Luxury Outlook 2022
An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
Tucked among the towering grandfather trees of Houston’s Stablewood—a luxurious gated community established in the 1990s—this three-bedroom, 20,122-square-foot residence is a veritable palazzo replete with eye-catching bespoke design elements and details. Contributing to its unique ambience are hand-distressed walnut floors, plaster walls, hand-applied gold leaf accents, Renaissance-inspired painted ceiling beams, chic wall treatments, elaborate ironwork, antique chandeliers, stained and jeweled glass, richly hued African bubinga wood cabinetry and paneling, colorful decorative pendant lighting, and a fireplace frieze reclaimed from the legendary Shamrock Hotel.
Beyond a commanding façade of columns and a towering Palladian-style window, the reception hall offers an impressive introduction with its ornate double staircase, above which is suspended a 15-foot sculpture crafted by illustrious glass artist Dale Chihuly specifically for the space. Flowing from the entry hall are a voluminous living room, a dining room with a gilt ceiling and distinctive light fixtures, a handsome library with striking woodwork, and a mahogany wet bar perfect for today’s revived cocktail culture. Grand entertaining is effortless in these spaces and thanks to a colorful, generously proportioned kitchen, which includes a built-in breakfast banquette and is accompanied by a service hall and a room dedicated to china and silver. Even the air-conditioned pine-paneled four-car garage provides possibilities for large-scale festivities. The temperature- and humidity-controlled sunroom will appeal to anyone with a green thumb. The pièce de resistance is the 2,400-square-foot ballroom, positioned above the garage by the original owners, who once danced together professionally.
The private quarters are relaxing, restful, and refined. Located on the main level and introduced by 18th-century teak doors and stunning hand-carved millwork from a Jain temple in India, the primary suite has a soaring ceiling, its own Palladian-style window, a dramatic fireplace cut from rosy stone, plentiful built-ins, a gym with a juice bar, a custom-created spa-caliber bath, and a room-sized walk-in closet with an adjoining dressing room. The guest retreats enjoy seclusion on the upper level; each boasts a distinctive style and design motif.
Walkways and enchanting bridges meander through green grass, gardens and trees and beside and above streams, waterfalls, and a koi pond on the 1.41-acre property, which sits within view of one of Houston’s famed bayous. Beside the alluring swimming pool and its hot and cold spas is a magnificent pavilion designed with alfresco enjoyment and entertaining in mind. It offers a well-appointed kitchen with a grill and smoker, living and dining areas, two baths, and an open-air shower, completing a picture-perfect, all-encompassing getaway in one of America’s largest, most cosmopolitan, and fastest-growing cities.