Most of us don’t take the time out of our busy schedules to enjoy our surroundings. Cliff Hunter and his wife Jane had just that idea in mind when they purchased a patch of North Mississippi land in 2006. The property consisted of 289 acres of little more than raw land, an old cotton shed, two small bodies of water and a herd of cattle. Just 15 minutes from Senatobia and Hernando, and less than an hour from Memphis, the Hunters knew immediately that they had found themselves a gem. Their home highlights elements ranging from Jane’s background in lighting and design, Cliff’s Biology degree and business to their shared love for horses and presents itself as a true retreat for the couple.An avid sportsman, Cliff made an early decision to turn the property into a wildlife preserve rather than another hunting spot. The appropriately named Hunter’s View Farms includes the highest elevation in Tate County, which lends itself to unparalleled views with miles of visibility in some places and a stretch across the Arkabutla Creek Base in others. “Location is the property’s best asset,” says Cliff. “It is a true getaway, but I am still able to drive to and from work every day.”With rapid resourcefulness, Cliff turned the underutilized land into their primary residence and an operational equestrian ranch.
Meticulous and detail oriented, Cliff knows that the best way to do a job right is to do it yourself. With a little initiative and a lot of tools, Cliff says that he and his wife planned the buildout process and now maintain the land themselves. Each plays their own important role in daily activities. This highly improved property now has a private entry, fencing and cross fencing and a trail system around the perimeter. Cliff maintains fields and has put in a drainage structure to control erosion. There were two existing 1.5-acre ponds stocked with bream and bass, one near the house, but a 9-acre lake was built two years ago specifically for trophy fishing.There are abundant deer, turkey, doves, true wild quail and other small game on the property, which Cliff maintains as well. Many of the desired aspects of a sportsman’s lifestyle lie on the property, although the vision is to use it purely for personal recreation. “We love to entertain. We host a dove hunt each year but no other hunting the rest of the year.”When planning the structures that now sit on the property’s rolling hills, the Hunters had two things in mind: energy efficiency and aesthetics. The home’s main spaces include a three-car garage, three full bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and two half baths, along with a spacious kitchen, separate dining room, formal living room, den and a game room with its own private loft. The fully customized 6,200 square foot home combines functionality and high style with its high-end details and exquisite stonework. The Hunters, devoted entertainers, developed a floor plan with spacious rooms, high vaulted ceilings and milled cypress cornice work throughout the house.
No detail is accidental.The workmanship and building materials used on the home’s exterior are incomparable. There were several types of stone incorporated outdoors, including Tennessee Limestone from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Flagstone. The neutral colors were selected as a complement to the existing scenery. The stairs leading to the rear deck are outer coated iron. Architectural beams are used throughout the house inside and out and the cornice work is milled cypress, a more durable, longer-lasting wood.There are more than 40 windows in the house and half as many doors that together transform the walls into a panoramic frame, allowing the homeowners and their guests to enjoy nature’s own portrait from nearly every position in the house. “The scenic views of rolling hills offer a peace that you don’t find with city living.” The landscaping was intended to enhance the beauty of the outdoors, which can be enjoyed from an upstairs deck or the back porch equipped with phantom screens. The screens are invisible when recessed but the porch is completely enclosed when in use.Cliff and Jane invested in a low-to-zero maintenance plan. They stoned the exterior for aesthetics, while also keeping energy efficiency in mind. Windsor Low-E windows with UV blocker were installed. They have a bronze-clad exterior so they will never need painting or replacing and a stained wood interior for low maintenance. With the windows in place, there was little need for curtains or blinds, so they will be able to enjoy their views, day or night.All outdoor porches and decks were made of flagstone and no wood was used, so there is none to maintain. An HVAC system with the highest seer rating allows for the most efficiency per cubic feet, since many of the rooms have vaulted ceilings. Inside, top-of-the-line energy star rated appliances were installed for efficiency and longevity, and three masonry fireplaces showcase more of the home’s stonework.The home’s interior does not exactly reflect the heritage of the region where it sits. It is an eclectic fusion of styles that have sentimental meaning to the Hunters. The details are very diverse, although they flow throughout the rooms.
Cliff is originally from Texas and Jane grew up in Virginia. The well-traveled couple has enjoyed many vacations out West — in Wyoming, in the Mayan Riviera and everywhere in between. When building a home on their property in 2007, they incorporated design elements and materials reminiscent of the memories they have shared, and a story of their history is told through the unique style. The furnishings themselves reveal a bit more of Jane’s eastern upbringing. Cliff describes the home as “a true reflection of who we are.” The charming living spaces scream elegant simplicity. Decks and covered screen porches provide a comfortable place to enjoy an al fresco experience any time of the year. The lighting throughout the house was planned by Jane, a retired lighting consultant from Graham’s Lighting, where she specialized in high-end homes. Oversized doors and customized windows allow more natural light to disseminate and subtle hints of color are spread through each room.The spacious kitchen displays the best of finishes, granite countertops and Arkansas Fieldstone accents. The appliances are covered with wood finishes to match the custom cabinetry. An extra-large island featuring bronze pendant lighting yields additional storage and bonus seating transforms the room into a gathering space for entertaining.The home’s living room, also known as Jane’s sanctuary, has a vaulted ceiling and a masonry fireplace. The mantle above the fireplace is reclaimed and restored from an old home and has slate around it.
The room’s decor has a blend of eastern and southern accents. It is a more formal room than the other living spaces and houses the couple’s grand piano. It is typically the room where friends and family congregate on holidays and after dinners.The den has a fireplace lined with Arkansas Fieldstone, which was added for aesthetic purposes. The mantle is a reclaimed beam that was from a granary in Rochester, Minnesota from the late 1800s. The flat, 24-foot ceilings give the room added depth for Cliff’s game trophies that hang on the walls.The 22-foot vaulted ceilings in the game room are accentuated by its natural wood beams, high arched windows and several cozy seating areas, which are inviting upon entrance; but the pool table, telescope and unequalled views will draw guests in for hours of entertainment. Great for out-of-towners, the game room has a foldout sofa, its own full bathroom and a loft for private sleep.The downstairs master bedroom is an escape, in itself. The decor is very European and cozy. The home’s third fireplace, made of Limestone, is positioned in the master bedroom for ambiance and added comfort in the winter months. The master bathroom boasts Italian Marble floors and counters, a built-in Jacuzzi and a Missouri Fieldstone wall. The Hunters often take their horses into the Ozarks, so they have incorporated that area’s natural element into their retreat. Other bedrooms greet guests with a similar restful experience.The adjoining 4,200 square foot barn is made up of 100 percent cypress and serves as an extension of the property and the home. Two cupolas add architectural style and functionality of releasing excess heat. Dormers on the front and rear allow for natural light. An overhang on either side of the barn provides shading for the horses and storage for equipment and hay bales.
The showplace barn includes plumbing, a bathroom, seven stalls, a birthing stall, a wash stall with drain, a tack room and a standing seam metal roof. The property also features a 90-acre fenced and cross-fenced horse pasture. The accessibility to their home and the convenience of an extensive trail system gives way to yet another everyday leisure activity.The Hunters built their home for sustainability and aesthetics, and in a location where they could incorporate their shared interests and passion. A retreat from the hustle and bustle, Hunter’s View Farms nourishes so much wildlife and natural landscape. The Hunters continue to benefit from their own labors and make use of every opportunity that the unhurried lifestyle offers.
This stunning North Mississippi residence doubles as recreational haven for hunters
Story by Kristen Waddell