The Grand Lac Chateau made headlines when it became the most expensive home for sale in the Charlotte area of North Carolina. The lucky buyer was none other than NFL running back Christian McCaffrey. Complete with almost 11,000 square feet, the castle was well worth its $8 million price tag. Read on for a look at the jaw-dropping lakefront estate.
A Castle Fit For This Power Couple
The first hint that Christian McCaffrey purchased the home came just weeks after the listing went up. His girlfriend, Olivia Culpo, posted a picture her and McCaffrey posed in front of the castle and looking excited about what appeared to be their new home.
The property is certainly fit for a power couple as themselves. Culpo was crowned Miss Universe in 2012 and is now a fashion influencer. McCaffrey is a record-holding running back for the Carolina Panthers.
The property couldn’t be more private with a private road leading to an iron gate. Past the gate is a long, winding path that leads guests to the main home.
With celebrities like McCaffrey and Culpo, privacy is everything. The previous owner may have needed the extra security, as well. Listing agent Josh Tucker told Axios Charlotte that the former homeowner was in the music industry and had relocated to Los Angeles for work.
A Castel-Like Entrance
The previous owners commissioned JJ Barja of Elite Design Group to create a home reminiscent of the castles along the French countryside. Their vision is apparent from the moment you pull up to the gorgeous estate.
Though the project was completed in 2018, the style is exquisitely vintage. Cobblestone walls blend perfectly with the cream stucco and brown trim. The grandiose entrance has plenty of room for guest parking, in addition to a four-car garage.
The Sleek Garage
This home’s garage looks more like a car showroom. Instead of a concrete floor, it boasts a shiny black and gray slate floor with a checkerboard design. The recessed lighting and crown molding make the space feel like a part of the inside of the house.
There’s plenty of room for multiple cars, storage, or a workspace. The garage door is uniquely made of glass, acting as a huge window and allowing natural light to pour in.
The Grand Front Door
The front door alone is designed to impress. The dark wood door has a gothic shape echoed in the brick archway in front. The large, glass windows have an elegant iron design and let light pour into the home by day and out front by night.
Giant light sconces have an old-timey streetlight look that matches the vintage feel of the home. Cobblestone walls and stone flooring make the entrance feel like an ancient castle.
A Classy Foyer
On the other side of the front door is a proper foyer with a dark brown and cream color scheme. A spiral staircase leads both up and downstairs and features streetlight-inspired chandeliers, crisscross windows, an iron guardrail, and light sconces.
To the right, archways going down the hall echo the gothic shape of the front door. The marble floor has the same crisscross design at the windows and leaves plenty of room for an area rug.
The Elegant Living Room
There are many spaces to entertain in this home, but the first one guests would encounter is this elegant living room. It boasts a classic fireplace with a tall cement feature above that underscores the tall ceiling.
Next to the fireplace is a built-in cabinet with plenty of shelving space for trinkets and picture frames. The hardwood floors are a gorgeous contrast to the light gray walls. The second-floor hallway overlooks the room and features an iron guardrail that matches the staircase.
Though the living room is on the main floor, it feels like it’s elevated since the house is built on a slope. As a result, the views outside are of gorgeous treetops that bring the outdoors in and don’t compromise the natural light.
Enormous glass doors open up to a balcony. Above, windows are the same size as the huge glass doors, offering views of the blue sky and giving the room an indoor-outdoor feel.
A Spacious Balcony
Past the living room is this huge balcony, and this isn’t even the extent of the outdoor space that the estate has to offer. To the right is a peek of the infinity pool that looks out to the lake.
The surrounding trees make it feel like a private paradise with no neighbors in sight and complete privacy. The stone tiles give an earthy feel that makes the patio seem complete even without any furniture.
An Outdoor Living Space
At the end of the huge main floor balcony is a covered outdoor living space. It features recessed lighting, a fireplace, a ceiling fan, stainless steel mini-fridges, and a barbecue!
Mounted to the cobblestone fireplace is a flatscreen television, making it the perfect spot for gatherings. To top it off, the sliding glass doors to the right lead to yet another entertainment space! There’s plenty of room to easily accommodate large parties, not to mention the additional space downstairs.
An Open Concept Floorplan
Next to the living room is another entertainment space that features an open concept floorplan. The informal dining area looks out to the stunning lakeside view outside and flows into the huge family room.
Windows and glass doors showcase the rich vegetation surrounding the entire house. Thanks to the thick canopies outside, there’s no need for curtains or blinds for privacy. The hardwood floors, tray ceiling, and neutral color scheme make the space feel both elegant and natural.
The Charming Family Room
The family room is just as impressive as the living room with vaulted ceilings and a cobblestone fireplace. The enormous window has the same gothic shape as the front door, bringing together archaic and modern styles.
An abstract chandelier ties the room together. Next to the fireplace is built-in cabinets to store games or display photos, and to the right is a second staircase leading upstairs. The exposed beams give a rustic touch to this countryside-inspired home.
