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An Extraordinary Urban Estate


2---Lounge

Rich textures, color, light, and blended styles tell this home’s story

Text by Cheryl Alexander  |  Photography by Julie Soefer Photography
Architecture by John Sullivan, Sullivan, Henry, Oggero, and Assoc., Inc.
Construction by Cade Wiley, Wiley Homes
Interiors by Marie Flanigan, Marie Flanigan Interiors

When the couple who owns this spraw­ling, newly constructed 12,000-square-foot estate in the Houston area  40 years ago, they took to heart the adage that everything is bigger and better in Texas through the creation of a spacious home bursting with warmth and light.

The homeowners are admitted perfectionists who, once they commenced with the enormous undertaking of building a home of this size in a neighborhood of this prestige, knew they had to compile a team of experts with whom they could closely work and collaborate. The desired outcome was the fusion of highly functional spaces, unique architectural detailing and texture-rich design. They also maintain an active household and enjoy frequent entertaining, so creating grand spaces that maintain a warm, intimate atmosphere remained a focus.

“It was our dream to build a home that we could share with friends and family; a place where our children could grow,” said the wife. “We wanted a home that would be comfortable for us now and down the road when future grandkids visit – someplace where we could grow old together.”

“Though the home is quite large, we considered each space equally important and selected finishes, fixtures and furniture with that in mind,” said interior designer Marie Flanigan. “We played with scale and mixed contemporary styles with Old-World textures to bring a sense of depth and story to each space.”

To this end, the home’s interiors present a marriage of Old-World European references with cutting-edge architectural detailing and contemporary decor. The master suite is a perfect example of this new-meets-old juxtaposition. The homeowners have a charmingly rustic bedroom flowing directly into a slick white marble bathroom. In the kitchen, where the husband preferred more traditional kitchen cabinetry and the wife preferred modern, Flanigan found a way to satisfy both styles. “In the end, we found what we were looking for at Eggersmann,” she said. “We installed uppers in a sleek modern finish and lowers in a traditional wood finish, and it’s a joy to see how well the two styles marry.”

Color is a key element throughout the home. This couple has acquired and continues to grow a brightly hued contemporary art collection, the bursts of color of which look even more vibrant against the mostly neutral walls. As well, the home’s hard finishes were selected for their unique ability to make a bold statement without the use of intense hues. Utilizing such an objective  backdrop allows the abstract artworks, antiqued and modern metals, and sculptural fixtures to  really shine.

Texture-rich finishes play an important role in almost every room. The couple purchased two razed barns to tap into a supply of rough-hewn lumber used for flooring and steps, as well as to clad walls and ceilings.

“Ceilings adorned and paneled in the rough-hewn wood beams infuse a raw, rustic vibe into spaces that plays nicely with contemporary furnishings and artwork throughout,” said Flanigan. “The reclaimed wood also works nicely with organic surfaces and antiqued brass and bronze elements, lending warmth.”

Chiseled limestone floors in the grand entry foyer and adjacent living room and  a custom-carved limestone mantel in the formal sitting room introduce Old-World  dimension in harmony with the beamed ceilings and arched doorways. Calacatta marble slabs upholster kitchen walls, waterfall over the island and form a floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround in the family room. In the dining room, a stone wall serves as an anchor, playing off other organic elements in the room, like the selenite chandelier, hemlock ceiling beams and stone flooring. Statuesque objects add dimensional texture as well, such as the soaking tub, floating vanities and limestone fireplace in the master suite.

The couple agrees that the favorite feature of their home may be the light it exudes. Whether it’s a distinctive fixture or the abundance of natural light streaming through the home’s steel doors and windows, every space feels warm, open and inviting. The ample natural light brings warmth and balance to this regal estate by highlighting the rustic elements and bouncing off the striking gallery-white walls, and the equally remarkable fixtures don’t disappoint. For instance, the dramatic chandelier in the sitting room, aptly named the Ringmaster, adds a touch of whimsy to an otherwise highly structured space.

As for a favorite room, each family member noted the kitchen as ideal. This  highly functional kitchen feels streamlined and contemporary, and its location is key. Nestled between the living room, dining room and wet bar, it’s in the center of all the action, making cooking and entertaining a breeze. Calacatta marble  creates stylish surfaces to work on and premier appliances are all built-in to custom rift-cut oak paneling, allowing counter space to remain uncluttered. The vent hood also makes a grand statement. The designer worked with a local vendor to craft this particular piece out of hammered steel.

A spacious walk-in pantry and connection to the adjacent bar allows for enhanced storage for the family’s special occasion dishes, cookware and serving ware, while a wealth of upper and lower cabinetry options house everyday items. Kitchen walkways remain wide and open and contemporary low-back barstools tuck into the island allowing for a free flow of space where the family can easily gather without feeling cramped or crowded.

The home’s smart design is both visually and functionally minimalist. No space is wasted, and every element included in the design enhances the overall simplicity and appeal of the expansive estate.

“I love that every room has its own feel,” said the happy wife. “We agonized over every little detail, but it was a lot of fun! It is a big house, but when you come in it feels warm, inviting and elegant. It really is our dream home.”

TOP IMAGE: The living room’s whimsical chandelier was custom-finished to match the steel doors.

 A stucco exterior and minimal shifts in rooflines provide a streamlined facade that showcases a pair of decorative dormers cued by ones the homeowners saw in France.

A stucco exterior and minimal shifts in rooflines provide a streamlined facade that showcases a pair of decorative dormers cued by ones the homeowners saw in France.

