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Sprawling, Spacious and Stupendous


Attention to detail ranging from lighting to landscaping to water features sets this resort-style backyard apart.
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welve years ago, the homeowners of this Richmond estate met in Houston and were introduced to each other by mutual friends. They embarked upon their life together though they lived in different Texas cities: he in suburban Katy; she in rural Columbus. After enjoying a long-distance relationship for a while, they decided to marry and close the gap, so she moved into his home in Cinco Ranch.

It only took about one year for this country girl to get cabin fever. She admitted, “For love, I moved off of 10 acres in Northeast Texas to the suburbs where houses are bumped right up next to each other. I really missed the space I had previously relished in.” He agreed, “Though my home was large enough for me and my life before marriage, when we blended our families — 10 grandchildren and four dogs now — that 4,000-square-foot home began to feel like a cottage.”

The couple began to look around and found a piece of property that fit their requirements. The entire property is about 30 wooded acres, but the home is situated on the 10 most select. “We absolutely love our place,” the couple shared, “for many reasons: we are close to all of the necessary conveniences like grocery stores, hospitals, churches, etc., but we are still private and secluded from traffic and city noises.” They also admit that being able to watch and listen to the plethora of wildlife in their proximity is much more rewarding and appealing than watching and listening to their neighbors.

The wife added, “Too, our grandchildren visit often and now they have elbow room — both in- and outdoors. We don’t feel like we are on top of each other and visits are much more pleasant.”

However, the couple’s current estate — 14,000 square feet with five bedrooms and eight baths — was not the original home they built on this property. For six years, they lived in a house built by another builder in a home they designed without much knowledge of custom home building. “We didn’t research and plan enough,” he shared, “and we didn’t have the right team in place to assist us.”

Their former home had 7,800 square feet, four bedrooms and five baths — “not that 7,800 square feet is a small space; it’s not,” the wife said. “But with our kids, grandkids and animals in the mix, we realized we wanted a bigger home pretty quickly.”

“Additionally, because we travel a lot,” he added, “we realized from the hotels we stayed in that there were a lot of amenities we wanted which we hadn’t planned for in that home.” The couple decided they wanted a home theater; a steam room; bigger closets and more storage options all over the home; bigger dining and living spaces; an elevator; and more garages for their cars, his tools and the utility vehicles that they use on the property.

So they began discussing a remodel of the existing home. When it came time to crunch numbers, they soon found that it would be cheaper to tear down that home and rebuild from scratch than to remodel. They even filled in the former swimming pool and completely redesigned the pool area and the landscape around the new home.

How did they come to this decision? Well, they called a friend who is an interior designer: Peggy Baker. “Peggy then recommended Patrick Berrios and Charles Campise, both of whom she’d worked with before,” the couple disclosed. “We were thrilled, mainly because we knew and admired Peggy’s work, so we trusted her, and also because the team was already harmonious and had created amazing spaces together previously. Handing over our job to them was easy.”

The challenge came when the couple moved out of the to-be-demolished home into a tiny 1,200-square-foot home they bought nearby enabling them to be onsite every day. “It was fun watching the progress — both the demolition and the new construction, but it was so hard living in cramped quarters for two and a half years with most of our belongings in storage,” they said.

When the home construction was finally finished, they began to enjoy the interior design taking place. They loved that Peggy brought in furnishings and Tuscan design features which complement the home’s aesthetic that “no one else would have thought of, like an antique Italian statue formerly in a cathedral which now adorns our master bath; or fireplace accessories from an old Italian castle,” she said. “Along with Patrick’s inclusion of such important details, like the wood paneled study;  the Jerusalem limestone floors throughout the home, which is ancient and embedded with fossils; the grand entry with its 30-foot ceiling, winding stairs and the beautiful wrought iron railing which is painted with gold accents; and all of the vaulted and barreled ceilings throughout the home. His work is amazing and still to this day we marvel at it.”

Additionally, the owners love their home theater with fabric walls over sheetrock, which serves as a sound shield. He explained, “The fabric absorbs any noise; there is no echo or vibrations, so our movies sound just like we are in a large theater.”