Not One, But TWO Islands!
The kitchen is equipped to store and prepare an enormous amount of food. There’s not one huge island, but two! That’s how much square footage is in the kitchen alone.
Both islands even have their own sink and their own chandeliers overhead and storage underneath. One island has a beautiful marble countertop with light gray cabinets, and the other has a wood countertop with dark gray cabinets. Next to the islands is a huge pantry with floor-to-ceiling shelving.
An Enormous Stove With Range Hood
Across from one of the kitchen’s islands, which also has an extra-deep sink, is a massive stove with several burners and a griddle. The stove has blue and copper detailing that adds a pop of color to the neutral color scheme.
Above the stove is a huge range hood that matches the surrounding cabinetry. The tile backsplash features a thin shelf to store oils and other kitchen items to have on the ready for cooking.
The Stunning Kitchen
The kitchen as a whole has many features capable of accomodating more individuals than the average kitchen can. One of the islands is lined with barstools, while the other one has storage on both sides.
To the left is a double-wide oven and fridge, and there’s plenty of cabinets all around for storage. Between the chandeliers, light sconces, recessed lighting, countertop lighting, and back lit tray ceiling, there’s plenty of lumination in this room, too.
A Formal Dining Room Complete With Fireplace
In addition to the kitchen’s informal dining table and barstool-lined island, there’s also a formal dining room down the hall. The spacious area has plenty of room for a 10 or even 12-seat dining table.
It features a fireplace with elaborate detailing and light sconces attached to the wall for ample mood lighting. There’s also a large window with views of the trees outside and an exquisite chandelier hanging from the arched ceiling.
A Dreamy Spiral Staircase
The view from the top floor showcases the dreamy spiral staircase. Three chandeliers emphasize the three floors of the home and match the intricate detailing of the iron handrail.
Each level has different flooring to further distinguish them from one another. The top floor features hardwood floors, while the second floor is crisscross stone and the bottom is tile. The concrete stairs blend well with all three materials and match the brown and cream color scheme.
The Gorgeous Outlook
The top-floor hallway is wide enough to be a room on its own. Crown molding and Napoleon archways elevate the space, as does the breathtaking outlook. The iron guardrail coincides with the spiral staircase and creates contrast against the pale walls.
The balcony looks out to a classic chandelier, showcasing the stupendous vaulted ceiling with exposed beams. An enormous gothic window reveals the lush greenery beyond, ensuring that no area in this house is without a beautiful view.
The Master Bedroom
The master bedroom features large windows with canopy views that contrast the gray-brown accent wall. A sparkling chandelier shines overhead and a stone fireplace sits at the foot of the bed.
Directly off the spacious room is a hallway with tons of built-in cabinetry and a sink. The backsplash is made of reflective glass bricks that perfectly encapsulate the home’s country glam style. The hardwood floors bring warmth to the space while a generous area rug offers comfort.
The French Master Bathroom
If there was one part of this house that emphasizes the French inspiration behind the design, it’s the master bathroom. The white wood cabinets with gray trim, the oval mirrors, and the decorative wallpaper all have a vintage elegance to them.
Not to mention that clawfoot tub with the classic silver spouts positioned beneath a chandelier! There is also a floating fireplace built into the glass wall to the right. It doesn’t get more glamorous than that.
The Massive Master Closet
The galley-style master closet has the same square footage as some bedrooms! Built-in cabinets on either side offer plenty of storage and feature light-up shelves. Some of the glass doors have a simple yet stunning design on them that adds to the classy feel of the space.
Chandeliers, light sconces, and recessed lighting illuminate the area. A huge backlit mirror makes the space feel twice as wide. There’s even a window at the far wall with treetop views!
A Sophisticated Study
A backlit, coffered ceiling and gray-brown walls give this study an air of sophistication. Light sconces and a chandelier brighten up the space while the dark features contrast the vibrant green treetops outside.
Natural light pours in through the sliding glass door, which leads to a spacious balcony. Wall paneling gives the room texture while built-in shelves offer a place to display books and pictures. A two-way fireplace acts as the room’s focal point and gives a cozy touch to the refined space.
The Artsy Music Room
At the bottom level is a bonus space that’s set up as a music room. The dark gray walls contrast the white ceiling and tile floors. The wood door, wallpapered accent wall, and area rug add texture to the sleek design.
A closet with glass doors and recessed lighting acts as a guitar display. Speakers, game systems, and built-in surround sound speakers make this a perfect gaming room, as well. The versatile room can suit whatever unique needs the homeowner may have.
Archaic Meets Modern
The bottom floor of the home offers several entertainment spaces that are the embodiment of archaic meets modern. The stone walls bring the castle design of the exterior inside, while a sleek bar top and metal barstools ground the design in this century.
The backlit tray ceilings draw the eye up without clashing with the busy stone walls. Smooth, gray walls tie the design elements together while blue accent pieces give a pop of color to the neutral space.