Tanta­lizing textures – including a velvet-clad sofa, a silk-and-wool rug, and a mirror-top crackled drum table – please the eye in this home’s living room without disturbing the peace. The only bold color comes from a vivacious canvas by Alexander Kroll.

Tanta­lizing textures – including a velvet-clad sofa, a silk-and-wool rug, and a mirror-top crackled drum table – please the eye in this home’s living room without disturbing the peace. The only bold color comes from a vivacious canvas by Alexander Kroll.

Frosted-glass ribbons align to fashion a chandelier with progressive panache in the breakfast room. Chosen for their easy-clean leather upholstery, the slim-lined chairs supply transitional silhouettes that bridge New-Age and Old-World design aesthetics.

Frosted-glass ribbons align to fashion a chandelier with progressive panache in the breakfast room. Chosen for their easy-clean leather upholstery, the slim-lined chairs supply transitional silhouettes that bridge New-Age and Old-World design aesthetics.

Texture, color and light are also primary players in her dressing room/closet. Smart compartments and streamlined cabinetry keep all of her things easily accessible and organized.

Texture, color and light are also primary players in her dressing room/closet. Smart compartments and streamlined cabinetry keep all of her things easily accessible and organized.

Book-matched slabs of marble give the family room fireplace strong symmetrical appeal. Contemporary shelves flanking the fireplace echo the modern mood of the hearth bench, which is reinforced with steel and clad in marble.

Book-matched slabs of marble give the family room fireplace strong symmetrical appeal. Contemporary shelves flanking the fireplace echo the modern mood of the hearth bench, which is reinforced with steel and clad in marble.

Clean simplicity emphasizes the natural beauty of a carefully selected material palette, which includes richly veined marble counters with thick waterfall sides and sleek, contemporary cabinetry. Whether from the natural light flooding in from the steel-framed windows or the interesting fixtures that cast their own warm glow, the light is a key player in this open space.

Clean simplicity emphasizes the natural beauty of a carefully selected material palette, which includes richly veined marble counters with thick waterfall sides and sleek, contemporary cabinetry. Whether from the natural light flooding in from the steel-framed windows or the interesting fixtures that cast their own warm glow, the light is a key player in this open space.

The study sports a coffered ceiling that combines reclaimed barnwood and painted box beams to amplify overhead interest. The pairing of paint and wood is repeated on built-in bookcases featuring leather-inlaid cabinet pulls. Designer Marie Flanigan opted for a desk with an antiqued-brass base and a laminated vellum top to continue the masculine theme.

The study sports a coffered ceiling that combines reclaimed barnwood and painted box beams to amplify overhead interest. The pairing of paint and wood is repeated on built-in bookcases featuring leather-inlaid cabinet pulls. Designer Marie Flanigan opted for a desk with an antiqued-brass base and a laminated vellum top to continue the masculine theme.

The dark marble floor and sink  provide ultimate luxury in this powder bath. Its  beauty is enhanced by natural light, interesting

The dark marble floor and sink provide ultimate luxury in this powder bath. Its beauty is enhanced by natural light, interesting fixtures and mirrors.

 White lacquered upper cabinets flank a hammered-copper range hood treated to look like aged zinc. A substantial island and extra-wide traffic paths make it easy for multiple chefs to work in the kitchen at the same time.

White lacquered upper cabinets flank a hammered-copper range hood treated to look like aged zinc. A substantial island and extra-wide traffic paths make it easy for multiple chefs to work in the kitchen at the same time.

A true texture trove, the dining space features a reclaimed oak ceiling, rough-cut cobblestone wall, and selenite chandelier that provides warmth and balance for the rich, saturated hues below. The wine room is built into the cobblestone and doubles as a work of art.

A true texture trove, the dining space features a reclaimed oak ceiling, rough-cut cobblestone wall, and selenite chandelier that provides warmth and balance for the rich, saturated hues below. The wine room is built into the cobblestone and doubles as a work of art.

Pieced-together dyed cowhides fashion a geometric-pattern area rug that plays well with an upholstered bedstead and clean-lined furnishings in the master bedroom to create a space that is calm and soothing, but has a grandiose impact.

Pieced-together dyed cowhides fashion a geometric-pattern area rug that plays well with an upholstered bedstead and clean-lined furnishings in the master bedroom to create a space that is calm and soothing, but has a grandiose impact.

The curvaceous master tub was one of the first pieces selected for the home. It sits in front of a light-inviting arched window and beneath a triple-groin-vault ceiling that also spans two vanities flanking the tub. Waterfall-edge marble countertops subtly tie the master bath’s riftsawn-oak floating vanities to surfaces in the kitchen. White shaded pendant lights brighten the room’s upper reaches and define bathing and prep area.

The curvaceous master tub was one of the first pieces selected for the home. It sits in front of a light-inviting arched window and beneath a triple-groin-vault ceiling that also spans two vanities flanking the tub. Waterfall-edge marble countertops subtly tie the master bath’s riftsawn-oak floating vanities to surfaces in the kitchen. White shaded pendant lights brighten the room’s upper reaches and define bathing and prep area.

A reclaimed barnwood ceiling, stone floors and fireplace surround along with a rustic fireplace mantle bring texture to the outdoor dining area. Retro chairs around a large thick-slab of a table sit in happy contrast to the more contemporary decor just inside.

A reclaimed barnwood ceiling, stone floors and fireplace surround along with a rustic fireplace mantle bring texture to the outdoor dining area. Retro chairs around a large thick-slab of a table sit in happy contrast to the more contemporary decor just inside.

 

An Extraordinary Urban Estate


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