When you're really rich and beautiful and build a much-whispered-about 14,000-square-foot acid-washed limestone mansion from scratch, there's no better place for a big reveal than the glossy pages of Architectural Digest. Despite an early slipup by the builder, who released photos of the project prematurely, the magazine continued apace and published New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen's new "French chateau via the Pacific Coast Highway" in its October issue.
The story, which dropped online this morning after editor in chief Margaret Russell made a Today Show appearance, makes clear that it's actually "normal" home. None of those "lavish pleasure dome replete with sultry sirens and gridiron gods cavorting around the pool" nor "sprawling palace staffed with a battalion of liveried footmen proffering protein shakes on silver trays," writes Mayer Rus. Rather, there's just the regular plebeian driveway that "leads over a pond to a motor court paved in reclaimed cobblestones and then to a stone bridge spanning a koi-stocked moat that's picturesque but not pompous"; an unassuming pool "laid out with two straight sides and one long, sinuous edge that helps give the impression of a nautral lake, particularly in the early-morning and late-afternoon light"; and just your average "custom-made wrought iron monkey bars" in the gym. Bündchen sums it up: "I want to live in a place that feels like a real home, where you can put your feet up on the couch and just relax."
It was important for the Bündchen, whom interior designer Joan Behnke describes as an "earth mother"—"she's drawn to certain things because of the energy they give off"—that the home incorporate as many reclaimed materials as possible, from the decking and floorboards to the tiles, bricks, doors, and marble fireplace surrounds. In addition, composting, gray-water technology, solar panels, and eco-friendly construction materials were all factored into the overall design, which was completed by architect Richard Landry. (Brady tells Rus that he's "all about team dynamics and putting the right people together," presumably while huddling.) The neutral interiors are filled with pieces from RH and Christian Liaigre, Loro Piana fabrics, Tai Ping carpets, custom pieces, and, of course, a black-and-white photo of Gillette Stadium hanging over the fireplace in the master bath. Check it out below—and head to Racked National for a look at Bundchen's utterly insane closet: