Editor's Note: Houston, the surrounding areas and beyond are loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap snoops through some of the best and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.
Rising from surrounding stone walls softened by towering bamboo in the historic First Ward Arts District is a contemporary, architecturally stunning three-story home with downtown views from every floor — and a fitness center on the first level overlooking a tropical courtyard oasis.
The house at 1322 Dart St., designed by architect Robert Hoover working with landscape artist Charles Tibbits, is now on sale at $1,495,000.
Enter the property through a secure yet bright blue door, indicative of what you'll see next. In the front courtyard, owners find the beginning of their retreat with a lush, landscaped outdoor escape designed around a salt-water swimming pool and adjacent hot tub. The pool area includes resort-style lounge furniture, cheery-colored umbrellas, sound system and night accent lighting. The view of the pool area can be seen from the residence, which has floor-to-ceiling glass walls on one side.
Covered seating areas, standing fire pits, planters and at the far end, a dining table, make downtown your backyard.
From the expansive patio, owners take a slightly terraced wooden deck to the front door, also in the welcoming blue shade, to enter the foyer. A fiber optic artwork created to cast different colors hangs to the right side of the entry, casting light patterns all the way down from its three-story perch. Slate floors are underfoot, and an elevator is to the left.
Straight ahead is the spacious master suite with oversized walk-in closet that doubles as a safe room. The master bath features a double shower behind a glass block wall, soaking tub, dual vanities, mirrored walls and two water closets. On the other side of the bath is the private gym and solarium, opening to views of the courtyard via the three-stories-tall windows. Automatic shades bring privacy to that entire side of the house. In fact, a Control4 smart home system adds numerous electronic amenities such as varying music and lighting throughout the home.
A modern-style staircase with wavy iron balusters leads homeowners to the second and third stories. The open plan on the second floor gives the living area flowing space, and that continuous wall of windows frames incredible views of the downtown skyline. Owners and guests can lounge in the seating area with fireplace, move to the curved, bar-stool-height dining table in the middle and to the wet bar and enormous kitchen at the far end of the room. Cut-out windows between shelving and counter space bring more natural light into the kitchen, which features chef-quality appliances and long island in an exotic granite with sprinklings of pendant fixtures above. The walk-in pantry is easily at hand.
A room off the kitchen can serve as a guest bedroom with the slide of glass doors revealing a Murphy bed or be used as a den. The room comes complete with a full bath, which dual purposes as a powder room from access off the living area.
The final flight of stairs (or trip in the elevator) is filled with natural light via mid-wall cut-outs and leads to the third floor, now functioning as a large office with open reception area and two work centers separated only by glass-wall partitions. The entire floor could be envisioned as two bedrooms sharing a common space, and storage behind the work centers is roomy enough for two walk-in closets. A full bath is located at the stair landing.
Step outside (again)
The third-story terrace looks in the face of the Houston skyline from its vantage point. Covered seating areas, standing fire pits, planters and at the far end, a dining table, make downtown your backyard. The two-car garage is attached.
Square footage: 4,247
Asking price: $1,495,000