Here’s a Massive, Multi-Million Dollar Mansion in the Mettawa Woods

It’s 11,800 square feet on 4.4 acres. And you could make the case that the $3.75 million asking price is actually a bargain.


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List Price: $3.75 million
The Property: It’s a bit of a hike to get to Mettawa, but when you get there, you find woods and open space—and this house, was built to take advantage of its beautiful setting. Whether you’re in the large, two-story living room or almost any of the other 16 rooms, you’re looking out to the woods and gardens.

There’s a lot of space outside, 4.4 acres, and a lot of space inside, 11,800 square feet. The home was built by Don and Carolanne Joseph, a pair of retired executives who have ten grandchildren, for whom they created a playground: there’s the woods and stream out back, a pool and guesthouse, a pool table, and many other family-oriented spaces.

In today’s video, the couple showed me some of their favorites: Carolanne, who designed the house with the homebuilding firm Orren Pickell in 2001, is particularly pleased with the kitchen and its AGA.“It’s the most forgiving stove they make,” she says.“If something’s not cooking properly, you can move it to another oven, because there are four,” each at a different temperature.

“The house revolves around the kitchen,” Carolanne says, and she means that literally. Arrayed around this large open kitchen are the formal dining room, a breakfast room, a sitting room and an inviting three-season screened porch, beyond all of whose windows lie colorful gardens that she designed.

At the other end of the main floor is Don’s favorite room, his wood-paneled office and library, which is enveloped by views of the woods. From there he sees deer, squirrels, red foxes, raccoons, owls, and horses.“Many of our neighbors ride their horses on the streets and in the trails,” he says. This property is zoned for horses, as well.

The master suite, next to the library, has similar views, both from its tall windows and from a private terrace. Inside, it has a high ceiling and chandelier, a nicely outfitted master bath and two dressing rooms. With the large formal rooms, the kitchen suite and the master suite, Don says “there’s enough room for the two of us. We hardly use the other levels” when grandkids aren’t around.

The lower level is a true walk-out basement, with full-height windows framing views out to the woods from the second full kitchen, a family room, a large playroom, a gym, and other rooms. Only the wine cellar doesn’t partake in the view. Don noted that both the playroom and the outdoor pool are equipped with cameras, so the adults can monitor children’s safety.

The upstairs level has three bedrooms, each with its own bath. One has walls covered in blue and white fabric patterned like delft tile. Another, painted green, could easily be a second-floor master suite for someone living here with young children. It’s big and has the largest bathroom on this level. There’s a very large playroom that has stairs directly from the pool so kids can come in without tromping through the house. And then the third bedroom, the last room that Carolanne decorated, is done in a nautical motif. She says she noticed that it was shaped like a ship’s prow, so she commissioned an artist to paint a mural at one end of a maritime location in Nova Scotia that she and Don like, and the rest of the room is painted to resemble a ferry.

With their grandkids now scattered around the country, this pair of grandparents is ready to sail away to a new home and welcome another family aboard here.

Price Points: There are few directly comparable sales in the near vicinity for price comparisons—many of the neighbors are either larger horse properties or smaller houses. Don Joseph says that when the home was completed, a home-insurance company pegged the replacement value at $4.5 million, or 16.5 percent more than the Josephs are asking for the property now. In 2012, they had it listed with a different agent at $6 million; in December, they re-listed with a new agent at the present price.

Listing Agent: Joanna Koperski of @Properties, 847-668-0096, jkoperski@atproperties.com

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