“Oh, and don’t forget my closet,” she asserted. Yes, the two-story closet with its antique mirrors is the pièce de résistance, a masterpiece by any definition. “And it kind of happened on a whim. Patrick mentioned that the space above it was ‘dead space,’ so we added the second floor, which enables me to rotate my clothing seasonally. I absolutely love it — who wouldn’t?” He got a bigger closet, too. In the former home, his was a 6 by 6 foot space; now he has a 14 by 18 foot closet with wall-to-wall leopard skin carpet. Not too shabby.

Since the couple entertains a lot, there were some must haves in the new home designed to make hosting parties and events a little easier. The butler’s pantry is one of those must haves. In this space, there is a built in storage unit with a ladder on castors, which makes reaching the upper cabinets easily accessible. Here they store their large silver service and their more seasonal service pieces. Opposite the built-in, is a beautiful china cabinet where she keeps her china and crystal service.

The kitchen was also built with entertaining and gathering in mind. Two spacious islands allow ample work or buffet space. She is the cook of the two, and for the obvious reasons — no expense was spared in this gourmet chef’s kitchen —she loves spending time in here, “creating dishes to share with family and friends.”

Though her closet and her kitchen run a close second and third, this wife says that her favorite spot in her new home is the outdoor loggia space. “It is phenomenal. From the infinity pool area where we actually have two pools — and upper and a lower pool — where the upper pool cascades into the lower pool and the waterfall which is the result, to the lounge area, to the beautifully landscape grounds, I never get tired of spending time in our loggia.”

His favorite part of the home is the family room. “I love that the space is large, yet intimate. Though the room is oversized on purpose to accommodate our huge blended family, because Peggy helped us select large pieces of furniture to fit the space, we don’t feel like we are in a concert hall or something when we are in there. Everything is to scale. It is such a comfortable place to spend time.

“Actually,” the couple agrees, “we love everything about this home. It suits our family size and our entertaining requirements; it allows ample room for all of our desired amenities; it’s close enough in to be convenient; it’s far enough out to be private; we get to enjoy nature and wildlife on a daily basis; and it’s custom to our taste and style — we feel like we have it all.”

Caption for top image: Attention to detail ranging from lighting to landscaping to water features sets this resort-style backyard apart.

Text by Cheryl Alexander | Photography by Bruce Glass |
Residential Designer: Patrick Berrios Designs, Inc. Builder: Melrose Builders, LLC  |  
Interior Design: Peggy Lee Baker InteriorsLandscape and Pool by Oasis Landscape Architectures  |  
Wall Finishings by Anything But Plain | Lighting and Home Automation/Security by Ronnie Laird
Falling in love with the beauty of the classical architectural forms, the homeowners chose not to use decorative crown molding, letting the craft speak for itself in the foyer.

Falling in love with the beauty of the classical architectural forms, the homeowners chose not to use decorative crown molding, letting the craft speak for itself in the foyer.

Groin vault ceilings, limestone floors and a hand-carved stone fireplace provide a canvas for the classic textures and furnishings that make up the space.

Groin vault ceilings, limestone floors and a hand-carved stone fireplace provide a canvas for the classic textures and furnishings that make up the space.

Groin vault ceilings, limestone floors and a hand-carved stone fireplace provide a canvas for the classic textures and furnishings that make up the space.

Groin vault ceilings, limestone floors and a hand-carved stone fireplace provide a canvas for the classic textures and furnishings that make up the space.

Located on a wooded lot, the home was set among the trees with the landscaping and paving arranged to accommodate the cohabitants of the lot.

Located on a wooded lot, the home was set among the trees with the landscaping and paving arranged to accommodate the cohabitants of the lot.

Thin stained wood panels stretch along the curved walls of the poker room culminating in a medallion from which an antique light fixture hangs.

Thin stained wood panels stretch along the curved walls of the poker room culminating in a medallion from which an antique light fixture hangs.

A tall dome ceiling with arched niches, decorative onlays on faux textured walls and large windows create a relaxing space to curl up and read a book.

A tall dome ceiling with arched niches, decorative onlays on faux textured walls and large windows create a relaxing space to curl up and read a book.

A tall dome ceiling with arched niches, decorative onlays on faux textured walls and large windows create a relaxing space to curl up and read a book.

A tall dome ceiling with arched niches, decorative onlays on faux textured walls and large windows create a relaxing space to curl up and read a book.

The formal powder room is finished in a rich patterned wallpaper with a dark mosaic tile acting as a wainscot and backsplash which pair beautifully with the three-drawer, carved wood piece of furniture that was converted into the vanity.

