A REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE
Written by Amelia Jeffers
Photography by Stacie Mosley
When a reputation for excellence seems to be imprinted on your DNA, you tend to gravitate toward others who rank among the very best in their field. Such was the case when racing phenom Jeg Coughlin, Jr. sought to create a serene sanctuary on 130+ acres in Delaware County, where he could escape the rigors of a demanding lifestyle with friends and family. Calling on lauded architect George Acock, acclaimed builder Ralph Fallon and celebrity interior designer John Barman, Coughlin knew he could expect a residence that would not only stand out among the finest homes in central Ohio, but would also deserve recognition in the most aspirational design magazines.
Known as the “Godfather” of the local architecture scene, George Acock has mentored some of the biggest names in design and construction today. In 2015, Acock was elected by his peers to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, one of the highest honors an architect can achieve – a reflection of significant contributions to his work and community. Acock only works with the best, and as anyone in the custom home world will attest, it doesn’t get any better than Ralph Fallon.
“Ralph is in a league of his own,” says Brian Kent Jones, an architect with a standout reputation of his own. “He is the elite, and operates at a ridiculously high level, maintaining relationships with profoundly talented craftspeople who have been around for decades and have generations of background.”
Rounding out the cast of creatives tapped by Coughlin, New York-based interior designer John Barman has been described as one of the most “coveted” decorators in the country. Continually honored as one of the “AD100 by Architectural Digest, Barman interiors are marked by contemporary glamour and unrestrained luxury, while integrating the unique personality of a property and its owner.
The trio succeeded in constructing a property that is even more memorable than its address at 4000 Olentangy River Road. Uber-secluded (just minutes from the headquarters of his family’s eponymous business), the nearly 15,000 square foot main residence sits at the end of a long and winding drive amidst a picturesque landscape that includes wooded ravines, open pasture, and a multi-tiered lake replete with waterfall – all enclosed by a privacy gate and fence.
Utilizing the finest materials is a given on a project of this magnitude; yet the most basic combinations of wood, stone, and glass have been elevated to achieve what can only be described as an architectural work of art. Taking inspiration from homes in Maine, Florida and New York (more the Hamptons than Manhattan), the classic American farmhouse has been reinterpreted on a generous scale, flooded with natural light and designed for modern living.
Warm, inviting spaces anchored by vast views of the lush landscape are connected via amply-proportioned skylighted corridors. Architectural Digest calls it “pure Americana,” but it feels like pure luxury. Cool limestone walls, heated travertine floors and rich mahogany woodwork provide the backdrop for classically elegant furnishings that meet the bold architecture’s demand for restrained elegance. Beyond the exuberant accomplishments in design and aesthetic, Coughlin and his crew incorporate everything one would expect in an extravagant abode: chef ’s grade kitchen (with butler’s pantry/ catering kitchen, of course), indulgent master suite, library, rec and theater rooms, wine cellar and plenty of garage for a fleet of cars. But they didn’t stop there. An emphasis on wellness and relaxation is evident with a meditation room, exercise room and spa, indoor heated lap pool, tennis and basketball courts and a bowling alley in the nearby party barn.
Walking the grounds of Coughlin's picture-perfect American dream, it is easy to wax philosophical. Socrates said “the way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” By the looks of the incredible achievement at 4000 Olentangy River Road, their reputation for excellence appears to be well-suited to Coughlin and crew.