“There was just a little shack,” McGraw, 50, tells Architectural Digest, but Hill, 49, could already tell, “It was a great little place.”
After the country superstars swooped in and bought the property they now call L’île d’Anges in 2003, they simply “floated the shack away” and replaced the modest structure with a collection of eight “pavilions” that took until 2012 to complete.
“We set out to build a house. We had no idea we had to build everything else,” Hill says. “We basically had to build a little town.”
McAlpine — the architecture and interior design firm that the couple worked with on their Nashville and Franklin homes — stepped in to help create the breathtaking oasis, with each room living in a separate building connected by open-air passageways.
“We wanted to feel connected to the outside,” Hill says. “When the breeze comes through the room, it’s just life-changing.”
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The retreat now serves as a spot for Hill and McGraw to unwind from their busy lifestyles with daughters Gracie, 20, Maggie, 18, and Audrey, 15.
“We’ve been all over the world, and we really wanted to create a special place we couldn’t find anywhere else,” Hill says.
McGraw adds, “Every time we land the plane and walk onto the beach and head up to the house, we turn to each other and say, ‘This is the best place in the world.’”
For the full tour, pick up the July issue of Architectural Digest, or visit archdigest.com.