Behind a low, ivy-covered brick wall in River Oaks, perhaps Houston’s most exclusive residential enclave, this 9,057-square-foot New England Colonial-style home is suffused with a sense of timeless American charm and Southern grace. Designed by architect J. T. Rather for George R. Brown—the construction magnate and philanthropist for whom the city’s convention center is named—the home was built in the 1930s. The current owners undertook a renovation to update and expand the estate, never losing sight of its heritage and classic refinement, adding period-style elements under the watchful eye of architects Sharon Perry and Roger Cooner. Chief among the elegant spaces are the generous living room—which features a beamed ceiling, a fireplace, and parquet floors crafted of wood reclaimed from a French chateau—and the spectacular glass-enclosed sunroom, with its slate floors and enveloping view of gardens, patios, and sweeping lawn. Outfitted with an array of professional-caliber appliances, quartzite countertops, ornate cabinetry, and a soapstone farm sink, the kitchen will please any chef and is configured to graciously accommodate gatherings large or small. Other highlights include a light-filled library with a fireplace, and built-in bookshelves and desk; a handsome formal dining room with a Chinoiserie-upholstered wall, antique English brown oak floors, and a bay window with a view of the patio and pool; a music room with an adjacent bar and half bath; an inviting family room adjoining the kitchen; and a generously proportioned den or media room. The refined master suite includes a wood-burning fireplace, a morning room overlooking the grounds, custom-appointed closets, a dressing area, and a lavish bath with rich quartzite countertops and a travertine shower. The home’s four additional bedrooms are full, comfortable suites, some with private sitting areas. One was the favorite of “Lady Bird” Johnson, who preferred it during her frequent visits with her friend Alice Pratt Brown. Just outside the window is a stately magnolia tree reportedly given to the Browns by President Johnson. The 1.03-acre estate has the feel of a country retreat, with brick and stone paths meandering amid emerald lawn, mature gardens, and majestic 100-year-old oaks. The property also includes a wonderful pool house, a more-recent addition perfect for the gracious entertaining for which Houstonians have always been renowned.
$8,900,000 / 3363 Inwood Drive, Houston, TX 77019