Y’all know I loves me
some architecture, and I loves me some Bravo, which is why I loves me some
Property Envy on Bravo. They show luxury real estate and then dish the digs, and
guess the price. But on last night’s episode I stumbled across the house of my
dreams. In fact, I love this house so much that, were I to win the Powerball,
I’d make an all-cash offer of the $17,000,000 price-tag and move into the
house even though it’s in Texas!
That’s how much I love
Bayou Breeze. I love that it’s new but looks old; I love that it looks like a
mash-up of Tudor and Frank Lloyd Wright and cabin in the woods. I love that it
looks lived in, but not; elegant but livable; and, did I mention there’s a wine
Bayou Breeze is part
of the River Oaks, a community that was developed back in 1927 by William and
Michael Hogg, sons of former Texas governor Jim Hogg. A strict adherence to
meticulous planning, as well as high standards for architecture and landscaping
makes River Oaks the most beautiful and peaceful spot in which to retire and
live, baby, live!
The 16,022 square foot
home sits on nearly four acres overlooking the Buffalo Bayou just outside
Houston. The driveway winds between the old oaks and brings you into the motor
court in front of the house.
The limestone façade,
the cypress wood paneling, the double door entry that leads to a foyer of
limestone brick flooring, and French plastered walls and ceilings and the grand
staircase framed by two-and-a-half story windows overlooking the lawns. There
is a living room with thirty foot ceilings, antique hardwood floors and a tall
bank of casement windows and an estate-sized fireplace.
The second floor
includes the Master Suite, five other bedrooms, the Family room, and Media Room
with a raised stage. The first two bedrooms, perfect for the children — or,in
my case, the cats — are side-by-side and beneath their vaulted ceilings share a
playroom between them, with Juliet balconies on both sides. Imagine Tuxedo with
his own balcony!
The other bedrooms
include their own small studies, or libraries and private bathrooms. The Master
Suite, with 12.5 foot ceilings and wide plank hardwood floors, include an
octagonal private dressing area with custom closets, an exercise room, and an
expansive Master bathroom with a whirlpool tub under an alcove and marble
walk-in shower. The suite also includes its own Roma steam shower.
But that's just the
main house. Expecting company? There's a two-bedroom apartment above the garage
as well as a separate guest house with its own coffee bar.
For dining and
entertaining, you can choose the beautiful kitchen, or the formal dining room,
complete with fireplace and wood paneled walls, or an airy breakfast room.
There is also a wet bar and lounge off the kitchen with lacquered teak accents,
and a basement wine cellar with another dining area for guests.
But it isn't all about
the inside. Outside the house features an English garden, complete with
fountains and custom stone walls around the swimming pool, with a gate that
leads to a cypress grove. There is also a polo cabana with its own kitchen
and bathroom, an outdoor fireplace and colonnaded arbor under which one
can sit around the outdoor bar and barbecue.
harmonious relationship to nature is also exemplified through its
environmentally friendly geo-thermal heat system, using the earth as a heat
source in the winter and a cooling heat sink in the summer.
The current asking
price is $17,995,000 — recently reduced from $19.9 million — but don’t forget
that living in such an auspicious neighborhood as River Oaks comes with a
price: there's an added $3,204 a month homeowner’s association fee. Still, with
Powerball money this could be done.