Villa Collina Renewed: Why Renovate?

Editor’s Note: “Villa Collina Renewed” is a 15-part blog series detailing owner Dr. Eric W. Barton’s work to restore the largest home in Tennessee to its original Italianate beauty. Each week we will discuss renovation projects across the 40,250-square-foot waterfront mansion, from geothermal upgrades and energy efficiency to state-of-the-art lighting, marble renovations and fountain upgrades. We hope you enjoy this detailed research on the jewel that is Villa Collina.

When U.S. Marines veteran and successful serial entrepreneur Dr. Eric W. Barton is asked why he decided to purchase Villa Collina, his answer lands on his desire to help the community.

“For several decades now, Villa Collina has remained a prestigious icon in the Knoxville community,” Barton said. “I wanted to help restore the Italianate beauty back to its original glory, while also utilizing its breathtaking space to benefit area organizations and charities. These renovations are a win-win for this Knoxville icon and the community as a whole. I look forward to seeing the fruits of our labor come to fruition.”

The Villa Collina has hosted such organizations as the Knoxville Opera, Tennessee Veterans Business Association and the 242nd U.S. Marine Corps Birthday celebration to engage with their audiences, raise awareness and hold beneficial fundraisers.

Last December, Villa Collina hosted the University of Tennessee School of Music Holiday Musicale to benefit the school’s scholarship fund.

Constructed between 1993 and 2000, Villa Collina is hailed as the largest home in Tennessee and the 84th largest in the country with a total of 86 rooms, including eight bedrooms, 11 full baths and five half baths, commercial grade kitchen, three-story library, 2,600-square-foot wine cellar, 11 fireplaces, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, spa, sauna, dance floor, elevator, home theater, six-car garage, secluded guest suite and staff quarters. The mansion is situated along the picturesque Tennessee River in Knoxville.

Since purchasing the home in 2016, Barton has made both cosmetic changes and significant renovations related to energy-efficiency, HVAC systems, roof repairs, pools, marble, security, LED lighting, geothermal upgrades and much more.

The full interior has been repainted with carpets replaced and sun-damaged items restored. The exterior of the home has been repainted Buena Vista Gold with Valet White trim to complement the Italianesque style of the home.

Renovations, such as fountain and marble work and light-scaping, continue at the Villa Collina.

Up next: The second topic will be energy efficiency. Eric Barton has installed new LED lighting, energy-film for windows and automated systems throughout the mansion. Come back for next week’s installment of Villa Collina Renewed.