks throughout the home allow the family to play surround sound audio and video, access the security system, adjust the thermostat, and control the lighting. The system also gives the couple the option of accessing many of these features through their cell phone.

Morgan, who has over thirty years of experience in the homebuilding industry, admits that while the eighteen month construction project was his most challenging project to date, it was also the most rewarding. “The Ford’s residence was one of the most unique and satisfying projects I have ever done,” he says. “This was the fourth home we’ve designed and built for this family. It was fun taking what De’Dee designed, having the Fords willingness and trust to let us be creative, and making this home a reality.”

“Everything was well thought out before it was put to paper,” Tracy adds. “The result was a quality home that can withstand kids coming through in cleats and knocking on the walls, while evolving into when they are in college and we are empty-nesters. We have everything we could have ever wanted in a home, for our needs as a family, and for young and old.”