The Opposite of Minimalism
Ten months ago we sold most everything we had and moved into a 400 square foot fifth wheel. We have generally enjoyed living a more minimalist lifestyle. Sometimes we miss having more room and more stuff but we recognize that we have a lot of benefits as well. While we were in Asheville, North Carolina, we visited the opposite of the minimalist lifestyle that seems to be taking the country by storm. No tiny houses or mobile abodes here. Instead we found opulence, riches, and an insanely huge home.
The Biltmore estate was the dream child of Charles Biltmore. It is the largest privately owned house in the United States weighing in at a respectable 178,926 square feet. It has more than 250 rooms and it is located on a mere 8,000 acres.
Unfortunately it was very dark inside the house and it was hard to take good pictures. I took a lot of them but I didn’t get a lot of great ones. My favorite room was the library. It had more than 10,000 books and all of them were personally picked out by George Vanderbilt.
George Vanderbilts bedroom was huge and it had a marble tub that was carved from one piece of marble.
The main dining area was huge. I think they said it was over 2500 square feet. Throughout the tour they make it a point to tell you what normal and down to earth family the Vanderbilts were. I’m sure they were nice but a normal person doesn’t decide to build this big of a house. I’m not buying that they were just normal people like the rest of us. I’m not saying it’s bad to build a house this big. If you have the means and you want to do it, go ahead. Just don’t do it and then try to convince me that you are a normal every day family when your house is more than 85 times the size of a normal 2000 square foot home.
The pool in the basement was pretty cool. Since they really didn’t have chemicals to keep it clean they would empty it every few days and then fill it up again when they wanted to swim again.
To give you an idea of the size of this place, look at how big the chandelier is in the stairwell. MUY GRANDE!
The tour was pretty expensive but I felt that the uniqueness of the experience made it worth it. I imagine that we were allowed to see 25% of the house and we were exhausted by the time we were done. In my next article I will show you the grounds and gardens which were just as amazing.