Recently subscribed to all cover of the queen’s platinum jubilee, i’m still obsessed with british fashion, traditions and architecture. The most iconic balcony in the world, in my opinion, is the balcony at Buckingham Palace where members of the British Royal Family make appearances at special events alongside the Queen. While the United States does not follow the tradition of kings and queens, having adamantly rejected that heritage some 250 years ago, there are certainly homes in Houston built with designs and materials befitting a royal gathering. Here is one.
3996 Inverness Drive, Houston, TX, 77019
While I may not be looking for an $18 million home, this English mansion at 3996 Inverness Drive lets me dream of an English countryside getaway without leaving Houston.
Built in 2011 on two acres in the prestigious Tall Timbers section of River Oaks, the home measures 18,265 square feet with six bedrooms and seven full bathrooms. Listed at $17.9 million, the estate is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Galleria area, but just minutes from Houston’s shopping mecca.
Upon entering the house, you will notice beautifully crafted features such as imported English limestone, double arched wooden door and European textiles.
The living room is designed with wide plank white oak hardwood floors, deep crown moldings, a vaulted ceiling with ornate Tudor rose accents, a custom iron lantern chandelier and a limestone fireplace. The focal point here is the gorgeous oversized bay window with custom stone and steel window frames and stained glass accents.
With the same neutral colors and earth tones prevalent throughout the home, the dining room serves as a cozy hub for group meals. Featuring wide plank oak hardwood floors, crown molding, and a ceiling adorned with a custom plaster pattern and iron chandelier, it’s perfect for a gathering on a chilly evening, thanks to the limestone fireplace and its gas logs.
The kitchen brings rustic European charm to the home, with reclaimed terracotta and wood floors, crown molding, coffered ceilings with repurposed beams, and custom iron pendants. The island is generously oversized with a quartzite countertop and includes a Franke vegetable sink for easy prep.
The kitchen leads to both a dining area and an office with built-in cabinets, desks and speakers. The bedroom also has windows overlooking the greenery outside for daydreaming throughout the working day.
One of the most luxurious features of the house is the wine cellar, built with an air-conditioned wine cellar designed to store over 800 bottles. Bespoke iron doors open to reveal a space anchored by a table that seats eight, limestone art niches, cathedral slate floors imported from England, and brick walls. Custom mosaic glass sconces and vaulted brick ceilings complete the decadent ambiance…chic wine tastings await.
In addition to creating a European Houston getaway with its imported materials and styles, the home is also a guest’s paradise. In addition to the wine cellar, there is a dedicated media room and billiard room with wide plank white oak floors, crown moldings, beamed ceiling, billiard lighting and two built-in aquariums.
A double door from the billiard room leads to the media room, which serves as a mini cinema room. There’s tiered seating for eight, crown molding, sconce lighting, paneled padded walls for soundproofing, surround sound, a large screen and, of course, a projector. All that’s missing is a food stand, but you can return to the billiard room for a drink at the bar.
Double French doors open to reveal a master bedroom with wide plank oak hardwood floors, a peaked lattice ceiling, Venetian plaster walls and a limestone fireplace with gas logs. The room also includes built-in speakers and French doors leading to a covered patio. There are also his and hers closets, both built with oak hardwood floors, track lighting, fitted wardrobes and glass entry doors.
The master bathroom is an image taken directly from Victoriawith classic touches such as Hollywood lighting, paneled walls with handcrafted murals, and a jetted clawfoot tub.
In the backyard you will find royal estate type landscaping, a swimming pool, a summer kitchen and a loggia built with roughly hewn limestone floors, double iron chandeliers, a beamed ceiling, a fireplace and four window seats.
In the summer kitchen, you’ll be transported to Texas, thanks to leather countertops, bar seating, and an electric burner for crawfish boils. There’s also, of course, a Texas Pit Crafter gas grill for Houston BBQ season – after a whirlwind English tour, welcome home.