Listing of the Day
Location: Houston, Texas
Price: $7.9 million
This warm and stylish home in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood is so smoothly integrated into its location, it feels as though it might have been there for a century or more, its antique Ludowici terracotta roof tiles gathering a lichen-rich patina, and its trees-lined gardens maturing gracefully.
But in fact, the house was completed just this year by Jennifer Hamelet of Mirador Builders, who is known for perfectly adapting her custom and luxury speculative homes to the scale and atmosphere of their neighborhoods.
“So often with a new development in a historic area,” notes the home’s agent Jay Monroe, “the house will loom over its neighbors and stick out. But Hamelet’s homes blend seamlessly with the surrounding ones. After a year of construction, you absolutely cannot tell it’s a new house, because of the scale the finishes and, very importantly, the landscaping.”
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Between its hand-slurried brick exterior, created by a highly skilled craftsman, its full-scale, mature landscaping, and its English country house style—which was popular in River Oaks, Texas, in the 1920s—this home is far from cookie-cutter. At the same time, its fresh and spacious interior, high ceilings and open plan reception rooms, are welcome modifications to the “Old River Oaks” style of the early 20th century.
Mr. Monroe explained how, with her background in interior design, “Hamelet has an inventory of fine antique light fixtures, furniture and hardware that she collects from around the world, waiting until she has the right home to put them in.” Here, French and Italian antique details and light fixtures blend beautifully with modern finishes in white oak, sandstone, marble and solid fir.
The 7,922-square-foot, three-story house has five bedrooms, five full and three half bathrooms, and sits upon 0.57 acres of land.
Wiring is concealed inside the walls and ceilings. Other technical features include a whole home generator and an irrigation system with drip lines for the estate’s professionally landscaped grounds.
The house also boasts five masonry fireplaces and an elevator with upgraded scissor gates, as well as a pool with a heated Jacuzzi and decorative fountain, an outdoor gas grill for entertaining, and a state-of-the-art indoor bar.
There’s also a scullery adjacent to kitchen, offering additional prep space and staging area for caterers, as well as a roomy six-car garage and 20-foot-wide driveway.
The home lies in the heart of River Oaks, Houston’s oldest and most established luxury neighborhood. It was a suburb of Houston when it was first developed in the 1920s, but is now considered to be very close to the heart of the city, only five minutes to downtown. Yet, adds Mr. Monroe, it remains “a very green and treed, sort of bucolic area.” It offers a pleasant blend of homes of varied sizes and styles, from modest cottages to grand estates, historical restorations to new constructions.
River Oaks Elementary is one of the most sought after public schools in the city, and the nearby River Oaks Country Club, a very highly regarded, members-only club, anchors the neighborhood community.
Agent: Jay Monroe, Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty
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