Jackie Siegel, “didn’t have any intentions of building the largest home in America.” But when you want a Benihana in your basement, square feet start to add up.
Construction on Siegel’s grandiose Florida mansion, featured in the documentary The Queen of Versailles, has been stalled for over a decade after the financial crisis upended her and husband David’s plans to build a re-creation to outshine the original French palace. Now she’s turning to Flipping Out’s Jeff Lewis and Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black to help her move forward with the 90,000-square-foot project.
“What was the moment where you decided, ‘We’re just going to build the biggest house in the nation?’ Like, who thought of that idea?” Lewis questions Siegel in an exclusive clip from Thursday’s episode.
Black answers for her: “S**t got carried away!”
According to Siegel, David, who owns Westgate Resorts, got the ball rolling by requesting a health spa, which Jackie followed with an ask for a bowling alley, and things snowballed from there.
“He wanted an indoor swimming pool. I wanted an ice skating rink,” she says. “But then, how much can I ice skate? But I figured a roller rink, it can also be a discotheque.”
A commercial kitchen for catering might make a surprising addition to most residential homes, but it’s business as usual for the Siegels and their staff, which David hopes will expand to include “real French maids from France.” And if the event crew is busy, they’ll still have a culinary backup.
“We’re even going to have, like, a Benihana restaurant in the house,” she says.
A far cry from Lewis’ usual house flips, the Bravo star definitely has his work cut out for him, as this design idea from Jackie illustrates:
“We have a beautiful stained glass dome, huge,” she says of one of the great room’s features. “I want to mirror that image on the floor, and I want to use real gemstones.”
Flipping Out airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on Bravo.