The formal powder room is finished in a rich patterned wallpaper with a dark mosaic tile acting as a wainscot and backsplash which pair beautifully with the three-drawer, carved wood piece of furniture that was converted into the vanity.

A custom built display cabinet in olive green juxtaposes a stained, freestanding furniture piece, giving ample counter and storage space in the butler’s pantry. Glass doors and shelves illuminated by in-cabinet lighting highlight the china.

A custom built display cabinet in olive green juxtaposes a stained, freestanding furniture piece, giving ample counter and storage space in the butler’s pantry. Glass doors and shelves illuminated by in-cabinet lighting highlight the china.

Custom cabinetry crowned with beautifully inked molding flank the prep and eating islands in this  spacious kitchen.

Custom cabinetry crowned with beautifully inked molding flank the prep and eating islands in this spacious kitchen.

Oversized room lends itself for multiple seating areas around the focal fireplace, while capturing views to the backyard oasis.

Oversized room lends itself for multiple seating areas around the focal fireplace, while capturing views to the backyard oasis.

Authentic vintage slot machines, a billiard table, a bar as well as a poker room with a view of the pool create a lively family entertainment area.

Authentic vintage slot machines, a billiard table, a bar as well as a poker room with a view of the pool create a lively family entertainment area.

The motor court is tucked behind a drive thru porte-cochere, creating a prime location for the car-loving homeowner to fine-tune and enjoy his hobby.

The motor court is tucked behind a drive thru porte-cochere, creating a prime location for the car-loving homeowner to fine-tune and enjoy his hobby.

The home theater room features multi-level seating, rich wood paneling with black and gold wallpaper, a barrel ceiling with decorative hand-painted vine and leaf detail, and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system that ties into the home automation.

The home theater room features multi-level seating, rich wood paneling with black and gold wallpaper, a barrel ceiling with decorative hand-painted vine and leaf detail, and a state-of-the-art audio-visual system that ties into the home automation.

Unique rolled ceiling with hand-painted stenciling and a creative furniture layout create a true mini-master.

Unique rolled ceiling with hand-painted stenciling and a creative furniture layout create a true mini-master.

Designed to complement the guest suite, beautiful attention to detail was placed into the vanity. Recessed niches lined with mosaic tile are set within the arched ceiling walls containing the tub, providing space for toiletries or candles to add to the soothing atmosphere.

Designed to complement the guest suite, beautiful attention to detail was placed into the vanity. Recessed niches lined with mosaic tile are set within the arched ceiling walls containing the tub, providing space for toiletries or candles to add to the soothing atmosphere.
The focus of the master suite was to achieve a tranquil space where the client could really feel at ease. The suite is isolated from the main functional spaces of the home, with exceptional views to the backyard and access to a private courtyard. The stained, hand carved spiral bedposts directly across from the stone fireplace lend a warmth to the lightness and airiness of the colors and textures of the furnishings. Golden light is gently spread through the adorning crystals of the chandelier and throughout the space.

The focus of the master suite was to achieve a tranquil space where the client could really feel at ease. The suite is isolated from the main functional spaces of the home, with exceptional views to the backyard and access to a private courtyard. The stained, hand carved spiral bedposts directly across from the stone fireplace lend a warmth to the lightness and airiness of the colors and textures of the furnishings. Golden light is gently spread through the adorning crystals of the chandelier and throughout the space.

The light colors of the marble reflected from the mirrored cabinets create a master bathroom that is both refreshing and elegant. A gilded golden mirror at the make-up area adds a touch of color and ornament into the space.

The light colors of the marble reflected from the mirrored cabinets create a master bathroom that is both refreshing and elegant. A gilded golden mirror at the make-up area adds a touch of color and ornament into the space.

Each room was given a ceiling treatment unique to its shape. This secondary bedroom incorporates a groin vault ceiling with a chandelier lighting and accentuating the height of the space.

Each room was given a ceiling treatment unique to its shape. This secondary bedroom incorporates a groin vault ceiling with a chandelier lighting and accentuating the height of the space.

The pergola’s cedar posts anchor themselves into stone bases, creating a casual outdoor seating area next to a stone fireplace.

The pergola’s cedar posts anchor themselves into stone bases, creating a casual outdoor seating area next to a stone fireplace.


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