Downstairs Entertaining Space
In case the living room, family room, and outdoor living space on the main floor weren’t enough, there’s also plenty of entertaining space on the bottom floor. This room offers space to lounge poolside by the fireplace.
A huge flatscreen TV fits on the stone wall, evoking the old-school meets new-school feel throughout the home. Huge sliding glass doors and windows let light pour in by day, while recessed lighting illuminated the space by night.
A Screening Room
This is one of two rooms that mirror one another on the main floor. They even have a shared fireplace and matching flatscreens mounting on either side of the same stone wall.
The television really isn’t necessary given the massive screen filling the wall to the left. It would be the perfect place to screen a film or to put on a football game. With all of the televisions throughout this house, McCaffrey won’t miss a beat!
A Well-Equipped Home Gym
The bottom level features a home gym equipped with rubber floors and everything McCaffrey would need when he’s away from his training facilities. Above, a ceiling fan has two individual fans attached to the blades for extra air circulation.
Windows surround the room and look out to the lush green landscaping at the back and side of the house. A backlit tray ceiling, recessed lighting, and crown molding ensure that not even this simple room feels plain.
The Remarkable Backyard
The backyard of the house is just as impressive as the inside with a grassy lawn, a pool, and tons of patio space both covered and uncovered. This view also showcases the many gorgeous trees surrounding the property, making the outdoor area feel completely private.
The bottom floor of the home opens up to plenty of covered patio space for outdoor furniture. The stone tile flooring extends to the pool, offering room for sunbathing lounge chairs.
An Enormous Outdoor Recreation Space
Off the bottom floor screening room is this exquisite outdoor recreation space complete with a flatscreen TV mounted over the fireplace. There’s also recessed lighting and multiple ceiling fans throughout for summer parties that extend all day and into the night.
To the left is a bottom-lit countertop with barstools that face windows connecting the interior and the exterior. Even with a full-size outdoor dining table, there’s still a copious amount of room for large gatherings.
An Infinity Pool Over The Lake
As though a backyard pool and spa weren’t exciting enough, this designer went above and beyond to make this one really pop. The pool has an infinity edge that makes it seem as though the water extends to the lake beyond.
According to realtor.com, the median price of homes in this area is just under $400,000. That means this estate’s $8 million list price was almost 2,000% higher than those nearby! The designer certainly didn’t hold back when it came to adding value to this house.
Water Fountains And Light Features
This angle shows off the many features that make this pool way above average. In addition to the infinity edge, the pool also has water fountains and light features that add a little pizzazz.
This view also shows how incredible the rear of the home looks in and of itself! Those huge windows don’t just offer an amazing view from the inside looking out. They also make the home look all the more elegant when viewed from the exterior.
Next to the pool is built-in seating that sinks below the surface of the rest of the patio so that it feels like you’re in the pool without having to get wet. The seating area also boasts a fire pit and is located near one of two fire features on either side of the infinity edge.
Instead of steps, the pool has a sloped entrance with a light-up water feature you step across on the way in, making it feel more like walking into the ocean.
The Phenomenal Rear View
This aerial view showcases how castle-like this enormous home really is. The gothic and bay windows, stone walls, and brown trim all make it feel like the estate is from another time.
Then there are the more modern elements like the crisp pool and the recessed lighting throughout that hint at its 2018 establishment date. This view also highlights how much outdoor space is on both the main and the bottom level floors, making it a dream location for events.
Private Lake Access
As staggering as the home itself is, what puts it over the edge is the location. The house is literally on Lake Norman and features exclusive lake access and a private dock.
The added outdoor space gives guests even more room to walk around or for children to play. This would be an incredible spot to walk out to every morning and watch the sunrise or just take in the glorious nature all around.
A Multi-level Dock
A stone pathway extends from the house to the private dock, which has two levels! The top-level is a gorgeous deck that would be perfect for doing yoga, fishing, or just taking in the surroundings.
Beneath is an access point for jet skis, boats, kayaks, or anything else the homeowner may want to take out on the lake. It’s certainly a place to spend long summer days without having to vacation anywhere or leave home.
Plenty Of Room For Canoes
The bottom level of the dock is equipped with rails ready to hold small boats, kayaks, and canoes. Someone who has multiple floating devices or regularly goes out on the lake would certainly appreciate the extra care that went into this design.
Even though there are other neighbors around, it feels like a private lake due to its location. The house sits on its own little curve of the lake so that surrounding trees provide privacy even out on the water.
An Aerial View Of The Astonishing Estate
The miles of thick vegetation make this home feel even more like a castle. Its long driveway and sweeping lawns highlight how much land comes with the property, which sits on a 7-acre lot.
Despite multiple offers on the home, McCaffrey managed to snag the property just weeks after it hit the market. He got the price knocked down to $7.5 million, which still set the record for the area’s most expensive transaction to date.