Evan Agostini, AP
"We're going to try to recreate a home that was built in the late 1800's or early 1900's in Louisiana or even around here, maybe in downtown Franklin, Tenn.," Jessica tells The Boot. "We're trying to recreate that old-style home -- the white wood with the shutters on the windows and the porch going all the way around."
Jessica says that kind of house gives her a special feeling of warmth that she wants to share with others. "I just love the feeling of the old," she explains. "I want it to feel like when you walk into our home that it's been there for a hundred years. I want it to be comfortable enough to be cozy with the family, but also beautiful enough to be able to invite people over to entertain and have parties there."
The house will sit on 200 acres of rolling hills in the Leipers Fork area, which has become quite an arts community over the past dozen years or so, and home to several others in the country-music world. "It is a really beautiful setting," Jessica says.
Jessica says she's content with the rooms they have in their home now, though the layout will definitely be different. Clay says he has a few things he wants to add to the current configuration as well. "One is a golf room, where I have golfing memorabilia, clubs and things like that. I've always loved golfing, more that just the sport of it. It's really the memories and the great golf courses where I've played and been a part of those courses."
"The second thing would definitely be some type of wine cellar," Clay continues. "Because Jess and I both enjoy drinking red wine together in the later part of the evening."
Among the treasures that will be in the new house is a colorful starfish collection which now sits on the couple's bookshelves in their den. "We were in Coto de Caza, Calif., about four years ago, at a market on the ocean, and there was a man blowing glass there," Jessica explains. "He designed them specifically for us."
Other treasured mementos that will move with them is an old-time slot machine from the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, given to Clay by two dear friends in the music business. Another will be the first painting the couple purchased together.
"One of the things that got me started collecting art was on our honeymoon, there was this art gallery that we walked past and decided to go inside," Clay recalls. "There was this piece of art that was a magnificent rendition of Monet's 'Garnet.' The artist happened to be in town doing an exhibit that evening. So we fell in love with this painting and we came back later that night and met the artist who did it. There was so much soul that went into creating that piece of art that Jess and I could both feel the passion that was in it. Even though we didn't know anything about collecting, the painting really did speak to us, much like songs speak to people. So we've collected five or six pieces of art that really mean a lot to both of us, ones that have moved us. That's the sole reason why we have them."
Clay and Jessica are in the midst of finalizing plans for their new home and hope to have construction underway soon. Clay's latest album, 'She Won't Be Lonely Long,' features the Top 5 title track.